Acceptable levels - confused! - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 7 Old 08-12-2019, 05:30 AM Thread Starter
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Acceptable levels - confused!

Hi all - first post, complete newby, please bear with!
My 7yo has been nagging for some guppies; seems like a good idea to me, teaching responsibility etc,etc. So, we’ve got this little tank (2 gal) with a couple of little plants, and plan to have 2-3 fish. We’ve read everything we can get our hands on but I don’t know if I’m overthinking this...
My question is regarding KH and PH.
I understand that for guppies we need a stable PH of somewhere between 6.8-7.8. I also understand that KH helps to stabilise this, and have read that this needs to be between 6-11.
We’ve had the tank set up for about 2 weeks. Long story short, PH started at 6, took out bogwood and replaced with calcium stone (as advised by local shop), PH climbed to 7.2 by the following day and has pretty much stayed there for the last week - it’s either 7.1 or 7.2 depending on the time of day we test.
My question is about KH which has stayed at a steady 2. This appears to be too low to keep the PH stable, yet the PH seems to be stable anyway. So, do I really need to worry about the KH and try to raise it? GH (if relevant) is a steady 6.
Bless my 7yo, he’s desperate to put fish in the tank and has been ever so good with daily testing and patiently waiting for everything to be right - I don’t want to keep him waiting for longer than necessary if I’m worrying over nothing.
As an aside - nitrogen cycle... Ammonia to 0, NO2 up, NO2 down, NO3 up, water change, then fish - is that correct?
Any advice gratefully received, but please go easy with me - I’m very new to all this!
Dillymint is offline  
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post #2 of 7 Old 08-12-2019, 10:24 PM
Don't worry about pH/kH. If you wanted to keep really sensitive wild fish it would be a concern. The fish will be happier with a stable pH rather than you trying to alter it to what they "prefer" wildly. A 2gal really isn't the best idea. If you can, up to a 10gal. It'll be easier to maintain and you'll have more options. 2-3 endler guppies might be okay in a 2gal, but it's a lot more water changes and much easier for the tank to crash (chemically). Ditch the wood, ditch the stone. Youtube is a great place to learn about the nitrogen cycle if you want more info on it. Do you have a heater? What's the filter?
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post #3 of 7 Old 08-13-2019, 06:49 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks Genos! The filter came with the tank - black sponge thing that fits in a compartment at the back. There’s also a spout pumping water out at the surface (can you tell I’m new to this lol!). We have a heater (bought separately), set at 85 with a plan to reduce to 74ish just before introducing fish (had read that a temp of around 85 helps with cycling).
Dillymint is offline  
post #4 of 7 Old 08-15-2019, 05:03 PM
we were all totally new once and remain new on many things.

If you're using a 2gal tank I would recommend if possible moving up to at least a 10gal.

You might also take a look at the methods in my signature. Which are just my simple planted tank methods. I have found them to be very forgiving of my type user errors.

my .02

maintain Fw and marine system with a strong emphasis on balanced, stabilized system that as much as possible are self substaning.

have maintained FW systems for up to 9 years with descendants from original fish and marine aquariums for up to 8 years.

With no water changes, untreated tap water, inexpensive lighting by first starting the tank with live plants (FW) or macro algae( marine)

beaslbob is offline  
post #5 of 7 Old 08-16-2019, 02:50 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks Beaslbob!
Dillymint is offline  
post #6 of 7 Old 08-19-2019, 07:29 AM
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For a 2 gal tank, best to stick with same sex guppies & they are prolific breeders.
Kilgore Trout is offline  
post #7 of 7 Old 08-26-2019, 03:59 PM
You can get crushed oyster at Ace Hardware and use some mixed in to the gravel. Spread the rest on the trees around your house.

I agree with the others, small tanks are fickle. Heart break waiting to happen. You might look on Craigslist for a used tank and keep the one you have as a hospital/quarantine.
couger is offline  

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