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Thread: What do I do now?
11-28-2013, 04:10 PM #1
What do I do now?
Thanks for reading. My current setup and levels:
30 Gallon tank
Regular gravel substrate (2 inches or so)
Some drift wood and a few small plants
Fluval AquaClear 50
Tank was set up and went through about 3 - 4 weeks of cycling until levels (API Master test kit) read good for Ammonia, Nitrites and Nitrates.
7 Neon Tetras
1 Bambo Shrimp
1 Ghost Shrimp
1 Apple Snail
Tap water specs: (150 foot well water through a Sodium water softener)
GH = around 150 - 200 ppm
KH = around 300 ppm
Alkaline = around 8.0
Current ammonia = .25 ppm (Probably because I put some cabbage in to feed the snail and let it sit too long)
So now some questions:
1) I fell for the aquarium salt thing and added that at the last water change. From what I understand it adds back the salt Ions that my water softener replaced with Sodium Ions - both of which increasing hardness as far as fish are concerned. What in the world do I do with the high hardness levels? A water change won't do much because the water is hard and making it "softer" with my softener is still "hard" for the fish because it doubles the ions correct?
2) I'm concerned about the alkaline levels too. I think I understand that the KH level will essentially block PH from changing so I have to get that down before it's possible to adjust the Ph level. I also read that a highly alkaline environment acts as a sort of amplifier for ammonia, which has me thinking about the ammonia spike
I'm glad that I don't have that many fish in the tank right now. I'd love some help moving forward from here. Thanks for your help!It just so happens your fish here is only - mostly - dead...
11-28-2013, 04:48 PM #2
Make sure that bamboo shrimp eats. New tanks offer little to no food for filter feeders. If it's picking the gravel with it's fans it's starving and you need liquifry for it.
1. Water softeners, resin type, typically take out Ca and replace with Na which does nothing to the hardness byt Na doesn't cause scale deposits as easy as Calcium does. Adding salt will increase the amount of Sodium in the water. Only way to deal with that is to add pure water like distilled water or water that has been produced by a reverse osmosis device.
2. I doubt the alkaline explains the ammonia blip. Your neons will certainly not like the water you have now. Could be it's alkalinity from the well water to which you added more KH with the salt. Could also be you got some limestone in the tank which also doesn't help.
With water like this neons are a very poor choice, livebearers will do better as will most rainbow fish
11-28-2013, 05:36 PM #3
Yeah, I was surprised to find out that water "softeners" don't really make the water soft as far as fish are concerned, they just, like you said, reduce the likelihood of scale deposits. I read an article in another forum that softeners exchange two Na ions for every one Ca or Mg ion making the water actually Harder for the fish as well as increasing Sodium levels. Bleh.
I only have one bypass spigot (not running through the softener) and it is outside the house, making water changes prohibitive at the moment using straight well water (which would still be "hard" and even harder to warm up this time of year).
I did see the option of mixing with distilled or RO water... sounds expensive after awhile when changing 6 or so gallons a week.
Funny thing... the guppies seem to be doing relatively poorer than the neons which are growing quickly.
Mr. bamboo spends most of his time in the filter current hanging unto some driftwood. Thanks for that advice!
So... I suppose the easiest long term decision would be to get fish that are better suited to my well water. What do you do with poorly suited fish? Any recommendations for better suited fish?
HAPPY THANKSGIVING!It just so happens your fish here is only - mostly - dead...
11-28-2013, 07:20 PM #4
You could wonder if you want to drink water that salt. There's some studies that hint this could possibly be bad for your kidneys in in the long term.
Buying a simple RO device would probably be the best solution and will give you the most versatility. You can see what happens and if the neons do seem to get into problems look towards central America or Papua new Guinea for fish. The former has live bearers, the latter rainbow fish. PErhaps give the neons away or return them to a shop?
11-28-2013, 08:14 PM #5
Ok, good. I'll keep at it.
What about getting a substrate like this: ADA Amazonia II ??
Last edited by Shepherdsong; 11-28-2013 at 08:27 PM.It just so happens your fish here is only - mostly - dead...
11-29-2013, 04:10 AM #6
Depending on where your neons came from, they could be adapted to the local water supply, which would explain why they seem to be doing fine. IMHO, messing with the water via chemicals will cause a unstable environment for the fish. Either get a RO filter, or just keep the water as-is. Not the ideal environment, but if you chose your fish with water in mind going forward, they will be happy.20 gallon with a male betta, neons, glowlights, and red cherry shrimp. (work in progess) Recently added a few LIVE plants and driftwood, Woooohoooo!
11-29-2013, 04:45 AM #7
11-29-2013, 09:32 AM #8Junior Member Guppy
- Join Date
- Nov 2013
Thanks for sharing.
11-29-2013, 03:33 PM #9
It's supposed to gradually reduce hardness by absorbing minerals. It's expensive though and only really usefull in a very well planted tank.It just so happens your fish here is only - mostly - dead...