Go Back   Aquarium Advice - Aquarium Forum Community > Freshwater > Freshwater & Brackish - General Discussion
Click Here to Login

Join Aquarium Advice Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about them on AquariumAdvice.com
 
Old 03-09-2004, 01:23 AM   #1
Aquarium Advice Regular
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 89
Raising my PH for Chiclids?

Well I have had my 55 gallon tank setup for a while with some goldfish and a bristlenose pleco, and I finally have some time to set it up right and I would really like to do a Chiclid tank. My current pH is about 7.0-7.2 right now and I am trying to figure out the best way to raise the ph. I don't know what my kH is because I haven't got a test kit for that. Right now I have gravel in the tank with 2 Emperor 280 filters and 2 Marineland 550 pumps for my reverse undergravel filter. I was thinking of adding crushed coral to the tank to raise the pH but I wasn't really to fond of the way it would look with my brown natural colored gravel. What I would like to do is add a decently size piece of Texas Limestone. It looks really nice and it should raise the pH. My question is how much is it going to raise my pH? I know no one is going to be able to give me an exact value but should I expect a large jump or a small one? Thanks for any help and open to other suggestions.
__________________

__________________
Jdills1347 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-09-2004, 01:32 AM   #2
Moderator Emeritus
 
Menagerie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Vancouver, WA
Posts: 13,230
Welcome to AA, secure1347!

Coral, shell and limestone will raise pH, but I have no idea how much--it will happen slowly. There are "pH in a bottle" for various types of cichlids (actually biotopes)--I have never used them.

What type of cichlids do you want to put in the tank? What are you going to do with the goldfish? Have you researched cichlids--there is a huge number of them out there from docile to aggressive. Some like your pH, some like a pH of 9! If you want large cichlids (most of them excavate), I would get rid of the UGF.

Think about these Qs and post your answers.
__________________

__________________

Menagerie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-09-2004, 02:24 AM   #3
Aquarium Advice Regular
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 89
I have done a lot of research but to ne honest I am still not good at all with naming the different types or keeping them in the right group, i.e. Lake Malawi etc.. My LFS has a tank setup with an assortment of African Cichlids that apparently get along together and are acclimated to a pH of 8.5. Some of these that I like and can remember their names were (I aplogize for the spelling) , venustus, blue johanni, albino peacock, kenyi, colbalt blue zebra to name a few. They are all rather small in the LFS (~2.5" or so) I just looked up the Venustus and it seems like they get much larger than all the others mentioned there so he may be out. I don't want anything too big. Would rather keep them on the small side, 5" or under. I am going to give the goldfish away. I will stick with my RUGF for now though I am a bit disspointed by the reverse setup, I think my 550's may be underpowered for it and its not pushing the water up like I would really like. I would love to do a sand setup but I just dont have the money and the knowledge to have sand and manage to keep the ground clean. Maybe at a later date. Thanks
__________________
Jdills1347 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-09-2004, 02:42 AM   #4
Moderator Emeritus
 
Menagerie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Vancouver, WA
Posts: 13,230
I own two zebras and they dig, dig, dig! The bigger one is 6". I also have a Venustus, who is an open water swimmer and I would not buy again with Mbuna cichlids from Lake Malawi. In all honesty, do not go by what the LFS has set up--that got me into problems!! Best to know what you want and hold out until you get it. Plus the LFS always have the juvenile cute ones—you NEED to find out how big they get and what their temperament will be after they mature.
Here is a decent link--scroll down to cichlids and they are listed by location:
Quote:
I don't want anything too big. Would rather keep them on the small side, 5" or under.
That will require additional research and lots of planning!

Keep looking at different species and compile a list. Post that list and those of us that keep larger cichlids will be better able to help you.
__________________
Menagerie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-09-2004, 07:14 AM   #5
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: NY
Posts: 4,536
Before doing anything I suggest grabbing a kH/gH test and seeing what the water hardness is. Africans prefer hard water with a high pH. There are a number of ways to achieve that, but without knowing where you are starting can cause problems. Theres an explanation of pH kH and gH here: http://faq.thekrib.com/begin-chem.html

You may also want to check here for some ideas on compatible Africans and the right size tank: http://www.cichlidrecipe.com/cichlidrecipe/crp22.htm
__________________
aka Cycling Guru and the Ich Slayer

*glares at Terry and QTOFFER*

Card carrying member of FTAS & GCAS.
Allivymar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-09-2004, 10:02 AM   #6
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Central Ohio
Posts: 1,728
Send a message via Yahoo to deli_conker
I use crushed coral in my tank. No gravel though, just coral. My gallery pics are not current though they should give you a basic idea of what I have running.

My water out of the tap is fairly soft and neutral --> ph 7.0 gh <5
My tank water with all that coral in it is --> ph 7.8 gh 16

My fish seem to do well in it. Personally, I think you should go with a natural way of increasing the ph. They do make chemicals to increase/decrease ph, but that, IMO, is just another thing to worry about in fishkeeping. The coral keeps it high without any intervention from me. It's self-sustaining so to speak.

You should probably test your tap water for ph and gh and see what you have to work with.
__________________
deli_conker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-09-2004, 11:11 AM   #7
Aquarium Advice Regular
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 89
Well I just ordered a test kit last night with a kH tester and a gH tester. So I will be able to tell you more after it comes. I agree about naturally raising the pH, I'm not a fan of the chemicals. In the meantime I'll figure out exactly what I want and I'll post it here. Thanks for the link, I have been to the Cichlid Recipe before too, great site.
__________________
Jdills1347 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-10-2004, 05:19 AM   #8
Aquarium Advice Freak
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Dayton. Ohio
Posts: 275
Send a message via MSN to AdamsZoological Send a message via Yahoo to AdamsZoological
I've had a little thing I've always done if I needed to raise pH for African Cichlids. I buy the re-usable filter bags, I know AquaClear makes them, and pretty sure other companies do as well, and fill them with either crushed coral, aragonite, or dolomite, then plop it down into one of my filters. With the water constantly flowing over the bag, it is constantly releasing minerals into the water, and keeps the pH right around where those fish like it, works incredibly well, and its an easy solution.
AdamsZoological is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-10-2004, 08:58 AM   #9
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Central Ohio
Posts: 1,728
Send a message via Yahoo to deli_conker
That's a good idea AZ. I have one level/container of my Fluval filled with coral. Makes great all around filter medium as well...
__________________
deli_conker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-10-2004, 07:20 PM   #10
Aquarium Advice Regular
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 89
Yeh I have heard of people doing that. Not a bad idea but I was looking for something a little more permanent like just keeping the limestone in there. We will see though, I am still waiting for my test kits to come in. In the meantime I needed a change in my tank and I set the undergravel filter to forward flow, which seems to be working better, and I stacked up some slate in there. It's looks better, but not great. I didn't have many stones to put in as spacers to stack the slate with so I couldnt build it up very high without it not being sturdy. I have a few unrelated pH questions if you dont mind:
1) How much water can I take out without depleating the need bacteria, etc. (Because emptying almost all the water would have help in setting up the stones)
2) What should I use for spacers when stacking up the slate, granite??
3) For those of you who don't use UGF, how do you keep the bottom clean, do you just gravel vac it more often?
4)Similar to the last question, if you use sand, how do you keep the bottom clean, Because I would LOVE to use sand.

I think thats about it for now, thanks
__________________
Jdills1347 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-11-2004, 10:12 AM   #11
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Central Ohio
Posts: 1,728
Send a message via Yahoo to deli_conker
Texas Holey rock is limestone if I'm not mistaken.

Quote:
1) How much water can I take out without depleating the need bacteria, etc. (Because emptying almost all the water would have help in setting up the stones)
Not sure exactly what you mean here. First off, are the goldfish and pleco still in the tank? I'm assuming that the bacteria you are talking about is the ones in the nitrogen cycle. The bacteria live all over the place, but mostly on the sufaces of your tank (walls, substrate, decorations, filter).

*If your tank is not cycled and there are no fish in it, then the water level shouldn't matter.
*If your tank is cycled and there are no fish in it, then you can use some of your old substrate to seed the tank with bacteria (also the filter medium as well). Just make sure that you have a source of ammonia to keep the cycle rolling lest the bacteria die from starvation...
*If the fish are still in the tank, then you're going to have to find a new home for goldfish. Not sure about the pleco. Goldfish don't like the hiogh 70's low 80's that african cichlids do.
Quote:
2) What should I use for spacers when stacking up the slate, granite??
I bought some black granite that was marbled with white streaks (goes great with the coral). The rocks that I bought have long edges and are fairly square. It makes it fairly sturdy when I stack slate on top of them. Also, make sure that the rocks you use won't bleed undesirable minerals into the water. My lfs doesn't sell any rocks that do.
Quote:
3) For those of you who don't use UGF, how do you keep the bottom clean, do you just gravel vac it more often?
Not really. I vac my coral when I do my weekly water change. I usually get about 20% of the floor plus a small area around my filter intake. I do a different area next week.
Quote:
4)Similar to the last question, if you use sand, how do you keep the bottom clean, Because I would LOVE to use sand.
I don't have sand but I know it's fairly simular to coral. When I vac I go across the surface. I usually don't dig down real far into the coral. With sand you pretty much just take the vac across the surface without touching it. Otherwise you end up vacuuming up your sand as well as the waste.

HTH and good luck
__________________
deli_conker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-12-2004, 09:18 AM   #12
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Greencastle, PA
Posts: 2,648
Send a message via Yahoo to shawmutt
Quote:
What I would like to do is add a decently size piece of Texas Limestone. It looks really nice and it should raise the pH. My question is how much is it going to raise my pH? I know no one is going to be able to give me an exact value but should I expect a large jump or a small one?
Small. For a few reasons. One of them being cichlids are very messy fish and need frequent water changes. Adding crushed coral or other forms of calcium carbonate to your filter will work as well, but you may still run into problems with frequent water changes. Whatever water you put back in is going to have a lower pH than the tank water. What you want to look for is a way to make the water's pH value high in the new water. What I do is make my own cichlid salt mixture. Starting with ro water, I add 1 tsp epsom salt, 1 tsp sea salt, and 1 tsp Proper pH 8.2 per 5 gallons of water. I also add CichlidVital, which has other trace elements and iodine. You could buy Kent's cichlid salt, or just add varying amounts of the ingredients I use to get your desired parameters. You will need to get a KH test kit, a GH test kit, and a pH test kit if you wish to adjust water parameters.

Quote:
1) How much water can I take out without depleating the need bacteria, etc. (Because emptying almost all the water would have help in setting up the stones)
The bacteria is on the rocks, gravel, and in your filter. As long as everything stays wet, you shouldn't run into problems
Quote:
2) What should I use for spacers when stacking up the slate, granite??
Nothing, just stack them on top of each other. On the bottom of my tank I used eggcrate, then added rocks, then added sand.

Quote:
3) For those of you who don't use UGF, how do you keep the bottom clean, do you just gravel vac it more often?
I vacuum my sand with every water change (see below).

Quote:
4)Similar to the last question, if you use sand, how do you keep the bottom clean, Because I would LOVE to use sand.
The waste stays on the top of the sand. First, when siphoning water for my water change, I hover the hose over the sand to suck up all the waste. Then, every two weeks, I gently stir the sand up to release any gas buildup.
__________________
~Mike Shaw
Shawmutt.com. Blogs and Pictures of the Massively Multiplayer Offline game, Real Life.
shawmutt is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-13-2004, 11:15 PM   #13
Aquarium Advice Freak
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Tucson, Arizona
Posts: 334
Send a message via MSN to cindywindy
Just my $.02, I have used crushed coral in a mesh baggie (found in the paint-straining department at Home Depot for about $2.00) and placed it in my African tank without the use of any chemical additives and have been very satisfied with the results. The rise in the pH/KH that you will experience with the use of any calcium-carbonate-containing product is likely to be gradual, as the calcium carbonate will slowly dissolve in your water, thus creating the parameters you desire without your fish experiencing any stress from the transition.

I also agree with what was stated earlier in the thread, you will likely not be satisfied with the UGF, although they do still have their fans, these types of filters are a bit dated in terms of equipment and difficult to maintain as opposed to most HOBs or canisters.
__________________
Cindy Williams
Owner/Administrator
Tropical Resources
TFH Magazine webforum
www.tropicalresources.net
www.tfhmagazine.com
cindywindy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-14-2004, 02:33 AM   #14
Aquarium Advice Regular
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 89
K let me try and answer some of these questions. First I do have fish in the tank and it is cycled, and I will get rid of the gold fish when I get the cychlids ^^^. My question about how much water I could take out of the tank was because I thought if I take too much water out (I would remove the fish) I might shock the system and was wondering if I would get some ammonia spikes etc. I figure if I can get the pH up to what I want and raise my hardness up as well, when I do a ~15-20% water change, it shouldn't effect the pH too much. I've already ordered my test kits, they come in tuesday. It looks like the best idea is to use crush coral in one of my Emperor 280's. Like I said I have 2 of them and an UGF. So I should be able to use one of the 280's regularly and the other can have the mixture of crushed coral and maybe some other ingredients suggested earlier. I will just have to experiment. Thanks for the suggestions. I will stick with the UGF's for now because they haven't given me any problems and work pretty well, but when I finally am able to go to sand I will obviously get rid of them.
__________________
Jdills1347 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-14-2004, 11:00 AM   #15
Aquarium Advice Freak
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Sutton, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 263
1)
In my 120 (and all my other tanks) I suck out 1/3 of the water weekly.
I put those stick on thermometers on the side of each tank at the 1/3 mark to make it easy to guess when I had enough water out.

2)
for spacers betewen the slate & granite I used smaller pieces of slate and granite. The fish like them but seem to prefer a pile of fist sized granite rocks I piled up.

3)
I don't use a UGF, I have egg crate on the bottom of my tank covered with 60pounds of crushed coral and 60 pounds of silica sand.

4)
I vacume with the python, 1/2 the tank bottom each week.
1 week I do the sand half the other I do the crushed coral half, since it involves moving all the rocks I only do half so as not to upset the fish to much.

A lot of my fish are in my gallery, if you want to take a peek at some that seem to get along. I have a couple of odd balls, the most agressive fish I have are the c.morri and the male Yellow lab(not supposed to be very agressive), they pound on the p.kenyi(which is supposed to be very agressive). The mildest fish in the tank are the ob.peacock's.

Quote:
Originally Posted by secure1347
1) How much water can I take out without depleating the need bacteria, etc. (Because emptying almost all the water would have help in setting up the stones)
2) What should I use for spacers when stacking up the slate, granite??
3) For those of you who don't use UGF, how do you keep the bottom clean, do you just gravel vac it more often?
4)Similar to the last question, if you use sand, how do you keep the bottom clean, Because I would LOVE to use sand.
__________________
Vote
Here for Aqurium Advice


- - Aquipment --
010gal Glass Tank-QT/Hospital
015gal Glass Tank-Partitioned Fish Jail
33gal Glass Tank-South American Cichlids {Angels)
120gal Glass Tank-Mixed Malawi Rift
small Koi/goldfish pond
peterp is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-14-2004, 11:26 AM   #16
Aquarium Advice Freak
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Sutton, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 263
The bacteria live in the substrate and filter media. Changing the water won't remove many of them. Removing the bio load from the tank can kill the bacteria if their favorite food(ammonia) disappears.

This is just me, but going from goldfish to a warm water fish I would probably tear down the tank, sterilize it and start again.

The UGF may be a problem and the cichlids WILL uncover it. Every one of my cichlids seems to be an expert digger and excavator. They have completely remodeled the tank bottom. And have dug pits right down to the egg crate (over 3 inches of sand and crushed coral). An uncovered UGF is not usually a good thing .

Quote:
Originally Posted by secure1347
K let me try and answer some of these questions. First I do have fish in the tank and it is cycled, and I will get rid of the gold fish when I get the cychlids ^^^. My question about how much water I could take out of the tank was because I thought if I take too much water out (I would remove the fish) I might shock the system and was wondering if I would get some ammonia spikes etc. I figure if I can get the pH up to what I want and raise my hardness up as well, when I do a ~15-20% water change, it shouldn't effect the pH too much. I've already ordered my test kits, they come in tuesday. It looks like the best idea is to use crush coral in one of my Emperor 280's. Like I said I have 2 of them and an UGF. So I should be able to use one of the 280's regularly and the other can have the mixture of crushed coral and maybe some other ingredients suggested earlier. I will just have to experiment. Thanks for the suggestions. I will stick with the UGF's for now because they haven't given me any problems and work pretty well, but when I finally am able to go to sand I will obviously get rid of them.
__________________
Vote
Here for Aqurium Advice


- - Aquipment --
010gal Glass Tank-QT/Hospital
015gal Glass Tank-Partitioned Fish Jail
33gal Glass Tank-South American Cichlids {Angels)
120gal Glass Tank-Mixed Malawi Rift
small Koi/goldfish pond
peterp is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-14-2004, 05:07 PM   #17
Aquarium Advice Regular
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 89
Hmm. I hear all of you guys use egg crates in the bottom of your tank. These are styrafoam I imagine?? Do you use these just to minimize the amount of sand you need or is this for some other reason like it helps with the natural filtration of the sand bed? ^How come you used crushed coral and sand, for it's buffering or just for looks/costs?
__________________
Jdills1347 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-15-2004, 12:33 AM   #18
Aquarium Advice Freak
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Dayton. Ohio
Posts: 275
Send a message via MSN to AdamsZoological Send a message via Yahoo to AdamsZoological
Crushed coral and aragonite is used for its buffering capacity, you can obtain the same looks with different sized sand grain, and sand is alot cheaper.
AdamsZoological is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-15-2004, 12:47 PM   #19
Aquarium Advice Freak
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Sutton, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 263
It is called eggcrate and it is made of plastic and comes in 2*4 foot sheets, usually found in light fixtures, made of many little plastic squares. It is can be found in home building stores.

Its use is to protect your tank bottom from a cichlid undermining a rock pile while digging.
It quite often happens when they dig a deep hole, a rock pile made of large heavy rocks sitting on the sand collapses and can break the tank bottom.

With the egg crate you pile the rocks on it then add the sand, so the fish can't get under the rocks, and if they do manage to knock something over the rock can't hit the glass


Quote:
Originally Posted by secure1347
Hmm. I hear all of you guys use egg crates in the bottom of your tank. These are styrafoam I imagine?? Do you use these just to minimize the amount of sand you need or is this for some other reason like it helps with the natural filtration of the sand bed? ^How come you used crushed coral and sand, for it's buffering or just for looks/costs?
__________________
Vote
Here for Aqurium Advice


- - Aquipment --
010gal Glass Tank-QT/Hospital
015gal Glass Tank-Partitioned Fish Jail
33gal Glass Tank-South American Cichlids {Angels)
120gal Glass Tank-Mixed Malawi Rift
small Koi/goldfish pond
peterp is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-15-2004, 01:08 PM   #20
AA Team Emeritus
 
TankGirl's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Richmond VA
Posts: 8,974
I keep a Lake Tan tank and the only significant rise in my pH I saw was after I put crushed coral in the filter, as mentioned above. I have buffering rock (petrified coral) and buffering "cichlid" sand (Sahara Sand - by Caribsea) but it did not seem to do all that much by itself. My tap pH is about 7.4 or so, with a KH of 5, so I was already partway there. The CC does not need to be changed out all that often - maybe I replace it once every 4 months or so. No biggie, and extremely effective. This tank maintains a pH of about 8.3.

I would just use flat stones to space the slate/rock pieces. You can bust up a couple of pieces of slate to make spacers. Also, you could start with dry pieces and use aquarium grade silicone sealant to create rocky stacks. Very important tip to keep in mind is that the rocks need to be stacked on the bottom of the tank, not on the substrate, so that any movement of the substrate from digging fish or from gravel vac'ing will not topple the rocks onto the fish, or break your tank. It is best to stack rocks first, then put in the substrate. If the tank is already set up then move as much of the substrate aside as you can to stack the rocks on.

I do not use a UGF and simply vacuum. With sand, you need to give it a stir periodically if you do not have digging cichlids (or stir it where they do not dig) to prevent anaerobic patches, and when you vac you skim the tube over the surface and the majority of the debris will be suctioned up. Some sand will go down your drain, so be prepared for that. Also, get a AC sponge to replace the strainer on your filter, to keep sand out of the motor.

Great project, and I think you will enjoy the results!
__________________

TankGirl is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
chi

Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about them on AquariumAdvice.com

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
What do you feed your chiclids? oneball Cichlid Discussion 7 08-22-2008 10:53 PM
African Chiclids? newgirl40 Cichlid Discussion 5 08-22-2008 10:43 PM
landscaping chiclids nitrous Cichlid Discussion 2 12-18-2005 05:02 PM
chiclids nitrous Cichlid Discussion 3 11-12-2005 12:10 AM
African Chiclids ram6519 Cichlid Discussion 3 05-31-2005 12:30 AM







» Photo Contest Winners







All times are GMT -4. The time now is 07:01 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
×