Join Date: May 2005
Location: Vancouver Island
Help with new plants in an old tank
I have a 90 gal tank that has been active for 10-12 years, with 1 pleco, a striped dwarf catfish, and 5 clownloaches, 4 of whom are original. I added some yellow mollies the other day, the first fish additions in over 5 years, because my wife wanted some colour in the tank.
I also set up a CO2 bubbler for the first time since I gave up with DIY yeast/sugar didn't work out for me. I want to try to grow some plants instead of the black hair algae that has been my only 'plant' life for ever.
I am also remiss in that I checked the water parameters for the first time in years...
So where I live, the tap water is practically distilled: pH = 7.0, KH = 20 ppm and GH < 20 ppm. My habit for water changes is to do a quarter tank change, and then add conditioner and a heaping tablespoon of baking soda. I got out of the habit of checking parameters.
The CO2 has been bubbling for 24 hours, so I checked the tank: pH <6, GH 80 ppm, KH <20 ppm. I turned off the CO2.
So I have done a 1/4 tank water change, and added 1 tsp bicarb/50L to buffer the tank. Post change parameters: pH = 7.5, GH = 30 ppm, and KH = 130 ppm. Ammonia = 0.
So the correction is more than I would have liked. I turned the CO2 back on.
My question: I'm lost. I don't want to kill fish that have been fine for years and years. My biggest concern is the unknown variable on the tank chemistry by adding dissolved CO2 to the tank.
A point in the right direction would be appreciated.
(Attached photo, as I hope to journal this as a success story...)