Another novice question from a beginner. Made my homework regarding the water chemistry (my head is spinning) and am ready to start and play (in a small way until the big one arrives).
The water company information for my area is: PH - 6.9-7.6 (mean 7.1) KH - 17.9GD GH - 320ppm Alkalinity - 230HCO3/L (what's that?) Fluoride - 0.106mg/L (trace?)
My understanding is that the water is alkaline which means that all fish that needs acidic water will not survive unless I add RO water that will reduce the GH and if I understand correctly the PH will also goes down, is it correct? Is there anything else that you can see and I can't?
When deciding upon suitable stock/fish, the water softness/hardness is far more important than PH - you should choose fish whose requirements meet the ppm/CaCO3 or German degrees hardness range (as the PH is of secondary importance). Usually, hard water and alkaline PH go hand-in-hand, and soft water and acidic PH, but not always (eg lots of Scotland). The profiles on seriouslyfish.com specify the range in ppm or German degrees hardness required by different fish - so best to opt for those that match your water.
If you're adamant that you would like to keep soft-water fish, then, for their short- and long-term health, RO would be a viable means of doing that - (and it does reduce PH but that aspect shouldn't really matter as it's of secondary importance).
I have started to cycle my quarantine tank with Bio Boost made by Aqua Care. I have followed the instructions and added 1.5 cap of Bio Boost on days 2 and 3, but what do I do now? Wait for the Ammonia and Nitrite to go to '0'? There are no fish in the tank.
Today (day 4) I checked the water and had the following: PH - 8 Ammonia - 0.2 Nitrite - 1.0 Temp. - 28c.
I have also planted several plants, among them Egeria Densa, however with in a week the Egeria Densa have started to rot and today I removed them. They were planted with the anchors and Aqua Care's Plant Gro fertilizer was added, what have I done wrong?
Just found and read your article about the fishless aquarium cycling, I was so pleased to realise that I was a 'bit' correct as I have used food to produce the ammonia but I hope that today I didn't make a fatal mistake.
I have tested the water and had '0' level of ammonia and level '8' (dark pink, kit by AquaCare) of nitrite, (I don't have a kit for nitrate as the shop said that I don't need it). Based on the above I cleaned the tank and the filter's sponge in old aquarium water and have chanced about 50% of the water, added bacteria liquid and have thrown in more food.
Have I damaged the cycle? If I haven't is the aquarium ready for some hardy fish (like Danios)?