Need some advice on water param. and more please! - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-30-2012, 11:17 PM Thread Starter
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Need some advice on water param. and more please!

About 26 gallons, 2x24W T5

I bought a java and a sword from Petsmart yesterday and today bought Aqueon Plant Food and Tetra EasyStrip 6in1 test strips.

The test strips told me I have 0 NO3, 0 NO2, very hard water (measured around 300 ppm), very alkaline, and around 8.4 pH.

Would I be wrong in saying that I need some nitrates, softer water, less alkalinity, and changes in those may lower my pH?

Here is my tank so far:


Here is the Java Fern. It came in one bunch but after examining it I found multiple Rhizomes so I separated them.


Here is the Sword
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-31-2012, 12:06 AM
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Unless ur keeping African cichlids than ur gonna have to bring that pH and that hardness down. reverse osmosis water should bring the hardness down and some driftwoods and pear in the filter can bring the pH down. Really depends what kind of fish you want to keep.
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-31-2012, 12:07 AM
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Peat in the filter*
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-31-2012, 12:11 AM Thread Starter
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Does the hardness and pH affect the plants much?
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-31-2012, 12:23 AM
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My water is very hard and it doesn't seem to affect the plants at all. Most plants will adapt to a wide range of conditions. Some more sensitive species will have a very narrow range of pH that they will grow well in, otherwise the may stunt or not grow well. Most tropical fish require a more acidic pH lower tha 7 but some can adapt to a pH higher than 7.

~Sam

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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-31-2012, 12:27 AM
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War torn, those test strips aren't at all accurate or worth the money, unfortunately. Your best bet is to have a local fish store (not a big box one) test your gh/kh/ph or look into API's liquid test kits. As far as gH goes I don't think yours is too high for most plants to adapt to. A few softwater plants might not like it, but iirc those particular plants aren't really novice plants to start with. Plants do need nitrates, but with low light setups just feeding the fish is enough most of the time.

Here is a good to the point no nonsense write up on planted tank water: http://www.rexgrigg.com/waterchem.htm
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-31-2012, 12:37 AM
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Yep good link. Rex is the man

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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-31-2012, 01:00 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks guys, do you think a pool store that tests pool water could give me that in depth of tests?
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-31-2012, 03:35 PM
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Just go to your local fish store. They should be able to test your water angle give you a good explaination

~Sam

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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-01-2012, 02:43 AM Thread Starter
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Also should I bring up nitrates? My tank has no fish and is pretty new so I can't imagine there are nitrates for the plants to feed on.
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