Cichlids of Victoria

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 Post subject: soft water sucks
PostPosted: Sun Oct 17, 2010 1:59 am 
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Lost some of my young breeding colony of Xmas fulu today including the male. The water here is really soft, but I over compensated. Got the KH GH test, and after spending a sleepless day running from tank to tank saved all my other fish. Will be working on getting the levels right over the next couple weeks. Man that male was awesome. Such a shame =/


Sun Oct 17, 2010 1:59 am
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 17, 2010 5:24 am 
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you added to much to the water??

that is one of the problems many people face, adjusting the water. you are better off leaving the water the same and letting the fish adjust.

also vics like the soft water, closer to SA and CA cichlids. so you are probably better off with softer water then hard.

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 17, 2010 7:28 am 
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Ouch! That's why I don't tweak my water at all, I have fairly neutral water here so all the tweaking is done naturally in my tanks either with coral or wood.... Chemicals are too easy to mis-measure.....

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 Post subject: Re: soft water sucks
PostPosted: Sun Oct 17, 2010 2:00 pm 
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With the vic tank 2 of the three losses came before the water change. It freaked me into doing more than I should've on the other tanks though. But I had noticed the Matumbi Hunters breathing heavily too. The good news is the Matumbi's and everyone else look fine this morning. The PH did drop a bit again last night which is amazing since I added quite a bit of baking soda. Added some more to make sure it didn't crash throughout the night and I will be checking it again soon. The water from the tap here is something like 6- 6.5 so I would guess this is too low for Vics. Plus I've been keeping them in fairly hard water since day one. The tank that the fulu were in did also have a filter that got shot off for an unknown time, so maybe turning it back on was part of the problem too.

I am going to work on getting my tanks all to the high 7's rather than the mid 8's in the coming month. I need to work out an automatic water change system before I go visit Japan, and I am thinking besides a waterblock filter a fluidized bed filter with coral sand may be a way to keep my PH at a good level. Any thoughts?


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 17, 2010 5:37 pm 
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yea dont worry about bumping up the ph so much. ph is the least of your issues. there are other factors that raise your ph so going by ph alone is bad.

just focus more on a stable water source like fern said. the fish will adapt. and that way you have less chance for something to go wrong.


and who said 6.5ph was bad for vics??? i raise blue rams in 7.6-8ph and they breed fine. yet the books say they need soft water like 6ph.


if you are keeping WC then you would need to simulate the natural water more, but not completely.

check this link out....
http://malawicichlids.com/mw01011.htm

it gives break downs on the 3 main lakes. the ph reads high but theres more to it than that. look at the conductivity too. its pretty low. lake victoria has almost half the mount of calcium carbonate as lake malawi but the ph is nearly the same.

if you compare the 3 lake victoria is the lowest end of the scale on most readings. it is pretty close to some of the rivers in the amazon. not the black waters with ph of 4 of course.

and you are going to get ph fluctuations during the day anyway. also the nitrogen cycle has an impact on the ph. you will have ph crashes if you dont do water changes but the fish will be ok. back in the day, i was told, never to do water changes because if you did your fish would die. what happened was that after a couple of months the ph was really low, like 5-6, and then you would do a 50% change instead of just topping off, and kill the fish when the ph went back to 7.


so if you are going to install an automatic water changer i would go with tap water. adding a fluidized bed filter would be an excellent idea. use some aragonite sand. it is fine enough to act as a bio-filter yet contains enough buffers to keep large ph swings. it helps feed calcium carbonate as the nitrogen cycle eats it up.

im not sure what you mean by water block filter either.

i would just go with an enclosed sump and some filter socks. then add some lava rocks to the sump area with small baffles around the return pump. the filter socks are really nice and easy to clean. and if you are not there it makes it easier for someone else to change out. just buy a bunch and they can just change them out, turn it inside out and throw it in the washing machine, no soap.

any way i got lots o ideas on circulating systems but never to get many in place. and i have had a few beers so the creative juices are flowing, which means a lot of this probably does not make any sense. ill be around tomorrow to clear it up.....

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 Post subject: Re: soft water sucks
PostPosted: Sun Oct 17, 2010 6:21 pm 
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Lol, it all made sense Dre. I have two WC frontosa colonies, so it is easiest to keep all the tanks in the high 7's for PH especially since I will have the CAWC. The water block filters are carbon filters that are in line from the water source, and supposed to get out the Chlorine and some say Chloramines. I still need to check with the city and see what the levels they use are, if they are low enough it may not be necessary. I am thinking something like this... Drip line from the water source to a waterblock filter or two and then directly to the tanks with overflows feeding into a large drain system. I am unsure where to put the Fluidized bed filter /filters, thought about running them separately maybe using a sump that drains to all the tanks. I am very open for suggestions, so get yourself some more beer Dre :D


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 Post subject: Re: soft water sucks
PostPosted: Mon Oct 18, 2010 2:06 am 
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I am really sorry to hear about your loss. I hate when I lose a fish. In my early days with my Malawis I would get so mad when one would die or disappear. At the time I didn't realize they were killing each other during the night or when I was at school.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 18, 2010 7:24 am 
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If you run some sort of tank or bin in line with a power head and some crushed coral on the bottom and some bigger chunks or limestone/coral/shell that should buffer your water enough before it hits the tanks.

Fulus do fine at 7-6.5 My fulu adult tank never can keep a decent PH.
As long as you keep the water stable they will be ok. a degree or 2 off on ph gh kh and so on is not a bad thing as long as it is stable.

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 Post subject: Re: soft water sucks
PostPosted: Tue Oct 19, 2010 2:27 am 
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FWIW
I use baking soda to buffer my water which will stabilize(KH) my ph at a rate of a tsp/5 gallons. You can't over dose the stuff which is great for dopes like myself. The ph will never exceed 8.4 It will just become more stable. Epsom salt is my choice to harden(GH) up my water. Again a rate of 1 tsp/ 5 gallons works for me. I used to use the Seachem Rift lake salt which is a great product but after it ran out I've taken this cheaper approach.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 19, 2010 6:04 am 
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I have also used that formula...... Then I got lazy :lol: Now I just leave it up to the crushed coral in the filter and on the bottom of the tank to do all the buffering for me.

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 Post subject: Re: soft water sucks
PostPosted: Tue Oct 19, 2010 5:11 pm 
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I've been using the same forumula except 1 TBS of epsom, perhaps that's how my hardness got so high. Things are still stable. Down with a cold, but have some plans for when I recover.


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