Getting my water right - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 23 (permalink) Old 07-19-2012, 10:56 PM Thread Starter
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Getting my water right

So I'm trying to figure out the whole water quality bit. Until recently I have never had any problems with my water changes and fish illness/death. I've narrowed it down to my water quality and am still trying to figure all of this out. I've been looking at getting an RO filter but decided to purchase it from my LFS. As of right now I've been doing 25% water changes weekly with conditioned tap water. I did a bunch of water testing to see where all of the parameters are at. Here's what I got:

My 90 Gallon Tank
PH: 6.4
Nitrate: 5 ppm
Ammonia: 0 ppm
Nitrite: 0 ppm
GH: 250 ppm
KH: 71.6 ppm

Untreated Tap Water
PH: 7.6
Nitrate: 0-5.0 ppm
Ammonia: 1.0-2.0 ppm
Nitrite: 0 ppm
GH: 196.9 ppm
KH: 71.6 ppm

I dose the following fertilizers:

KN03: 1/2 tsp 3x/week
KH2P04: 1/4 tsp 3x/week
Trace: 1/4 tsp 3x/week

Mainly in my tank is Angel fish and Boesemani Rainbow Fish. From what I've read online is that Boesemani's like PH to be around 7.0-8.0 and Angels like 6.5-6.9. My water temp is kept at 78 degrees and I inject C02. What are the best options? I'm looking to raise the PH as close to 7.0 as possible. Do I use Seachems Neutral Regulator or is that overkill right now at this stage? Are my water parameters good as they are? I've never really got into water parameters and quality as I should have and am now in the my learning stage to take my aquatic skills to the next level. If any further information is needed, please let me know. I tried to cover everything but may have missed something. Any and all advice is greatly appreciated!
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post #2 of 23 (permalink) Old 07-19-2012, 11:58 PM
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Can you tell us about your filtration and water surface movement (oxygenation)?

Water seems right, the best is to have stable parameters.
See if you can get a breakdown of what is in the water from your water company would be good.

Do you know about TDS? Total dissolved solids?
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post #3 of 23 (permalink) Old 07-20-2012, 12:08 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by pejerrey View Post
Can you tell us about your filtration and water surface movement (oxygenation)?

Water seems right, the best is to have stable parameters.
See if you can get a breakdown of what is in the water from your water company would be good.

Do you know about TDS? Total dissolved solids?
Right now I'm using a Rena XP3 filter with very little surface movement. I was thinking about getting a Koralia powerhead for some more water movement but didn't know if it was necessary or not.

I'll have to call my company to get that but will get it.

I do know about TDS but don't have, nor do I have access to, a TDS meter. Is there a good alternative?
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post #4 of 23 (permalink) Old 07-20-2012, 12:40 AM
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Originally Posted by JEden8 View Post
So I'm trying to figure out the whole water quality bit. Until recently I have never had any problems with my water changes and fish illness/death. I've narrowed it down to my water quality and am still trying to figure all of this out.!
Can you elaborate on this a little more?

I'm inclined to think that you're injecting too much co2, particularly if your deaths occurred sometime after you started using co2.
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post #5 of 23 (permalink) Old 07-20-2012, 12:52 AM
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Can you elaborate on this a little more?

I'm inclined to think that you're injecting too much co2, particularly if your deaths occurred sometime after you started using co2.
+1

Without surface agitation and injecting co2 you're probably sofocating them.

Surface agitation must be done without splashing.
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post #6 of 23 (permalink) Old 07-20-2012, 12:53 AM Thread Starter
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I just re-hooked up my C02 on Sunday so it has been without C02 injection for about a month and that was my last time that I had problems with fish and it was right after a water change. I'm turning my spray bar to point more upwards to give so more surface agitation until I can get the water circulator.
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post #7 of 23 (permalink) Old 07-20-2012, 12:55 AM
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Good idea
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post #8 of 23 (permalink) Old 07-20-2012, 12:57 AM Thread Starter
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Do I just want the water to be moving or do I want it to have the water move around a little where there will be ripples?
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post #9 of 23 (permalink) Old 07-20-2012, 01:02 AM
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If you have an air stone and a air pump, get a glass of water out of your aquarium, and put the bubbler in it for 3 hours. That will remove the co2, then you can test for your actual ph. That will also help understand how much co2 is in the water.

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post #10 of 23 (permalink) Old 07-20-2012, 01:07 AM Thread Starter
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If you have an air stone and a air pump, get a glass of water out of your aquarium, and put the bubbler in it for 3 hours. That will remove the co2, then you can test for your actual ph. That will also help understand how much co2 is in the water.
Thanks! I will get that done tomorrow when I get home from work and see where I'm at.
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post #11 of 23 (permalink) Old 07-20-2012, 09:26 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by livingword26 View Post
If you have an air stone and a air pump, get a glass of water out of your aquarium, and put the bubbler in it for 3 hours. That will remove the co2, then you can test for your actual ph. That will also help understand how much co2 is in the water.
So after 20 minutes of an air pump running a cup of water my PH is just under 7.6 and the tank is still 6.4. Does this mean too much c02? Do I increase the lighting, cut back on C02? I'm only running 1-2 bps which I thought was supposed to be under the recommended bps going into that size tank. What about my GH? It seems high doesn't it or will starting to use RO water help with this? Thanks!

Last edited by JEden8; 07-20-2012 at 10:15 PM. Reason: new question
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post #12 of 23 (permalink) Old 07-20-2012, 09:28 PM
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Ripples, no splashing
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post #13 of 23 (permalink) Old 07-20-2012, 09:30 PM Thread Starter
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Ripples, no splashing
Thanks!

I turned my C02 down until I can get this all figured out. Right now I'm running 1 bubble every 2 seconds.
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post #14 of 23 (permalink) Old 07-20-2012, 11:38 PM
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Thanks!

I turned my C02 down until I can get this all figured out. Right now I'm running 1 bubble every 2 seconds.
If you are bringing the co2 down you must shorten photoperiod or lift the light a few inches to prevent an algae bloom. IME.
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post #15 of 23 (permalink) Old 07-21-2012, 12:05 AM Thread Starter
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If you are bringing the co2 down you must shorten photoperiod or lift the light a few inches to prevent an algae bloom. IME.
It's just temporary until I get the water figured out. Hopefully no more than a few days.
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