Trying to achieve certain water parameters - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 12-11-2008, 03:21 PM Thread Starter
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Trying to achieve certain water parameters

I could use some help with a new tank I'm wanting to setup. Right now I'm about to pull my hair out trying to figure this out. I've read a million things on the net and I'm confused. I'm hoping someone here can help.

So here goes. I'm want to have a ph of 8 to 8.2 and a gh of 6 or 7 with a kh of 5 or 6. My tap water is ph 7.1, hardness 76 and alkalinity 65, which i think means gh around 4 and kh around 3.

I don't want to use RO, I'd rather use tap.

My questions are..... Should I get a substrate like Eco-Complete Cichlid mix and it'll handle this for me, or do I need to also use something like Seachem lake Victoria buffer and Equilibrium to achieve those parameters... or something with baking soda?

I want something that will be stable and not fluctuate and mess with the inhabitants of the tank.
The tank will be planted, with hard water tolerable plants.

Oh and this will not be a big tank. It's either going to be a 10, 15, or 20l tank.

thanks in advance for any help.

Brad

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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 12-11-2008, 03:52 PM
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Think about doing water changes. Do you want to have to carefully dose any change water to match your preferred parameters before adding it? Or, do you want the parameters to gradually change the longer the water is in the tank? Or, perhaps, you might prefer to adjust your desires a bit to better match your tap water, with perhaps a bit of GH booster in it?

I think stable water conditions are a good thing. So, my preference would be to use tap water, with just enough GH booster to raise the GH by a degree or two. That should be the easiest on the fish, the plants and on you.

Hoppy
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 12-11-2008, 04:18 PM
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Is this for a cichlid tank?


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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 12-11-2008, 04:34 PM Thread Starter
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I don't mind having to add things with water changes. I'm going to have it heavily planted, low light, non CO2, and light bio-load, so water changes will not be a weekly thing. More like monthly or so. I just don't want the parameters to swing in between.... that is why I was under the impression that using caribsea cichlid substrate or seachem grey coast substrate would help out. I guess I'm possibly looking at things in the wrong way?

On my current low light non co2 tank, I dose equilibrium, and N,P,K per tom barr's suggestions from his sight and water changes are far and few and everything is stable. However, I'm not keeping anything that needs hard water like the other tank I want to setup.

With the new tank I was wanting to achieve something like that, mostly moss, java fern, moss balls, and stuff that does well with low light and not much ferts. But the tank inhabitants will require the harder water.... that is why I was looking to get those parameters.

I read something about those substrates mentioned keeping the ph, kh and gh up, so that is why I thought that might be the best solution, but then I started thinking about what happens when I do the water change and add the tap back in... Does that make the parameters swing, until the substrate buffers them back?..... and how does that impact the fauna of the tank?

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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 12-11-2008, 04:35 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Naja002 View Post
Is this for a cichlid tank?
No. Sulawesi snails and "true" freshwater bumblebee gobies.

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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 12-11-2008, 06:03 PM
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Dolomite works nice and looks good, make a pile of driftwood for the ferns and moss, and white sand foreground, some Vals or Pondweeds etc, and a few floaters like water sprite to nab any extra nutrients as they will not be CO2 limited.

Baking soda for higher KH and GH booster for GH. Do not worry about pH, stick with the actual ions(KH and GH). I do not think the moss will do so hot, the ferns and others should do okay. Crypts also should do fine and maybe a sword or two.

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Regards,
Tom Barr
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 12-11-2008, 07:11 PM Thread Starter
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Dolomite works nice and looks good, make a pile of driftwood for the ferns and moss, and white sand foreground, some Vals or Pondweeds etc, and a few floaters like water sprite to nab any extra nutrients as they will not be CO2 limited.

Baking soda for higher KH and GH booster for GH. Do not worry about pH, stick with the actual ions(KH and GH). I do not think the moss will do so hot, the ferns and others should do okay. Crypts also should do fine and maybe a sword or two.

Regards
Tom Barr
Thanks Tom. Would Seachem Equilibrium be ok for a gh booster? Also, once I got the tank established, and added the kh and gh booster with the dolemite substrate would this deplete on it's on in between water changes, or only what I take out during water changes?

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