getting new farlowella settled
I have a recently upgraded 55g tank from a 10g. I've had it up and running for a few weeks now and yesterday added a farlowella to it. I'm trying to get the water chemistry just right. I discovered the tap water at work (the new location for my tank) was much harder than home(little adjusment needed). I'm adding some PH adjuster but I don't want to shock the farlowella. Is there a rule of thumb for how much to adjust per day that it can tollerate? The bottle say's no more than + or - 1 per 24 hours. Is that going to be more than he can take since he's very sensitive to water quality?
Current PH 8.0
Goal PH 6.6
I know experienced fish keepers on here do not recommend the use of pH adjusters because they can be unpredictable and add unnecessary chemicals to the water. I know byron keeps farlowella and he'll probably advise the best course of action if he sees this thread
Hi by the way!
Hi Icbrent, and welcome to Tropical Fish Keeping forum.
Yes indeed, I never miss "Farlowella" in posts, one of my favourite fish. There are several species under the general term Farlowella, the "Royals" are much larger fish than the common smaller Farlowella vittata. This species is in our profiles, click on the shaded name. I have kept this species for years, and recently (last summer) spawned them several times and the surviving fry are doing well. There is a thread on this if you're interested, in the Freshwater and Tropical Fish section.
To the issue of water adjustment. This can be highly dangerous, but is possible naturally. Don't use chemicals or "pH adjusters" as they rarely work. First, we need to know your water parameters (office water), particularly hardness (both GH and KH) and pH. The water supply people are the best for this, many now have a website with water data posted. This info is critical, since hardness is closely linked to pH and is actually more important. Once we know this, I can go into safe natural ways to lower the hardness and corresponding pH.
I looked up the city water report and this is what it did have on it, for what it's worth.
Floride: 1.21 ppm
Nitrate: 0.176 ppm
sodium: 21.4 ppm
trihalomethanes (TTHMs) stage 1: 47.17 ppb
haloacetic acids (HAA) stage 1: 46.55 ppb
chlorine: 2.84 ppm
total organic carbon: 1.64 ppm
I'm headed to the pet place after work to pick up a gh and kh test kit so I can see what it really is. I assume it's quite hard cause of all the remnants on the the sinks and toilets and the very earthy tast of the water.
As for the fish type.. I'm not sure which one he is. The place i got him just wrote down falrowella. He did say it just got to about 7 inches. From the digging I've done its looking like arcus. I'm going to ask him when I pick up the test kit. Its the coolest fish in my tank.
call them and ask about hardness and alkalinity. Those will be the important numbers.
As redchigh said, we need the hardness which can be indicated under various things, but not those given here. I have the liquid (not test strips) API hardness kit (includes both GH and KH), normally I don't suggest spending money for it as one only uses it once to find out the tap water, but if there is going to be any adjusting you will want it.
Picked up the test kit last night. They only had KH.
The water was 10 KH. Just for options I tested the water at home and it was 6 kh. I figured if the water at home was a whole lot better I'd just get some extra buckets and bring it in the day before a water change.
I'll call the water guys this afternoon and see if I can get the GH.
Nice meeting you guys by the way. This is a neat website.
okay general hardness average 207 mg/liter 12.1 grains/gallon
so.. thats 20.7 dGH assuming 10mg/liter = 1dGH is correct conversion.
Unless you have a local breeder, Farlowella will be wild caught so I would lower the hardness. Easiest way is with RO, distilled or rainwater. This is a 55g, so i would remove about 1/3 and replace it with soft water. That will get the hardness down by a third. The pH will naturally lower and more as the tank matures.
Lots of plants (Farlowella spend all day grazing leaves, wood, etc) will help; don't vacuum the substrate so the organics build up. Water changes can be normal, depending upon fish load, maybe 25%, preferably using the soft water mix. Eventually, depending how it goes, water changes may be possible with tap water alone. The tank has to settle and this will likely take a few weeks.
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