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Old 01-08-2005, 06:30 PM   #1
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Crushed Coral

I am going to add Crushed Coral to my 55 gal tank and I have a couple questions. How much would I add to the tank to raise the pH .8?

If you add more Coral, will it raise the pH more?

How often do I need to add/replace the Coral?

Will the effects stop working after a month?

Can we just put it straight into the tank instead of into the filtration unit? We are using a Canister unit and are afraid of anything going into the unit that isn't supposed to be there.

This may seem like many questions but I have tried searching online and have found nothing to be helpful. Mainly people talking about adding it and the effects of it, but not actually HOW you add it and when to replace/add.

Thanks!
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Old 01-08-2005, 06:47 PM   #2
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okay, slow down. i would not add any crushed coral to your sandbed unless it is an undergravel filtration system, which is does not sound like. if your pH is low i would purchase some marine BUFFER. kent marine makes one called probuffer dKH or something to that effect. i would (and DO) add this.
crushed coral will make it difficult for your critters to keep your SB clean so you will have to gravel vac A LOT! dont add it, you will regret it later.

just my .02

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sorry i didnt realize this is for FW. im an idiot so disregard unless validated by FW gurus
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Old 01-09-2005, 12:51 PM   #3
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Does anyone else have any experience with Crushed Coral? We are wanting to add it to the tank today but I'm not sure what to do. The lfs was of no help.
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Old 01-09-2005, 12:57 PM   #4
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Quote:
How much would I add to the tank to raise the pH .8?
I have no idea.
Quote:
If you add more Coral, will it raise the pH more?
It will move things along more quickly.
Quote:
How often do I need to add/replace the Coral?

Will the effects stop working after a month?
I don't think it needs to be replaced as often as peat does. Tank Girl--help!

Quote:
Can we just put it straight into the tank instead of into the filtration unit? We are using a Canister unit and are afraid of anything going into the unit that isn't supposed to be there.
Adding it to the substrate will not give you the outcome you want. Adding it to a media basket is fine. If you feel the coral is too small and will fall through the basket, go to your LFS and pick up a mesh baggy or two and add the coral that way.
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Old 01-09-2005, 02:40 PM   #5
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Should we use crushed coral instead of media? Or should we use both and just mix them together? I'm assuming that then I will have to replace the coral each month because that's how often we are supposed to change the media. Right?
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Old 01-09-2005, 03:32 PM   #6
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for FW im sure changing the media once a month is okay. i dont know about adjusting pH in a FW system...i dont know much about a FW system...
i would loosen-up anbout adding CC to the HOB filter tho - just add it where it isnt going to block the impeller.
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Old 01-09-2005, 04:05 PM   #7
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What kind of media are you using? I have the ceramic media and rinse it off occassionally, but I never replace it.
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Old 01-09-2005, 04:33 PM   #8
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I use CC regularly in my tanks - in my heavily planted CO2 injected tank and in my ARLC to raise the KH and pH. I don't know if CC alone is going to raise it 0.8, but it might. 0.5 may be more realistic. It is such a simple way to achieve results, and it does not involve any adjustment for water changes, so that is why I favor it over using buffering chemicals that have to be dosed regularly - I'm just lazy and don't want any extra steps, but if you want more precision results, that is definitely the way to go for sure.

If you use it in the substrate, as makana suggested, it won't have much effect without a UGF providing flow through it. That is why it is so effective in the canister filter. Get yourself some nylon mesh media bags and put as much in as you want to, which for me is about 1 1/2 cups. The way it works is the flow of the water very slowly dissolves the CC and buffers your water. It is not in any way harmful to your canister filter, as it is no different than any other media. I change it out about once every 3 months or so. Give it a couple of days to get started and just periodically test your water and track the effects of it.
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Old 01-09-2005, 04:48 PM   #9
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So then I would replace the media with the cc? I have read at this website that cc makes a good media replacement. Is this correct? So basically, adding more will only cause the pH to increase faster, not necessarily cause the pH to increase in quantity, right?

If it only increases by .5, then I need to add something else to the tank to get it up to 7.8. Maybe some sort of rock? I am new to the cc and increasing pH. We have looked at pH Up (a chemical product) but that seems like too much work and it wouldn't be as effective as cc and another natural additive.

Basically I am just looking at the easiest way to up the pH in my tank to 7.8 from 7.0, the way that is most effective and will be stable.
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Old 01-09-2005, 10:03 PM   #10
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I am not sure how good a biomedia CC is, since it is slowly dissolving and to my mind it would make it hard for bacteria to make a home there. I don't really have to displace very much of my typical media to make room for it, but it depends on the filter and what media you are using to begin with. I'd put it in a middle section of the filter, meaning not the first place the water goes and not the last stage either, after the coarse media and before the floss.

You can use an aragonite buffering sand in your tank to help, as well as calciferous rock and seashells. If this is for the 55, you have mixed some species that ideally prefer different pH levels. I see some compatibility red flags also, but I'll totally leave that stuff up to you - could not help but mention it.

Also, as Menagerie mentioned, the only media in my filters that gets replaced is the fine floss. The other stuff gets rinsed off and reused, as it contains so much good bacteria. The cc can be left alone for several months, not rinsed or replaced, just set aside while you deal with the other parts of the filter media. The mesh bags make this easy, unless your filter has separate media baskets.
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Old 01-09-2005, 11:15 PM   #11
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If this is for the 55, you have mixed some species that ideally prefer different pH levels. I see some compatibility red flags also, but I'll totally leave that stuff up to you - could not help but mention it.
Are you referring to the Red Zebra, Albino Peacock, and Albino Kribensis? If so, we are not 100% sure that this is what they actually are. The lfs said they are "Asst Cichlid's" and had no clue what they were. I basically played the guessing game as to what they actually are. I have been told that they are most likely mixed breeds and it will be almost impossible to figure out what they are.

The Auratus that we purchased a couple months ago is quite calm. She is full grown and is very docile. I don't know what the deal is, maybe it's because she is the smallest one in the tank and was added by herself. We haven't had any aggression problems with the exception to the Ice Blue. He may be heading to the lfs. He's been nipping at some of the fish, but the others are faster and always get away without being bitten. We've provided many hiding places for situations like this. I'm actually suprised that the eels have survived this long without being nipped at. They come out every day for a couple of hours and are doing great.

We just purchased two more "Asst Cichlid's" today and are unsure of what they actually are. They were in a show tank at the lfs with the ice blue, yellow lab, electric blue, auratus, and jack dempsey's. They are supposed to be full grown but we are trying to figure out what they are since they are mixed. I have attached the pics of them. If anyone can tell me what they could possibly be, I would appreciate it.
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Old 01-10-2005, 12:41 AM   #12
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The pics don't blow up!
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They were in a show tank at the lfs with the ice blue, yellow lab, electric blue, auratus, and jack dempsey's.
8O 8O 8O
JDs have no business being in that tank!

If you can put up different pics, or upload them into your gallery, we'll try to help.
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Old 01-10-2005, 12:46 AM   #13
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The eels will be leaving the 55 this week. We are purchasing a 30 gal Eclipse just for them and one of our Pleco's. We may add a few small fish, possibly Tetra's. The Eels are at their best at 7.0 and we want to keep them seperated from the Cichlid's when we up the pH. Maybe now they will come out more often. They are such beautiful and interesting fish and we only see them for about an hour and a half a day.
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Old 01-10-2005, 12:49 AM   #14
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Thanks Managerie. I'll put them in the Gallery. I thought I had to shrink them down to post on the site.
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Old 01-10-2005, 12:51 AM   #15
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Yes and no. The files need to be no bigger than 1024 pixels x 1024 pixels and under 100 kb.
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Old 01-10-2005, 12:54 AM   #16
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I may have to take some better pics. These only look decent when they are shrunk. The first one is pink, black, and blue/purple. The pink and black is dominate. The second is tan/brown, yellow, blue/gray spots, gold spots on tale, neon green and/or yellow spots on anal fin, and a neon green circle around the eye. He/She has a pointy face.
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Old 01-10-2005, 01:11 AM   #17
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I did some research regarding the current fish in our 55 gal and their preferred pH and have found that they all prefer upper 7's and lower 8's. The Pleco is not ideal at this pH but what can I use in place of the common pleco that is going to work with Cichlid's? The eels are leaving the tank by Wednesday along with one of the pleco's, so that takes care of that situation.
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Old 01-10-2005, 09:09 AM   #18
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I was thinking about the parrots (size, pH), and the auratus, but you obviously are aware of the potential of the auratus - if it is a female then it could work.

Keep us posted on how the CC impacts your water params and if you achieve the desired results.
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Old 01-10-2005, 10:17 AM   #19
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Thank you TankGirl for your advice. At first I was very concerned with the Auratus and the Parrots. The Parrots are very calm and just kind of "hang out" in the tank. They are very funny to watch because we have a half of a ship in our tank and they will all go inside the ship and try to poke their heads out of the holes. All you can see is three eyes and mouths poking out of three different holes. The holes aren't very big but they are CONVINCED that they can make it out of that hole. Actually it seems that the largest one, the red, has found ways to make it out of most of the holes while the yellow ones haven't figured out that if you turn sideways, they can make it out. They have GREAT personalities and contrary to what I have read on the Parrot Profiles on other websites, they are usually the ones that get fed first while the others hang back and wait until the Parrots are done. From what I have read, the parrots generally will not be as aggressive at feeding time and usually do not get as much food, but it's quite the opposite in our tank. I guess I just got lucky with ours.

I have noticed that the Ice Blue (The Alpa Male who is the "king" of the tank) will never chase or go after any of the parrots. I don't know why this is. Maybe it's because the Parrots were there long before the Ice Blue. I did notice our small Yellow Parrot getting a black stripe, a sign of stress. I'm thinking it's beacuse when we did the water change we left the fish in and he probably got scared of the gravel vac. We normally take the fish out and seperate them individually.

I'm definately keeping a close eye on the fish and checking daily for any nips on the fins. The guy at the lfs said that the Auratus would be fine in our tank, another example of a reason that you shouldn't EVER trust anyone at the lfs. But again, we must have just gotten lucky.

In my two years experience in aquaria, I will say this, it seems that you can't really say exactly which fish will work well with other fish. It varies and agression is pretty much based on the individual fish and their personality. I know that there are some standards, for example Guppies with Cichlid's, but it's pretty much a guessing game when you add fish from the same Family. A large depending variable is the age and size of the fish that are added. Am I right or am I way off base?

I'm not sure if anyone here has ever had a Blood Parrot, but our smallest yellow Parrot (2 inch) seems to not have grown since we got him over a year ago. He eats well but he just hasn't grown. The other yellow parrot (4 inch) that we got at the same time has doubled in size. Possible Dwarf genes? I'm not too concerned with it but I wasn't sure if there could possibly be some wrong with him or maybe it's just in his genes. Any thoughts?
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Old 01-10-2005, 11:25 AM   #20
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You hit the nail on the head when you said that you can't be totally sure what fish will work well with others. There are many members here who keep fish together that makes everyone cringe, but it seems to work for them.

Usually when people are trying to raise their pH they are keeping Africans, or maybe livebearers, and when I see that they are also keeping SA cichlids and/or plecos who prefer softer water it is a knee-jerk reaction on my part to comment, but there is nothing wrong with it as long as you know what you have and how to spot trouble, which you do. I know a fellow who is keeping and spawning L. caeruleus in a community tank with tetras and rainbows and the like, and though it is a big tank he gets a lot of flak for it. He is an experienced aquarist and has had success keeping these fish together, so I say, "more power to you."

Not sure about the diminuative size of the parrots - they are supposed to get 8-9", and I would think they'd have some good size by one year. Lower temps would do it, as would poor diet, but you say they are the first ones to the table so that must not be it. It could be that the hybridization has caused some genetically smaller fish, so if they are otherwise healthy and acting normally I'd not worry too much.
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