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Re: Good Aquatic stores?

Subject: Re: Good Aquatic stores?
by DaveGodfrey on 1/8/2013 12:42:32

You have very soft water, so lots of the fish people like (tetras, cories, dwarf cichlids, many barbs, etc) will like it. Rainbowfish and livebearers won't however.

With water that soft cycling your tank may be a bit tricky- the bacteria that ammonia and nitrite need the carbonate to metabolise it, and if they run out they shut down. Low levels of carbonate also mean your pH is susceptible to dropping below pH 5, which also causes the bacteria to shut down. Both will give you potentially fatal ammonia or nitrite spikes. Regular water changes should be enough when your tank is mature (although you can add small quantities of remineralising salts such as sold for Rift Lake Cichlids if you find you get problems).

When cycling the tank people normally don't do water changes at all until they reach the end point, at which time their nitrate levels will be very high. In your case you'll need to do water changes to keep feeding the bacteria the carbonate they need.

With regards to the testing kit buy the liquid ones, as they're much more accurate, and last much longer than the strips. Most of us use the API Freshwater Master Kit, but the Tetra and Nutrafin versions work just as well. They have tests for Ammonia, Nitrite, Nitrate, and pH, and you'll need all of them. Given that you have soft water I'd also buy a GH (General Hardness) and KH (Carbonate Hardness) kit- API do a twin pack where you get both tests, which works out cheaper than buying them individually.