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Everything posted by Philip

  1. I'm sure you are in the ballpark. I'm hesitant to chime in when I'm using a $1,700 pH meter and don't want to come off sounding like other people are wrong. We are talking about being accurate to .002 which is absurd in the fish hobby. When it comes to what we do with aquariums, we just need to be able to troubleshoot or know we are fine. If you want to know exact numbers it will cost you big bucks, and is unnecessary. It's also why I'm a fan of the test strips. Fast, easy and pretty reliable. Can't beat that.
  2. Sir, I use a Hach 411d, calibrated daily. Maybe I misread your results but I thought you got 7.8 and the sample you brought in was 7.75. This is about the difference you get with CO2 absorption. Not just from adding CO2 to your tank, which you would see locally, but from air in the sample. Note that it will not change a lot. You won't go from 7.8 to 6.5 for example, but the amount you got is reasonable. You are correct about your assumptions with pH. I have said in the past, and I believe Cory has said similar, but you really can't look at something like pH on it's own and make broad assumptions. You really need to take it in context with all your other parameters. I believe your thinking is on the right track, but don't put too much stock in one thing or one reading. Look at it as a whole.
  3. Not to get too geeky, but wet chemistry is notorious for skewed results. pH meters drift and should be calibrated often. I like to test buffers to check accuracy and even titrate using phenophthalein so I know exactly where 8.3 is. I would totally trust that for comparison to make sure my meters are spot on. Keep in mind that I am a water chemist and have very high end bench meters and spectrophotometers. The cheap meters most people have are pretty good, but I wouldn't go to the bank on them. For those taking their water to the fish store, or University in this case, you are very prone to CO2 absorption because of time and how the sample is usually stored, so I wouldn't trust their pH readings. The variance you got can easily be explained by that. Both can be right. Fill bottle all the way with no air trapped. Minimize time in-between. It's best to read pH right away, expect it to go down a little over time. Also, if you have lower conductivity water, where there is little buffer, some of these results, especially pH can swing. If I were a betting man I'd say the test strips are more reliable. Sorry so long.
  4. Anything which there is oxidation taking place there will be a gain of oxygen, but that doesn't necessarily mean you will gain O2 in the form of free oxygen gas. You may have 3CO absorb the O2 and become 3CO2. I think the point of the original question was asking if some reactions resulted in more O2 in an aquarium. The answer is probably yes with most of these examples, but not enough to really matter. At least in the long term balance of the aquarium.
  5. So true and not just for Chemistry, but for life in general.
  6. I have always had great luck with most frozen foods like beef heart and bloodworms. Best results are with a floating strainer to drop the cube in. Also I feed chopped up red worms I raise and some pellet. They seem to love everything. No experience seeing them feed on the bottom. On a related note, if you want to see a larger Cichlid go nuts, feed them whole red worms. They suck them in so fast that worm is probably wondering where the heck he is way before he realizes it's too late.
  7. Exactly. In your example you are more often than not getting incomplete combustion, resulting in CO. In most cases you want extra O2 to make sure you are using up all the carbon. The reactions are not really complex nor unexpected, it's just so many different things going on at once it's hard to simplify.
  8. That will work, especially on suspended solids that settle out. However it will promote a certain amount of biofilm. A slime that bacteria produce to protect themselves. Whether that slime will slough off or you will have to go after it mechanically or chemically will have to be seen. In the long run I think you guys have a good plan and are testing out methods that should be very helpful to the hobby in the future. Thanks.
  9. Hobbit, I have not had any in a year as I redo my fish room. Only a few tanks right now. I raised the flightless ones Drosophila melanogaster and also the hydei. Depends on the size of your fish. The melanogaster are pretty small. Don't let the fact that they can't fly fool you, they are lightning fast and if you are not accustomed to handling them, when you open the lid they will get everywhere. A little shaky-shaky on the surface of the water and it's amazing. The maggots are also a very tasty treat. For the fish, not me.
  10. You might. But for now nothing gets by my first line of defenses until I decide. All it will take is one to sneak in and I'll be picking snails for the next four months. It would have to be one that I can have neutered or is celibate.
  11. I raised fruit flies and have never had fish go so crazy over a certain food. It's like a shark feeding frenzy. They are easy to raise, but it does take a little knack.
  12. I would flip if I saw that.
  13. Excellent advice. What we call "sloppy chemistry" can be the root cause of a lot of frustration. Take your time make sure you are doing things correctly, each and every time. The worst offenders are people who have done it a million times and don't think about it. I've been guilty myself. Rule this out first.
  14. Lots of other good fish, but there isn't anything quite like an Oscar.
  15. It's only money. Caddies are (were) nice cars for sure, but I've always been a Packard man myself.
  16. I hear you. My backyard pond had ducks for years until the Geese gave them the boot. As far as snails go, I used to think the same way until they drove me nuts trying to keep them under control. It will take a lot more than a couple of sad eye on the end of stalks to sway me. P.S. I know the problem with out of control populations is my fault. I don't deny that.
  17. I'm an "anti-snail" guy but some of the people here have made me question my stance. Slightly mind you, but I can't believe I'm even considering it.
  18. Are Cannolis dessert tacos?
  19. Mr. B, I agree with Mr. Billy. Figure out where your baseline is and work with that. By the way, I'm assuming you have had this condition from the beginning and not something that has come up lately? Just checking because that would be a whole different story.
  20. Got a few of them not too long ago. Very happy with them so far. I have always liked the bio-wheel on the Marineland and was hesitant to try something else. The only ding I'd give it is the smallest one (35) doesn't have an intake tube. It was too shallow for my needs. It's set aside right now. Very easy to clean and more room in the compartment. Easy to adjust the flow. I wouldn't say it was a homerun changing them, but I don't regret it.
  21. OK, I'm following now. Thanks for clearing that up. That makes a whole lot more sense! Please excuse me, sometimes I'm a tad slow.
  22. You may have just made Cory's day by comparing him to Mr. Bezos.
  23. All true. That leaves the question, why? Why would you want to put them there? Believe me, there is no love lost between me an Mr. Snail, I could care less about their fate, but can you imagine being one of them and someone telling you, "hey, I got a new home for you"? Hold your breath.
  24. As a practical matter, the two things that resulted in receiving a dead plant are the two things that the seller has no control over, the weather and the shipper. They could use another shipper if too many orders are delayed, but none are going to be 100% Overall I'd bet their success rate is very good. The actual percentage is what matters. If it's low and are striving for zero, then they are doing a good job. How they handle problems is also a good sign of well managed company. Looks like you did not get the run around which is typical. Finally, you can't just go by anecdotal cases. I happened to have the same plant included with my Co-Op order on the same week as yours. I live in one of the coldest parts of the country. My plant arrived safe and sound, no problems at all. I was actually surprised there were no causalities.
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