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About Me

  1. I have a 29 gallon aquarium with Eco-Complete substrate, planted with both an on-back filter as well as a sponge filter. My tank has been setup for about 1 1/2 months with weekly 25% water changes, and seems to be fairly well cycled with consistently 0 nitrites and ammonia, and nitrates maintain between 10 and 25 ppm. I use the Aquarium Coop test strips for daily testing. However, I am consistently getting low KH (40 ppm or less), pH about 6.8, and my water is hard with GH consistently between 150 and 300 ppm. I want to elevate my KH to the moderate range of 80 to 120 ppm, but I am concerned that using crushed coral will also increase the hardness even more. My plants seem to be thriving, as do the fish (after losing my 2 male guppies and 3 otos over the last few weeks. I have minimal algae. So, if I add crushed coral to elevate the KH, will this make problems for my already hard water aquarium? Or, is it best to add the coral to my filter? Thanks!
  2. Hey everyone I’ve got a question. What do you think fish value more, ideal water parameters that I may have trouble maintaining or stable but not ideal parameters? I asked because I’ve got ph 8.0-8.2 and water hardness 150-200 ppm. I want to keep some of the softer water acidic fish but I’m hesitant on pulling the trigger because I’ve heard some unfortunate luck with black cory Doras (unsure if it was water parameters but they slowly died off). In my water I’m currently keeping Blue cochu tetras, Glowlight Danios, Cherry Barbs, Red Lizard Tail Catfish, Bronze corys, yellow laser corys, and electric blue acara. They seem to be doing well but I think I got lucky with the more hardy species. I want to try apistos but it seems like a $50 death sentence. So to turn this back around after all my rambling. What’s more important, stable parameters or ideal parameters that I would have some trouble maintaining.
  3. How quickly does kh drop in a fish tank and what causes it to drop? I’ve been doing weekly 30-50% water changes as I’ve been cycling and want to remove the excess nitrates from the tank but before I water change I test the tank water. Usually before a water change the ph is low (6.4 - 6.6) the gh is high (12-13 dgh) and the kh is low (0-1 dkh). I’ve yet to test the water parameters after a water change, but I just tested the sink water last week. The ph was 8, the dkh was 8, and the dgh was 18 (ammonia was also .5 but that’s not relevant). I was considering adding some crushed coral to raise my kh but I was curious as to why my sink water dkh is so high yet my tank dkh is so low? I have fluval stratum in my tank and I know that lowers ph but I hadn’t heard of it affecting anything else. This also had me thinking since the sink water parameters are fairly different from my tank water parameters, would water changes stress out the fish?
  4. I tested the ph of my 40 breeder twice and both results came back as 8.0. I tested my tap water and it came out to 7.4. I am not running any crushed coral, it’s fairly well planted with a bunch of pogostemon stellatus octopus and duckweed (that I can’t get rid of). It’s stocked with 15 blue cochu tetras, 8 cheery barbs, 8 glowlight danios, 2 red lizard tails cats, 1 honey gourami, 1 peacock gudgeon, 6 bronze corys. I am not running any crushed coral, I have some driftwood in there too. My substrate is innate. The tank has been running for a year already. I would assume that it would get more acidic. Can anyone think of a possible cause? The only other thing I can think of is the rocks I am using. They were rocks I picked up from a Home Depot. I tested them with vinegar but I didn’t see any bubbles. Other than the rocks is there any other explanation for the ph increase?
  5. So I’m finally getting a tank started for the first time, I was originally going to do a 20 long but since I want a decent variety of fish I decided to go for a 40 breeder instead. I’ve also been researching on YouTube for over a year now (mainly getting info from Aquarium Co-op, Primetime Aquatics, Girl Talks Fish, and MD Fish Tanks). I’m wanting to keep a betta as the centerpiece, rummynose tetras, some kind of live bearer (I’m leaning heavily towards Endlers), either ottos or plecos, and cherry shrimp. I know bettas can sometimes eat shrimp so I’m going to test it’s temperament with a couple of cherries first before getting a bunch for a colony. Also this will be a heavily planted tank (got about $200 worth of plants in my cart on Aquarium Co-op’s website 😅) and I plan on feeding high quality food. In Arizona we have really, really hard water and high PH. I’ve seen it range from 7.6 to 8.2 depending on the city (I don’t know numbers for hardness, I haven’t gotten my test kit in yet). I know I can cut the tap water with RO/distilled water to lower PH/hardness, but I recently saw a video from Prime Time Aquatics where Jason said he’s successfully kept bettas and shrimp in his tap water, which is pretty close to what I have here. In the video he says that keeping stable parameters is a little more important than matching the exact parameters of the fish you’re keeping. So, finally to my question lol. Has anyone here kept bettas or shrimp successfully in harder water with a high PH? If so, did you end up cutting your water, or did you leave it just as it comes out of the tap, and did you notice any issues with the health of the fish or shrimp?
  6. I'm not one to chase numbers, and everything is going good in my tank. But, in what ways can I lower my Nitrates? They're consistently 40ppm on a weekly basis. API Master Test Kit is used. I have a 10g planted tank. Plants include: Anubias Nana Petite, Crypt Wendtii Green, Crypt Parva, Rosette Sword, Bacopa Caroliniana, Anubias Frazeri, Crypt Lutea, Banana Plant, Ammania Gracilias, Pogostemon Stellatus Octopus, Dwarf Aquarium Lily. Livestock: 5 Chili Rasboras, 7 Ember Tetras, 3 Kubotai Rasboras Inverts: 1 Nerite snail, 2 Blue Velvet Shrimp I do weekly water changes. I rinse out my AquaClear 30 every water change, I squeeze out the sponge in tank water, and change out the filter floss. My GE T8 4100k Florescent is on a 7 hour light cycle - on a timer.
  7. My Tank home of two juvenile Fancy Goldfish, Two months old , I thought I was cycled 😥well a newbie mistake so I’ve been performing water changes after water changes determined to keep my guys safe . So here are my results as of tonight. What are your thoughts.
  8. It just occurred to me that we should create a thread that lists our water parameters that we have different fish breeding at; so if someone is struggling, they can use this as a reference to see if they have something very far out of what we are having good luck with. For anyone that would like to contribute, just put your type of fish, along with basic water parameters. Heck we might learn that fish aren't nearly as picky as we thought! I'll post some of mine this evening, but this is not to say that if you're breeding many types of fish that you have to list them all, just maybe a few that were a bit tougher for you! Thanks!
  9. I've been in the hobby for at least a year and I've had a horrible experience with my tap water. The water is incredibly hard, over 300 ppm. I spent quite a bit of time early on chasing ph. I've had probably 30-40 guppies die off over the course of 6 months and just chalked them up to weak genetics until I brought in a some cory cats and a few common plecos to grown out for our turtle pond. None of the plecos survived (bought one at a time) and I lost a few corys. After that I stopped blaming the guppies and started blaming my water. Something had to be wrong with the water. It's not the fish, can't be after this many right? Now some of this could have been from the tank not being cycled but were talking months into it and I just can't help but think water hardness as I regularly find sediment in our shower heads and sink faucets. Fast forward to now days. I have what almost even I would consider to many tanks and hundreds of guppy fry from the pair of "indestructible" guppies. I keep 3 different type of pleco, a couple bichir, cherry shrimp, neons, cherry barbs, multiple species of cory, angels, goldeneye dwarf cichlid and I'm sure I'm forgetting something. I setup my rodi unit 6 weeks ago and have been experimenting with creating my own water. I tried just cutting it but the hardness and ph just shoot through the roof when I add it to the tank. So I bought the seachem buffers and equilibrium. I've made about 100 gallons using this stuff in batches of 20gal at a time without any accuracy. The directions of how to use these are either just that confusing or they just aren't there. I read them over and over and watch all the videos available. I still cannot understand how this is supposed to work. If anyone has any advice on how to use these products I would greatly appreciate a recipe for how they make their water. 5g,10g, 20g however you make it. I plan to buy a 55gal drum once I figure this out so any help is greatly appreciated!
  10. Hey nerm fam! So I'm wanting to buy this set of Betta macrostoma juveniles. Problem is, they're bread and raised in soft water. I live in Florida so my water is very hard. I'm hoping not to chase parameters so how can I get them acclimated to my hard water without killing 200 dollars worth of fish??? Wanna figure it out before they get here. help!!!!
  11. So I posted about this earlier and I was offered great advice for typical situations, but I have several tanks and this is out of my typical. My pH is usually around 7 ish, but no kH, so I tend to add crushed coral to my substrate. So an extremely high pH is way out of my normal. I never really understood the actual chemistry, but I get where my water parameters should be... Expect now I'm clueless and need real help. I made a daphnia set up. It's got way too much light, aquarium gravel, some guppy grass, some CC and like 6 guppy fry. I think I attached a photo. Yeah, the bottom is kinda gross...I want to save any eggs....but I haven't fed yeast....no detritus worms. pH is off the chart. Ammonia, Nitrate, Nitrite are O. kH was about 40. I tried a 25% water change....(it rains in ponds) and the kH dropped out, pH didn't budge, but honestly, it could be so high that a drop is still higher than measurable. Crushed Coral could never raise pH that high....so what could raise pH that high? Thanks. Yes, one is a tetra strips, one is the Co-op strip.
  12. I followed Select Aquatics instructions to the letter for 2 days of treatment to my 55 gal tank. That was Sat & Sun. The water turned quite cloudy yesterday. Today I tested the water & got some really weird readings. Last TH, pre-treatment vs Today's numbers: Ammonia - .25 / 1.0 NO3 - 60 / 10 NO2 - 0 / 0 Kh - 40 / 100 pH - 6.8 / 7.0 Does that usually happen after this treatment?
  13. Hi! I'm here b/c I'm about at my wit's end trying to figure out what is going wrong with my water and how to fix it. I have a 5g betta tank that I cycled, and has now been home to a betta for about 3 weeks. Starting last week I began to see a rise, and then drop in my tank's Ph, and ever since then things have been off -- now as of two days ago the betta is stressed and his fins all clamped up. When I added the betta, the tank's parameters were averaging: Ph 6.8-7, Ammonia 0, Nitrite 0, Nitrate 5 Initially things looked stable and fine. But a couple weeks ago the Ph went up inexplicably to about 7.2, so I added a small Indian almond leaf. Then last week the Ph dropped suddenly to just below 6.6, and I intervened by doing a water change. Since then, the Ph has been unstable. I got a KH/GH test kit to determine water hardness, and after testing the tank water I got KH 1 and GH 3. I figured there is my problem, my water is very soft. I tested the tap water to compare to my tank water, and the KH was over 15 (I stopped there b/c it was getting tedious), and the GH was 4. Then I tested my reserved water change water: KH 1, GH3. Why is the KH dropping so low when I add my water conditioner? I've also been struggling with low ammonia and nitrite readings that range from 0-.5 since the Ph crash, and rising nitrates that got up to about 30-40 ppm. I figured my cycle must have been disrupted a bit by the Ph crash, so I've been dealing with that as well by doing 30% water changes daily or every other day, and using Prime. Yesterday (Saturday) I added some aquarium salt for my little buddy b/c he he began to show signs of stress/illness on Friday, and I also added a small piece of cuttlebone to the tank. I checked the parameters before going to bed last night. They were as follows: Ph 6.8, Ammonia 0, Nitrite 0, Nitrate 20 This morning I tested again and those readings were as follows: Ph 7.6 (!), Ammonia .25, Nitrite .25, Nitrate 20 ppm. Tested KH and that was still at 1 So here I am now. I just tested again and my tank's parameters have stabilized as follows: Ph 6.8, Ammonia 0, Nitrite 0, Nitrate 10-20. My KH is still terribly low at 1. Unless I am missing something, it seems to me the low KH is at the heart of my problems. I'm baffled by why my KH is so low, and when I use a buffer to try to increase it I get higher Ph but the Kh remains the same. Also baffling is the fact that my tap water has such a high KH, but when I add water conditioner to it, the Kh drops to 1. I'm struggling trying to figure this out and am hopeful someone might be able to help. My betta is clearly stressed by these swings by now and I want to get my Kh and Ph stabilized so he can recover.
  14. I have a 3.5 gallon tank i'm currently cycling that will be planted and I hope to get 10 or so shrimp for a shrimp only tank. I've been fish keeping for over a year but never any shrimp. My tap water parameters are Ammonia .25-.5ppm nitrite 0ppm nitrate 0 ppm pH 07.2-7.4 GH 125-150ppm KH 120ppm temp 74-72 (no heater) I would love a blue variety shrimp, but which shrimp species will thrive given my parameters? The only chemicals I use is seachem prime for water changes. I am using a sponge filter rated for 20 gallons for filtration. I have a gravel substrate, capped with about 1 inch of sand, plus a handful of small stones (quarter size). Any advice about best shrimp species, foods, or other shrimp specific info is welcome!
  15. My tapwater has a GH a 5.6 dh my tank water has a GH of 5.6 dh my tap water has a KH of 2.4 dh my tank water has a KH of 2.4 dh my tap has a ph of 8.2 my tank has a ph of 7.4 maybe a little lower why is this? I do have driftwood and catappa bark is that why? Also should I add a mineral supplement for my low KH?
  16. I’m new so hi everyone, I’m trying to set up a 125 gal discus planted tank . My ph is good and it seems like everything else in going good but hardness is in the 700s not sure what to do. I don’t have the Discus yet I’m waiting to get my water right. Can anyone help? Thanks
  17. Well, after my tilapia nightmare a while back I have left my big tanks full of water and daphnia and some guppy grass to really get all that stuff balanced out. They are outside (tucson arizona), so it does save me a bill this winter for heating all that. From the water come the alge, from the alge come the daphnia, and from the daphnia come the guppies. Well, food chain wise. In plans for the spring i put a 3 something gallon tank on my office desk to breed out guppies and start the fish cycle over again. -- Today I saw little fry swimming around. While I have added guppies to water before and saw more appear, this is the first "up close" experience I have had with the tiniest of fry. I can see why grown guppies would see these fry guys as delicious marshmallows. Hopefully the fry that learn how to hide in some guppy grass will be the strong ones. Currently have a 3.something gallon tank on my desk. It has duckweed and waterlettuce of some variety on top. Guppy grass for low-mid covering, and hydroton (superheated clay pellets) as substrate. Mainly it was a "grab whats in the garden, add water and guppies, mix in daphnia daily" tank. So far the results are pretty good, with some screw ups along the way. Mainly the thing i overlooked coming into a smaller tank environment was that the ph 'style' changes. Outside I will get sometimes even as much as a 1.5 ph swing between dawn and sunset. But the PH in a smaller tank has a harder time 'swinging' back up (less acidic) I think. Some guppies started swimming funny, so I got the test strips out. I had gotten some neat $3 guppies from petsm--err, "not LFS" to make sure I wasn't going to add to potential tragedy by having paid shipping on them if they die. Well, they died. But they taught me that a good pinch of baking soda will help the tank in a few ways, and provide near instant relief for guppies getting "burnt" by people who let their PH get to 6 before they notice the guppies don't look right. I didn't want to just dump a clump of baking soda in there, as crazy ph swings are bad, but i did put in 2gsp (good sized pinches) of baking soda every 12-18 hours or so. This was actually probably more than i should have, but i noticed if i put it in slowly enough for the 'baking soda water' to form on one side, the fish all immediately swam toward it to be in it. So i think there is some truth to the idea of 'it helps'. I had to do this over the next few days, as the ph would come back up to 6 almost daily. Nothing else looked out of place on the test strip, only ph seemed to be stubborn. More daily doses of baking soda. the PH leveled out after about 5 days of this, stays at about 7.4 now, and has a "tiny swing" between morning and night. So, whew, water safety achieved. Id like it to be lower, around 8.2ish as this is better for a few reasons i have planned... I ordered from some place online Dwarf Baby Tears - to carpet the hydroton 2 Marimo Moss balls -- to be furniture on the carpet Wondershell -- because I believe in wonder Easy fry and small fish food, in a convenient squeeze bottle - just in case my fry are more hungry than I anticipate Easy green 'all in one' fertilizer - because I'm sure the plants will need a squirt or two, right now i detect no nitrates. 😕 I can at least go catch "the best" guppies and throw them in this tank to preserve their looks over time. The err, 'fancy breeder box' i guess it is. I put extra daphnia in the tank when i noticed fry. Just to minify their chances of getting eaten. I believe that the guppies do need to eat "some" of the fry as the natural process would allow, but I don't know enough about ethics from the perspective of a fish to know what I am talking about there really. Best I can do is say "they seem to do that" and allow it. I don't want them all to be gobbled up! With the carpeting plant and midrange plants and top floaters I hope that its a good combination for stability. Pictures attached of the tank as it is now. If its not a disaster I will upload it when it gets planted, and when it stabilizes.
  18. Hello everyone, I am very new to fish keeping and I recently cycled my 20 gallon tank about a week ago. on December 24th I added a few live plants and the next day my tests are showing 0.50 ammonia and 0.25 nitrite. I am wondering if me stirring up all the gravel and substrate in my tank caused the bacteria to go out of wack as my tank is now cloudy. If anyone has any ideas on what the cause could be that would be great!!
  19. Hi all, So I'd had a tank on my desk for roughly 21 months, and it contained Seiryu Stones as part of the hardscape. Now some may already know that Seiryu is known for its water altering property, and I figured to share a little bit of my experience so far. Moreover, I'm also interested in hearing everyone else's experience of playing with Seiryu! Thanks in advance for anyone willing to read through all this. Here is my tank specs along with water parameter RIGHT OUT OF tap. Tested with API Master Kit + Tetra Strips Standard US 5 gallon 7.4 pH Ammonia, Nitrite, Nitrate: all 0 ~300 ppm GH 100-150 ppm KH Inert gravel substrate with Lava Rock main hardscape, with a small handful of nano Seiryu Stone for accent. Planted with Myrio Green, Water Sprite, and Japan Clover So yeah, my water is literally liquid rock, but pH is not bad at all I think. This tank had been a solo betta tank. I did quite minimal water changes; if water test showed 0 for ammonia and nitrite, I just top it off unless nitrate went crazy. When my betta hit 2-year, it suddenly passed over weekend with no signs of sickness, so I did a water test to try find a root cause. A little confession, I had been neglecting pH test for a long time (shame on me). When I did test, I only used regular pH bottle (APT Master Kit), not the High pH one, this will be important. All parameters were normal, except for pH, which I read as 7.8 (deep blue per regular pH test). 7.8 wasn't too bad I thought, and boy was I wrong. Pull out the High pH bottle and the pH was a whooping 8.6! While I do believe in stable > perfect parameters, I'm pretty sure my betta did not come from Lake Tanganyika. Full test results from tank: 8.6 pH Ammonia, Nitrite, Nitrate: 0, 0, 20 ~300 ppm GH (could be more, strip can't test any higher) 100-150 ppm KH Since I have inert substrate, have pH 7.4 tap, and don't add anything in my water besides Easy Green, I narrowed my suspicion to my hardscape rocks leaching. Since Lava Rock is inert, it had to be the Seiryu Stones. Soaked one stone in distilled vinegar, yup it fizzed right away alright. Since Seiryu is a type of limestone, which is composed of mostly calcium carbonate, quick Google search revealed that calcium carbonate dissolving in water can reach pH equilibrium about mid-8, sometimes even around 9 or more. So that's my experience working with Seiryu Stone. Not saying it's "bad," just that I don't believe it was serving well for my case. I plan on getting some Ohko Stones instead (nice looking and also inert) and completely redo the tank. Maybe can trade-in the Seiryu in my LFS, who knows. How is everyone else's experience with Seiryu Stone?
  20. Is it normal to have 40ppm KH and 120ppm GH with pH around 6.8-7.2?? I have a concentrated liquid calcium bottle that I am planning to try if it is an effective way to increase the KH. I think my pH reading is wrong and so any suggestion on the the use of liquid calcium or on how to increase KH?
  21. Hi, I set up three nano tanks last Wednesday and everything seems to be going really well. My plants are all growing nicely.. lots of new leaves and dangly root sprouts. My two hitchhiker snails are about 300x bigger than when I found them. I have the tetra 6in1 dip tests for now. I decided to test my water every 3 days to see what's going on with it. I keep reading about the cycle.. I'm just not sure what's going on at the moment! I'm collecting my data and making a spreadsheet. Things got even more confusing when I downloaded the app and it gave me different readings. So now I have two spreadsheets.. one by eye, and one by the app. Which one should I trust? I know already I don't trust the KH on the app.. the colour my camera captured was nothing like I saw on the strip! Which also kept changing before my eyes. If anyone could look at my numbers and explain to me what's going on I'd be super grateful ☺️ also, if there's anything I could do to improve my setup. Also.. any idea how the app gave me a co2 reading? Thank you so much
  22. Is it normal for GH to drop by 1 degree each day in a relatively heavily planted tank...? I have Fluval Stratum Shrimp substrate but I thought it only would affect KH. Current stock is only one nerite snail but I’m hoping to get blue velvet shrimp and sparkling gourami (and potentially some pygmy corydoras depending on how stocking the former goes). I did one dose of Salty Shrimp GH/KH+ the day before yesterday and it boosted GH from 2 to 5 (KH dropped by 1). But today my GH is back down to 2... I’m more concerned about my GH since 2 is pretty low for snails/neos... My KH tends to drop slowly but I can keep it at around 6 or 7 with crushed coral. The crushed coral seems to only affect my pH and KH, unfortunately... I just ordered NilocG GH booster but wasn’t sure if needing to add that or Salty Shrimp on such a regular basis would create too much salt build up. My tap water GH is 4 and KH is 2. My tank has been running for a week and a half. It’s 10 gallons. Water parameters other than GH and KH have been stable: ph 7.4, ammonia 0, nitrite 0, nitrate 5 (I reached 0 ammonia a couple days ago). I add two pinches of ground up fish food twice a day for ammonia. Thanks!
  23. I recently started up in the fish hobby and I have had my freshwater talk for about 6ish months. All my fish have been healthy as well as the tank. I noticed a week or so ago some of the fish were hanging out near the top. l didn't notice anything else wrong with them and water parameters were fine.. First thing that came to mind was low oxygen, so I did a partial water change and added an airstone. Then here recently I noticed the fins all all my fish appeared to be damaged. I later found it to be most likely fin rot. I have no medicine on hand and unfortunately, I think its too far gone. Anyway, if these other fish do end up dying or they survive and are well, is there anything I need to do to the tank to prepare it for new fish?
  24. I have an issue with my tendentious where shaking the nitrate bottle just isn't feasible for me, I will suffer all week with pain in my arm now from it. I actually went to test strips for a long time, now I'm finally out and down just to my master test kit, which I really want to use, but I can't seem to get myself to as it is self-inflicted pain. I'm really looking for suggestions here. I'm watching my nitrates a lot as I have a lot of newly established tanks, and I need to keep an eye on it to make sure I get the right water change schedule and volume going right. Any suggestions? Should I just give up and deal with test strips (I know they aren't as accurate, but I just don't know what else to do - and tbh, I've not noticed that much of a difference in them when I compare the liquid kit).
  25. I've been watching my water parameters to try and do water changes when it's necessary not when I "feel" like I should. My question is, would cleaning the HOBs even when the water parameters look good, help keep the parameters stable longer?
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