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Results 11 to 20 of 199
  1. Default


    0 Not allowed!
    you're at the best place to learn the hobby.
    ask ?'s and change some water pair of JD's and loving it.

  2. #12

    Default Substrate questions


    0 Not allowed!
    Now that my equipment is ordered and on its way, i am trying to choose a substrate. I have looked at tons of tank pictures to try to decide what i like, and I am very partial to light-colored substrates. I enjoy the contrast between the light substrate, dark driftwood, and the green vegetation. I also fear that given my light, a dark substrate might make the tank too dark.

    Hardy85 suggested a sand substrate and I love the idea. I like the natural look of sand, and a light-colored sand reminds me of a tropical beach (I will also almost certainly have some type of Cory and I understand that they like/need sandy substrates they can dig into). So, I think I am settled on a light or white sand. Hardy85 mentioned pool filter sand, which is what am planning to use. If I can find the white PFS I will go for it, but otherwise I am happy with the "normal" colored sand.

    After all the reading I have done on substrates and sand, however, I do have some questions I still need to answer before I commit.

    - I have read about the problems caused by sand getting compacted and creating anaerobic pockets, which can then lead to pockets of toxic gases. I read this can happen with play sand, but it wasn't clear whether it can also happen with PFS which seems to have a bigger grain. Is this a problem with PFS? How do you prevent it? Is it a matter of simply stirring the sand once in a while? I know you can use Malaysian Trumpet Snails to keep the substrate aerated, but having read about how snails reproduce like rabbits (and given I am very much a beginner) I don't want to have to worry about my tank getting overrun by snails. Even if it is easy to manage, it seems like one more thing I would have to worry about.

    - Another question is whether I need to use a sub-layer of a plant-friendly substrate. The plants I am thinking of using (Java Fern, Anubias, etc) do not anchor to the substrate, so it would seem to not be an issue. However, I do want the option to plant something in the substrate later if everything is going well. I have read people using a sub layer of something like laterite or fluorite topped with sand to provide nutrients for the plants, but I have also read you can compensate for a lack of nutrients in the substrate by simply dosing the water with a liquid fertilizer such as Seachem Flourish. So, should I add a sub layer of laterite or fluorite to give myself the option of a substrate-rooted plant later, or is this not really necessary? Is there a drawback of using such a sub-layer, other than cost?

    - Finally, my tap water is on the soft side with a hardness of 5-6 dGH. Most of the fish I have seen like water that is slightly harder, around 8-10. I don't know if I should mess with the water or how big of a deal this is, but I read that using crushed coral as a substrate can harden the water and provide a buffer against changes in pH. Should I try this, or should I leave my hardness alone? If this is worth attempting, how do you estimate the right amount of crushed coral to use?

    Is there anything else I should know about using PFS as a substrate?
    Last edited by wgoldfarb; 07-21-2013 at 08:15 PM.

  3. Default


    0 Not allowed!
    I would go with the pool filter sand. As far as the gas pockets don't make the sand bed to deep and then stir it when you do a W/C and it should be fine. If you chose to go with plants in the substrate most of the easy plants should be ok with any ferts but if you want to use ferts a root tab or two will be fine. What is your ph? With how soft your water is out of the tap its perfect for almost all tropical fish in the hobby you shouldn't mess with it even if its not ideal. Stability is more important and you shouldn't mess with your water chemistry unless you know what your doing.
    20 gallon tall: empty
    29 gallon: moderately planted with 9 bloodfin tetra, 1 german blue ram, 11 glow light tetra and 1 BNP
    10 gallon QT: empty

  4. #14

    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    @Limming: Thank you! I love the look of PFS so your feedback is what I was hoping to hear. My pH is 7.5. I definitely do NOT know what I am doing, so if it is ok to keep fish in water softer than they would ideally prefer, i'd rather not mess with the chemistry. For instance, a few of the tetras I like would prefer water higher than 8 or 10 dH. If all else is ok and stable, are you saying it would not be a big deal to keep these fish in water of 5-6 dH? (I would not have these fish at the start, but would add them later once I know my water is stable and everything is going well with the tank).

    In terms of substrate depth, I read that you ideally want 2-3" of substrate in a planted tank, so I was planning to use 2", with a little more depth in the back.

  5. Default


    0 Not allowed!
    if your fish are acclimated well, they will get use to your hardness.
    i hear some people say, "i kept a goldfish in a bowl and it lived for a year."
    they don't know how lucky they were and all goldfish live at least 15 years in proper conditions.
    that is equal to saying my human lived in his closet for 5 years!

  6. Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Quote Originally Posted by wgoldfarb View Post
    @Limming: Thank you! I love the look of PFS so your feedback is what I was hoping to hear. My pH is 7.5. I definitely do NOT know what I am doing, so if it is ok to keep fish in water softer than they would ideally prefer, i'd rather not mess with the chemistry. For instance, a few of the tetras I like would prefer water higher than 8 or 10 dH. If all else is ok and stable, are you saying it would not be a big deal to keep these fish in water of 5-6 dH? (I would not have these fish at the start, but would add them later once I know my water is stable and everything is going well with the tank).

    In terms of substrate depth, I read that you ideally want 2-3" of substrate in a planted tank, so I was planning to use 2", with a little more depth in the back.
    2 inchs would be fine. Almost all fish out side of wild caught are very adoptable. For instance my water is ph of 7.8 and pretty hard and there are people here that keep discus in the same type of water. I'd say your water is pretty much perfect for almost anything outside of african ciclids which I wouldn't suggest keeping till your experienced. Have your read about the drip acclamation? If not you should check out the sticky in the beginner section its the best way I've found to acclimate new fish.
    20 gallon tall: empty
    29 gallon: moderately planted with 9 bloodfin tetra, 1 german blue ram, 11 glow light tetra and 1 BNP
    10 gallon QT: empty

  7. #17

    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Excellent! Very happy to hear that I don't need to mess with my water.

    I did read about drip acclimation, and I am very much planning to use it when the time comes.

  8. #18

    Join Date
    Aug 2012
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    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    A good start to your journal. Like you, I really enjoy all the research. I will be following your progress in setting up your tank.
    Last edited by gronlaura; 07-26-2013 at 05:06 AM.
    My 75 gal Journal & My Dual 29 gal Journal
    My 75 gal - Gold Pristella Tetras, Scissortail Rasboras, Neon Dwarf Rainbowfish, Longfin Leopard & Zebra Danios, Bristlenose Pleco
    My Dual 29 gals - Left Tank - Diamond Tetras. Right Tank - Amano Shrimp, Black Neon Tetras

    "Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass....it's about learning to dance in the rain"

  9. #19

    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Quote Originally Posted by wgoldfarb View Post
    @Limming: Thank you! I love the look of PFS so your feedback is what I was hoping to hear. My pH is 7.5. I definitely do NOT know what I am doing, so if it is ok to keep fish in water softer than they would ideally prefer, i'd rather not mess with the chemistry. For instance, a few of the tetras I like would prefer water higher than 8 or 10 dH. If all else is ok and stable, are you saying it would not be a big deal to keep these fish in water of 5-6 dH? (I would not have these fish at the start, but would add them later once I know my water is stable and everything is going well with the tank).

    In terms of substrate depth, I read that you ideally want 2-3" of substrate in a planted tank, so I was planning to use 2", with a little more depth in the back.
    Where did you find hardwater tetras then? Can't think of a south american species that wouldn't like 5dh water.

    2"is fine., I got significantly more than that and don't worry about gas pockets.

  10. #20

    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Just a thought on stocking, I know you said you would like to be like a Venezuelan theme



    Fish:
    Apisto, Ram cichlid, Flag cichlid, Checkerboard cichlid
    Ruby tetra, Neon tetra, Silver-tipped tetra, German-flag tetra, Rummy-nose tetra, Red Base tetra, Featherfin tetra, Purple tetra, Red phantom tetra, Green Neon tetra, Black Morpho tetra
    Black-winged hatchetfish, Otocinclus catfish, Corydoras catfish, Endlers

    You can't do all, but maybe pick 2 schooling fish and a "center" piece fish. Or as we talked about before, do cory habroseus, Endlers, and cardinal tetras for a all small fish tank

    For plants:
    Brazilian Micro Sword
    Pennywort
    Elodea
    Water Sprite
    Amazon Sword

    Most of those plants are low maintenance (the amazon sword will need root tabs) but other than that they should be fine.

    Lots of driftwood and Indian Almond Leaves should give you a natural stained water look too

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