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Old 02-10-2005, 02:56 PM   #1
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A fish-lover's issues- water qlty, fish compatibility, tanks

Hi! Thanks for all the invaluable advice I got from sites like these, i was able tos et up my 29 gallon freshwater tank. I have had minimal problems with it and really love the new hobby. My tank has given me hours of pleasure for the last 6 months.

I just wanted to check with the people here about these ideas/issues:

1) Water parameter issues: I do a 20% water change every 2 weeks and keep the temperature at 77 deg F. My pH always seems to be low- about 6.5-6.8. I have used pH increaser twice but do not want to overdo it. I read somewhere that I have to get my active buffer-levels up. I also read that coral in a sack kept in the tank will do it. Should I try? Any suggestion? Also, my water always seems to be on the harder side. What can be done about that?

2) Water treatment suggestions: I have been using Bio-safe as a dechlor and Stress Coat at each water change that I do every 2 weeks. Someone suggested that 'Prime' works as both and lasts forever. Anyone has any experience in that?

3) Fish compatibility: Right now I have in my tank:
5 spotted corys
3 Platys
1 male cherry barb
1 mystery snail

I feed them with flake food, sinking pellets and an algae disc once a day. I hesitatingly have added a beautiful Betta to the tank and is doing fine. Now, I have started loving Angelfish and want to get one (or a pair). Will i go with the betta. If not, do I keep the angelfish or the betta? If they are incompatible due to being territorial, I am thinking of getting the betta out in a bowl for a couple of days, then get a pair of angels and add them together in the tank. This way there will be no 'previous inhabitant of the tank' to bully the new entrants into its territory. What are your views of this whole situation? If I do get an Angelfish, what special precautions should I take?

4) Tanks suggestions: I saw some brown algae on the sides of the tank. What is the best way to get rid of it and to prevent it? Should the snail not have eaten it? I have scrubbed it away for now, but it was a tough job and I really had to scrub hard to clear it.
Also, all areas of my tank are not well lit- the sides do not get enough light. I am using a 20W Colormax lamp that I got from petsmart. Do you have any suggestions for a lamp that lights all areas of the tank? I do not have natural plants in my aquarium.

Thanks for reading my (rather-long and multiple-questioned) post! It just reflects my interest in keeping the fish healthy and happy.

Thanks again and please feel free to share your views!

-Sagar (I am of east-Indian origin. Incidentally, my name means 'the ocean' in my tongue. Maybe I should shift to saltwater tanks!!!)
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Old 02-10-2005, 03:08 PM   #2
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Re: A fish-lover's issues- water qlty, fish compatibility, t

Quote:
Originally Posted by sagar77
My pH always seems to be low- about 6.5-6.8. I have used pH increaser twice but do not want to overdo it. I read somewhere that I have to get my active buffer-levels up. I also read that coral in a sack kept in the tank will do it. Should I try? Any suggestion? Also, my water always seems to be on the harder side. What can be done about that?
Do not bother with pH increaser, doesn't work & causes trouble with pH swings & algae....

To properly assess the water, you need KH & GH numbers - get a lfs to test for you, or just look up from your water co if you are using straight tap water. If the pH is in the 6's, I would expect to see low KH (ie low buffers) ... in which case crushed coral is a good additive to raise both KH & pH. But the assumption on the KH may not be true ... so best to get some real number before diving into doctoring your water.

Hard water usually does not go with low pH or low buffer states.... What do you mean by hard? Again the GH level will tell. Also, if your fishies don't mind the hard water, no need to change it .... messing with water hardness is more trouble than it's worth. (IMO)

Regarding Prime ... I use it & has good result. However, it does not last forever. Prime is gone after 24 hrs (according to co web site), so you have to add a dose with each water change. However, the stuff is very concentrated & you only need a little bit (1 ml per 10 gal). A bottle will last me a year.
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Old 02-10-2005, 03:12 PM   #3
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Thanks for the prompt reply, jsoong! This will help.

Does anyone else has something to share on this post?

-Sagar
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Old 02-10-2005, 04:19 PM   #4
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Quote:
I do a 20% water change every 2 weeks and keep the temperature at 77 deg F. My pH always seems to be low- about 6.5-6.8.
What is the pH out of the tap? Allow the water to sit out over night for the gases to equilibrate and then take the reading.

Quote:
I have been using Bio-safe as a dechlor and Stress Coat at each water change that I do every 2 weeks. Someone suggested that 'Prime' works as both and lasts forever.
I only use one product as a dechlorinator, which is AquaPlus, unless Stress Coat is on sale (apparently Stress Coat does not get rid of chloramines ).
Quote:
I feed them with flake food, sinking pellets and an algae disc once a day.
All of that! There is a reason you have brown algae--too much excess nutrients are in the tank. If you increased the PWC to once a week and cut back on the food, the brown algae will go away.

Angels are nippers and the long flowing fin of a betta is a prime target. They simply do not make good tank mates.
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Old 02-10-2005, 04:21 PM   #5
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1. if u want to keep angels, they are going to love the low ph...so don't bother with that...the cherry barb would thrive in the low ph...and the cories and the platies are very adaptable to a wide range of water conditions...

2. bio safe alone (as a dechlor) would be sufficient to treat ur water....u need nothing else...but u might want to do a 20% pwc every week...depending on ur bioload (ie once u get the angels... )

3. i have no experience of keeping male betta (i am guessing it is a male) with angels...i keep a female betta with an angel and they avoid each other...but both angels and bettas can be aggressive (my angel absolutely hates my gouramis) and neither is fast enough to avoid the other...so u have a keep a close watch...and take ane of the species out if there is trouble...

4. ottos (Otocinclus affinis) would love to eat the brown algae for u... a crew of 3/4 ottos would be perfect for ur tank...but they are a tad touchy...and u might want to read up a little...http://www.otocinclus.com/

carry on the good work...
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Old 02-10-2005, 04:53 PM   #6
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Guys,

Thanks a lot for the replies, Tetrin.

Tetrin, I gues i will not fiddle with the pH then! However, Angels will not like the hardwater. What do I do with that?

I have a snail now for eating algae. I will not have room for ottos once I get the angels, so will ahve to think of somethong else to get rid of the algae.

Thanks,
Sagar
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Old 02-10-2005, 04:55 PM   #7
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Menagerie,

Thanks for the very informative reply. You might be right that I am feeding them too many nutrients. My philosophy was this: Flake food for the 3 Platys and the cherry barb, sinking pellets for the 5 corys and an algae disc for the apple snail.

What do you recommend I feed them and how often?

Thanks for sharing your knowledge!

Sagar
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Old 02-10-2005, 05:03 PM   #8
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do not ...i repeat...do not worry about the ph of ur tank as long as it is not in the extremes ( ~6 or ~8)...my angel is fine with a ph of 7.6...
also, as of now, ur cories, platies and the cherry barb contribute very little to ur bioload...even if u get a pair of angels, u still can fit the crew of ottos in there...
but then weekly pwc's and a good filter are absolute necessities... ...

ur more than welcome...keep on asking...theres a huge knowledge base on this forum and people just love to answer questions...
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Old 02-10-2005, 05:06 PM   #9
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Quote:
do not worry about the ph of ur tank as long as it is not in the extremes ( ~6 or ~...my angel is fine with a ph of 7.6...
sorry for that ...i meant as long as the ph was not ~6 or ~8 ...( the bracket after 8 did the cool thing )
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