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Old 09-25-2011, 01:35 PM   #1
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Hi all- a few questions from a relatively new aquarium hobbyist

Hi all,

After wanting one for quite awhile, I finally picked up an aquarium setup about five weeks ago. Since then, I have spent the usual countless hours of trying to figure out the cycling process.. which should be getting close to finished. Ot the joys of 10PM emergency pet store runs.. high ammonia, then ich.. etc.. As of now, it's a somewhat understocked ( this is a good thing, i think) 20 gallon tank, with four guppies (1 male, 3 female), and 3 neon tetras. I have lost a number of fish, esp. earlier in the cycling process..

More recently, I've started to focus on the hardness/ alkalinity of the water. As it turn out, Atlanta tap water seems to VERY deficient in dissolved mineral. After purchasing all of the terribly wrong stuff with pet shop employee advice (African mineral salt, calcium for reef aquarium, PH increase &decrease even baking soda) I have finally settled on on the API pH 7.0 powder. It seems to be working without killing anything at the moment, and it should provide the buffer that I was missing. However, I've only added a half dose to take it slow..I think 7.0 is a good balance for the guppies and neon tetras? Is this ok?

Also, since there is very little calcium, etc. in the water, should I use one of those Vitamin and Mineral pyramids?

Again I've used a ton of different products, and this time I told myself that I would finally register and get some expert advice..would the combination help to raise both GH and KH? As of now, I am probably around 80 GH and 40KH.

Sorry for the rant and thanks for your help!
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Old 09-25-2011, 01:39 PM   #2
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Welcome to Aquarium Advice! The people here a very friendly and will give you truthful advice!
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Please don't forget about the toxins in some corals (like zoas and palythoas)
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Old 09-25-2011, 02:03 PM   #3
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Becareful of raising and lowering ph. If it is slightly high or low but constant it is better than having it go up and down up and down etc with these products.
What level is the ph at??
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Old 09-25-2011, 02:11 PM   #4
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Got to agree with david. You are probably better off just letting the pH settle to it's natural level, than constantly trying to adjust it.
most fish will adapt quite suitably to your pH, so long as it is not in constant flux. Some of the more sensitive fish (eg. discus) are particular about it, but most community fish, like neons and guppies will adjust as long as it's not extreme.
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Old 09-25-2011, 02:45 PM   #5
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Thanks guys.. I totally understand what you mean about the pH. However, the problem before was that the water (significantly basic pH, but VERY soft) would very quickly turn acidic because there were no buffering minerals, etc. in the tap water. So, in other words, my changes to pH (with the stupid exception of baking soda were actually much slower than what would happened naturally. I find the liquid test kit I have a bit tough to read, but its right about 7.0 now..
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Old 09-25-2011, 02:54 PM   #6
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I should also mention that there are always a number (maybe 5 at a time) of baby guppies in the tank due to the adults reproducing.. 2 seem to be growing large enough to not fit in a bigger guppy's mouth.. but it's certainly natural selection of the fittest when it comes to the others, which are small enough for their parents to eat..
Cruel as it is, I have no intention of being a major guppy breeder.. I provide (fake) plants and shelter, so I figure I'm at least giving them a chance. I'll probably just bring the ones that do grow to a pet store and give 'em away..
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