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Triport, what are the parameters you keep this tank at?

I have a heavily planted low tech 55g community tank with RCS, three lined corys, and cardinal tetras. Plants are thriving (except the java moss, which is doing okay but has hair algae). The tetras seem to be doing fine, the RCS are breeding like crazy, but the corys seem to be doing okay but not thriving, and I've lost a few over the last few months. I have hard water (7 dkh) with a ph of 7.4. I'm wondering if the water is too hard and the ph too high for these guys? They are tank bred, but I'm not sure what the parameters they were raised in were.

I have the false juliies or 3 line corys and my water parameters are 4KH, 6GH (using remineralizer to bring it up from 1GH) and degassed 8PH. Ive gone from 6 to 9 cories without buying any more and have noticed 3 babies of various sizes in the last couple of weeks. Just my experience.


@Triport I want a bigger tank so I can get more cories. Awesome little fish.
 

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When I remineralize it I try to set it at 6.5. I am not sure how much it changes over the course of the day. I don't think I have any really accurate pH test kits. I have one of those battery operated ones but I haven't calibrated it in a while.
Thanks! So do you use RO water then?

I have the false juliies or 3 line corys and my water parameters are 4KH, 6GH (using remineralizer to bring it up from 1GH) and degassed 8PH. Ive gone from 6 to 9 cories without buying any more and have noticed 3 babies of various sizes in the last couple of weeks. Just my experience.
Baby corys, now that would be exciting! Is there a difference between degassed ph and ph? Or am I reading your post correctly that your ph is 8?
 

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Baby corys, now that would be exciting! Is there a difference between degassed ph and ph? Or am I reading your post correctly that your ph is 8?
Out of the faucet the well water I have reads about 6ph, once the water has a chance to gas off (sit for a couple of days) the ph reads about 8. We have some odd water up here in the Western WA area. It works ok though and is pretty easy to remineralize. I know the PH is at the upper specs for alot of things but chasing PH is a losing game IMHO, or should I say a real pain.

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Baby corys, now that would be exciting! Is there a difference between degassed ph and ph? Or am I reading your post correctly that your ph is 8?
Out of the faucet the well water I have reads about 6ph, once the water has a chance to gas off (sit for a couple of days) the ph reads about 8. We have some odd water up here in the Western WA area. It works ok though and is pretty easy to remineralize. I know the PH is at the upper specs for alot of things but chasing PH is a losing game IMHO, or should I say a real pain.
 

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Discussion Starter #364
I use RO water for my tanks because my well water has 23 ppm nitrates. The RO lowers it to about 7 ppm nitrate. Not ideal and eventually I wanted to get RODI and get a better storage tank system but I don't have the money at the moment to deal with that.

It seems like my nitrates are kind of high in this tank. I ordered a new API nitrate test kit as the old one I have doesn't seem to be working. Lost a female S. barbatus to red blotch disease which I believe comes from water quality issues. The rest of the fish look OK but she was fine and then one day she wasn't so I did a 40 gallon water change the other day and will do another one maybe today or tomorrow. Also lost a Farlowella but I am assuming it was one that got stuck in the screening of my overflow for the sump. Farlwellas are really the dumbest fish in the world. Don't have them in any tank with a sump or power heads they will kill themselves. I am down to 3 now it seems.
 

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Discussion Starter #366
New fish for the 100 gallon have been in quarantine for about 6 weeks so it was finally time to move them to the main display tank.

30 Paracheirodon axelrodi (cardinal tetra)
20 Paracheirodon simulans (green neon)
6 Corydoras elegans
5 Corydoras trilineatus
3 Corydoras sterbai
3 Corydoras CW010 gold laser

C. elegans and C. trilineatus are new to this tank. C. sterbai and C. CW010 were added to increase existing numbers. There also were about 5 existing cardinal tetras and 2 existing green neons all about 4+ years old. You can see how much bigger they are than the new young fish. Right now the cardinals and green neons are so small it is difficult to tell them apart but at a few points of the video you can see a slight difference. It will be more distinct as they reach adulthood. The red band on cardinals goes all the way to their head and is wider and brighter and the blue band of the green neons is wider and at certain angles reflects green instead of blue.

Definitely recommend quarantining all fish but it is especially important for cardinal tetras. Over the many years I have kept fish I have had a number of incidents were new cardinal tetras brought a plague that wiped out half my tank. Fortunately this purchase was a success and as far as I can tell (I didn't count all 50 new tetras) I don't think I lost any.

 

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Discussion Starter #368
I'm very happy with the 100 gallon these days. I've moved my office computer next to it and get to enjoy the tetras and Corydoras and the Vallisneria "blowing" in the wake of the power head.

100 Gallon Aquarium by Kaveh Maguire, on Flickr

100 Gallon Aquarium by Kaveh Maguire, on Flickr

Speaking of Vallisneria I did a water change yesterday and decided to measure how long the leaves of the Vallisneria spiralis 'Leopard' can get. One of the was 5'10" tall. Almost as tall as me. Definitely recommend keeping these in as tall and long an aquarium as possible. I also have to remove extra runners of the Vallisneria and some of the Crypts every time I do a water change or they will take over the tank.

5'10" leaf of Vallisneria spiralis 'Leopard' by Kaveh Maguire, on Flickr

5'10" leaf of Vallisneria spiralis 'Leopard' by Kaveh Maguire, on Flickr

And finally a short video of this tank at night when the blue lights come on.

 

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That Val really is beautiful, flowing in the current like that. Love how the Cardinals/Neons add a pop of color.
 
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Discussion Starter #373
Last remaining Scleromystax barbatus in the Corydoras tank.

Female Scleromystax barbatus by Kaveh Maguire, on Flickr

Not sure what went wrong but first I lost all 6 babies early on during COVID quarantine. I wasn't paying as much attention to the fish tanks so I am not sure exactly when it happened but one day I just noticed I hadn't seen them in a while and then I would sit and watch during feedings and became certain they had vanished. Then one of the females (the one who had been laying eggs it turns out) suddenly died and fairly recently the male died. He was showing signs of stress, limp fins and rapid breathing, and the next day he was gone. This last female looks perfectly healthy so I am not sure what got all the others. It could be the tank is too warm for them but I have had them I think about three years at this point so I'm not sure. I have lost some other Corydoras from time to time and am not really clear what the issue is. one by one all my Corydoras loretoensis died and a few others randomly have died over the past year. Could be nitrite spikes I guess but I would think that the large school of cardinals and green neons would show some sign of stress if that was the case and they are fine.
 

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fascinating how the neons and cardinals don't quite school together, but stick to their own kind. i guess I expected them all to school as one group. interesting.
 

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Discussion Starter #377
fascinating how the neons and cardinals don't quite school together, but stick to their own kind. i guess I expected them all to school as one group. interesting.
Yeah it is pretty cool. The green neons hang out toward the top of the tank and the cardinals hang out lower. But they do often form a big mega school together, especially when startled. I think it makes the tank look more interesting to have the two different species as from a distance they more or less read as the same type of fish.
 
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