[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: New aquarium,/new aquarist

Jean writes:

> This list is a little intimidating for a sheer novice. I hope you will help
>  shine a light in the darkness of my ignorance. I have a 90 gal aquarium all
>  set up to receive its first shipment of plants. There are no plants in it
>  yet. I measured the ph of my tap water and my aquarium water which is
>  recieving diffuse CO2. I also measured the GH and KH of the aquarium water.
>  The results are: Tapwater ph 7.6, aquarium water ph 6.8. Aquarium water GH 
>  degrees of hardness, kh 4 degrees of hardness. These seem like pretty good
>  numbers from what I've read. I plan to raise primarily angel fish in a
>  heavily planted tank. I plan to add a few fish 2-3 weeks after I plant the
>  tank, which will happen on Saturday when the plants arrive from Arizona
>  Gardens .

I wouldn't wait if I were you.  Go for it.  The tank is ready when the plants 
go in.  The waste products from the fish can become an integral part of the 
plant nutrient supply, particularly nitrogen.

> My question: What should I be looking out for after the plants and
>  then after the fish? 

Unhealthy fish, or a faiilure to get proper plant growth.

> Also is it safe to add water straight from the tap for
>  water changes. I'm getting a little concerned since I have well water and
>  there has been a lot of talk here about the unsafeness of adding well water
>  directly from the tap to the tank.

A lot of wells have heavy dissolved gas levels, and can also contain 
tremendously high levels of different minerals.  That doesn't automatically 
apply to all wells, and with low levels of hardness that you are reporting, 
it probably does not apply to yours.  Only time or a water analysis will tell 
you for sure.

> Also is the difference between the ph of
>  my tap water and the ph of my aquarium water a problem in doing water
>  changes? 

Only if you change large amounts of water at a time.  I prefer 10% per week, 
rather than larger amounts less often, as it reduces the amount of shift in 
the water parameters, and still keeps water quality up.

You are measuring 7.6 out of the tap and 6.8 in the aquarium.  The difference 
is the result of the CO2 infusion.  When you do a water change, you are 
talking about a difference of 0.8 between the tap and the tank.  If you 
change 10%, or about 8.5 gallons (you lose about 5 gallons, or maybe a little 
more, to all the substrate, plants, and stuff in the tank) the new and old 
waters mingle quickly, at a ratio of 9:1 of old to new, and you get a shift 
in the pH of about 0.08.  Not much at all.  If you change 20%, then you get a 
shift of 0.04, still less than 0.1.  The fish and plants won't even notice.

>  My lighting will be close to 4 watts per gallon. Any and all advice
>  would be appreciated. I am hoping to raise live plants and live fish. I
>  don't want to kill them off through ignorance.
Don't worry, We are all still learning.  You will probably do just fine.  If 
you have problems, just stick with it.

Bob Dixon