Hello everyone, I've been lurking on this site for some time and gobbled up tons of information about all aspects of keeping betta fish. I'd like to first say thank you for such a comprehensive collection of knowledge!
Next I want to say sorry for making yet another "I'm new and need help" thread. s:
Okay, here's some background information:
Today I got a 10gal tank complete with filter, thermometer, heater, light, timer. So far I've put substrate in (I want to have a planted tank :D), filled the tank with water, and given it a dose of Cycle and Aqua+. Everything's been running for several hours now, the temperature seems to be hanging around 82-84F (I realize that's a little high, I'm going to dial it down and try to get it to 80F). I haven't got anything else in it yet.
Here's my concern:
The substrate I got is Fluval Stratum, "substrate for shrimp aquariums" because I want to have shrimp, a betta, and live plants in this tank. As a result, the water is at a pH level of 5.5. My question is... should I fix it before adding plants, or will the plants fix it? If I should raise the pH before planting, how would I do that? Would baking soda be fine?
On an unrelated note - How does everyone dispose of their ammonia-test samples? >_> My Nutrafin test kit says it should be treated as hazardous waste, but a brief internet search brought up a forum post elsewhere saying washing it down the drain is fine. Personally, I'd rather collect it in a proper container and take it to my local waste disposal center, which is fortunately only 5 minutes away from my home. How about you?
Thanks for checking this thread! Here's a picture of my tank:
(The water's a lot clearer than that now :D Oh also I'm not going to use that Waste Control stuff. My friend's parents gave it to me along with samples of Cycle and Aqua+, and they keep goldfish and tetras so I guess they use it, but I asked an employee at my LPS and he advised against it for my tank. Can anyone confirm?)