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Old 04-05-2015, 01:42 AM   #1
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Hello from newcastle Australia

I am Michael Pilcher, just starting out In fish keeping. I have a 20L or just over 4 gallon I believe tank still in the cycling process with 2 make guppies as I didn't know about the nitrogen cycle at first but luckily guppies are hardy and don't mind the natural ph of my tap water being quite hard plus being low bio load helps, dodged some bullets there!!
My tank containes a average power head pump and coarse filter with an air pump powered bio filter aswell, also ordered another foam bio filter off ebay, 2x fake plants a fake semi log which I intend to replace with real ones eventually and a real plant (alternanthera) and a crushed coral substrate.
I have plans in the future to get a bigger tank and cycle it properly before adding fish, this is the main reason for the extra bio filters which I plan to mature in my current tank and then put one in the new tank to help the cycling process. I am keen to learn so please teach me or criticize anything I am doing wrong!!
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Old 04-05-2015, 01:51 AM   #2
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Welcome! You have done more research than a lot of us did in the very beginning. It took me 4 goldfish in a small tank before I got some common sense :p

Just a few points

1. Make sure with your filter pads they are ONLY washed in tank water, OR water treated with Prime(made by Seachem). This will protect your BB from any harmful things like chlorine that might be in the water. Only replace your pads when they are falling apart and when that time comes, put a new pad in with the old one for at least 3 weeks to protect your cycle.

2. Crushed coral is known to be a pH buffer. Unless you have a naturally low pH from the tap.. Why use it? Oh and real driftwood is known to drop pH.

Hope this helps


Caleb

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Old 04-05-2015, 02:06 AM   #3
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Thankyou for the tips as I will be cleaning the filters shortly!!
Unfortunately as with the fish I brought the crushed coral before I did a lot of my research, I new that a fine substrate with a lot of surface area was good for beneficial bacteria but didn't know about the relation of water hardness and ph at the time or the minerals that crushed coral dissolves into the water. It's been a large learning curve, don't think I will put crushed coral in the next tank as I like the look of a lot of soft water fish species, and would like to keep neon tetras so the next tank will be aimed at a ph of 7 using natural ways as I really don't like ph up and down chemicals.
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Old 04-05-2015, 02:14 AM   #4
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Hello from newcastle Australia

No matter what any LFS says about pH products... we follow a wise statement here.

"It is much better to maintain a stable pH, than strive for a perfect one."

Trying to change your pH with chemicals will cause more stress on the fish than just letting them adapt to it.

My tap runs around 7.0 and I keep everything from tropical fish, coldwater dojo loaches, and even a Jack Dempsey cichlid in the 7.0 pH range. They are all used to it and happy.

The only time to worry about pH and take action is when it is below 6.0 or above 9.0. Then you can use natural remedies to buffer it to a safe level.

EDIT: discus can be the exception to the pH statement above. You don't acclimate discus to your conditions, you acclimate your conditions to the discus. Due to their great sensitivity.

Caleb

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Old 04-05-2015, 02:42 AM   #5
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The ph doesn't worry me to much anymore if it does remain high I will just only introduce fish that like the harder water, or if it comes down to 7ish do pretty much the same thing your doing and acclimate the fish in my current tank for the conditions in the larger tank.
Thankyou again for all the advice and feeling me how you do it!!!
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