Water Quality

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Apr 2, 2002
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Baking soda should not be used in most fresh water tanks, the exception is for rift lake cichlids.
Sodium bicarbonate, commonly known as baking soda or bicarbonate of soda, is a chemical compound with the formula NaHCO₃. It is a salt composed of a sodium cation and a bicarbonate anion.
You do not want to get a build of of sodium in a freshwater tank. Moreover, sodium will drive the pH towards an equilibrium of 8.2 pH.

Changing pH involves changing other things, The most important of these is KH. Rather that explain all of this i would rather send you to a site which explains it in simple terms for new fish keepers. It should be very eye opening and informative.
Go here: What You Need to Know About Water Chemistry, and Why
After you have read over that information, come back and ask questions.

Incidentally, I will add a bit of crushed coral to any of my tanks with assassin snails or shrimp. I also feed some food with added calcium. But this is the the even wilder fact. I keep a tank with altum angels. The pH is targetted for 6.0 and the water is soft. Despite this, pond snails have managed to colonize it.
 
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Adler

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Jan 15, 2020
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Baking soda should not be used in most fresh water tanks, the exception is for rift lake cichlids.


You do not want to get a build of of sodium in a freshwater tank. Moreover, sodium will drive the pH towards an equilibrium of 8.2 pH.

Changing pH involves changing other things, The most important of these is KH. Rather that explain all of this i would rather send you to a site which explains it in simple terms for new fish keepers. It should be very eye opening and informative.
Go here: What You Need to Know About Water Chemistry, and Why
After you have read over that information, come back and ask questions.

Incidentally, I will add a bit of crushed coral to any of my tanks with assassin snails or shrimp. I also feed some food with added calcium. But this is the the even wilder fact. I keep a tank with altum angels. The pH is targetted for 6.0 and the water is soft. Despite this, pond snails have managed to colonize it.
I added the water back in the tank and it ph is close to neutral now :D but KH is still the same :(

anyway, following your advice i can easily go to a beach and get some crushed coral, will these do or is "crushed coral" some product manufactured for fish keeping?
 
Apr 2, 2002
2,796
427
92
New York
Crushed coral is sold as a substrate for the hobby. It usually comes in 10 pound or bigger bags. I bought at 25 pound bag about 16 or 17 years ago. I am 72 now and will die before I can use it all up. Not only do African cichlid keepers use it but so do reef and sw keepers.

I got it when I ran a pressurized co2 added planted tank. I was afraid of a potential p[H crash and used to keep a bag of crushed coral in the canister filter. When I finally got shrimp and then assassin snails I already had the coral.

If you know any sw or rift lake keepers, maybe they would give you a cup. If your LFS or Pet store uses it, maybe they would sell you a small amount from their store supply. At worst, if you are in the states, I could mail you a cup of it if you pay the postage. But the way the Post office is run these days you could be out of the hobby before it comes :p
 

Adler

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Crushed coral is sold as a substrate for the hobby. It usually comes in 10 pound or bigger bags. I bought at 25 pound bag about 16 or 17 years ago. I am 72 now and will die before I can use it all up. Not only do African cichlid keepers use it but so do reef and sw keepers.

I got it when I ran a pressurized co2 added planted tank. I was afraid of a potential p[H crash and used to keep a bag of crushed coral in the canister filter. When I finally got shrimp and then assassin snails I already had the coral.

If you know any sw or rift lake keepers, maybe they would give you a cup. If your LFS or Pet store uses it, maybe they would sell you a small amount from their store supply. At worst, if you are in the states, I could mail you a cup of it if you pay the postage. But the way the Post office is run these days you could be out of the hobby before it comes :p
no, i'm not in the states.

i asked in my LFSs if they got crushed coral but they do not have. the closest thing i've found to what you say is some substrate that is for cichlids, i can't remember the bag/name only that it was specifically for cichlids
 
Apr 2, 2002
2,796
427
92
New York
UK? overpriced but, https://www.amazon.co.uk/Crushed-Co...&keywords=crushed+coral&qid=1600295162&sr=8-1
Canada? https://www.petsmart.ca/fish/decor-...-fin-aquarium-crushed-coral-gravel-16755.html

Basically you are looking for calcium carbonate. Aragonite? That will also work.

Aragonite sand

Aragonite is a calcium carbonate mineral. The majority of sands available for the saltwater aquarium are aragonite based. It’s the most popular choice for saltwater aquariums these days.

Araginite dissolves in the tank, releasing calcium carbonate into the water. This helps buffer the water and can raise its pH levels (to about 8.2 pH).

Used in small amounts for shrimp and/or snaills the amount one drops into a tank is very small and it will not affect the pH if you are doing it right.
 
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FJB

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You can add a couple of seashells to your aquarium and that would do the same as the coral or aragonite sand.
But more importantly, unless you have a very specific and demanding breeding project, it is better not to mess trying to change the pH, and instead choose fish that are compatible with what pH you have on tap. Probably the pH is not your main concern anyway; instead, appropriate temperature, low nitrates are usually far more important.
 
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Adler

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so i just performed an ammonia test and got this:
P_20201206_190005.jpg

it looks like i got between 0.25 and 0.50 ppm, i'm going to do a quick water change ~30%, but i wanted to know what could cause this.
Last time i performed a water change was last weekend when i had a high level of nitrate:
P_20201120_161225.jpg

I stopped triple dosing seachem's fluorish after that 😅
 

FishAddict74

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Dec 8, 2020
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First thing first: is there a topic just for water quality or can i post this anywhere on this forum?

second:
for some time i've seen an oily film in my fish tank, now i have seen a video (BigAl's) about the possible causes for this and the 2 that come into mind from that causes listed in the video are: fish food and/or hands. I'm not sure about fish food but i do know my hands sweat a lot so this might be it.

Anyhow is there a way I can get rid of this oily film? I've tried water changes with a siphon (why would that work, the film is on top of the water not under it 🤦‍♂️) and with a small ice cream bucket tried to remove the top water and there the film with it but to no avail.

now BigAl's video does promote a sump but i don't want to add more stuff to my already small 20G, so i ask if there is a way to get rid of the oil without having to buy anything (something like a certain method of water change and such)
When you do your water changes, how much are you doing and how often are you cleaning your filter? I would run an appropriate sized wave maker across the surface to break it up and then your filter may trap some of it, then do a 50% WC and clean the filters out. If that helps but you still have some, you can do it again in a week or lower the water level and wipe the inside of the tank above the waterline with a paper towel. But honestly, if your parameters are good, I wouldn’t worry too much about it unless it really bothers you.
 

FishAddict74

AC Members
Dec 8, 2020
663
366
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Baking soda should not be used in most fresh water tanks, the exception is for rift lake cichlids.


You do not want to get a build of of sodium in a freshwater tank. Moreover, sodium will drive the pH towards an equilibrium of 8.2 pH.

Changing pH involves changing other things, The most important of these is KH. Rather that explain all of this i would rather send you to a site which explains it in simple terms for new fish keepers. It should be very eye opening and informative.
Go here: What You Need to Know About Water Chemistry, and Why
After you have read over that information, come back and ask questions.

Incidentally, I will add a bit of crushed coral to any of my tanks with assassin snails or shrimp. I also feed some food with added calcium. But this is the the even wilder fact. I keep a tank with altum angels. The pH is targetted for 6.0 and the water is soft. Despite this, pond snails have managed to colonize it.
+1
 
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