1. Hello guest! Are you an Apistogramma enthusiast? If so we invite you to join our community and see what it has to offer. Our site is specifically designed for you and it's a great place for Apisto enthusiasts to meet online. Once you join you'll be able to post messages, upload pictures of your fish and tanks and have a great time with other Apisto enthusiasts. Sign up today!

What should I excpect?

Discussion in 'Beginners Corner' started by MudFrog, Oct 26, 2005.

  1. MudFrog

    MudFrog New Member 5 Year Member

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2005
    Messages:
    24
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I have just been given something to think about. I have hard water and have always have hard water fish.

    Now I am sitting here talking about soft water fish and changing a aqarium to soft water but I am not sure I really know what is involved in doing that.

    Someone said to me.... What are you going to do if you PH crashes?? Well, heck I said "what does that mean?" So I am wondering if anyine would care to explain the basics to me or point me in the right direction?

    First .... I am changing my water from hard to soft by replacing over half the fish tank with distilled and floating some peat moss. what should I expect when I try this?

    What the heck is up with the ph? I know I want it lower. But how low? It's 9 now. I was thinking 6.5 - 7 right? wrong? Will I need to use ph up and down or will the peat do this? or is it all a crap shoot?

    And it was my understand by changing out more than half the water with distilled will make my water softer. Thus giving me a chance to use the peat moss to lower the ph. Am I on the right track?

    Then water changes with Ro/Di water will keep it soft...so I can keep the ph down...and on and on..


    What I am trying to discover is .....am I capible of producing the proper home for the dwarf cichlids?

    Thanks,
    Lisa
  2. dunc

    dunc New Member 5 Year Member

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2005
    Messages:
    14
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Ouch, pH 9 is pretty high :frown:

    If you do a big change with RO/Distilled/similar then add the peat moss, I think you'll find your pH between 6.5 and 7. That's not -too- bad. Most apistos should be alright at 6.5.

    If you're finding your pH higher, 7 to 7.5, then you may have to consider either A. cacatuoides or A. borelli - both are so widely tank bred that the ones sold in LFSs are fairly accustomed to harder water than other Apistos.

    My water comes out the tap at about pH 7.5. I'm running a small internal filter (Fluval 1) jam-packed with JBL's Tormec - peat granule filter media. It now tests at just below 6.5, but I don't use any RO/Distilled water when I do my water changes. What I tend to do with bigger water changes, though, is filter the water in a big bucket before I put it in the tank - again, just an internal filter rammed full of peat granules.

    Other than doing that (which might not even work if your tap water's pH is so high), I think you're going to find an RO unit essential. You can pick them up fairly cheap these days though to be fair, so not a massive problem.
  3. blueblue

    blueblue Active Member 5 Year Member

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2004
    Messages:
    1,876
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    38
    a pH of 9 is definitely harmful to apistos.
    I think the use of pH down, peat moss, blackish water, acidic leaves
    all help. While one fundamental thing is the substrate. If you use Aqua-soil
    as the substrate, the water will be much more acidic...
  4. MudFrog

    MudFrog New Member 5 Year Member

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2005
    Messages:
    24
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Hi everyone,

    As this tank was a Endlers livebearer tank it was set up with to be a huge planted tank.

    1.5 top soil, 1.5 pea gravel, 40-45% planted. Two pieces of drift wood and a few rocks that I have been dragging from tank to tank for years.

    I have ordered a RO/DI machine and a canister filter to replace sponge filters. I was hoping to put peat into one of the chambers of the canister and use the RO for water changes. I do about 20% each week. What do you think?

    I have been really nervous and haven't put the peat in yet. Hope fully I can figure out what 300ml is and put it in tonight. To see what is going to happen.

    Can someone tell me when the peat needs to be changed? Is it just when the ph starts going up? once a month?

    Any thing else you think I am missing or need to be aware of please let me know....

    Thanks, Lisa