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Old 01-19-2010, 10:42 AM   #11
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Baking soda can raise your ph, however you run the risk of a swinging ph with that, especially if you aren't sure about what you are doing. A swinging ph is worse than a less than ideal stable one.

Check the previous posts about the rock in your tank before you try to do any extra altering of the ph .

As far as how much water to change, let your test kit be your guide. If your ammonia and/or nitrite is really high, you may need to do as much as a 75 percent, or several smaller ones to get it down to the desired .5 or lower, then change however much water daily needed to keep it at the desired .5 or lower. Contrary to popular belief, in fw, you can do large water changes with no ill effects to the fish as long as you match the temperature of the new water within 5 or so degrees or the original water, and you haven't let your tank develope old tank syndrome, or aren't doing anything to alter your water chemistry drastically in your tank. For your tank, you can safely do a huge water change (leaving only enough water in the tank for the fish to be in when draining it).
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Old 01-19-2010, 10:50 AM   #12
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Okay, sorry for the confusion, the rock actually is not limestone. I actually don't know what it is for sure. It was bought by my wife because it 'looked cool' It is something more jagged and sort of crumbly. Either way maybe I'll try removing it to see what happens.

I will pick up a liquid test kit as suggested, and then probably do a 75% water change tonight (only thing that complicates that is removing the guppy fry).

For the fry, even in idea water conditions, will the size of the breeder net prevent them from even ever growing big enough not to fit inside the tetras mouths? One escaped from the breeder net the other day (i think it was sagging a bit to let one hope into the general population). I witnessed a massive frenzy among the six tetras as soon as the saw the fry (the guppies and shark did not react; just went about their business). One of the tetras gobbled up the poor little guy before I could save it with the net... oh well.
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Old 01-19-2010, 10:55 AM   #13
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Before you remove it, test the ph of your source water.

Limestone can add alkalinity to your water, however in this case, I really don't think that it is having an effect, at least not a notable one, considering the amount of time it has been there.

Another consideration that I was thinking of is, are you positive that it is limestone?

You can find CC at most any pet store. Dolomite can also be used. I have also used in the past seachems neutral regulator (the powder form) and it worked great. The down sides to adding the baking soda and the other various forms of ph altering chemicals-products, is that you have to remember to do it everytime you do a water change, keep vigilant to your ph levels on a regular basis and adjust the additives accordingle, there is a huge risk in a swinging ph-or a ph crash. With adding CC, you put it in and leave it, replenishing maybe once every few months as it dissolves.

You can also get into a situation where the additives don't work long term beacuse of the lack of buffers in your water, or because the buffers in your water overide the additives. (something like that, Im not a water chemistry guru so I cant realy go in depth for explaining it in technical terms ..lol). I know that the seachem neutral regulator has buffers in it. I also know that it is much easier to raise the ph of water than it is to lower it.
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Old 01-19-2010, 10:58 AM   #14
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Have you considered maybe buying a 10 or 20 gallon tank for the fry to grow out in? Yes, there is a possibility for stunted growth in the fry net, however a lot of ppl use these and I think it's more of a water quality issue than a stunted growth because of the net issue. I do not like the fry saver nets and breeder thingy's because it's hard to keep them clean and get adequate water flow through them. BUT, it is a great "reason" to get another tank..LOL.
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Old 01-19-2010, 01:06 PM   #15
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Yeah, as I mentioned later it actually isn't limestone. Not quite sure WHAT it is.

I'd rather avoid buying another tank for the younglings. In any case it's not happening any time soon.

Well, anyway, my plan of attack is to do a 75% (or more) water change tonight. Then I'll get another reading. Hopefully I'll have my liquid testing kit in the next couple days. I'll keep doing daily 25-30% water changes until I'm able to see a nice reduction in ammonia. Hopefully my tank will be all cycled soon. Thanks!
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Old 01-19-2010, 01:09 PM   #16
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Sounds like a rock that isnt supposed to be in a tank, if its white or very light colored and soft or crumbly/powdery thats not good.

Id just remove the rock, do a good PWC and go from there.
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Old 01-19-2010, 01:47 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WhiteDevil View Post
Sounds like a rock that isnt supposed to be in a tank, if its white or very light colored and soft or crumbly/powdery thats not good.

Id just remove the rock, do a good PWC and go from there.
That would be interesting since we got it from Petco, and it was on a shelf with many other similar rocks, in the freshwater fish ornament/decoration section...

But in either case, I'm desperate to help the poor fish so I'm definitely going to remove it for the time being to see if it makes any difference.
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Old 01-19-2010, 02:44 PM   #18
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I second that whitedevil, anything soft or crumbles easily is no good. Is it sandstone? Any chance of getting a picture of it?
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Old 01-19-2010, 02:59 PM   #19
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I can probably get a picture in here later. Honestly it may not be rock at all. It may be some sort of coral. I am an extreme noob, as I mentioned.

When held dry, it feels almost spiny, and little pieces like grains of sand flake off...
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Old 01-19-2010, 03:51 PM   #20
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There is a type of rock, although I cannot remember the name atm, that is white and will crumble easily that is sold in most pet stores for fw aquariums.

Edit: Here it is, it's called travertine or tufa rock.. http://store.seacorals.net/dehacaturo.html Is this what you have?
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