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Getting Tank Ready for New stock, need advice on brown algae, worms, PH


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Alright all.  Basics, planted 5 gal tank, stratum substrate with only 2 assassin snails right now.  Nitrites, Nitrates, Amonia all at 0.  PH however is around 6.5/6.8.  

Have some issue with brown Algae and detrius worms (due to some free plants, oops).  

My question is, do I mess around with trying to get rid of algae/Pests and bringing up the PH if it could throw off everything else?  Any tips on dealing with any of the out of balance issues?

Sock Question.  The tanks is on a counter where the cat can sit next to it (its well secured, with a good top).  We are interested in getting either a Pea Puffer or 3 fancy guppies.  Is there one over the other that has lower anxiety level.  :).  

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The tank in its current arrangement has been cycling since Christmas eve. We rehomed our only fish before that and I did a complete clean out then.  The brown algae is fluffy in some places, and will wipe off the glass pretty easily.  I will need to change the PH for a Pea Puffer or guppies though right?

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  • 3 weeks later...

According to the ACO care guide for pea puffers: "In terms of other tank parameters, people have kept them at pH levels of 6.5 to 8.4. A pH range between 7.2 to 7.5 is ideal, but it’s more important to keep the pH levels stable rather than aim for a specific number."


According to the ACO care guide for guppies: "Like many livebearers, guppies enjoy pH levels at 7.0 or greater. They also like hard water with good amounts of calcium, magnesium, and other essential minerals. If you live off well water with high pH, you’re going to become one of the best guppy breeders ever. However, if your water is naturally soft, add Wonder Shell to your aquarium, and it will help raise your water hardness and add minerals to the tank."


Anyway, 6.5-6.8 is already pretty close to neutral. You could put a little crushed coral in your substrate (or filter*) to raise the KH** but it's probably not necessary.

*Crushed coral will dissolve faster in a filter than in a substrate, all else being equal.

** Do you know your KH?

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On 2/27/2023 at 9:18 AM, Nora said:

I do not know my KH, do you have a preferred testing brand for KH?  


I use Aquarium CoOp Test strips for routine testing and from time to time check it with an API liquid kit. 

I think either are within a reasonable margin of error to get your baseline and then measure how it deviates from there. 

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