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Old 01-29-2013, 09:29 PM   #1
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3 month old 40 gallon FW help, media , ph

Hi,

First post here, great forum

I have a 3-4 month old 40 gallon breeder FW tank set up. I have a community tank, with about 8 fish In it, 2 mollies, 2 dwarf gourami , and 4 red tetras

My Filtration is. Fuval 405 with sponges as the first media, bio balls in the 2nd basket, activated carbon, then zeolite carbon, and a polishing pad at the top.

I also have a algae media in on the brackets towards the top to help with algae build up.

My lighting is LED light, I use daylight for 8 hours and blue ( moon lights ) a hour or two each morning and evening before the lights go off completely

I am having two issues:

My natural water from my house is 8.2 PH

So I'm gradually bringing down my PH with a PH neutralizer in a 2-3 week period down to 7.0
Right now I'm down to 7.8 PH from 8.2 over the past 10 days

Other issue is media

I'm reading to use activated carbon but then I read don't use it. Same with the zeolite carbon

Excuses my spelling , I don't have the box's in front of me, not even sure if I'm pronouncing them correctly

Thanks for your help
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Old 01-30-2013, 11:40 AM   #2
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I wouldn't use either. Activated carbon is useful for removing medications from the tank, but if you haven't medicated, you don't need it.

Zeolite is a mineral that binds with ammonium to remove ammonium from the water. Using zeolite in a tank as young as yours can stall your cycle, and if you're already cycled, it can (IMO) create laziness in the fishkeeper by giving one a false sense of security about doing regular water changes.

Depending on the filter(s) you bought, there may be pre-packaged activated carbon, zeolite and polishing pads that you are advised by the filter packaging to change every so often.

Ain't that a wonderful way for a vendor to keep you buying their stuff? Have you got cloudy water? If not, where's the need for a polishing pad?

The carbon packet is useful to tear open, dump the carbon and then use as an additional biological filter.

I only use mechanical and biological filtration in my tanks. But, YMMV. Just my opinion...
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Old 01-30-2013, 12:10 PM   #3
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Ok, so for a newbie like me, what should I buy for my fuval 405 filter?

No plants, I believe I need a PH buffer to bring Dow the PH
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Old 01-30-2013, 12:23 PM   #4
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I'll respectfully disagree. Dwarf gouramis are happy with pH in a range of 6-8; mollies 7-8; and I'm not sure what you mean by red tetras, but neons and cardinals can go with 5.5 to 7.5.

The most important thing to remember about pH is to avoid swings in pH. Most fish (note that's most fish) can adapt to a constant pH that may not be what's noted in the textbook.

For your Fluval, concentrate on media that filters out the chunks of "stuff" and provides a decent surface area for beneficial bacteria to grow. That's why the bio balls and sponges are so good.

Does the water come into the filter from the top or the bottom? You want your coarsest media first (to grab the big stuff without clogging) down to the finest media before the water exits the filter back to the tank.
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Old 01-30-2013, 12:47 PM   #5
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The water goes through thick sponges on the sides first, which catches the large partials, then starts at the bottom and goes up and back to tank

Then filtration starts at the bottom, where I have a finer sponge

Then bio balls, next basket bio balls, then carbon, etc

Problem is I want to add more fish. But the stores are 7.0

I didn't want them from a 7.0 to 8.2 or now 7.8 PH
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Old 01-30-2013, 01:40 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fltekdiver View Post
The water goes through thick sponges on the sides first, which catches the large partials, then starts at the bottom and goes up and back to tank

Then filtration starts at the bottom, where I have a finer sponge

Then bio balls, next basket bio balls, then carbon, etc

Problem is I want to add more fish. But the stores are 7.0

I didn't want them from a 7.0 to 8.2 or now 7.8 PH
Then you do drip acclimation when you get them home.

You don't just dump them in your tank.
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Old 01-30-2013, 07:55 PM   #7
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I agree with Sharpchick. You normally don't want to mess with PH unless you have good reason to do so. Trying to adjust it can cause swings which can be more detrimental to the fish. Most fish will adapt to your PH as long as it's stable. A PH of 8.2 is fine for most fish. When you acclimate them to the tank, do the drip acclimation method which will slowly acclimate the fish to your tank's water (including PH).
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Old 01-31-2013, 11:41 AM   #8
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Ok, I'll stop adding the PH netrualizer, and when I clean the tank and add water, it will gradualey go back to 8.2 over the next two or three tank cleanings

How about media for the filter?

I'd like to order it

Thanks for your help
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