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  1. I usually do water changes once nitrates reach around 50 which works out to around once every 5 days or so. I also know that the substrate strips out kh somehow but I figured after such a long time the buffering would be depleted. I’ll look into old tank syndrome and see if that fits though thanks for the suggestion!
  2. Hello, so got a bit of a strange issue and was hoping someone would have some input. I have a long time planted tank, 3+ years and have been running co2 for the last few months after rescaping. The tank is 40 gallons with an additional 10 gallon sump and the substrate for the past 3+ years has been fluval stratum. Because of this the ph in the tank has always been in the 6.5 range with no kh even though the gh is very high (and so is the kh from the tap). A few days ago while doing water tests I noticed that my ph was lower than normal and that nitrites were starting to show up on a test strip which has never happened before after doing a liquid test they were in between 2 and 5 ppm and the ph was around 6 with no ammonia. So I did a large water change and added prime, stability and purigen assuming that somehow the bacterial colony took a hit after cleaning the sump sponges. It’s been about 3 days of 25% water changes after the initial 50% one and the nitrites are rebounding each time. Since the gh in my water was already so high I was reluctant to add crushed coral to bring the ph up but I have roughly 1lbs in the sump now. I am assuming that the ph dipped too low and the nitrifying bacteria colony died and crashed the tank. I guess the question here is if that makes sense or if there could be some other cause. Tank stocking 15 cherry barbs 2 bristlenose plecos 1 adult 1 juvenile 5 or so trapdoor snails 1 dwarf gourami Thanks!
  3. Hello from Florida where the water is basically liquid rock. I’ve had no issues with any of these species of fish as long as they are sourced from places with roughly the same water parameters as what you are getting at your house. You can also acclimatize them by gradually bringing up the kh in a quarantine tank over time, at least a week or two depending on the water they came from to be safe. As for the filter it comes down to how many water changes you are looking to do and if you want the guppies to breed or not. If you do want them to breed I would put a sponge on the end of the intake and some guppy grass so that the ram does not instantly eat them. If you don’t want them to breed and want an overall easier time a smaller oase canister filter with a built in heater makes life a lot easier and you can always add the intake sponge after the fact. As for the chili rasboras I would be careful, rams are mostly peaceful but anything that can fit in a cichlids mouth will…eventually
  4. Hey just posting an update thanks again for the advice! I went with a dwarf blue gourami, loved the way the fish looked and it was on the short list of (non monster) fish I have kept so I went for it. It’s in quarantine now and the tetras are at least a week behind him since they are on order but once everyone is in the same tank I’ll let you know what happens! Thanks Again!
  5. Hello I have a fully planted established 36 bowfront with a 10 gallon sump and was wondering if I could add a gourmai to my tank with about 15-20 silver tip tetras. If so what kinds of gourmai’s would be best and if not what would be a good centerpiece fish for the tank?
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