Week old tank. - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-20-2014, 01:46 AM Thread Starter
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Week old tank.

I started a 20 gallon tank a week ago. The substrate consists of an inch of organic nature's cure potting mix and 25 lbs of black substrate that reminds me of obsidian. I have changed the water every day with at least 15 gallons with the exception of the last two days. I planted an Amazon sword, hairgrass, and narrow leaf micro sword plants. There are no fish right now. Today I noticed so weird growth on my substrate that resembles mold. Is this normal?
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-20-2014, 02:11 AM
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It's probably just diatoms--they're pretty common in new tanks. No biggie, just get something that loves algae. They'll gobble it all up
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-20-2014, 02:47 AM Thread Starter
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Ok cool. I also seem to be having an issue with pH. My current pH is at 8. That's after 7 ml of sulfuric acid my tap water is 8.4 which was used to fill the tank.
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-20-2014, 05:51 AM
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Hmm, well you water is pretty basic to begin with. I can't really think of anything that would buffer it down besides CO2, or ADA amazonia. And I'm not totally sure how the sulfuric acid would affect things in the tank if you added more of it.

Maybe someone else knows a bit more about that--is the slightly basic pH that big of an issue?
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-20-2014, 07:40 AM
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Have you measured your ammonia level? I've been cycling a filter - if I add ammonia to 2ppm, it spikes the pH up to nearly 9....
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-20-2014, 01:39 PM Thread Starter
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My ammonia is either 0 or 0.25. I'm leaning towards zero
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-20-2014, 01:58 PM
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pH is not a stand alone value.
pH is controlled by the minerals and salts in the water.

Check the GH, KH, TDS (if you have a meter) and let us know.

Very basically (pun intended!) carbonates act as a buffer, controlling the pH.
If the carbonates are high the pH is most likely to be high and difficult to change.
If the carbonates are low the pH may be low, but is controlled by other things in the water, and is easier to change.

So you do not change the pH directly, you control the minerals, starting with the carbonates.

What kind of fish you you want to keep?

Get started on the fishless cycle while you are trying to work out other things.
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-20-2014, 02:11 PM Thread Starter
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I added co2 Booster last night. So that might be why it's so high. I plan on having Dwarf cichlids. Which ones I'm not sure yet
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-20-2014, 02:53 PM
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How to make the water right for soft water fish:

1) Test GH, KH of tap water.
2) Blend reverse osmosis or distilled water with tap water until the GH is in the right range for the fish. Here is an example of a commonly kept dwarf Cichlid.
http://www.fishbase.org/summary/Apis...agassizii.html
If you make the GH in the middle of the accepted range, it would be about 6 degrees, though lower is just fine for this group of fish.
3) Now test the pH and KH.
a) If the pH is OK or just a shade high, that is OK. Filter the water through peat moss and re-test.
b)If the pH is still way out of range for the fish you want to keep, then dilute your tap water even more, until the KH is under 3 degrees.
Then filter the result through peat moss.
You may have to add back some minerals to maintain the GH where you want it. Seachem Equilibrium is a good product for this.
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-20-2014, 05:55 PM Thread Starter
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My tap water has 180 ppm of gh and 240 ppm for carbonic hardness. My water in my tank is 60 gh and 240 kh
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