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Help please re PH, Hardness, Nitrate

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Seeking some expert advice please on how I should go about correcting the water parameters and what you would use or reccommend.

Aquarium volume around 180 L

Nitrite reading is good

Nitrate level too high

PH 7 thereabouts

Alkalinity is low

Chlorine = 0

Water is too hard

Temp is 25

Stock = 2 angels, 2 Odessa Barbs, 5 Cardinals. 2 Lemon Tetras, 5 Rummynose Tetras, 3 Black Neons, 1 Black Phantom Tetra, 1 bristlenose @ 7cm, and 4 black widow tetras.

Thanks in advance

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what level is your nitrates

at ph 7 that is neutral so alkalinity will be low, you dont want high alkalinity unless your playing around with cichlids,my tap water is ph 7.2 i use rainwater to drop it to below 7 on water changes

high nitrates can be caused by over feeding, over stocking,

 

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I know you were after expert advice so apologies in advance :)  

Nothing jumps out at me as being too wrong.    50% water change will drop your nitrates!

How do you get your temp to 25 in Brisbane?   All my tanks in the garage sit at about 29-30 and the tanks inside at around 27-28.    I even added an A/C vent in the roof of the garage to try and cool tanks.

I've no issues with stocking levels in that size tank.   As per @billfish comment..... what's the feeding routine?   How often are you doing water changes and how much?   What type of filtration are you running? 

Cheers,
Jason

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3 hours ago, billfish said:

what level is your nitrates

at ph 7 that is neutral so alkalinity will be low, you dont want high alkalinity unless your playing around with cichlids,my tap water is ph 7.2 i use rainwater to drop it to below 7 on water changes

high nitrates can be caused by over feeding, over stocking,

 

Thank-you for your reply Billfish.

Nitrates is a worry. Using test strips so unsure of accuracy. As far as I can tell, it's 160.

Nitrite shows 0

Hardness between 150 - 300 

Alkalinity shows at 0

PH at about 6.8 - 7.0

Going to go get the water tested at PetBarn today.

Thinking of getting a JBL Multitest Proscan. I'm having a bit of trouble trying to pick the colours on test strips and moreso with test tubes. ( Maybe a bit of colour blindness on my part )

link ----> https://livefish.com.au/proscan-app-intergrated-test-strips

Main tank has 16 fish in 175 liters, rest are currently in quarantine tank as have just been purchased.

Water would have had at least 50% changed over 2 weeks.

Going by the info I've read so far on my fish species, idealy the PH should be about 6.5 and the water soft.

The 2 things I want to get done as a priority is lower the Nitrate and soften the water.

Cheers

 

 

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29 minutes ago, JB said:

I know you were after expert advice so apologies in advance :)  

Nothing jumps out at me as being too wrong.    50% water change will drop your nitrates!

How do you get your temp to 25 in Brisbane?   All my tanks in the garage sit at about 29-30 and the tanks inside at around 27-28.    I even added an A/C vent in the roof of the garage to try and cool tanks.

I've no issues with stocking levels in that size tank.   As per @billfish comment..... what's the feeding routine?   How often are you doing water changes and how much?   What type of filtration are you running? 

Cheers,
Jason

LOL, You'll be more an expert than me. :D ( p.s. just read your reply after my reply to billfish )

Inside my home is usually 24. Tank is set at 25 but does reach 26 - 27 on hot days.

Filtration via 2 HOB's. A Aqua One and a Seachem Tidal 75 both in main tank. ( quarantein tank has built in filter )

Feed twice a day. Food gone in 2 - 3 minutes.

 

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:help:

Went to PetBarn this afternoon to get my water tested to compare with my test strips.

Lo and behold, the results were different. All done with test tubes and my worry about the high nitrates level turned out to be no worry. Reading was good.

PH wa higher at 7.2. All other measurements except for water hardness was good.

So I have to find a way to soften the water. Value is 250. 

They suggested that I change the water. ( I've already done 50% )

So I fill up some buckets and add the API quick start and Aqua Clear Health+ in 1 bucket and just leave the other untouched for a test comparason..

I measure both buckets and same result. Very Hard water.

I asked at Petbarn how to soften the water and it was suggested to use a Water Softener Pillow. So I say I'll buy it and then told they don't sell it. Damn.

So I drive to Neilsens aquarium and ask there. They had no answer at all.

This hardness problem is driving me batty ! Going to stick 2 buckets outside to catch some rain and try that next. 

I need feedback help !

 :help:

 

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Water hardness is from various salts (esp Calcium salts) dissolved in the water.  Trouble is, these salts are very soluble.  So they're hard to remove.   I'm assuming your tap water comes from a bore or something?  Town water should not be that hard.  If you're using town water, then the hardness could come from something you've added to the tank, e.g. one of the rocks or gravel.   Have you measured the hardness of the tap water before it goes in the tank?

One option is to use 50/50 tap water and soft water during water changes.  Soft water can be either rain water or tap water filtered through a RODI filter.   Best not use 100% totally ion free water, because you don't want zero hardness in the tank either.   This is what I do for my  discus tank, 50% RODI.

However, if the fish are used to the current water, and are behaving normally, it may not be a problem at all.

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I think the number one question we could all ask is are the fish healthy?   

This is my own personal opinion but I think people stress way too much over water chemistry.    I've been keeping fish now for I'm guessing 37 years and it's been about 36 years and 11 months since I did a water test on any of my tanks.     I've kept discus for years in straight tap water and not stressed over making is softer.      

I agree with @MFF.   You need a base line to find out what the hardness of your tap water is.    That will rule out if it's simply what's coming out of the tap or increasing because of something that's inside the tank.   

Might be a silly question but I've seen people have crushed coral in their hang on filters.   What are you using for your filter media?

Cheers,
Jason

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Doing some more research I've found that the quarterly average water testing results for Redland Bay for the past two years give a total hardness of 79mg/L and a conductivity of 270us/cm.   Both these values fall in the moderately hard range.   

This confirms the theory that it's simply your tap water that is causing the hardness numbers.

Interested to read other peoples opinions on this.....  If this was my tank I'd do nothing but continue the regular water changes.   Maybe that's my lazy side.    I can guarantee that if I tested my largest discus and tetra tank the pH would be about 7.6 and it certainly wouldn't be soft water.

Cheers,
Jason     

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Thanks guys.

The water is hard straight from the tap . ( Redland City town supply mostly sourced from Stradbroke Island )

The fish seem happy enough as far as I can tell. No obvious signs of disease. 

I was wondering if I should add more activated carbon to the filters ?

Got hold of a water softener pillow so will test the hardness tonight and see how it is. 

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Called into Annerly Aquarium today and a very knowledgeable young lady told me about Eheim Torf pellets which will do the job.

She also showed me a lot of options of fish varieties to go with the Torpedo Barbs for the 650 liter tank. 

There were some very beautiful fish that will suit my proposed setup. Also some very expensive ones !

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