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10 years 7 months ago #114 by Jacob
Begin­ner ques­tions was cre­ated by Jacob
Hi, I’ve read much of the site and have some ques­tions about set­ting up a tank.

1. I want to use R/​O water and mix it with black­wa­ter extract or what­ever needs to be added to make the water right for the fish. What should be added to r/​o water? Just black­wa­ter extract or is there a spe­cific prod­uct or prod­ucts that will make r/​o water inhab­it­able?

2. I read that there have been suc­cesses with unfil­tered tanks. I’ve also read fil­ter bac­te­ria can’t sur­vive in black­wa­ter. So it’s water changes and plants that remove the pol­lu­tion? Is there a dan­ger of mak­ing the pH crash if there is too much plant life? I was think­ing of a bog setup, with plants with aer­ial leaves and roots in the water. Since there is no bio­log­i­cal fil­ter except the plants, these tanks don’t need to be cycled do they?

3. A mix of moina and baby artemia, is that nutri­tious enough? And can baby artemia be fed instead of hatched daily or are they best daily hatched?

Thanks for any help, I want to make sure I have every­thing set up properly.

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10 years 7 months ago #115 by Jacob
Replied by Jacob on topic Re: Begin­ner ques­tions
Wanted to add, also won­der­ing how good black­worms are as food. Since they are the eas­i­est live food to take care of and acquire for me.

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10 years 7 months ago 10 years 7 months ago #116 by Martin-​ef
Replied by Martin-​ef on topic Re: Begin­ner ques­tions
Hello Jacob,

1. I also use R/​O water. Our tap water is very hard (>45°GH), so the per­me­ate still has a cun­duc­tance of about 70,0 microsiemens/​cm. What works best for me is to use some­thing like this:


The R/​O water drips over peat (unfer­til­ized, pure) filled in a bot­tle, right when it exits the R/​O unit. After this I get yel­lowih water with pH around 4.5 and a cun­duc­tance around 50 microsiemens/​cm. The ini­tial murk­i­ness van­ishes in the tank, a few hours after the water change.

I made the expe­ri­ence, that any­thing that has to do with adding some­thing to R/​O water, like peat-​extract etc. makes you end up with too high con­duc­tances…
so I pre­fer the drip­ping method, which extracts the humic acids from the peat and on the other hand even low­ers the con­duc­tance.

Per­haps there are other ways of get­ting a suit­able water, espe­cially if you have softer tap water, but in my case, this method seems best.

2. I’ve never watched a pH-​crash in my tanks up to now… I think, the humic acids and other sunb­stances of peat, leaves etc. buffer the pH at a cer­tain level.
What I expe­ri­enced is the exact oppo­site: in newly setup tanks, it can be the case that pH-​levels rise again, after water-​change. Per­haps that’s because the bio­log­i­cal sys­tem in the tank has to find its bal­ance?
Of course you don’t need to fil­ter or cycle your setup if you add plants with sub­merged roots, but I pre­fer a lit­tle cir­cu­la­tion, so I use small sponge-​filters. But thats due to my sub­jec­tive feel­ing.

3. In my opin­ion, moina and artemia (freshly hatched) makes a good sta­ple. You can add all sorts of mos­quito lar­vae if they are not too big for the paros…
I don’t know black­worm yet, but if they are not too big, it should work… try it.

Good luck with your setup.

Martin
Last edit: 10 years 7 months ago by Martin-​ef.

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10 years 7 months ago #117 by Peter Finke
Replied by Peter Finke on topic Re: Begin­ner ques­tions
Excel­lent reply by Mar­tin. I can­not tell it bet­ter.
But I can affirm every­thing, espe­cially his obser­va­tions on the rel­a­tive pH-​stabiliy. Just con­trary to the gen­eral opin­ion the low pH is rather sta­ble in my small Parosphromenus-​tanks, too. But one should observe three things: very low con­duc­tiv­ity, pres­ence of organic mate­ri­als that add humine sub­stances, and restric­tion to plants which make use of nutri­ents that are solved in the water with­out hav­ing a great chem­i­cal activ­ity (that is, for instance, float­ing Cer­atopteris. A tank which is planted heav­ily in the con­ven­tional way may con­tain too many plants that influ­ence the pH. Cer­atopteris or Java­moss seems to be ide­ally suited for our pur­poses. A few oth­ers will not dam­age the system).

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10 years 7 months ago #118 by Ben­nie
Replied by Ben­nie on topic Aw: Begin­ner ques­tions
I think it´s a bit off topic but I tried to cul­ti­vate black­worms, too. It was very slowly and is not effi­cient to use as a dayly or even weekly food.

How do you man­age that?

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10 years 7 months ago #120 by Jacob
Replied by Jacob on topic Re: Begin­ner ques­tions
Thanks for the responses, good to know the pH is not likely to crash.
The R/​O water I would use is sold in fish stores for peo­ple top­ping off salt­wa­ter tanks, I will learn what the val­ues of it are. I liked the idea of adding black­wa­ter extract just because it seems like you could have a for­mula that you repeat every time for exactly the same water. I will have to fil­ter the r/​o water, and I assume it usu­ally ends up in the same range and there’s an amount of dif­fer­ence that can be tol­er­ated safely. I won­der if cryp­to­co­ryne could be used, since they are amphibi­ous. Pitcher plants or other inter­est­ing land plants would make a good dis­play and it could be a biotope of where the fish come from, but I don’t know if those bog plants affect the water too much. Com­bin­ing plants and weak fil­tra­tion seem like a good idea.
For black­worms, they’re eas­ily bought in stores where I am. I never tried to breed them, but they would always mul­ti­ply in the gravel. This was a good thing for the dwarf puffers I was keep­ing since they would catch them through­out the day. But some don’t like worms in their tank. Over time they are sup­posed to get smaller and weaker in tanks, because of oxy­gen being less in the water col­umn than if they could use the air (if I rememm­ber right.) Stores keep them in shal­low water in refridger­a­tors, so their metab­o­lism slows down and they don’t need to be fed, I think.
They would die if the tank I kept them in had no aer­a­tion. They would eat pieces of brown gro­cery bag paper, and almost any­thing else. Keep­ing them in shal­low water or keep­ing them sub­merged in water clean and aer­ated seemed the most impor­tant require­ment for keep­ing them alive, I don’t know about breed­ing them.

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