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Go Back   Tropical Fish Forum . Net > General Aquarium Care > Water Quality and Algae

Water Quality and Algae Questions and comments about water quality.

 
 
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  #1  
Old 03-21-2007, 09:40 PM
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jon2far jon2far is offline
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Location: Canada
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Default Water conditioners

I have a 25gl rubbermaid container which I brew my water in.

I put in
#1 water conditioner (aqua plus)
#2 setup maintance (rapidly matures,reduces ammonia and nitrates)
#3 waste/algea breakdown (competes for food source,breakdown of fecal)
#4 plant gro npk (plant food)

So I kinda think I may be combating myself at this point.

I let water sit for several days first (adding chemical on day 1.)

What should I do? alternatives!!!

Also I have added some driftwood and the water is cloudy brown.
How bad is this for my fish? Should I over kill on water changes or change more at one time?or?

Thanks again Guys
  #2  
Old 03-22-2007, 03:44 PM
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Gillian Gillian is offline
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Default Re: Water conditioners

Regarding the cloudy brown water, I would say this is caused by your driftwood. Did it happen after you added the driftwood? Did you buy the driftwood or pick it up outside? It is likely releasing tannins into the water (some of which should be absorbed by active carbon in your filter, I think) which is not bad for the fish, it just looks bad! It's always a good idea to boil and soak a piece of driftwood for several days, or even a couple of weeks, until the water the water becomes clear. This would reduce the leaching of tannins into your tank water. If this is what you think it is, water changes will eventually get rid of it. If I were you I think I would take out the driftwood and start the boiling/soaking process, and do water changes during this process to get rid of the tannins already in the tank.
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  #3  
Old 03-22-2007, 10:32 PM
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LittleHippyGirl LittleHippyGirl is offline
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Default Re: Water conditioners

Hmm, I thought I already replied to this yesterday. Something must have happened to my post.

The brownish water is almost definately caused by the new driftwood. All new driftwood will do this, and if you follow Gillian's great advice, it should minimize the concentration of tannins. They aren't bad, and are actually helpful to some types of fish. There are a few concerns with driftwood though: 1) Sometimes stores sell rotting driftwood. This can cause a huge problem in the tank, and signs are extra soft wood, or wood that is chipping away(this happened to me) 2) Driftwood may lower, or even crash your pH if your kH is not high enough to effectively buffer against it. Lowering a little might be good depending on your current fish and pH, but if you haven't already, check your kH to be sure it is high enough to prevent a crash.

If you can't stand a little tannins, or your kH is too low, I would return it for resin driftwood instead. Natural driftwood is always prettiest, but Topfin's got some realistic sets of fake ones. I've got one of smallest one's in a planted tank in my member's photo section if you want to check it out


So you use the 25 gallon bin for aging water? How big is your tank(s), what kind of fish do you have, and is there a certain reason why you want to age it (like pH difference, sensitive fish, gH difference, ammonia/nitrite in tap, etc)? If there is nothing wrong with your water, most fish are okay with straight tap water, dechlorinated and heated up.

Also, you can probably cut down on the amount of chemicals you add. Prime water conditioner will dechlorinate, get rid of chemicals and metals, and detoxify ammonia, nitrite and nitrate. This product is highly concentrated and could take the place of #1 and #2. I'm not really sure about #3, but you may not need that and if there's an algaecide in it, it could be harmful. I don't know what it is, but it seems that if it were helpful, it would be better added directly to the tank. The ferts would be better added directly to the tank also.

A little hint if you don't know it already: aerating tap water will cut the aging time in half because it helps chlorine and other chemicals evaporate quicker.

Hope that helps
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  #4  
Old 03-23-2007, 11:10 AM
Bernie Bernie is offline
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Default Re: Water conditioners

I only use water conditioner in my tanks and occassionally use stress zyme when I change a filter cartridge - I also let the water stand (after adding wat.cond.) for a couple of days so the PH stabilises naturally.

I agree with Hippy and think that just a good water conditioner would be enough and I don't think you really need #2 unless the tank is cycling or the tank is overstocked/overfed. The #3 waste control breakdown is handy if you have large fish like Oscars etc. that produce large amounts of waste or have an overstocked tank, but otherwise you don't really need it in my opinion. (I mainly know of the waste control one that breaks down fecal matter, not algae).

I don't have live plants so I can't comment on fertiliser sorry, but do feel as well, that it would be better to add those chemicals straight into the tank otherwise they will loose effectiveness or die off because there isn't any waste etc. for them to attach onto or feed off.

Too many chemicals can often damage the equilibrium of bacteria/micro-organisms in the tank and can often irritate/harm fish. We are often made to feel negligent if we don't use all these chemicals on the market but it often is just a revenue making ploy and once a tank is fully stabilised nearly all chemicals aren't needed. Just my opinion of course.

Last edited by Bernie : 03-23-2007 at 12:00 PM.
  #5  
Old 03-24-2007, 05:48 AM
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jon2far jon2far is offline
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Default Re: Water conditioners

Well for the fish kribs,german rams,cory,neon
20gL tank (bigger in few months)

I kinda thought it was best to age water,I do mostly to allow water to warm and to get chemicals to water ratio exact.Its seems rather harsh to just pour n mix in the tank itself altho size may change this

I am considering changing to Aqua safe but i wonder if I need more then this?or what is your choice of product/s.

Also there is another product called "Easy balance" which reduces water changes and balance ph n such.What do you guys think of this stuff?

I put link I sure hope I dont get in trouble
www.tetra-fish.com/catalog/category.aspx?id=70

Also been seeing stuff about adding salt to fresh water tank? Is there a reason? I sure won't yet

Last edited by jon2far : 03-24-2007 at 06:00 AM.
  #6  
Old 03-25-2007, 01:42 AM
Bernie Bernie is offline
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Default Re: Water conditioners

The Size of the a tank doesn't really change anything in that regard - all new water added to a tank needs to be conditioned and best to let stand for a couple of days before adding it to the tank for the reasons we have mentioned. If you need to warm up the water before adding it, to make it closer to the water temp. in the tank, this is what I do, I sit my containers of water in a sink of hot water until they are as close to the tank temp. as possible and often using the finger test will tell you this - just place one finger in the tank and one in the container and you can tell if the temps. are similar.

We don't have Aqua Safe in Aust. I don't think, but we have Aqua Master and Aqua One & other brands (they seem to change the brand names in different countries) but all are very similar and do the same job basically. I have found that many wat.cond./wat.agers don't have an expiration date on them, although they supposedly do not loose effectiveness over time, a handy tip is to get a brand that does show an expiration date on it just to be on the safe side.

I honestly don't think you need any more chemicals than a water conditioner, you can use stress zyme (or something similar) to aid in cycling a tank or adding some after a water change if you want, and if you have live plants, a fertilizer. Most fish will also acclimatize very well to the PH level of tap water (which is usually around 7.4-7.6 but may be different in other countries, and depends on your specific water supplier in that area and what chemicals they use in it) so adjusting the PH with chemicals isn’t really needed either and stops any drastic fluctuations in PH which is far worse for the fish than a constant higher/lower PH, but it is still advisable to test the PH levels at least weekly – unless you want to specifically breed your fish, then it is best to keep it at the preferred levels for that specific species.

It sounds like you are still in search of that illusive self-sustaining tank Jon2far! Using “Easy Balance” (actually haven’t heard of it before – but you seem to get things first over there before Aust. does) may work well if it does what it says it can do, but I think it may be more for larger tanks and as it’s directions say, that a well oxygenated tank with maybe an extra air stone is needed, then I think it could possibly be harmful in a smaller tank and toxins would still build up I feel, and you would need to check all parameters/levels regularly. I still think regular water changes are still the best/safest way to go. Having a tank without doing water changes for 6 months would also lead to algae problems I think.

I am curious as to why you seem so intent on trying to get out of doing it (I am truly not having a go at you ) I know it can be a bit time consuming – is that the only reason Jon2far?

Regarding Salt! You only need to add salt for medicinal purposes when you have ill fish. Freshwater fish do not need salt – some fish like Black Mollies/sailfin mollies/some cichlids do like a bit a salt but it is not necessary and particularly if they are in a community tank with other fish that don’t like it - it does help with spawning in these fish (I recommend they be in a species specific tank if you want to use salt for this reason) but if tank condition/good water quality is maintained they will probably breed without the addition of salt anyway. LittleHippyGirl gave good advice in another thread – (paraphrasing here) that the use of salt constantly in a tank is detrimental to fish and allows disease to become immune/resistant to salt and will no longer be effective in the treatment of illness.

The bottom line I guess is - Freshwater fish are just that freshwater and salt is not required!

I think I may have rambled on a bit - hope it helps though.
  #7  
Old 03-25-2007, 04:27 AM
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LittleHippyGirl LittleHippyGirl is offline
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Default Re: Water conditioners

Most of my tanks are smaller than yours, but I do something slightly different as far as aging goes. The main reason I age my water is becase the water company adds CO2, and that temporarilly lowers the pH of the tap by up to 1 point. I have 3 buckets for water changes: 2 clean buckets- 3 and 4 gallons, and 1 dirty bucket- 3 gallons.

*Depending on the size of tank, fill one or both of the clean buckets.
*Aerate for about 5 hours each, overnight if I'm feeling leisurely
*Adjust temperature of bucket water by microwaving cups of it at a time or by adding crushed ice
*Dechlorinate
*Syphon water out, add clean water back in
*Add plant ferts if I need them

Since I only have a 3 gallon dirty bucket, I clean my 29 gallon goldfish tank a bit differently. Since it isn't that high off the ground, I can't rely on the "self starting" attatchement of the syphon every time I start and stop. I only use the hosing, and I fill it up at the sink. Holding both ends shut, I bring it over to the tank, put one end in the aquarium and the other in the bucket and let go. The suction is much stronger, so I have this tank bare bottom (easier with goldfish anyway) and you really have to watch to make sure the fish don't get in the way. I age the first 7 gallons, then the following buckets are just aerated for a few minutes. They're tough little guys, they can handle it. Plus, many aquarists with large tanks use the automatic python, which directs water straight from the sink to the tank. I'm still a bit weary of it, but all those fish do fine
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