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Water Quality Questions Answered

brendonrookbrendonrook Member Posts: 86
edited August 2011 in Tropical / Freshwater Fish
Hopefully.

I have put this topic together to give everyone a basic idea of water quality parameters, and what recommended levels certain parameters should be kept at. By all means I am not a water chemist, but I do have a good knowledge of water chemistry since it is one of the main subjects of interest around my work place!.

pH
Everyone knows what pH is, but not many people understand what exactly makes up the term "pH". pH is the measure of Hydrogen ions within a water body. Due to Hydrogen being a temperature active element, we see that during the day our pH levels will rise slightly, and the reverse happens at night (even though our water temperature does not change much). The higher the concentration of Hydrogen ions, yep you guessed it, the higher or more alkaline the pH becomes. This is measured in increments of 10, which means that a pH of 8 is 10 times more alkaline than a pH of 7, and a pH of 9 is 100 times more alkaline than a pH of 7 and so on and so forth (known as a logarithmic scale). Whereas a pH of 6 is 10 times more acidic than a pH of 7 etc, etc.
    pH Levels for fish. General community fish - 6.8-7.4 South American fishes - 5.8-7.4 Livebearers - 7.2-7.8 Rift Lake & Central American cichlids 7.6-8.8 Marine - 8.1-8.6 Goldfish & Koi - 7.2-7.8[/list:u]
Carbonate Hardness (kH)
Carbonate Hardness often referred to as kH, is the measure of Carbonates and Bicarbonates in a water body. kH is important as it acts as a buffer for pH helping to stablise it from rapid rises and falls (it does this by bonding with the Hydrogen ions creating either a carbonate positive or bicarbonate negative hydrogen ion, don't quote me on this and if anyone does know the process of this please post it). Carbonate Hardness levels also will effect the pH, therefore a higher level of kH will mean a higher pH level and vice versa.
    kH Levels for fish General Community fish - 70-170ppm Goldfish & Koi - 125-200ppm Livebearers - 125-250ppm Rift Lake & Central American Cichlids 125-250ppm Marine - 125-250ppm[/list:u]
Hardness (gH)
Also known as German Degrees of Hardness (gDh), General Water Hardness (gH) is the measure of Magnesium and Calcium ions in a water body. This affects generally the bio culture and fauna of a water body. gH is important especially for invertebrates, as they need the calcium ions available in the water for proper development of their exoskeletons. And fish need these for proper development on their bones, scales, fins and some of their soft tissue. Magnesium is important for correct development of muscular structure, brain development and vital tissue such as internal organs, gills etc.
    gH Levels for fish General Community fish - 70-170ppm Goldfish & Koi - 125-250ppm Livebearers - 125-250ppm Rift Lake & Central American cichlids - 250-500ppm Marine - 500ppm +[/list:u]
Ammonia
Ammonia is the measure of NH3 and is the first bi-product of the nitrogen cycle. Ammonia is related to Ammonium NH4+, however most test only measure or register total ammonia. Ammonia is extremely toxic to all aquatic organisms and can kill fish and invertebrates at a level as low as 0.5ppm (parts per million). Essentially ammonia levels should be at 0 or less than 0.1 or 0.2ppm. Ammonia tends to be more toxic at higher pH levels, when it is present in the form of NH3. At lower pH levels (those lower then 7) ammonia tends to be replaced by ammonium (NH4+) which is not as toxic as ammonia (however even at low pH levels the ammonium level should be as close to zero as possible!).

Nitrite
Nitrite is the measure of NO2- and is the second bi-product of the nitrogen cycle. Nitrite is not as deadly as Ammonia but can still cause major problems even at relatively low levels (from 10ppm +). The recommended levels for Nitrite is between 0-5ppm. Nitrite gets broken down into Nitrate by nitrifying bacteria, which thrive in an aerobic (oxygen rich) environment (such as filters, surface layers of gravel, plants and other decor).

Nitrate
The final bi-product of the nitrogen cycle. Nitrate can be dangerous to fishes at levels higher than 40ppm, and can be dangerous to invertebrates at lower levels. Nitrate is a good indicator of when a water change is needed as levels above 20ppm will indicate the need of a water change. Nitrate gets broken down into Nitrogen gas by de-nitrifying bacteria, which thrive in an anaerobic (oxygen poor) environment (such as lower layers of gravel, under rocks and decor etc.). This gas is easily dissipated off into the atmosphere by general aeration and water movement. Nitrate tends to be more toxic in marine environments, or the organisms are more sensitive to nitrate in marine environments, therfore nitrate levels in marine systems should be kept as low as possible (below 20ppm).

There is a fantastic book available in relation to marine chemistry, written by Marine Scientists Chris Brightwell, the leading man behind the Brightwell Aquatics range of products. This book give an in-depth look at marine parameters. It's called Marine Chemistry so check you local retailers for the availability of this book, distributed by Aquasonic.

I hope this gives everyone a bit of an inside look at the parameters we sometimes take for granted. If any one wants to add anything please do.

Cheers

Comments

  • sthn75sthn75 Moderator Posts: 3,487
    Terrific write up brendonrook thumb.gifclap2-1.gif

    Thankyou for doing it... i'm sure it will help a lot of people understand it all a little better yes.gif

    I think i'll make this a "sticky" for easy reference thumb.gif
  • brendonrookbrendonrook Member Posts: 86
    Thanks sthn75!

    I will be doing a few more write ups like this one in the coming weeks/months (basically when I get enough time to do them) on various subjects. I am thinking of writing a book but at the moment posting on forums is enough for me <!-- s:D --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_biggrin.gif" alt=":D" title="Very Happy" /><!-- s:D -->

    So look out for my next posts!!

    Cheers brendonrook
  • SilverCichlidSilverCichlid Member Posts: 1,250
    Yeah I agree with Sthn ^

    Good write up happy0159.gif
  • MoooMooo Moderator Posts: 7,653
    This has to be a sticky,,Very well written , Even a silly Mooo like me can understand it <!-- s;) --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_wink.gif" alt=";)" title="Wink" /><!-- s;) -->
    Thanks so much Brendonrook.
    photo mooo_avat.gif "I'm a Doug Addict" photo cow2heartkisses.gif
  • sthn75sthn75 Moderator Posts: 3,487
    In regards to Ph & Kh, I'd just like to add....

    That i'd highly recommend people steer clear of using chemicals such as Ph up & Ph Down powders & Kh Powder to alter the ph or Kh of the tank water, from my experience they only lead to more trouble with fish problems than they are worth, due to them having to be constantly added on a very very regular basis and if they're not then the tank can suffer massive ph swings which can cause major fish health problems & even fish deaths.

    I'm currently using Crushed Coral in my filters to raise & maintain the Kh level of my tank water which in turn raises my Ph to an acceptable level (namely 6.8-7.0 for various tanks). It requires a little fiddling at first to get the right amount of crushed coral in the filters (adding it bit by bit over a week or two), but once it's at the right amount then the Kh & ph both remain stable & I can stop worrying about having to constantly monitor the ph levels.

    Same with a lowering a high ph... this can be done with Peat moss... using the same method as the crushed coral.
  • brendonrookbrendonrook Member Posts: 86
    Agree that the natural way is the best way.

    However, there are some good quality additives out there and, with proper dosing and regularity, do not cause any problems. Products such as Aquasonic's range, as well as Brightwell Aquatics and Kent Marine range's have been manufactured by extremely knowledgeable and experienced fish keepers, chemists and scientist. These products are best used by the manufactures recommendations.

    I still stick by my opening comment however, and that's to keep fish to the water you have locally and not keep water to the fish you have purchased. <!-- s:) --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_smile.gif" alt=":)" title="Smile" /><!-- s:) -->
  • SilverCichlidSilverCichlid Member Posts: 1,250
    I agree with Sthn.

    And just my experience to tell to those who already don't know but really should know.... <!-- s:wink: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_wink.gif" alt=":wink:" title="Wink" /><!-- s:wink: -->

    Many pH adjusters on the market have high amount of Phosphate in them (usually the cheaper ones, however, I have seen expensive ones with Phos in them, too!), be sure to read the label and steer clear of those that have got Phosphate in them! Nasty nasty products that shouldn't be sold IMO. Algae LOVES phosphate and thrives of it. And Phos is a real pain in the *%^$ to get rid of as well. I was oblivious till I knew this, I was literally adding pure Phos to my tank I use to have when I had to adjust the pH. The darn ALGAE was always a centre of attention, and always a conversation regarding it when we had visitors over (how embarrassing!!). Silly silly me.
  • fishyfishy Member Posts: 18
    Wow! Is that why when we have just added some PH up (Aqua One from local Aquarium shop) to tank the green/black beard algae has gone completely mad in tank? Is there a solution to get rid of it? Please help! <!-- s:oops: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_redface.gif" alt=":oops:" title="Embarassed" /><!-- s:oops: --> <!-- s:cry: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_cry.gif" alt=":cry:" title="Crying or Very sad" /><!-- s:cry: -->
  • MoooMooo Moderator Posts: 7,653
    Hi fishy, I know I have told you in chat but will add it here too for others with our problem.
    To rid your plants/tank of black beard algae, Seachem Flourish excell works a treat, just a small squirt on the offender and in a day or two it dies and turns white and viola ..Gone...Takes a while cos you can only use a small amount (say bout one ml) each time you squirt..like once a week..thats how I do it now anywho <!-- s:D --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_biggrin.gif" alt=":D" title="Very Happy" /><!-- s:D -->
    But it certainly works <!-- s:wink: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_wink.gif" alt=":wink:" title="Wink" /><!-- s:wink: -->
    I don;t recommend using PH buffers, they cause more problems than they fix.
    photo mooo_avat.gif "I'm a Doug Addict" photo cow2heartkisses.gif
  • ekulekul Member Posts: 129
    Hi

    "Nitrate gets broken down into Nitrogen gas by de-nitrifying bacteria, which thrive in an anaerobic (oxygen poor) environment (such as lower layers of gravel, under rocks and decor etc.). This gas is easily dissipated off into the atmosphere by general aeration and water movement."

    So, theoretically, if you had a big under gravel filter in an unplanted tank, and drew a very small amount of water through it, the oxygen would be used in the upper layers of the gravel, and the lower levels would receive water flow to consume the nitrates?

    Thanks

    Ekul
  • Fish4meFish4me Member Posts: 7
    Maybe someone gave tell me why my Ph is low (6) the PH of my tap water is 7.5. I change 30% of the water every 2 weeks. All 3 tanks are the same. However, my fish seem to be flourishing in it, have several platy babies that are thriving. Am I worrying unnecessarily?
  • RoboatRoboat Member Posts: 328
    Tap water is saturated in co2 and as the water settles the co2 leaves the water and the pH drops. If it sits that low you mustn't have any/low buffer in the water. Maybe slowly adding crushed coral to your filter while testing daily should bring up your buffer/gH and aswell your pH.
  • KamikazeKamikaze Member Posts: 9
    i am very new to all this fish keeping and I am a little worried about the water quality in my tank.

    In brief, i have 10 african cichlids, and 4 algae eaters / bottom dwellers in a 1.8m tank (approx 270 litres of water). I have tested the ph regularly with the Aqua Master Freshwater Test Kit and seem to being keeping the water neutral without too many dramas. We have quite hard water here.

    However I have lost 3 plants (i now just have artifical but would prefer real ones) that i tried to keep in the tank and I have just done my first nitrite & ammonia test with the Aqua Sonic kits and the former came out very pink and the ammonia was hitting the harmful bracket.

    i have done a 25% water change (adding water ager as i refilled) but the results changed very little. I live in the tropics so it is quite hard to get the water temp below 30 degrees and i have the light quite elevated above the water.

    The fish are very active and feed well but am i slowly killing them? I have a Weipa 250 filter that has a good stream of bubbles that the fish like to play in (well i hope they are playing!!) and at the other end i have a filter that works at the bottom underneath the gravel.

    So i am on a learning curve <!-- s:study: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_study.gif" alt=":study:" title="study" /><!-- s:study: --> and are very attached to my fishes.....please help. <!-- s:scratch: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_scratch.gif" alt=":scratch:" title="scratch" /><!-- s:scratch: -->
  • sthn75sthn75 Moderator Posts: 3,487
    Firstly Filtration - undergravel filters are not good for plants and I don't believe they would be sufficient enough to filter a tank the size of yours. As for the Weipa filter I can find no reference of such a filter on the net so i've got no idea how sufficient or insufficient that filter would be for a tank the size of yours. But I believe that all large tanks should be filter by nothing less than a canister filter such as the Eheim Classic 2217 for a tank the size of yours.

    2nd... Plants.. specifically what plants did you have that died. It may just be that they were not true aquatic plants and were never going to survive being submerged in a tank anyway or it could be that they are classed as difficult plants to grow (need high lighting, CO2 addition, right soil substrate, higher fertilising addition. Or it could be that your substrate isn't good enough for growing plants. What is the substrate in your tank & What were the plants that you had that died?

    3rd... Water Test Results... How long has the tank been setup for? The colours that you mentioned mean nothing unless someone is using the exact same test kit as you are, we need to know the actual number readings such as Ammonia 2.0ppm, Nitrite 1.0ppm. If you believe that you have ammonia & nitrite in the tank then carry out water changes daily until you start to see the levels reduce. When you clean the filter media do you clean it in fresh tap water or water removed from the aquarium? Filter media should NEVER be cleaned in fresh tap water as the chlorine will kill off the good bacteria meaning that it will constantly be going through the cycling stage and hence end up with high ammonia & nitrite readings.

    Do you add any chemicals to alter the ph?

    From what I understand (from what you've written) you add the water to the tank directly and then add the water conditioner directly to the tank? Is this correct? Do you add the conditioner before or after you directly add the untreated water?
    If yes, then that could be apart of your problem as the chlorine & chloramines in the tap water may be slowly poisoning your fish before the water conditioner is added to the tank and then in the amount of time that the conditioner takes to eliminate the chlorine & chloramines. Are you sure you are adding enough water conditioner? As you would need to add enough water conditioner to treat 270L and not only the amount of water that you are actually adding to the tank during a water change.
  • KamikazeKamikaze Member Posts: 9
    edited March 2009
    Many thanks for your very comprehensive response. I will try and answer your questions

    The filter is Weipro and i have seen them in my local Aquarium shop (retail $99.00) - the one I have is the largest of the range in the shop. The tank & filters were given to me so I was not involved in the purchasing process.

    I do not know what the plants were as my husband bought them without paying enough attention..... needless to say i believe they were aqua plants as they could not hold their weight out of water (if that is an accurate measure...) The substrate is a mix of gravel-like shale covered with (river) stones. i have the 2 filters at opposite ends of the tank. All the substrate came with the tank as well.

    I did not clean the filter personally but would hazard a guess that it was cleaned under tap water, which i obviously now know to be incorrect. How often do you suggest I clean the filter?

    I use one of the test kits you gt from the Aquarium to do the ph test. When the ph is wrong, it is usually on the alkaline side we use the ph up / down supplied in the kit to redress the balance, if this is the chemicals you are asking me about.

    According the colour chart i am using, the Nitrite is approx 80ppm - as pink as the chart goes! The ammonia is hard to decipher as it looks yellow which indicates less than 0.1ppm (harmless) but the tested water is not as a pale yellow as the colour guide appears on the chart but on the other hand the tested water does not look green enough either which indicates 0.5ppm upwards i.e becoming harmful. Sorry to be vague.

    I added the water with ager already in it before i put it in the tank, so I guess i got that correct although i didn' realize i needed to add enough ager for the whole tank not just the new water added - I have quickly remedied that (i hope). I guess I will need to just keep testing the water and doing the changes as you said. <!-- s:nemo: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_nemo.gif" alt=":nemo:" title="nemo" /><!-- s:nemo: -->
  • KamikazeKamikaze Member Posts: 9
    Sorry, not only I am new to fish keeping - i am obviously not a talented reader either...it was a Nitrate test not Nitrite. I realize that does not improve my situation but it may make it easier on you to know what I am trying to explain. <!-- s:pale: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_pale.gif" alt=":pale:" title="pale" /><!-- s:pale: -->
  • QueenserpentineQueenserpentine Member Posts: 91
    I'm glad to see someone has done this. <!-- s:) --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_smile.gif" alt=":)" title="Smile" /><!-- s:) --> Good work
  • brendonrookbrendonrook Member Posts: 86
    Kamikaze,

    In regards to your Aquasonic Test kits, I work at Aquasonic so I know a thing or two about our products. Firstly the ammonia level you have stated would be considered as 0.1ppm or less. The Nitrate of 80ppm is very high. I would also recommend a water change or two to reduce this level of nitrite to somewhere less then 40ppm and preferably less then 20ppm.

    Do you know what model the Weipro filter is as there are several models on the Wiepro website.
    I added the water with ager already in it before i put it in the tank, so I guess i got that correct although i didn' realize i needed to add enough ager for the whole tank not just the new water added - I have quickly remedied that (i hope). I guess I will need to just keep testing the water and doing the changes as you said. <!-- s:nemo: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_nemo.gif" alt=":nemo:" title="nemo" /><!-- s:nemo: -->
    - You were correct in the first instance here. You only need to add enough water conditioner for the amount being exchanged, and not the whole volume of the tank. If you were adding the water directly to the tank without treating it first you would then need to add enough ager to treat the whole volume of the tank.

    With the plants dieing, there could be various causes, some mentioned by sthn75, however you also said you have African cichlids in the tank. Most African lake cichlids tend to be herbivorous and may have indeed eaten the plants, or damaged them causing them to die. The plants recommended for African cichlid tanks are of the hardier type (such as anubias, java fern etc).

    I hope this helps with your questions!
  • tintin Moderator Posts: 529
    The plants recommended for African cichlid tanks are of the hardier type (such as anubias, java fern etc)

    Or, as mentioned in another thread... Plastic <!-- s:laugh6: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/ROLFSmiley.gif" alt=":laugh6:" title="laugh6" /><!-- s:laugh6: -->
  • mondeo79mondeo79 Member Posts: 142
    API Proper Ph will send your phos test kit off the chart since its a phos based buffer. I have also found that carbon filter media with a high ash content WILL give off phosphate as well. I usually go for carbon with low ash content which can be dearer <!-- s:( --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_sad.gif" alt=":(" title="Sad" /><!-- s:( -->


    Try Seachem series of water buffer. Their are mostly Phosphate Free with the exception of their Neutral Regulator. Not sure about Wardley 3in1 Water Conditioner 6.5/7/7.5. I get mixed results with them- low levels of phosphate detected by test kit and I have stopped using Wardley since they do not list the active ingredients/content of their formula.

    Alternatively, to safely lower/increase Ph without increasing phos level is to use Muriatic (hydrochloric) acid but be warned, it will greatly reduce your KH buffer (reducing the ability of your water to "hold" that particular PH level). Or if you can afford it, direct CO2 injection into the water.

    I agree with Sthn.

    And just my experience to tell to those who already don't know but really should know.... <!-- s:wink: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_wink.gif" alt=":wink:" title="Wink" /><!-- s:wink: -->

    Many pH adjusters on the market have high amount of Phosphate in them (usually the cheaper ones, however, I have seen expensive ones with Phos in them, too!), be sure to read the label and steer clear of those that have got Phosphate in them! Nasty nasty products that shouldn't be sold IMO. Algae LOVES phosphate and thrives of it. And Phos is a real pain in the *%^$ to get rid of as well. I was oblivious till I knew this, I was literally adding pure Phos to my tank I use to have when I had to adjust the pH. The darn ALGAE was always a centre of attention, and always a conversation regarding it when we had visitors over (how embarrassing!!). Silly silly me.
  • SilverCichlidSilverCichlid Member Posts: 1,250
    API Proper Ph will send your phos test kit off the chart since its a phos based buffer. I have also found that carbon filter media with a high ash content WILL give off phosphate as well. I usually go for carbon with low ash content which can be dearer <!-- s:( --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_sad.gif" alt=":(" title="Sad" /><!-- s:( -->


    Try Seachem series of water buffer. Their are mostly Phosphate Free with the exception of their Neutral Regulator. Not sure about Wardley 3in1 Water Conditioner 6.5/7/7.5. I get mixed results with them- low levels of phosphate detected by test kit and I have stopped using Wardley since they do not list the active ingredients/content of their formula.

    Alternatively, to safely lower/increase Ph without increasing phos level is to use Muriatic (hydrochloric) acid but be warned, it will greatly reduce your KH buffer (reducing the ability of your water to "hold" that particular PH level). Or if you can afford it, direct CO2 injection into the water.

    Wardley 3in1 Water Conditioners are very high in Phos, I tested them about 4 weeks ago when I was trying to figure out why I was getting a lot of algae growing in my tank. I also have several Seachem buffers/adjusters and they too, contain very high Phos. I am yet still trying to find a buffer/adjuster that are made from Seachem that isn't Phos based <!-- s:? --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_confused.gif" alt=":?" title="Confused" /><!-- s:? --> However, I rather my co2 adjust the pH, you really are better off not fiddling around with buffers and adjusters unless you really really have to in an emergency or such, as they cause more problems than good.
  • mondeo79mondeo79 Member Posts: 142
    At the moment, I do a water change twice a fortnight and I would only use Seachem Central American Cichlid Buffer for the first water change. In addition, I have replaced the traditional carbon media with Seachem Renew and also have Seachem Phosguard in my Fluval 305 canister filter. I find that this setup keeps the phos under control though not totally eliminating it (plants requires orthophosphate to thrive) and enables my plants (Amazon Swords+Anubias) to grow without unsightly algae bloom.

    I feel that in terms of water quality in a planted tank, it is a "catch 22" situation since plants require orthophosphate but not organic phosphate. Thus, phos management is about restricting phos to a bare minimum and so long as the nitrates levels are reasonably low, everyfish/plant will be happy.

    API Proper Ph will send your phos test kit off the chart since its a phos based buffer. I have also found that carbon filter media with a high ash content WILL give off phosphate as well. I usually go for carbon with low ash content which can be dearer <!-- s:( --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_sad.gif" alt=":(" title="Sad" /><!-- s:( -->


    Try Seachem series of water buffer. Their are mostly Phosphate Free with the exception of their Neutral Regulator. Not sure about Wardley 3in1 Water Conditioner 6.5/7/7.5. I get mixed results with them- low levels of phosphate detected by test kit and I have stopped using Wardley since they do not list the active ingredients/content of their formula.

    Alternatively, to safely lower/increase Ph without increasing phos level is to use Muriatic (hydrochloric) acid but be warned, it will greatly reduce your KH buffer (reducing the ability of your water to "hold" that particular PH level). Or if you can afford it, direct CO2 injection into the water.

    Wardley 3in1 Water Conditioners are very high in Phos, I tested them about 4 weeks ago when I was trying to figure out why I was getting a lot of algae growing in my tank. I also have several Seachem buffers/adjusters and they too, contain very high Phos. I am yet still trying to find a buffer/adjuster that are made from Seachem that isn't Phos based <!-- s:? --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_confused.gif" alt=":?" title="Confused" /><!-- s:? --> However, I rather my co2 adjust the pH, you really are better off not fiddling around with buffers and adjusters unless you really really have to in an emergency or such, as they cause more problems than good.
  • Rohan RRohan R Member Posts: 80
    I like the fact that one of the posters on this thread popped in a bit about anearobic bacteria.
    This bacteria is present in any well run in tank (including bare bottom and highly oxygenated tanks).
    This is a part of the natural cycle of bacteria in a tank and is only a problem when out of proportion to aerobic bacteria or when the surface of a tank has an oily appearance as an oily water surface in a tank will stop the gas exchanging process(various gases escaping from the molecular bonding with water molecules to be replaced by other gases usually oxygen - highly dependent upon temperature and nitrogen content).
    The higher the water temperature the higher the levels of nitrogen(strongest molecular bonding gas) to oxygen(second strongest molecular bonding gas) then to carbon dioxide(least strongest molecular bonding gases).
    An oily surface to the tank water is easy to fix with nothing more than a water change or a fine cloth net skimmed over the surface(the oily residue is a protein which in marine tanks protein skimmers are used and can also be used in fresh water tanks where 30c and above water temperature is required).
    Rohan R
  • AquamasterAquamaster Member Posts: 33
    Very interesting reading.

    Personally I am from the old school that believes that 'if the fish are happy and showing no signs of adverse water parameters......then leave em alone!'

    I know that doesn't sound very professional from a fish breeder, but hey, it has stood the test of time with my fish, having successfully bred species ranging from Tetras through to Tank Busters during a period that spans some 40 years.

    Having said that, I must admit that having trialled a product called Aqua-Pics kH + Potassium I have seen a marked improvement in the stability of my water parameters.

    The only reason I tried it was because I was told by a friend who uses it, that he thought it was possibly the best product on the market when it comes to correcting what we humans now do to most of our town water supplies, that is treatments such as Flouride and Chlorines etc.

    Yes there are other excellent brands on the market and have proved themselves in practice, but this one is ALL AUSTRALIAN and that is why I even gave it a second thought.

    Our water here is absolutely useless to use on a Wednesday as that is treatment day.
    The water actually smells like a swimming pool it has that much treatment via additives, so I do not undertake any water changes etc. on that day [unless using my reserve of water from water tanks and pond.]

    It is a very good idea for everyone to get to know their local councils treatment day so as to avoid possible mass losses such as I had occur when they first changed the treatment day and didn't let anyone know <!-- s:confused: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_e_confused.gif" alt=":confused:" title="Confused" /><!-- s:confused: -->

    Sorry if I got a tad of line with this response but I feel it is just another factor that goes into our Piscatorial Passions.

    CHEERS <!-- s:basketball: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_basketball.gif" alt=":basketball:" title="Basketball" /><!-- s:basketball: -->
  • fishbeastfishbeast Member Posts: 11
    Very informative, thankyou
  • christy77christy77 Member Posts: 44
    Are you sure you are adding enough water conditioner? As you would n0eed to add enough water conditioner to treat 270L and not only the amount of water that you are actually adding to the tank during a water change.

    I did not know this!! So when i do a partial water change i treat the whole capacity of the tank with conditioner (i use prime) not just the amount you are adding?

    Example i do a 2ltr change in my 18ltr.... so i add enough prime to do 18ltrs and not just the 2ltrs i am replacing?
  • BrengunBrengun Moderator Posts: 1,985
    No idea why you would need to treat the whole tank. Much easier to add just to the water you are going to add. Aerate and heat that if you wish. Stored overnight and treated is better.
    Photobucket
  • DougDoug Member, Classifieds Posts: 2,371
    No idea why you would need to treat the whole tank. Much easier to add just to the water you are going to add. Aerate and heat that if you wish. Stored overnight and treated is better.

    Agreed, I started doing this when i was using tap water and it really helped with the change in carbon dioxide levels associated with adding new water. That said im pretty sure that a single drop of Prime will be enough for 18ltrs regardless so either way i think you are covered.
  • FruitSaladFruitSalad Member Posts: 81
    You need to look at the context of the statement.
    The reference for adding enough conditioner to treat the entire tank is if you are filling directly from the tap via a hose/Python type setup. In this case you have no opportunity to pre treat the water. It is commonly advised to do it this way.
    In the case where you can treat the whole body of water before adding it to the tank you can just treat the appropiate volume to be added.
  • zarramariezarramarie Member Posts: 233
    Hey, can someone tell me how much Water Ager i have to put in my tank when i do a water change? i have a 215L tank. am i supposed to do, the whole 215L or just the 50L i usually tank out?
    Thanks Zarra
  • BrengunBrengun Moderator Posts: 1,985
    If you are bucketing back in the new water, just treat that in a bucket first, then add.
    If hosing the new water in, treat the entire tank.
    Photobucket
  • SharneeSharnee Member Posts: 21
    Soooo, i need to keep ammonia, phosphate and nitrate out of my tank? Is that basically it?
  • DougDoug Member, Classifieds Posts: 2,371
  • MoooMooo Moderator Posts: 7,653
    edited June 2012
    Not quite..all of them are necessary in the water column, what we need to do is balance them..
    They will always be present in small amounts..They make the whole process function.
    Basically the ammonia is converted to Nitrites by the bacteria, then they in turn are converted by the bacteria into Nitrates..we remove nitrate when we do water changes..
    The dose rate of the water ager/conditioner is usually on the container..It depends on the brand you are using, Seachem Prime is my product of choice ..
    Go to the beginner section and read the water topics, much valuable info to be had there...
    If you don't understand something, come ask :D
    forum.livefish.com.au/discussion/364/practical-water-chemistry#latest
    photo mooo_avat.gif "I'm a Doug Addict" photo cow2heartkisses.gif
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