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Old 05-09-2013, 01:39 PM   #1 
TurtleBarb
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Flourish compatible with Betta Spa? Also, pH?

Hi, I'm new to this forum, but not to fish or bettas. I am returning to the hobby after a 10 year break, and am delighted to find a betta forum. :)

Here are my 3 questions in case you want to skip the detailed background that follows:
1) Can I use both Atison's Betta Spa and Seachem's Flourish Comprehensive Supplement in my 3 gallon tank? I have one Anubias nana about the size of a baseball. I'm concerned using both might be too much, and I was wondering if anyone knew if Betta Spa + fish waste would be enough fertilizer that I wouldn't need to add Flourish.
2) Does Flourish mess with pH? The pH in the tank with Betta Spa is barely acceptable at 7.4. Makes me nervous.
3) Any suggestions about how to lower that pH without affecting hardness? The hardness is in a good range for a betta (KH 5; GH 107.4). The pH concerns me.

Here's the detailed background info:
I'm preparing my Fluval Spec III aquarium system for the arrival of a betta. I have to use bottled spring water because we have well water here, and the water softening treatment doesn't work properly. I won't even drink the water without running it through a Pur pitcher. I used the API Master test kit to compare the pH, KH and GH of the spring water by itself, and then again after adding Atison's Betta Spa.
The spring water's chemistry is:
pH:6.8-7.0
KH: 2
GH: 71.6

After adding Betta Spa:
pH: 7.4
KH: 5
GH: 107.4

Habitat info:
Fluval Spec III 3 gallon tank with filter (valve-lowered flow), LED overhead light on timer, lid, heater. Temperature 79. Substrate: fine gravel/sand mix. Decos: medium silk plant, live Anubias nana, bridge for fish to swim under, betta hammock.


Thank you,
Barb
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Old 05-12-2013, 08:08 PM   #2 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TurtleBarb View Post
1) Can I use both Atison's Betta Spa and Seachem's Flourish Comprehensive Supplement in my 3 gallon tank? I have one Anubias nana about the size of a baseball. I'm concerned using both might be too much, and I was wondering if anyone knew if Betta Spa + fish waste would be enough fertilizer that I wouldn't need to add Flourish.
I answered my own question by just doing it. After all, I don't have a fish in the tank yet. I added 1/4 of the indicated Flourish dose last night. This morning I woke up to strings of what looked like white mucous throughout the tank, and more green slime on my Anubias (which is getting more holes in it). I presume it's cyanobacteria, which exploded after I overdosed nutrients by adding Flourish.

I did a 40% water change. I'll do another change tomorrow. I'll also turn the light off until fishy arrives later this week, and will reduce the photoperiod from 12h to 10h when I turn it back on. And I turned up the water flow a little. It was down very, very low. The strings were hardly moving at all. I basically created a eutrophic system where cyanobacteria thrive. Most strings have disappeared now, probably into the filter. After fishy arrives, if the cyanobacteria are still there, I may treat the tank with Maracyn. I'm also considering getting the Fluval 13W full spectrum bulb. Cyanobacteria and algae flourish on lower wavelengths, and I'm not sure what the wavelengths of the stock LED light are.

Long story short, it looks like Flourish + Betta Spa are probably too heavy a nutrient load, at least for my new system with one Anubias nana.
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Old 05-12-2013, 08:34 PM   #3 
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Your Ph is fine I know they give specific numbers for a species of fish,but all fish can tolerate a full point higher or lower and more depending on the fish, the number they give for Ph is usually for spawning, and to lower the Ph you will need to add acid basically that will have to eat up the buffer first (kh) you could rebuffer it once you get it down but yeah messing with the Ph is not something you should do without a really good understanding of chemistry, if you want to lower Ph is best to just change your water source or to go with a RO system (reverse osmosis) or you can mix distilled water to lower it as well distilled is usually slightly acidic but it will have to eat through the buffer again but will slightly lower the Ph the next choice is to add peat moss to your filter for a natural solution as well as a piece of driftwood in the tank can help, but again your Ph is just fine I would not mess with it at all there is no need to, the old saying comes to mind "don't fix what is not broken"
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Old 05-12-2013, 08:55 PM   #4 
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Thanks, Stone. I agree. I'm not going to mess with it. I've actually had quite a few chemistry courses, but I'm having trouble remembering any of it a decade later. Use it or lose it. I'm going to keep life simple by leaving pH alone. The Betta Spa does a little, and I plan to switch to IAL when they arrive in a few weeks.
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Old 05-13-2013, 01:26 AM   #5 
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IAL will drop the ph a bit too but slowly over time, thats the other thing you would have to adjust the ph before you put it in the tank with the fish, it is a real headache
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Old 05-13-2013, 01:17 PM   #6 
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Thanks, Stone. The things you said were enough to begin to jog my memory about buffering capacity.
Since the Betta Spa raises the KH of the spring water from 2 to 5, that means it increases its buffering capacity. I like that. Plus it's supposed to confer some health benefits. And I can use a measured dose of it for consistency. So I'll stick with the Betta Spa, and stay away from IAL for now.
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