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Old 05-17-2006, 04:41 AM   #1
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Having a few issues please help

Im having a couple of issues i would love some advice please:

1 - My LFS today told be that i shouldnt be using bi-carb soda to raise my KH because plants dont like sodium ions, and i should be using calcium carbonate instead, but ive read numerous times to use baking soda, and on top of that he sold me something that he said uses calcium carbonate and i looked at the packet once i was home and it says sodium! so im really confused any suggestions?

2 - im having real trouble feeding my hillstream loach, do you guys have any techniques? he doesnt seem to be able to smell the algae wafers and the fish munch them up before he can get to them and i just bought an expensive long finned pleco and im worried im going to have the same problem with him.

3 - i have a quite heavily planted tank with a lot of drift wood and im having issues vacumming the gravel, do i need to pull up the rocks and driftwood and vaccum under them?

thank you very much in advance for any help you can give me!
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Old 05-17-2006, 08:22 AM   #2
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1- I do not know the effects of using baking soda with plants, but I prefer using crushed coral since it is a natural approach and does not have to be dosed continuously. I do know that Travis uses baking soda in his planted tank and I do not think anyone can say that his plants are lacking.

2- For the pleco try hanging a piece of zuc in the tank overnight. The pleco will surely get food from it without a problem. I can't help with the hillstream loach since I've never owned one.

3- I move the driftwood about once a month and vac under it. The rocks maybe once every two or three months unless I see fish waste or decaying matter in the structures.

HTH
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Old 05-17-2006, 12:33 PM   #3
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1) in an aquarium setting it has been my experience that Baking Soda is a little too unstable and not all that great for the general aquarium. Calcium Carbonate has quite a bit LESS sodium in its composition compared to baking soda. I agree with Fishyfanatic. Get a mesh bag with some crushed coral in it and place that in your filter. You will have to change it every few months, but makes it better in the long run.

2) why not try feeding at night or JUST before your lights go out for the day. I personally have to do this as my plecos will not openly eat in a light filled area. There are a few approaces you can do here. A) as i stated feed at night before lights out. B) feed the algae waffers an hour or so after lights out. C) do a "possitional drop" of a slightly pre moistened waffer in a dark area that the loach likes to hang out in and D) do one of the above but use a different food such as pure spirulina sticks.

The loach is getting enough food to sustain life and maybe grow a little bit. If this wasn't the case then the loach would most likely be dead. I am having the same issue with a bulldog pleco and for that fact all my plecos. I have to feed just before the lights go out and then some when it is dark so that they all get fed.

3) it is best if you move the driftwood to one side of the tank that doesn't have as much driftwood on it and then set it back in place once all is clean. Sometimes it is easier to take it all out but that can cause quite a water mess.
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Old 05-20-2006, 10:55 AM   #4
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thanks heaps guys
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