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Old 06-15-2006, 10:38 PM   #1
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How am I doing so far??? (some flashing/GH problems)

I'm new to cichlids and have my first tank is a 29g with 4 n. brichardi. They seem to be doing quite well. One is flashing a bit (once in a great while), so i decided to test the water. Im having trouble keeping my GH up. Each water change I add 1/4tsp of baking soda and 1 table spoon of Epsom salt. I also keep a bag of crushed coral in the filter. Here is what i have:
pH - 8.8
kH - 12
gH - 1!! (stays up for first few days from epsom, but decreases i guess)
nitrates - 10
ammonia ~ .1-.25

any input would be great =) thanks in advance!
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Old 06-15-2006, 10:44 PM   #2
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Keep a real close eye. Flashing could possibly be a sign of ick, or some other parasite. Or, if it's just once in a great while, could be just itching.
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Old 06-15-2006, 10:47 PM   #3
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If it is ick, i was told raising the temp a bit and adding some aquarium salt will help. is this something you'd suggest? I also heard that it could be territorial behavior?

are my parameters ok? any suggestions about the GH or is it fine like it is... i was told the brichardi are pretty hardy and will breed in almost anything.
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Old 06-15-2006, 11:12 PM   #4
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sounds great but only one problem.
WE NEED PICTURES!!

Quote:
One is flashing a bit (once in a great while)
Quote:
ammonia ~ .1-.25
Minor chemical burn I would say.
limestone is a great buffer for ur african water - better then CC in my opinion.
I would also do away with the epsom and baking soda to keep levels from fluctuating.

hth

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Old 06-15-2006, 11:24 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DeFeKt
sounds great but only one problem.
WE NEED PICTURES!!

Quote:
One is flashing a bit (once in a great while)
Quote:
ammonia ~ .1-.25
Minor chemical burn I would say.
limestone is a great buffer for ur african water - better then CC in my opinion.
I would also do away with the epsom and baking soda to keep levels from fluctuating.

hth

~Matt
I would have to agree. Stop dosing and see how things go from here on out. Yes, the flashing could also be due to the ammonia as well.

As for ick, if you do ever see any on the fish, yes, bump the temp slowly up above 86 degrees. Salt is really not necessary, the high temp should take care of it. Then once you see the ick is completely gone, then you would leave the temp up for 2 weeks and do a 14 day countdown, then on day 15, start to lower the temp slowly.
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Old 06-16-2006, 02:18 PM   #6
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Personally, I would not worry about ich right now. My Africans flash often and after talking to many people, I have noticed it’s a behavioral pattern (there's usually a pretty lady hanging around), or they have a slight itch When and if ich does strike, you will see them all flashing.
Quote:
nitrates - 10
ammonia ~ .1-.25
What is the nitrite level?
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Old 06-17-2006, 09:39 AM   #7
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I would do away with the baking soda, epsom salt, and aquarium salt. I use aquarium salt to treat body injuries with melafix and it works just dandy. I've heard aquarium salt being used to treat ick, though when I had my bought with ich, I lost- so in my oppinion it doesn't do much except possibly heal any open sore. If you ask me, you may be tampering with the water slightly more than necessary. Like you said, your fish are "pretty hardy", so try not to make them less by incorporating unnecessary stress. GL
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Old 07-12-2006, 05:11 PM   #8
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Ammonia is too high! It should be at 0. That is enough to cause grief in fish. Better do some water changes.
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Old 07-12-2006, 07:55 PM   #9
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Definately keep up on the water changes to keep ammonia at 0 or near 0. I agree with Menagerie, my africans also"flash", it is their way of stirring up food I believe as well as behavioural. Perfectly natural for cichlids.
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Old 07-12-2006, 10:24 PM   #10
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Flashing could be a sign of irritation from the NH3(ammonia), NH3 is more toxic at higher PH/temp levels, overall toxicity actually increases as these go up. Check this out, http://dataguru.org/misc/aquarium/AmmoniaTox.html

I myself use CC to maintain GH/KH, I would only recommend CC in your filters/substrate or various other rock/mineral substrates to up your GH.
You want calcium carbonate, not sodium bicarbonate, to raise your GH. No wonder your PH/KH are high but not your GH.
Time for you to got to Chemistry 101, http://www.drhelm.com/aquarium/chemistry.html
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