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Old 10-12-2018, 08:51 PM   #1
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Should I swap out my substrate?

I currently have fluval stratum. It's lowering my pH to low 6s. The water out of my tap is between 7.2-7.4 should I keep fighting with the stratum?

Attached are pics of the tank which I'm having some algae issue but that's besides the point. The other pic is the ph of the water in the tank.

I was thinking about getting black diamond blasting sand. Would that be better?

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Old 10-13-2018, 12:32 AM   #2
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Leave a glass of water sitting out overnight and check the ph in the morning.

Let us know what it is then and we can give more educated advice.

I will add, I loved my black diamond blasting sand. Just dont use it if you want cory cats.
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Old 10-13-2018, 12:42 AM   #3
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Or use bdbs with shrimp. Several people have mentioned some issues like killing shrimp over time and oily film from it.

Just remember that if you change the sand over to a new substrate you will possibly experience a mini cycle, so what I would recommend is to rinse the filter media with treated or old pwc tank water a couple weeks before the substrate change and wait to rinse it again until a couple weeks after.

Feeding more lightly after the substrate change too just in case there is a mini cycle, or just test every day to every other day to make sure all is well for about 7-10 days after the substrate change.
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Old 10-13-2018, 01:05 AM   #4
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Or use bdbs with shrimp. Several people have mentioned some issues like killing shrimp over time and oily film from it.

Just remember that if you change the sand over to a new substrate you will possibly experience a mini cycle, so what I would recommend is to rinse the filter media with treated or old pwc tank water a couple weeks before the substrate change and wait to rinse it again until a couple weeks after.

Feeding more lightly after the substrate change too just in case there is a mini cycle, or just test every day to every other day to make sure all is well for about 7-10 days after the substrate change.
I had an absurd shrimp colony on my 55g. Just gotta wash it till its clean, and then wash it some more.
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Old 10-13-2018, 02:55 AM   #5
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I had an absurd shrimp colony on my 55g. Just gotta wash it till its clean, and then wash it some more.
Maybe it is dependent on if you get a scoop from the top of the pile or the bottom (or something). Maybe a larger tank had more water volume to dilute whatever could have been an issue. Shrimp issues were noted from smallish /nano tanks. No idea really. ( lol, I am the one who got a mushy, crumbly, moldy smelling new bag of real ADA Amazonia in the mail ) I like garnet sand blasting sand as a substrate, light rinsing.

Good idea about washing bdbs really well.
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Old 10-13-2018, 11:50 AM   #6
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This is the water left over night. It looks to me like its 7.4 give or take.
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Old 10-13-2018, 11:51 AM   #7
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Leave a glass of water sitting out overnight and check the ph in the morning.

Let us know what it is then and we can give more educated advice.

I will add, I loved my black diamond blasting sand. Just dont use it if you want cory cats.


Why don't you use it anymore?
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Old 10-13-2018, 12:38 PM   #8
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Why don't you use it anymore?
Right now? I no longer have any fresh water tanks. I originally switched over to flourite black because I wanted some sand sifting fish.
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Old 10-13-2018, 12:40 PM   #9
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Attachment 310635
This is the water left over night. It looks to me like its 7.4 give or take.
Alrighty, lastly it looks to me like you have a lid on your tank. How tightly fitting is it? Is there much surface agitation in the tank?
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Old 10-13-2018, 01:04 PM   #10
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Why don't you use it anymore?


Gotcha that makes sense then!!

There is a good opening for air exchange. I don't think that could be the problem but I'm not sure lol
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