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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
HI,
I am setting up my first tank (29g). Finally tested my tap water, and it's 7.8pH, 4.5 dKH, 9.5 dGH. OK, now what? I've read many posts and articles that say not to worry too much about the pH, but 7.8 still seems above the recommended range for lots of the best and most common fish. The hardness issue is a lot more confusing to me. According to the chart, this leads me to believe that my water has low C02. My goal of course is to have live plants and healthy fish at as modest expense as possible. So, given what I'm starting with, what should I do? Thanks for any recommendations!
- Marc
 

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Most of the common types of fish should acclimate to your water just fine but you will have some problems with the less robust types and that goes for plants as well. Overall adding good lighting and pressurized C02 will lower you pH and help your plants grow like mad but that's a costly step if your not ready for it.

If you have stock lighting and not ready for the big leap into C02 systems I'd start with basic plants like Anubias, Java Moss, Java Fern, Dwarf Sag, Micro Sword, Water Sprite, Wisteria, etc that are easy to take care while learning about lighting and ferts.

- Brad
 

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U have many options :)
the water is ok - so u have to choose which fish can live in this type of water or choose what fish u wanna keep and then change the parameters of water for the fish - remember about plants too :)
good luck :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Most of the common types of fish should acclimate to your water just fine but you will have some problems with the less robust types and that goes for plants as well. Overall adding good lighting and pressurized C02 will lower you pH and help your plants grow like mad but that's a costly step if your not ready for it.

If you have stock lighting and not ready for the big leap into C02 systems I'd start with basic plants like Anubias, Java Moss, Java Fern, Dwarf Sag, Micro Sword, Water Sprite, Wisteria, etc that are easy to take care while learning about lighting and ferts.

- Brad
Yes, I have good lighting (65w cf), but I don't want to get into CO2 just yet -- that's a topic for another day. I'm less concerned with plant growth at this stage than I am with simple plant survival. (!) Thnks much.
 

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Unless the 65 watt PC fixture has a poor quality reflector you will have high light intensity in that 29 gallon tank. So, having good CO2 will be a requirement. When you have high light and no CO2 you usually end up being more successful at growing algae than plants. You could use that light without CO2 by raising it above the tank at least 6 inches, to reduce the intensity. That is what I would try, and a side benefit is that the intensity will then be much more uniform all over the tank.
 

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my tap water isn't the greatest either.

ph 8
dgh 6
dkh 8

i'm still able to have most of the plants and fish i want. i'd just recommend asking questions about the specific fish and plants that you don't know about.

edit - listen to hoppy! he basically said the exact same thing to me about 11 months ago. it's taken me the last 6 months to obtain the correct balance of light diy co2 and ferts that he said would be a problem not having pressurized co2 in my 29 with the 65w fixture.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks guys. Yes, I got some legs to raise the light up a few inches. The guy at the LFS (an excellent store) suggested I could use supplements to make up for the lack of CO2. He recommended Leaf Zone, or Excel. Is this true? I'm really not crazy about the idea of messing with DIY, and even less excited about spending tons of $ on complicated and expensive pressurized system. Is there a less expensive "middle" approach?
 

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Excel will work just not as good as C02 injection but if your not going for crazy fast growth then it will do the job for you.

Left_C had a great post from the Seachem website yesterday on Excel basicly they rate C02 injection a 10 on a 10 point scale and Excel comes in as a 6 or 7 on the same scale so it's still a good option just not the best but it's cheaper and easier to get going.

- Brad
 

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Thanks guys. Yes, I got some legs to raise the light up a few inches. The guy at the LFS (an excellent store) suggested I could use supplements to make up for the lack of CO2. He recommended Leaf Zone, or Excel. Is this true? I'm really not crazy about the idea of messing with DIY, and even less excited about spending tons of $ on complicated and expensive pressurized system. Is there a less expensive "middle" approach?
That LFS may be a good store, but the sales clerk isn't that great. Excel is a source of carbon for plants, but Leaf Zone is just a source of potassium and some trace elements.

A pressurized CO2 system can cost from $100 to $300, depending on the quality of stuff you buy, whether you can find good used stuff, and whether you can assemble the stuff yourself. You will spend about that much for lighting, in all probability, but CO2 is at least as needed as good lighting is. Substrates can cost about that much for big tanks. And, once you have the system, the operating cost - refills of CO2 - is pretty small, so it is like the glass tank, a one time investment.
 

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As always good stuff Hoppy. I've never seen/used LeafZone so I didn't have a comment on that but it's always wise to research what the LFS clerks tell you as they rarely are very good at the hobby themselves even if they are well meaning. Keep in mind the business side of a LFS is about getting fish in, barley acclimating them and selling them off as fast as possible as tank space is at a premium and even sick fish make you a profit.

I'd add that lighting and C02 goes hand in hand. Most people start with stock lighting and Excel then move up to good lighting and excel/DIY and then decided if they want to take the leap. Unfortunately for those of us that have taken the leap it's hard to remember what those days were like.

- Brad
 
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