Jump to content

Recommended Posts

In becoming a distributor of Prestige fish foods it has given me the oportunatey to meet new people and find out new things about our hobby as a whole.

Like we are quite often told that ph is one of the most important things to check and adjust. But did you know that checking and adjusting ph is useless unless you also check and adjust kh. I have changed my water management to looking after the kh and let ph follow suit this has resulted in healthier fish higher spawn yields and brighter colouration. Many times we blame things like bloat and sunken gut on food. But with taking notes and testing different scenarios I have found it comes back to water managemnt.

For example I set up a tank of electric yellows both fed the same food. Both had same number and filtration. One tank I did weekly water changes and used a buffer that concentrated on kh and the other I did the old method of concentrating on ph. The tank that the ph was looked after soon started showing signs of sunken gut and thining of the head. The tank that I concentrated on the kh was showing excellent breeding colour and overall condition.

The reason for this by adjusting ph you do not adjust your kh. I know some say it does but it really doesnt. Without the kh adjustment the ph would quite often drop over a period of 48 hours. This fluctuating ph then caused sunken gut in the fish brought on by stress.

When I used the kh adjustment it brought it up to 10kh(dont ask me parts per million I have no idea) with this high kh the ph was stable at around 8.5 which is excellent for malawies. This also remained 100% stable between water changes. Therefore no stress for the fish. The colour was outstanding and the number of fry increased in every spawn.

When set at a kh of 4 this will lock the ph at wherever you set it. This does not allow fluctuations anything below 4 kh though will allow the ph to drop. Ok this is excellent for south american fish like the apiso's. But is not good for the majority of fish.

When it comes to lake tanganyikan fish though even a kh of 10 is too low it should be up around 18 to get great results. We more often than not don't have our kh any where near this for our tangs. I am the major criminal for this. I believe this is why we see alot of young tangs suffereing from blunt heads and deformed spines. Upon raising the kh in my multifasciata tank my spawing has increased ten fold. I am having higher survival rate and absolutely no deformities.

Many of us rely on calcium carbonate and coral for buffering of our hard water tanks this works but it is also not giving the total affect you want. Both malawi and tanganyika have minerals required and present in the lakes that are not found in calcium carbonate or coral.

The only 2 products that I have found that contions the water correctly is Seachem and now Aqua pics. In fact both of these products have been proven just as affective as the other on sites like tropheus fanatics. They are similar in price and aqua pics you use slightly less. but overall either one of these products creates the perfect environment and kh that is required for our fish.

If you dont believe me thats fine but as a fish keeper first and foremost I am alwys looking for ways to improve my fish. What I suggest you do is give it a go for yourself and you will be very surprised in what you can achieve by simply concentrating on kh over ph.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah I agree with ya there Braddo, I've been keeping tangs and I do believe that the pH, KH, GH and also the addition of the right minerals and trace elements help a lot

Are Aqua pics and Seachem the only ones that you think are good?

I've been using the API - buffer, salts and trace elements and it's worked well for me...

What about Aquasonic? are they any good?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Aquasonic is not bad have used it in the past. But I have had better results using either seachem or aqua pics. Aqua pics is my choice now as the results I have had is outstanding. The reason also as these 2 brands concentrate on Kh. In the end choice of brand is totally up to the aquarist. I can only recomend what I have used and am happy with. When it comes down to it if you are happy using a product then keep using it.

But in saying that dont leave it there it doesnt hurt to get a small container of another brand to compare results. That how I got onto aqua pics I bought a small containter tested it on one tank and was amazed at the results.

The main example that I have had is with 2 species one being Naevochromis chrysogaster(my avatar) the other being S tinanti. I tried for 3 years to breed the first with no luck within the week of using aqua pics african kh I had 3 spawns. Tinanti I was told only live or frozen foods would bring these to spawn in 2 months I have had 2 spawns from one pair using Prestige growth and aqua pics kh7.0. I think the thing that leads me towards aqua pics over seachem is the Australian made factor and the fact that like prestige everybody involved in them are fish keepers first and not company men. All the products are tested and trialled on there own fish first. But hey each to their own.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Great to see a sponsor giving some great and useful information to the site!

I wish more sponsors gave their experiance to the site!

Discounts are good, but information will save you more money! ;)

Thanks Braddo! :mrgreen:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Braddo wrote:

When it comes down to it if you are happy using a product then keep using it. But in saying that dont leave it there it doesnt hurt to get a small container of another brand to compare results. That how I got onto aqua pics I bought a small containter tested it on one tank and was amazed at the results.

dan23 wrote:

Where abouts on brisbane northside can you get aqua pics african kh

Braddo wrote:

no where yet but its coming. Finally getting somewhere with the labelling.

So is this product commercially available yet or not? Please explain.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
For example I set up a tank of electric yellows both fed the same food. Both had same number and filtration. One tank I did weekly water changes and used a buffer that concentrated on kh and the other I did the old method of concentrating on ph. The tank that the ph was looked after soon started showing signs of sunken gut and thining of the head. The tank that I concentrated on the kh was showing excellent breeding colour and overall condition.

Can you tell us what these products you used were?

When set at a kh of 4 this will lock the ph at wherever you set it.

This is statement is misleading. It is somewhat correct for higher pHs and totally incorrect for lower pHs unless you use phosphate buffers. For higher pH's you may have wanted to say "KH 4 is the minimum level to keep higher pHs constant". Here's an experiment I did 19/03/10:

Bris Tap water

pH 8.2, GH <20ppm, KH 65ppm (3.6)

Bris Tap water + HCl

pH 6.0 (6.2 after 30min due to buffering), GH not measured, KH 35ppm (1.96)

I know it's not the magical 4, but IME acids "consume" carbonates and adding carbonates will raise pH. My point is that pH won't be locked at 6 in a tank situation, as the KH has dropped too low.

This is also true of softwater fish.....hardness (totally dissolved solids) far more important than ph

Rod, isn't hardness = GH and electrical conductivity (EC) = TDS?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My understanding is a lot of "products" that reduce Kh actually add dissolved minerals that aren't measured in Kh so you may get the number your want but the water has high conductivity due to high TDS

You will find most Europeans collecting soft water fish provide the conductivity of the water rather than Gh.....for hard water fish this is all a bit irrelavent....conductivity is a much better measure of water for soft water fish

Pure water has no conductivity

Gh+ other dissolved solids=TDS

Conductivity is relavent to TDS

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I keep plecos which to spawn like ph low (some as low as 6 or below). They also like low TDS.

I have to be careful with kH or I will have a pH crash if its not enough.

Sometimes just one drop is enough to change the kH test (now that is low).

To combat I usually add a little handful of crushed coral to a big tank and just bit or two to a little tank.

I use pure rainwater only.

Every so often I will add a 1/4 teaspoon of the seachem salts and buffer with my wc, just to keep things nice and to add minerals my rainwater cannot provide.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Actually Oz it isnt at all misleading and very true. Like you said 3.6 is not 4 and 0.4 difference makes a huge amount of difference when refered to kh and how it stablizes ph. People have the opinion close enough is good enough but I did not pull 4kh out of a hat and has been proven to lock and stabilize ph.

If you want a higher ph then you increase your kh. The products I used was Aqua-pics african Kh for the kh buffer and aquasonic african for the ph. Both use different ingredients and were chosen cause they are both Australian made. There has been reference on tropheus fanatics between the seachem and aqua-pics with very surprising results there too. Aqua-pics african kh sets the level to 9-10kh and ph to 8.5. With the aqua sonic the level of kh I was getting was as low as 7 and ph dropped to about 7.6. Which is what most of us keep our malawi's at but is not ideal for them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Some may like this read....

http://www.cichlid-forum.com/articles/gh_kh_ph.php

Also, I don't waste my money on buffers. When all you need bicarb soda & epsom salts. Those that keep africans, can then use marine salt to if they so wish for other minerals, or trying to mimic the lake. But you don't have to try, no point.

Frenchy :sheep:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There is alot more to water chemistry than you think Frenchy it has taken me 30 years + to realise this and is only through trialling what was taught to me over the last 12 months have I noticed a remarkable difference in my fish and breeding.

We now have products that will make it easier than the guess work that the diy buffer does. I was a big user of diy buffer but have definately noticed the difference in every fish I have here. Since swapping over.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh, of course there is more to water chemistry. I have used seachem buffers etc when I have had excess shop credit, used Seachem non stop for about a year. I have never noticed a difference to the DIY & I used that for years before. I personally think people are wasting there money. {IMO, the Seachem products are great... haven't used the others.}

I do & have used this formula inbetween & around, using seachem products...

http://www.cichlid-forum.com/articles/buffer_recipe.php

How can it be guess work? You can't imitate the lake for a start can you? You are meant to have tested your tap water first when adding either DIY or brought over the counter product. To see how much you really need each water change.

The sechem Tangy Buffer, even says to use 5g for each 40-80lts until desired levels are reached.... Funny doesn't say to do a water change while increase carbonates in tank. :snide:

Any buffer bottle that says add a particular amount to the tank is wrong. If I live in Redlands, my water is soft. So I will need a lot more than someone on Brissie water. So what ever you use, you have to work out what you need in the first place if you want "Ideal" conditions.

Now for you, great your fish are better. I personally have never noticed a difference & I have had some "fresh" fickle Tangs too.{I say I had the best Whites around} Now you can say, you have had 30 years of experience, that is more than me. I can quote "Lasse Forsberg" Page 21 of Enjoying Cichlids. He has more than you. Who is wrong? I say neither of you. Don't cloud others judgements by saying DIY is guess work. There is more than one way to skin a horse. PH up for a start is just bicarb soda & I can tell from looking at my jar of Seachem buffer, there is Epsom Salts in there too.

Trace elements found in marine salt.

http://www.cichlid-forum.com/articles/aquarium_salts.php

If people have the money buy the goods, those that don't, go DIY. Those that don't care & it just works for me, sweet as too, its up to you.

Frenchy :sheep:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So I can understand this (salts from seachem and the like) being beneficial to wild caught fish that were born and have grown up in the lakes....

My question is, do these specific salts really have any benefit to fish that have been tank raised on local water the same as their many generations before them? Like can they become adapted to not really even needing these salts to thrive?

Thoughts?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...