Very Quick Question re Hardness - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-21-2014, 02:16 AM Thread Starter
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Very Quick Question re Hardness

Hi:

I started a new tank. Put in those capfuls of bacteria for several days, planted plants and bulbs, bla bla bla.

Anyway, I added two tiny tetras yesterday which are still alive. I checked my stats. My nitrite and nitrate are at 0, pH is at exactly 7, kH is 40 ppm. However, the gH is 180 ppm.

That seems to be really hard. I am completely new to this never having owned a tank in my life. I read what I can.

Is the water too hard for the wee little tetras? Do I need to buy some sort of softener or something or leave them be. This is the second day of having the fish.

Thanks!

dbw
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-21-2014, 01:05 PM Thread Starter
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Okay - I put in a quite a bit of conditioner in last night and hardness is down this morning. Sorry if I am silly.

dbw
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-21-2014, 05:45 PM
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I see from the posts that you are likely to be in an area that I know fairly well. As you are new, you may hear lots of really scary things to watch out and avoid. I advise being somewhat slow to react to much of the scary things you will hear about. There have been lots of folks raising lots of fish that have never had the scary things happen. Read and investigate before panic!
Lead, iron, dioxin and pollution in the river? Yes, but keep in mind that the earth is a pretty polluted place so if the place where you are collecting fish and plants has fish and plants, it might be safe? Don't be too quick to take the scare stories too much to heart.

But then the question of hard water? There are several ways to go. Fighting nature by trying to change the water is one way to get into a real struggle. I would try the water as is and see before going by advise from someone who may have never been to the area. Fish and plants are very good at adapting to less than their normal ideal.
Castlewood park is one of my favorite places.
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-21-2014, 06:15 PM Thread Starter
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Hi!

I bike at Castlewood Park routinely. I love it there. Last weekend, Katy Trail. Yes, I have heard so many terrifying scary things that I cannot decipher them: I need a lot of CO2, I need lots of light, I will get tons of algae, I will get pest snails by the thousands, I will get parasites if I put in any non-store bought rocks or wood, I will get deadly parasites if I put in any plants from the creek out back.

I am at the Missouri River almost every weekend (biking). Surely I can pick some plants up? I am a grad student and need to save money. I thought that if I picked some stuff up from the creek or river, I could bleach it and throw it in my tank without it exploding, fish dying, etc.

My tropical fish store (Tropical World Pets) said that the water in this area is really good.

Thanks so much. I think I can wait and see what happens. I started the tank with rummynoses. Their noses are still red and now that they are no longer scared to death, they are out of the corner and swimming around.

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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-21-2014, 06:41 PM
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The following is a great article that explains what each measurement is and how it can/will effect other things, including your fish.

http://www.fishlore.com/fishforum/ph...aqauriums.html
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-21-2014, 08:23 PM
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Before you learned to bike, you might have been told all kinds of scary things. Some have turned out to be true, some not. you cam get run over, you can fall off the bike but you learn to watch and do what is needed. Same with fish and plants? Some bad things can or will happen but it is not like it will kill you?
I bet you can figure it out with only a few minor scars??
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-21-2014, 08:58 PM Thread Starter
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You are most right sir. :-)

And I have fallen off the bike many times! But still love to do it. :-)

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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-21-2014, 09:06 PM
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The most important thing with aquarium water is stability. And most commonly found aquarium fish can do fine in a decent range of water types in regards to hardness and pH.

As to plants, especially starting out, I'd avoid any of the high-tech stuff. People have some amazing tanks using those, but it's a bit more complex. Start with the low-tech stuff: No CO2, low-medium light, and maybe occasional fert use.

If you decide you like the hobby, and are having any luck with it, then you might want to consider a set up with high lights and CO2, but for now, I wouldn't bother with any of that.
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-22-2014, 01:09 AM
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Not much you can do besides get a RO system.

There are some plants that simply won't survive in areas with high GkH, but for fish you won't have much to worry about.

Just keep in mind anything you purchase from a LFS will have the same water conditions so those fish/plants will already be acclimated to the water conditions and will have no problem in your tank.
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-22-2014, 01:20 AM Thread Starter
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Boblsaget:

You're right!! I totally forgot that the plants are acclimated to the water at the LFS. Well, the Gkh did go down. I guess I can ask the LFS tomorrow.

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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-22-2014, 01:29 AM
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The easiest way to handle this is to ignore it.
The fish you buy from the local store will have been in that water for a while, and the nearest store is probably on the same or a similar water system to yours.
The GH, KH, TDS of the water will probably be so close there is not going to be a problem.
This is certainly a case of 'It ain't broke so don't try to fix it'.

If you really do want to do something about the water, then post the GH, KH, TDS and pH of the tap water, and a short list of fish you want to keep. Lets see what might have to be done. (if anything).
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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-22-2014, 01:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dbw27 View Post
Hi:

I started a new tank. Put in those capfuls of bacteria for several days, planted plants and bulbs, bla bla bla.

Anyway, I added two tiny tetras yesterday which are still alive. I checked my stats. My nitrite and nitrate are at 0, pH is at exactly 7, kH is 40 ppm. However, the gH is 180 ppm.

That seems to be really hard. I am completely new to this never having owned a tank in my life. I read what I can.

Is the water too hard for the wee little tetras? Do I need to buy some sort of softener or something or leave them be. This is the second day of having the fish.

Thanks!

dbw
You shouldn't change anything. You can't fight the water it always wins. When you start to play God a little too much you'll run into problems!
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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-22-2014, 02:04 AM Thread Starter
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Okay - thanks. I think I just won't worry about it! Yay. :-)

dbw
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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-23-2014, 05:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PlantedRich View Post
I see from the posts that you are likely to be in an area that I know fairly well. As you are new, you may hear lots of really scary things to watch out and avoid. I advise being somewhat slow to react to much of the scary things you will hear about. There have been lots of folks raising lots of fish that have never had the scary things happen. Read and investigate before panic!
Lead, iron, dioxin and pollution in the river? Yes, but keep in mind that the earth is a pretty polluted place so if the place where you are collecting fish and plants has fish and plants, it might be safe? Don't be too quick to take the scare stories too much to heart.

Castlewood park is one of my favorite places.
Hi Rich

I can only assume you were referring to my post from a different thread. Yes, Castlewood is beautiful. It's only about five miles from me, and is one of my favorite hiking spots in the area. But that doesn't change the fact that I wouldn't eat anything I caught out of that portion of the river, and wouldn't put anything in my tanks either. I have been tempted because I need good driftwood, but I just can't do it. I grew up in this area and I have heard too many stories and seen too many disturbing things.

The EPA has had trucks in the woods behind my house for two months now removing truckloads of dioxin-contaminated soil. More of what I'm certain will not be the last vestiges of the tons of industrial waste that Russell Bliss mixed together on his property. Waste that he sprayed all over sites like Times Beach and dumped into streams that feed the Meramec. Between the dioxin and VOC's from Bliss, the sewage from Eureka, and the lead from the tailings collapse that killed miles of the Big River all the way down to the Meramec for many years, why take the chance? Not to mention the continual issues with E. Coli in Kiefer Creek. The EPA recommends that pregnant women and children under 12 not eat fish or mussels from the lower 22 miles of the Meramec. If it isn't safe to eat the fish, is it really safe to put anything else from that portion of the river in your tank?

I'm not trying to scare anyone, just offering fair cautions. A river is a big place. An aquarium is a very small place, with a very fragile ecosystem!
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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-23-2014, 05:38 AM Thread Starter
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Hi:

Wow. I was not aware the Meramec was sooo polluted. And I have had friends swim in that river (even though its currents have killed people.) Wow. Gross.

Well, hmm......a person at an aquarium store told me that he gets rocks out of the Missouri and washes them well and puts those in their tanks. Do you think the Missouri is safe?

If the EPA was behind my house, I would feel just a little jittery.

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