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Old 02-21-2013, 12:58 AM   #11 
Silverrealm
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The last of the info:
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Total Alkalinity (KH): This is a measure of how well your water can RESIST a change in pH. This is commonly called a "buffer system" in chemistry terms. This basically means that, if you were to add equal amounts of acid and base into a container (so pH 6 and pH 8), it is not necessarily true that the pH will end up in the middle (pH 7), as one may think. The buffer will help absorb some of the acid or base, causing the pH change to be uneven (perhaps pH of 6.8?) instead of appearing in the middle. This is one good reason why you should NOT purchase distilled water. Distilled water has a KH of zero, which means that almost anything you put into the water afterwards can change the pH suddenly and stress out your fish. Tap water that comes from your water plant has a buffer solution added into it before they send it to your house, and is therefore a much more ideal choice to use for fish keeping. How do I adjust my Alkalinity? I have not seen many products but I have seen some buffer solutions at some LFS that you can add to your water to increase or decrease your alkalinity.

This list covers most of the compounds that your most basic testing kit will cover. Other important compounds to consider are:

Chloramine: This is a combination of Chlorine and Ammonia. Chlorine is not very stable and tends to evaporate over time (which is why you also constantly have to add chlorine to a swimming pool). Recently, water companies have been adding Chloramine because it is more stable and is a more powerful killer of bacteria that will get you sick. Your basic water conditioner that removes chlorine is fine to use, however it only removes the chlorine part of chloramine...leaving only...ammonia. Which, as you know by now, is toxic! How do I get rid of Chloramine? There are water conditioners that DO remove chloramine, such as SeaChem Prime, will remove the chlorine and instantly detoxify the ammonia attached to it.


Phosphates: Presence of this compound plus sunlight causes algae to grow in your tank. Phosphates appear in your tank either through your tap water or from your fish food. How do I get rid of Phosphates? While there are chemicals to get rid of them, keeping up with your water changes is a much friendlier and convenient way of keeping phosphate levels down, as you have to change your water anyway. However, if you think your phosphate levels are high due to it being in your tap water, you may have no other choice other than to get chemicals for them, or live plants to use up the phosphates.

Fish per Gallon:
Kind of fish Inches / gallon cm / liter
Coldwater 1" / gallon 2.5cm / 4.55 liters
Tropical 1" / 0.5 gallon 2.5cm / 2.25 liters
Marine (reef) 1" / 4 gallon 2.5cm / 18 liters
Marine (Fish-only) 1" / 2 gallons 5cm / 9 liters
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Old 02-21-2013, 02:17 AM   #12 
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Any thoughts on Airstones and bubble wands for bettas and live plant tanks? I was always told not to use air pumps with live plants as it can throw off the oxygen / CO2 levels, and the plants don't do as well.
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Old 02-21-2013, 02:24 AM   #13 
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Because bettas have a labrynth organ, similarish to our lungs, they don't need an airstone or bubble wand to oxygenate the water; they get their oxygen from the water's surface. Also you heard correctly, the added oxygen does cause problems for live plants unless you have a CO2 setup for them. Honestly, though, if you're adding live plants, leave the bubbles out. You will get all the water movement you need from a filter and the plants provide lots of oxygen to the water in exchange for that waste and CO2.
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Old 02-21-2013, 11:30 AM   #14 
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You don't need to leave the water out for a week or even a day. Water conditioners work instantly. Seachem Prime is a the conditioner of choice and will last you a while as you only use two drops per gallon.

Last edited by Freyja; 02-21-2013 at 11:37 AM.
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Old 02-21-2013, 11:44 AM   #15 
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Originally Posted by Silverrealm View Post
Another question, sorry...

I found this thread: http://www.bettafish.com/showthread....fishless+cycle

And there is mention of tannins. I once had an additive a petstore gave me and it turned my water brownish. I kinda liked it, I dare say it was peat? How do bettas do in this kind of water and can I get that naturally with the use of plants/leaves?

Thanks!
You can use dried oak leaves or dried indian almond leaves (IAL). You can peruse the classifieds section here to see if members are selling or go on ebay, that is unless you live in a tropical island like me and can get them. Mind you if you use oak leaves they have to be dried naturally, not picking them green and then drying them. Bettas do fine in this water as it mirrors their natural environment.
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Old 02-21-2013, 12:33 PM   #16 
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My sorority's tankmates are a school of tetras (Neon and Glowline), Threeline Cories, Golden Loaches, and a Bristlenose Pleco. My experience with these so far is positive, though as your compilation noted, tetras are fast, and mine are NOT above cadging betta pellets. The bettas are also happy to hoover any floating mini-pellets, so its all good.

If you read all of that info, you are in a good if information overloaded place!
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Old 02-21-2013, 03:35 PM   #17 
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Originally Posted by Freyja View Post
You don't need to leave the water out for a week or even a day. Water conditioners work instantly. Seachem Prime is a the conditioner of choice and will last you a while as you only use two drops per gallon.
Thank you Freyja, I spoke with my LFS today and they recommend Prime as well. I do wonder if it has any effect on live plants? LFS claims no as it is all natural.
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Old 02-21-2013, 03:38 PM   #18 
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Also had a question about Marimo driftwood scapes. I am thinking of starting my tank out with marimo and live plants, and trying to get a drfitwood started. anyone had any luck? I found this snippet on my google searches
Quote:
They eventually anchor themselves.

One of the problems, is that if you want it to be a groundcover, it will be next to impossible to keep it on the ground.

Marimo balls are cladophora algae- very difficult to scrape off of glass.

True marimo will always grow in a ball form, no matter what you do.

common "fake" marimo (common cladophora algae rolled into a ball) are easy to unroll, but can become a problem.
My research tells me from marimoballs.com that the reason it forms in a ball is due to the free flowing motion in the lake environment.

If broken apart and the strands are affixed to an ornament (driftwood or rock) the algae will eventually adhere itself but will need to be affixed so it doesn't freeflow in the tank.

Anyone had success using Marimo as decoration instead of the freeflowing balls?
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Old 02-21-2013, 03:41 PM   #19 
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If you read all of that info, you are in a good if information overloaded place!
I have read it all, everything I posted I have spent the last few days compiling. I am getting a good idea of what I want in a tank. Now I am excited to get started.

First thing is first, I am going to reseal my silicone in the tank I have as some of it is torn, the tank is 15 years old and has been through many moves!
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Old 02-21-2013, 03:46 PM   #20 
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I did find some more info on Marimo balls. Seems there is conflicting opinions out there, but something I found helpful was the article at:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marimo
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