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Not your normal Set-up- Need your advice!

EmilyJayne

Registered Member
Hi! I'm fairly new (about a year into it) to the fish world. I have a fairly odd tank setup, and just moved to a larger tank in order to make my babies happy. About a year ago, I started with 5 Pygmy Puffers. 2 of them died about a month after I got them, but the 3 are thriving! I've since then added an Ornate Bichir. I was keeping them in a 20ga, but finall had the space and moved them to a 75ga. I feed the Puffers frozen bloodworms, and the Bichir gets rosys. The Bichir and Puffers get along BEAUTIFULLY!
Here's my issue. Since I moved them to the new setup, I've been having a hard time with the water levels. I use Tetras 5-in-1 Test strip, and the Nitrate levels are high ( 40-80) and the Alkalinity is low (0-40)-the water is also fairly cloudy. They've been in the new tank for about 2-3 weeks, and i've done 2 20ga changes. I clean the old food out every night, and only keep about 2-3 rosys in there at a time. Any idea as to why that's happening?
 
How does your water test out of the tap?

And you might need to change more water, or to make sure you vacuum out any uneaten food or such.
 

EmilyJayne

Registered Member
I actually don't use the water out of the tap. For now (until i get my own r.o. system up and going) I use the r.o. water from the fish store.

I'm worried that I'll cause a crash if I change more water-I tested it last night, and the Alkalinity got higher, but the Nitrates were still high. How long does a new tank normally take to go through it's first cycle?
 

FreshyFresh

Global Moderator
Staff member
Emily, welcome!
As you probably know, that bichir is going to need a tank a lot larger than a 75g and will require big water changes often.

Why the need for RO water?

You'll also want to consider investing in a ~$30 API master test kit and keep the strips for backup.
 

EmilyJayne

Registered Member
Yep! I'm remodeling my house, working on fitting a 180ga wide min. tank. I use RO water because my tap water never checked out ok, and was told by one of my friends that the water clarifier stuff you can get wont remove chlorine.

I'm still so new to all of this, so If that's wrong, let me know-I'd LOVE not to have to haul buckets back and forth from the store during winter here :)
 

FreshyFresh

Global Moderator
Staff member
What doesn't check out OK with your tap water? There's rarely anything in it that a quality dechlor/treatment like Seachem Prime, or Safe (the granular form) can't deal with.
 
If the water clarifier is a flocculent or such, it's designed to help your filter pull particles out of the water.. Not anything that's dissolved.

If teh question is Chlorine or Chloramine.. then as Freshy said, Prime, Safe, Ultimate or such should take care of you... and if you do have specific concerns, just say what they are.. It is possible there's something terribly wrong with your water itself.. but it's quite unlikely.
 
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