cichlid sand for a community live bearer tank??
a couple weeks ago my lfs store recommended african cichlid sand for my tank, replacing my gravle with it...they know what i have in my tank as far as fish are concerned..none of them african cichlids...and said it was fine....but my tank has been cloudy ever since. when i first added the sand my tank went BLACK over a 72 hour period it did clear up but not like before and it has stayed that way since. is there anythingi can do??
also, i have only one live plant and i have 3 artificial ones. i would like to remove the artifical ones and areplace them with live..any recommomendations for some that are taken care of VERY easily, i do not have a green thumb at all....
If the sand is completely inert (plain sand, no additives like salt, minerals, chemicals) it will be fine for plants, although my personal choice is very small-grain gravel. If the sand has something in it, as sands intended for rift lake cichlids (and marine tanks) often do, it should still be OK for your livebearers (they do better in moderately hard, basic/alkaline water). Plants may or may not be OK depending upon the pH and hardness of your tap water, compared to the tank. Some plants can grow well in moderately hard water, others cannot. Planted tanks generally want to keep the pH and hardness lower, and using a substrate that works counter to this goal is not advisable. But again that will depend upon your tap water pH and hardness.
The cloudiness could be due to bacteria, having removed the matured substrate and all its bacteria colony. Have you tested for ammonia, nitrite and nitrate?
As far as atleast one plant that works in a high ph hard water situation is a amazon sword. i have (1) i use sand substrate have less than 1 watt per gallon but a great spectrum aswell as root tabs. now some of the leafs have died off but that is normal seeing how they are raised above water before they are sold in the stores.
thank you for your input! i am VERY new at this and really know nothing...sometimes i feel like i'm at the shop with my car and they tell me things just to get me to spend money!! lol...i will check out the amazon sword..i've seen them in the tanks at the stores they look nice....i have had my water tested...my pH is high i know my water is alkaline and VERY hard....i also know that i have amonia in my tank...i did a 15% change today...i do not have my own water test kit yet my lfs store is always out but i do plan on getting one very soon...
look at walmart.com for the freshwater master test kit its 18.00 for site to store ammonia isnt a problem for plants since they use it to grow or something like that. sometimes you have to do as much as a 50% WC to get parmas where you want them.
i did a 50 % change 2 weeks ago, yesterday i did a 15% change..dont know if i mentioned that before....is it ok to do 10% daily changed untill i get the levels down??? i use API stress coat to treat the new water and to the tank if my fish seem stressed...i read in one of the other posts in the forum that the API stress coat wasnt recommended?? what is the best one i can use to treat the new water?? and how often can i add aquarium salt to help with stress??
aquarium salt is a forbidden topic here lol very controversial. some say use it some say dont. but im sure everyone will chime in and personally i dont use it. doing a 10% WC everyday will help but wont be as effetive as a 25% every other day. but if you got the energy to do that then all will be fine.
A partial water change every day will not harm the fish (they will love it), and anything up to 50% when there is trouble 9ammonia, nitrite) is fine.
Once the tank is established biologically (cycled and stable), a weekly partial water change of 30-40% is recommended. No mechanical filter can remove toxins like urine and dissolved fish excrement, only the partial water change. And doing it more with less water is much better for water quality stability than doing it less with more water.
oh....ok lol..........i did use the aquarium salt for treatment of ich....anything else you recommend if i have this problem again?? i have been taking my water to my lfs for testing...they've never told me my numbers but always say my bad stuff is high. so i went and bought an API master test kit today and i just did the testing and here are my results:
from what the booklet says these are all good numbers right?? just yesterday they told me my ammonia was dangerously high...i did do a small pwc yesterday after the testing....could it have gone down so quickly???
Stores are famous for telling you the test is OK or pretty good or not good--without saying the exact numbers. Now you can do your own, much better.
The test numbers indicate your tank is (probably) coming out of the second stage. Ammonia has spiked and is now zero (provided it remains zero, that's good), nitrite is now high, but that is normal in the cycle and this should drop off to zero (over the next couple of days) and stay at zero. Daily pwc of 30% will help ease the stress of this nitrite on the fish. Once both ammonia and nitrite are at "0" and remain there for consecutive days, the tank is "cycled" for the bioload it contains.
Nitrate at 5 is very good; it will also rise once the nitrite has peaked and fallen, the third stage of the cycle, and nitrate of less than 20ppm is considered good. Most fish can tolerate nitrate to 40ppm, some much higher, but it is safest to aim for under 20ppm. The weekly pwc of 30-40% is the best way to achieve this. In a planted tank, the plants keep the nitrate below 10ppm unless something drastic is done to upset the biological equilibrium.
Re the ich--and yes, if you are like most of us, you will probably see this parasitic problem again--I am not a fan of salt. I'm going to be posting a length comment on salt in another thread momentarily, as I was asked for advice and I believe salt is the culprit there; so I won't go into all that again here. You may find it helpful to read what I post later: http://www.fishforum.com/tropical-fi...dy-skin-30326/
My preferred treatment is to let it work itself out without intervention. This, if it is light (say, one or two spots on one fish only). It usually does, provided the fish are healthy, the water quality is good and stable. Ich is almost always present in our aquaria; some will dispute this, but there is evidence. I have had it appear out of nowhere, and there is no other explanation when nothing has been added to a tank for months, and ich suddenly appears. The fish are capable of fighting it off, along with many other things, if they are healthy and the water quality is maintained by weekly pwc, not overfeeding, and plants help a lot.
When it gets persistent, as seeing 3 or more spots on several fish, I use Aquari-Sol for 5-6 days. I do not raise the temperature because I keep my tanks at 78F and some of the fish I have do not do well above 80F and the heat stresses them out even more than they might already be due to fighting the ich. No point in adding to their misery. I have always cured it in 4-5 days; I maintain the daily dose for 5 or 6 days, depending upon the severity and what results I observe. This medication does contain copper--most ich remedies do, and it is the copper than some fish cannot tolerate well. But it seems to be less in Aquari-Sol which is stated to be OK for sensitive fish (most tetras and catfish) and in my SA tanks of all characins and corydoras with Farlowella (very sensitive to any chemical) I have not had a problem, but I have with other copper medications that drive the corydoras and Farlowella round the bend, literally. So I recommend Aquari-Sol for any parasitic infestation when it is severe.
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