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finally cycled - now stocking & water change questions



 
 
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  #1  
Old March 4th 04, 05:05 AM
Chris Palma
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default finally cycled - now stocking & water change questions

Hi.

My 75g has *finally* cycled. The ammonia level has been 0ppm for a while
now, and just today the nitrite level fell from spike levels to 0 ppm. I
did a ~20% water change a week ago while the nitrites were still high, and
I did another 20% water change today after I measured the nitrite level at
0ppm. I don't have a nitrate test kit, but I'm hoping the 40% water
change total over the course of 1 week has brought them down to a decent
level.

Here are my latest questions:

1) Before I stock, should I do an even larger water change?

2) My local tap water is *very* hard. I have a water softener & RO
system for the house, so when I do water changes I mix raw tap water
(not treated by the softener) and RO water to reduce the hardness. I
don't use a lot of RO water, but I hope that it is enough to dilute the
hardness somewhat. My softener has a bypass valve, but my guess is that
some softened water is in the pipes when I start filling the tank. How
careful do I need to be to prevent softened water from getting in the
tank? Is it ok if my water mix that I use to fill includes some softened
water, or do I have to go to some lengths to prevent this altogether?

I'm going to ask my LFS for stocking tips, but I would really like to
include at least a few gouramis, probably including dwarfs. Are these
fish tolerant of hard water?

3) I bought a python for water changes, but unfortunately the location of
my taps is such that the suction it generates is *slow*. I'm thinking of
buying a pump for water changes. Any tips on where to get one, what types
to buy, etc.?

Any other advice on water / stocking / water changes is *absolutely*
welcomed.

TIA!

--cp

p.s. this email address doesn't accept incoming mail, so I won't get any
direct replies. To email me directly, you can use
cpalmaatsymbolastro.psu.edu.



| Chris Palma, | The preceding was a work of fiction, |
| University of Virginia Astronomy | any similarities to persons living or |
| | dead, places, or events is purely |
|
www.astro.virginia.edu/~cp4v | coincidental... |
  #2  
Old March 4th 04, 12:10 PM
houseslave
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default finally cycled - now stocking & water change questions

Hi,

I have a Hagen 802 Powerhead that I use to circulate water in the tank and
also to pump out water. I went to Home Depot and bought 5/8" clear tubing.
This tubing fits inside my Powerhead opening. In my turtle tank I have a
small Fluval submersible filter and the same tubing fits over that
connection so I can pump out my turtle tank rather easily. If this doesn't
work you can by mini pumps cheaply to rig something. I also have another
connection that fits on my faucet. This allows me to adjust the temp of the
water and easily re-fill my 55 gallon tank. SO far so good and all my fish
are healthy.

"Chris Palma" wrote in message
ro.Virginia.EDU...
Hi.

My 75g has *finally* cycled. The ammonia level has been 0ppm for a while
now, and just today the nitrite level fell from spike levels to 0 ppm. I
did a ~20% water change a week ago while the nitrites were still high, and
I did another 20% water change today after I measured the nitrite level at
0ppm. I don't have a nitrate test kit, but I'm hoping the 40% water
change total over the course of 1 week has brought them down to a decent
level.

Here are my latest questions:

1) Before I stock, should I do an even larger water change?

2) My local tap water is *very* hard. I have a water softener & RO
system for the house, so when I do water changes I mix raw tap water
(not treated by the softener) and RO water to reduce the hardness. I
don't use a lot of RO water, but I hope that it is enough to dilute the
hardness somewhat. My softener has a bypass valve, but my guess is that
some softened water is in the pipes when I start filling the tank. How
careful do I need to be to prevent softened water from getting in the
tank? Is it ok if my water mix that I use to fill includes some softened
water, or do I have to go to some lengths to prevent this altogether?

I'm going to ask my LFS for stocking tips, but I would really like to
include at least a few gouramis, probably including dwarfs. Are these
fish tolerant of hard water?

3) I bought a python for water changes, but unfortunately the location of
my taps is such that the suction it generates is *slow*. I'm thinking of
buying a pump for water changes. Any tips on where to get one, what types
to buy, etc.?

Any other advice on water / stocking / water changes is *absolutely*
welcomed.

TIA!

--cp

p.s. this email address doesn't accept incoming mail, so I won't get any
direct replies. To email me directly, you can use
cpalmaatsymbolastro.psu.edu.



| Chris Palma, | The preceding was a work of fiction,

|
| University of Virginia Astronomy | any similarities to persons living

or |
| | dead, places, or events is purely

|
|
www.astro.virginia.edu/~cp4v | coincidental...
|


  #3  
Old March 5th 04, 06:06 AM
NetMax
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default finally cycled - now stocking & water change questions


"Chris Palma" wrote in message
ro.Virginia.EDU...
Hi.

My 75g has *finally* cycled. The ammonia level has been 0ppm for a

while
now, and just today the nitrite level fell from spike levels to 0 ppm.

I
did a ~20% water change a week ago while the nitrites were still high,

and
I did another 20% water change today after I measured the nitrite level

at
0ppm. I don't have a nitrate test kit, but I'm hoping the 40% water
change total over the course of 1 week has brought them down to a

decent
level.


This is not neccesarily correct. It is the water change which was done
after your NO2 went to zero which will have the most effect on reducing
the NO3 levels. Any water changes done while your NO2 was peaked might
have little to no effect on NO3. The peak NO2 explicitly means that your
NO2 to NO3 bacteria are not established, so NO3 production (and levels)
would be below what they should be.

Here are my latest questions:

1) Before I stock, should I do an even larger water change?


I would.

2) My local tap water is *very* hard. I have a water softener & RO
system for the house, so when I do water changes I mix raw tap water
(not treated by the softener) and RO water to reduce the hardness. I
don't use a lot of RO water, but I hope that it is enough to dilute the
hardness somewhat. My softener has a bypass valve, but my guess is

that
some softened water is in the pipes when I start filling the tank. How
careful do I need to be to prevent softened water from getting in the
tank? Is it ok if my water mix that I use to fill includes some

softened
water, or do I have to go to some lengths to prevent this altogether?


With raw well-water, RO water and softener water, you can basically
almost build up whatever water parameter you want. A debate over
mixtures would be pointless without knowing your raw well-water
parameters (pH test from freshly drawn and after being aged for a day,
and a gH and kH done anytime), and without knowing your preferences in
fish.

How much you need to avoid softener water depends in part by your well's
gH. The higher the gH, the more salt will be in the softener water. A
bit of salt is not normally any concern. Fish are adaptable. Spend a
little time gathering data and establish a recipe. Sticking to your
recipe, such that your water parameters at the aquarium will always be
the same will be very good. It's often better to be consistent, than
trying to be perfect. If you bypass the softener, and always get the
same amount of softener water in the pipes, and do the same thing all the
time, I think it would be good.

I'm going to ask my LFS for stocking tips, but I would really like to
include at least a few gouramis, probably including dwarfs. Are these
fish tolerant of hard water?


Not particularly, but they could be acclimated to medium hard water, if
done gradually. The Thick-lipped gouramis might be more hard-water
tolerant. Forget about Chocolate gouramis though ;~)

3) I bought a python for water changes, but unfortunately the location

of
my taps is such that the suction it generates is *slow*. I'm thinking

of
buying a pump for water changes. Any tips on where to get one, what

types
to buy, etc.?


If you are sucking against gravity, your flow will be greatly reduced.
Do you have the option to let the water flow out the window, or to a
drain on a lower floor. This now uses 2 hoses, (a drain and a fill), but
might still be better than electrically pumping water. A quick way to
get your drain hose started is to turn on your Python to fill the tank
and press the hose to the drain hose's gravel vacuum pipe (both
underwater). Then turn off the Python's water. The water in your drain
line will now pull tank water by gravity.

Any other advice on water / stocking / water changes is *absolutely*
welcomed.


Read the archives, FAQs and then ask specific questions. Best advice
might be that an effective biological filter uses a slimy brown filter
sponge, so don't replace or overclean these.

cheers
NetMax

TIA!



  #4  
Old March 5th 04, 06:47 PM
Chris Palma
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default finally cycled - now stocking & water change questions

On Fri, 5 Mar 2004, NetMax wrote:

With raw well-water, RO water and softener water, you can basically
almost build up whatever water parameter you want. A debate over
mixtures would be pointless without knowing your raw well-water
parameters (pH test from freshly drawn and after being aged for a day,
and a gH and kH done anytime), and without knowing your preferences in
fish.

How much you need to avoid softener water depends in part by your well's
gH. The higher the gH, the more salt will be in the softener water. A
bit of salt is not normally any concern. Fish are adaptable. Spend a
little time gathering data and establish a recipe. Sticking to your
recipe, such that your water parameters at the aquarium will always be
the same will be very good. It's often better to be consistent, than
trying to be perfect. If you bypass the softener, and always get the
same amount of softener water in the pipes, and do the same thing all the
time, I think it would be good.


Thanks for the good advice, as usual. I think that I have settled on a
method where I can reliably reproduce a mix of raw tap & RO water. I'm
going to see how well this works for me. I went to my LFS and talked to
someone there (who seems to be very knowledgeable), and I asked him what
water mix he uses in his tanks. He claims that it is simply treated raw
tap water, which should be as hard as mine (I only live ~5 miles from the
LFS), so I assume that if the fish are happy & healthy in his tanks they
should be able to adapt fairly well to my tank.

I'll keep everyone posted on my adventures in stocking this tank.

--chris




| Chris Palma, | The preceding was a work of fiction, |
| University of Virginia Astronomy | any similarities to persons living or |
| | dead, places, or events is purely |
|
www.astro.virginia.edu/~cp4v | coincidental... |
 




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