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Loach i.d. needed

Byron

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Ok, just saw your post, i will return the clown, the shark and the angel, buy the 5 gal. For my betta and spend money on a test kit to find out water hardness. I have well water in western nc. I do have a large piece of wood in the tank, does that affect hardness of water?
I don't like to see members spending money for test kits they will only use once...can you not get the GH from your municipal water authority, on their website probably? Once you know the number, we're set.

Wood like all organics (fish excrement, uneaten food, dead plant leaves, dried leaves, peat, wood) has a tendency to soften water, but this is limited by the initial GH, the KH or Alkalinity, and the pH. Lowering pH goes along with lowering GH/KH.
 
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Bettabuddies

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And, return this little dude, too, since the fish store only had the one.
20171101_220852.jpg
 
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Bettabuddies

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Well, it will cost over $200 to have our well water tested. What have i gotten myself into? I just wanted a planted tank with pretty fish!
 

Byron

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Well, it will cost over $200 to have our well water tested. What have i gotten myself into? I just wanted a planted tank with pretty fish!
I didn't remember about the well...in that case, two options. The API liquid test for GH/KH is not that expensive, and it is reliable. I used it when I was doing a GH change weekly in two tanks. The other option is to use a local fish store; just make sure they give you the numbers for the test, not some vague meaningless term like "moderately hard" which can be almost anything.

And yes, the loach needs a group of friends, so he would be best returned.
 
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Bettabuddies

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Ok, i will get that test kit today, after doing some fishing for bottom feeders in a tall bowfront 40 gal tank.
 
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Bettabuddies

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Hmm, spent the $30+ on the api test kit, and it says the minimum ph it can read is 7.4. I had the lfs test the water and it was around 6.4 and was told we had soft water in our area. Which i guess is good since i have angelfish and dwarf guoramis. Probably not great for plants, but I will be adding fertilizers, once i get it figured out which to buy. I reintroduced the bully angel and now the one that was bullied is dominant, but they seem to be doing fine. There was a trace of ammonia from the lfs tested water, but could have been from the fish i returned, or the floramax i added to the tank. Still need to add sand to it, rinsing it more first. I have a hob filter on back, may add one on the other side. I will probably just add a school of cories and some more neon or cardinal tetras to bring the 5 up to 12. The 2 guoramis have been chasing each other but have enough hiding spots.
 

essjay

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Which test kit did you get? If it was the master kit, it should have 2 different pH testers, one for 6.0 to 7.6 and a high range pH for 7.6 to 8.8.

But the tester that Byron suggested was the GH and KH set which doesn't test pH at all. The LFS saying you have soft water isn't much help. You should have asked them for the number.
 
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Bettabuddies

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So, if i did it correctly, these are my readings ( my scout son was messing with a theremin he just built, sooo...yeah.)
Ph=6, amm=.50, trites=.50, trates=10.0
So, yeah, going to do a water change. But how many gallons of my 40 should i change?
 

essjay

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At least half. You need to get ammonia and nitrite as close to zero as possible. Wait half an hour after the water change to allow the new water to mix in and test again. Test every day and do a water change every time you see ammonia and nitrite above zero.
 
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Bettabuddies

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Ok, thankyou so much for all your help. My hubby will be glad to see he has another 20 gallons of water to take out of the livingroom when he gets home from his night job.
 
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Bettabuddies

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Hmm, i hope my new plants arent going to suffer by doing such a drastic water change. I think it is good to have at least 10 ppm nitrate for them. Any suggestions for the first fertilizer to buy for low tech java fern and moss, anubia, large amazon sword, anacharis, 2 other plants i dont know name of, and emergents of pothos, ivy, and bamboo? Just not sure where to start. I have l.e.d. lights, but not sure how strong. One has blue/ white, the other is just white. About 16" deep.
 

Byron

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Hmm, i hope my new plants arent going to suffer by doing such a drastic water change. I think it is good to have at least 10 ppm nitrate for them. Any suggestions for the first fertilizer to buy for low tech java fern and moss, anubia, large amazon sword, anacharis, 2 other plants i dont know name of, and emergents of pothos, ivy, and bamboo? Just not sure where to start. I have l.e.d. lights, but not sure how strong. One has blue/ white, the other is just white. About 16" deep.
You do not need nitrate for plants. Nitrate is toxic to fish (I won't get into all that here), but most aquarium plants and certainly those you mention prefer nitrogen as ammonium (ammonia) so they grab that rapidly. People with high-tech planted tanks that need intense lighting and increased nutrients to balance generally dose nitrate because ammonia is too dangerous especially with fish present. But plants only turn to nitrate if ammonia/ammonium is insufficient as it is easier to assimilate. Keeping nitrate as low as possible is best for fish; my tanks are fairly heavily stocked with fish so I can't keep nitrate at zero, but it remains between 0 and 5 ppm.

You may not need any fertilizer for the aquatic plants mentioned. Fish food and water changes provide nutrients. The accumulation of organics in the substrate, which generally should be left alone, are the prime source of CO2 and various nutrients. Having said that, if supplementation is needed, I use Seachem's Flourish Comprehensivee Supplement for the Planted Aquarium. I use about half what they recommend too; there is no benefit to overdosing fertilizers; aside from bothering the fish, you can get algae issues.
 
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Bettabuddies

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Wow, thanks. I tried researching this plant stuff, but you explained it much more clearly than what i have read elsewhere.
 
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