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Wondering About My Old Tank

Author Topic: Wondering about my old tank  (Read 927 times)

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Offline TourinGolem

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Wondering about my old tank
« on: May 30, 2019, 03:20:16 AM »
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Hi all,

I'm Carl. I have not kept fish since my mid-late teens approx 20 yrs ago ;) , I stopped as I couldn't seem to keep any fish for any length of time and now realise this was due to my inexperience/age/bad advice (my local fish shop sold me a tank with a starter kit and fish etc on same day, I had no idea about cycling etc.) Anyway now I realise that actually this could be a lot more rewarding if done properly so therefore I have a few questions. My folks are coming to visit this weekend and bringing all my old fish stuff (none was thrown away or sold) so I will have a 91cm ClearSeal tank with a volumn of 110L however I have put 100L into all calculators to allow for decor, is this enough or should I allow more?

I am replacing my under gravel filter with an internal (I was thinking Fluval U2)
I will fill tank check for leaks, check the heater and air pump are both working correctly.

My original plan was, until around 5 mins ago, to do the following. I have allowed 1-2 months for cycling.


guppies
Cherry Barb
Honey Dwarf Gourami
Panda Cory or similar.

Then I read another post and realised that this was just too much colour. I would probably replace the Gourami as I want large fish but more plain looking to help emphasise the colours of the other fish. Also I think too many of these are going to be top-middle dwellers?

Really long sorry, well done for making it this far! 

Offline Sue

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Re: Wondering about my old tank
« Reply #1 on: May 30, 2019, 12:33:47 PM »
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Hi Carl, welcome to the forum  :wave:

The first thing to do is find out how hard your water is. You should be able to find that information somewhere on your water provider's website. You need a number and the unit rather than some vague words. The unit is important as there are about half a dozen different hardness units.

The reason I say this is because you have hard water fish (guppies) and soft water fish (the rest) on your list. One or other will not be happy depending on your water hardness.

If you get cories of any species (or any other bottom dwelling fish), you'll need sand on the bottom of the tank rather than gravel. Play sand is very suitable, and cheaper than those sands sold for aquariums. Being designed for children who are quite likely to eat it, play sand is very safe. It just needs a lot of washing.



I have read your other post but I'll keep everything here.

The other good filter is the Eheim Aquaball, or even an Eheim Biopower. These are very similar filters just differing in their media.
If you plan on using the old heater, check it can keep the water temperature at what you want it. Old heaters have been known to fail.

Ammonia in tap water - water companies mostly use either chlorine or chloramine to disinfect mains water. Chlorine is an ammonia and a chlorine joined together. All dechlorinators split chlorine up then remove the chlorine, leaving the ammonia half in the water. But the amount of ammonia is nowhere near high enough for a fishless cycle. You would be better getting a bottle of ammonia and following the method on here https://forums.thinkfish.co.uk/fishtank-filtration-and-cycling/fishless-cycling-how-to-do-it/

The other alternative is to plant the tank. Plants use ammonia as their preferred source of nitrogen. In a tank with a lot of well growing plants, you don't need to cycle it first. Just wait until you know the plants are growing well, they add fish a few at a time. You do need to monitor ammonia and nitrite but if there are enough plants you shouldn't see aeither of them.


Once the tank has fish in it, when you do your weekly water change you will add new water that has ammonia in it. In this case choose a dechlorinator which 'detoxifies' ammonia. This detoxification lasts around 24 hours by which time the bacteria or plants will have removed it all. This detoxified ammonia still shows up in our test kits though.

Offline TourinGolem

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Re: Wondering about my old tank
« Reply #2 on: May 30, 2019, 02:20:36 PM »
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 Hi Sue, thanks for your reply.

I do have more info as I have been looking into this for at least a few months. Water co. say that pH low of 7.1 high of 7.9 average 7.45. Hardness shows as 134ppm or 7.5dh.

The hardness confused me as on the fish profiles shows guppies m, h, vh all rest say m, h. my understanding is 7.5 is moderately high but I can find nothing explaining how these numbers relate is 7.5 low or high, how high is it ie is it out of 10 or 100 or 1000?

Anyway long and short is I thought they would be ok together due to the overlap m, h? I also made the assumption that fish in my local shop would be suitable for the local water supply, I guess not.  :vcross:
I've attached my spreadsheet to show my newbie logic.

Thanks again

Offline Sue

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Re: Wondering about my old tank
« Reply #3 on: May 30, 2019, 03:49:23 PM »
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Hardness 7.5 is actually on the soft side for fish. Moderately hard starts at 10.


Guppies' hardness range is 149 to 536 ppm, or 8.5 dH to 30 dH. We should aim to keep fish somewhere round the middle of their preferred range (We are updating the profiles as they were written a couple of decades ago but we haven't done guppies yet  :-[ )
Fish in shops are only there for a short period - or at least that's what the shop hopes - so they don't have time to be affected by the shop's water. And if they get sick after they leave the shop, they don't care because they have your money.

Is there any fish that prefers softer water than guppies that you would be prepared to substitute for them? The other fish are all fine at your hardness. There are a lot more fish available than are in the profiles on here - take a trip round all your shops and see what they stock. But don't be persuaded to buy anything, ever, without researching first. So many shops will make up any rubbish to get a sale.

Offline TourinGolem

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Re: Wondering about my old tank
« Reply #4 on: May 30, 2019, 04:03:29 PM »
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Hi Sue,

Thank you for your insight. I'll be honest I'm a bit disappointed as I was basing my entire setup and fish choices around the Guppy.

I thought Platy but also shows as a hard water fish then thought molly, I'm seeing a theme  ;D

Maybe Swordtail, they seem ok if kept in larger groups gonna try it in the creator and see what it says, possibly a bit big?

Not put off, I'll just have to change my thinking and press reset for a bit and start again. I'm in no rush, I'd rather get it right than right now.

Thank you for your help, I've noticed you reply to a lot of newbie questions like mine and I for one am vary grateful. Your explanation of the cycle I saw a few days ago and made it so much easier to follow than dodgy youtube videos. I'm very grateful as are the Guppies I would have bought!


Offline Sue

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Re: Wondering about my old tank
« Reply #5 on: May 30, 2019, 04:15:25 PM »
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There is a way to keep guppies, platies and even mollies (though they are big fish which need a large tank) and that is to add minerals to the water to make it harder. But if you do this, you can't keep any soft water fish with them.
The downside is that you have to 'harden' the new water at every water change, and make sure the amount of minerals you add get the hardness to exactly the same each time.You have to keep a supply of the minerals in the cupboard in case emergency water changes are needed.

You have time to decide what you want to do, and we can help if you decide you do want to 'harden' the water.

Offline fcmf

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Re: Wondering about my old tank
« Reply #6 on: May 30, 2019, 07:36:02 PM »
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Welcome, Carl :wave:, and good luck with whatever you decide.

If you do decide to 'harden' the water in order to keep hard-water fish, you might find this article helpful as initial reading before coming back to us with any queries: https://www.thinkfish.co.uk/article/testing-for-ph-and-hardness-in-an-aquarium


Offline TourinGolem

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Re: Wondering about my old tank
« Reply #7 on: June 13, 2019, 03:29:02 PM »
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Hi All,

Firstly thank you all for your comments!

I have phoned my water company now as their website was very confusing as i live between 2 areas listed on their chart. Apparently i should be looking at a completely different area?!

So i now have a hardness reading of 148 mg/l or 11.1 Degrees german. Frankly i don't trust this that much anymore so will be doing tests on my own to check the hardness before any purchases. Will dechlorinator effect the hardness at all? Should I test from tap or in tank?

Thanks again all!  :cheers:

Carl

Offline Sue

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Re: Wondering about my old tank
« Reply #8 on: June 13, 2019, 05:09:10 PM »
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Dechlorinator does not affect hardness. Test your tap water; unless you do something to actively change your hardness (eg using coral or limestone decor will increase hardness) it should remain fairly constant in your tank. And with the GH figure your water company told you, your KH should be high enough to prevent pH drifting downwards.

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