Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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-   -   Question on getting water and algae under control (http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/beginner-freshwater-aquarium/question-getting-water-algae-under-control-78254/)

BlueramFan 08-16-2011 06:44 PM

Question on getting water and algae under control
 
Im trying to get my Dark green algae under control. Thought 8 hrs of light was enuf to starve the algae but it has not. Have been primarily using Ro water, was told by my lfs that my water was too soft and I needed to use some tap water to give it some hardness. I am running Co2 and it keeps running my ph too low because at the moment I have no way of monitoring it. Both problems are driving me crazy.. My goal is to have both my Rams and soon to be Discus mating and having babies but not with everything going haywire.
Thanks for any help from all
Gary-BlueramFan

Aquarium specs:
65gal tall
Co2 injection
Two Rena canister filters Xp2 and XP3
Two Coralife 36 65k compact lighting
Primarily using RO water from LFS
Fish- Two mated pair Veil tail Angels, 3 pea puffers, M/F German Blue Rams, One Red stripe shark, Two abino cories, Two Skunk cories, One otto, Three orange platies(Soon to be going to LFS)

Byron 08-16-2011 08:00 PM

This may be related to another thread, but let's keep the facts in this new one so we all know the story.

1. Are you using solely RO water in the tank? No tap or other source water at all?

2. What is the hardness and pH of your tap water? It may be feasible to mix it (as the lfs suggested) rahter than resorting to something else.

3. Where did the rams and discus come from? And by this, I mean are they wild fish or tank-raised. And if the latter, do you know the water parameters of the breeder/source? The lfs may know this.

Remember that adding CO2 will further acidify water. Is there a reason you are using CO2--i.e., to acidify the water or for plants?

You have excess filtration which will not benefit anything. And assuming there are live plants, even moreso. Is there a reason for these.

Byron.

BlueramFan 08-16-2011 10:42 PM

Quote:

This may be related to another thread, but let's keep the facts in this new one so we all know the story.

1. Are you using solely RO water in the tank? No tap or other source water at all?
Have been using RO primarily up til a couple of days ago. I used about five gallons of tap. to raise my ph and hardness. On the LFS reccomendation, he said my water was too soft and thanks to my CO2 my PH had gone down to 6.0

Quote:

2. What is the hardness and pH of your tap water? It may be feasible to mix it (as the lfs suggested) rahter than resorting to something else.
City tap here has ph of 7.7 or 7.8 and medium hardness. I did a test recently and it took 14 drops to turn it to blue.. So Im wondering if my LFS test was off.

Quote:

3. Where did the rams and discus come from? And by this, I mean are they wild fish or tank-raised. And if the latter, do you know the water parameters of the breeder/source? The lfs may know this.
Both the Rams and are tank raised and the Discus, I will have to ask the LFS guy as to if they are Wild or tank raised. He did say that the discus will be in fairly hard water conditions.

Quote:

Remember that adding CO2 will further acidify water. Is there a reason you are using CO2--i.e., to acidify the water or for plants?
I am using Co2 for the Hair grass and some baby tears I am trying to grow and yes it is for my plants.

Quote:

You have excess filtration which will not benefit anything. And assuming there are live plants, even moreso. Is there a reason for these.
I was under the impression that you need adequate surface stimulation to keep enough oxygen to the fish at night. If that is indeed too much then I can always take the XP2 out of the equation.

Thanks btw for your input.
Gary- BlueramFan

Byron 08-17-2011 09:50 AM

[I edited your post just to separate your responses from my questions.]

On the water. I would check with the municipality water supply folks and ascertain the hardness of your tap water; most have a website with posted water data, or they can tell you. Your test may be reasonably accurate, but with hardness one needs to be certain, as it can impact the fish considerably.

Whatever the hardness is, diluting it with RO water will proportionally lower the hardness. For example, mixing half tap and half RO will result in water that is half the hardness of the tap. This is the method i would suggest over using any means of hardening RO water, which will obviously be more expensive than making use of tap plus less RO. I'll come back to hardness and pH momentarily.

On the filters. (1) CO2 when intended solely for plant growth should not be used at night. A timer to have it on only with the tank lights is preferred. Plants cannot use CO2 during darkness, or in fact if the "daylight" is insufficient in intensity to begin with. So this is being wasted, plus there is the risk of poisoning the fish. You may be turning it off, so I mention this just in case. But as well: (2) In a well-planted tank with a balanced fish stocking, there will not be a CO2 issue at night [provided the CO2 diffusion is off, and assuming the CO2 added during the day is balanced with the light and nutrients].
The Rena XP3 is too large on its own for a 55g, so I would remove it and leave the XP2.

To the fish. There is nothing wrong with a pH of 6 or even lower with the fish you have. The Rams however might have a problem if they were raised in harder water. This species is highly sensitive and should always be kept in the same water parameters. Wild caught fish live in water that has no hardness that can be measured and the pH is between 4 and 5 or in some locales in the low 5's. They will fare better if maintained in the same water; they do not interestingly acclimate to changes well--though there are always exceptions.

Discus also occur in very soft acidic water. And with this species, being able to provide that will always be better. Discus will live fine in harder water; they sometimes will spawn provided it is not too hard [hard water causes infertility, hardens the egg case so they can't hatch, etc]. But there is no question they will adjust to soft acidic water. Jack Whattley, a recognized authority on discus, always recommends a pH in the low 6's no matter what. Given their source, I would aim for soft water [= around 5-6 dGH] and slightly acidic (pH 6 to 6.5). Acclimate the discus very slowly depending upon the hardness of the hatchery water.

Discus should always be purchased from a reliable source, by which I mean the hatchery/breeder if tank raised. And any reputable hatchery or breeder will be more than willing to share information on their water parameters. They understand these fish.

Make sure the tank water issue is completely resolved and stable before putting the discus in. Fiddling with water parameters with these fish in the tank is not a good idea.

Byron.

BlueramFan 08-17-2011 12:51 PM

Thank you Byron, for your advice..luckily for me I have not gotten the Discus.. Can't wait though to put them into my 65 gallon but won't til I get things to stabilize. I had a timer for the CO2 but the plug for it gave out on me and I am having a tough time finding a replacement cord for it. It's a Milwaukee SM122
All I have seen is people selling the whole package..not the AC adaptor cords by themselves.
Thanks again for your help
Gary- BlueramFan


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