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Water parameters ??? Establishing a new tank


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I am currently running a new tank. 1st day filled 40 gallon breeder tank, with my tap water used dechorinator.  Added a brand new sponge filter with an air stone. I tested water parameters to see what baseline would be. Ph 8.0, KH 12 degrees, GH 13 Degrees. Rechecked at 48 hours to check parameters after gassing off. ph 8.2, KH 1 degree, GH 13 degree.  I added some fish food until I have 2.0 ammonia, added fritz zyme 7 (16 oz) for the 40 gallon tank. I will be keeping Axolotls in this tank in the future. waiting for my hob tidal 55 to get here to help run the tank. i will be modifying the filter to meet the axolotls slower flow needs. I noticed over the week the ammonia hasn't increased or decreased. steady at 2.0. I added some plants java fern and java moss,and hornwort.  

I have concerns with my kh being so low as i have read that kh acts as your stability to ph as an on going system, I also need to bring my ph down some for the axolotls to be happy, down to at least 7.6. 

what are the best ways short and long term to help fix my water situation? I dont have a local knowledgable fish store to assist me. I guess I need to lower ph and then raise my kh without increasing my ph. Any and all suggestions are welcomed, then throughly research those ideas before implementing. Thank you all in advanced!

Have a beautiful day!

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Hi 🙂 I will let others speak to the cycling process, this takes time, there are lots of helpful youtube videos on it that Aquarium Coop puts out and others- if you haven't watched those- watch them. There is no set time on cycling for example cycling takes X amount of days. Every experience is different.

One thing that's hard to learn in this hobby is that you need a whole lot of PATIENCE. Understand that in some cases you may not want to add your living inhabitants until MONTHS after you've started your tank for the best chance of success. 

As to your ph. You do NOT want to get caught in the endless cycle of having to add chemicals or processes to maintain a ph, forget about those ph up or down products on the market- they are ok for emergency situations but NOT good for long term use. 

So all that being said what you want to do is make sure you  have a safe, stable established home for your Axolotis before putting them in there. Caveat here is I keep fish on the higher ph side (my tanks can run from 6.8 to 7.6 generally). 

Some things to consider adding to your tank: Driftwood, leaves. Provided these are safe for the species you plan on keeping (so do your research) but things like driftwood and leaves like Cappata, Oak, Almond leaves are all natural and more stable ways of lowering ph. Driftwood generally lasts longer, leaves you will have to keep adding and sometimes removing, you may want to do both. This will color your water with tanins (looks like tea) and some people do not like this look but it's good for your inhabitants and it can be lightened by water changes. There are also things like peat moss some add to do this as well. 

Especially if you don't like the idea of tannins- the other thing you may have to look into is your water source. You may not be able to use your tap water if the Axolitis truly could not live in your water conditions. You may need to buy from another source OR invest in a reverse osmosis system (that I can't speak to at all but there are others who can). There are lots of keepers here that keep fish that require lower ph (like Discus). 

Sometimes we come to the conclusion in the end that maybe the species we really would like to have couldn't really flourish in our conditions or under the parameters we are willing to maintain or can financially maintain and we have to change our course- that's always a possibility in our hobby. 

Edited by xXInkedPhoenixX
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As a little tip or tick, you could ask your local pet store (big chain or not, doesn't matter, they just need to sell aquatic plants) when their next delivery of plants are. You can ask them for the rock moss that they come in (they usually throw it away) or you could just slip them 5 bucks. And bam, you now have a starting source of beneficial bacteria for your new aquarium. Or just ask someone that you know for their dirty filter pad lol, dealer's choice. 

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