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Aspiring Aquarist
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
One of my millions of questions : How to you raise or lower the water hardness in the tank? My fish need softer water and my water is pretty hard. Also is there a general amount of time it takes in order for the nitrites to spike in the tank? I am being patient but it is driving me nuts! My ammonia has been 3-5ppm for the last 3 days but the nitrites are still at 0. Should i add a little more ammonia? Or should I just go get some Cycle or something? Or jsut sit and wait more lol. I just want to make sure that my tank is cycling properly.*c/p*
 

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Queen Platy
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One of my millions of questions : How to you raise or lower the water hardness in the tank? My fish need softer water and my water is pretty hard. Also is there a general amount of time it takes in order for the nitrites to spike in the tank? I am being patient but it is driving me nuts! My ammonia has been 3-5ppm for the last 3 days but the nitrites are still at 0. Should i add a little more ammonia? Or should I just go get some Cycle or something? Or jsut sit and wait more lol. I just want to make sure that my tank is cycling properly.*c/p*
Its very fustrating to try to change the chemistry of the water. Because changing GH will require you to also mess with the pH along with KH. It goes together in a triangle. Its easier to find fish that fit your city's water rather than making the city's water fit the fish. Tampering with the water too much by adding chemicals to try to change the water chemistry isnt good either and most of the time it will bounce back to what it originally was because of the buffers in the water. Most fish will adapt to your water hardness. The only reason why people would want to lower hardness is to give optimum conditions to breed and raise young. Such as Discus fish that require soft and acidic water to breed. BUT if you must lower the hardness, you can dilute Reverse Osmosis water or Distilled water into your tap water. Some people invest in a Reverse Osmosis system that filters and generates R/O for them. But that is for way bigger tanks because buying R/O would be more expensive for them. Since yours is only a 10 I think buying the R/O water shouldnt be too costly. Walmart sells it for i think 80 cents a gallon.

The Nitrite will spike when its time to spike is all I can say :D. If your ammonia level lowers to 3ppm, add more to keep it at 5ppm. Add light and keep the temperature of the water warm to promote bacteria growth. Also you can go to your local fish store and ask for a used filter to add bacteria to your tank. I personally dont do it because... Im scared I will bring in disease from there and introduce it into my tank. But a lot of people do it with a lot of success.
 
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Your tank will cycle when its ready basically. I wouldnt mess with trying to change you waters hardness because like was said most fish will be fine in your water and trying to do it with just 10 gallons will be difficult IMO. What fish do you have or plan to get that need soft water??
 

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Aspiring Aquarist
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I want to get some cherry barbs. The site I use for my fish info claims that they 'prefer' soft, slightly acidic water. I can't remember what else, but I do remember reading quite a few fish profiles that said that. The only other things I want in my tank is some scarlet badis and a couple otos. I just want tomake the best possible conditions for them and I wasn't really sure just how important hardness was. But I think barbs are pretty hardy, right? So they should be able to handle it I guess.


Now to just get the pH down some more, should I wait until my tank is cycled and I've done a water change? Or could I do it now?
 

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I wouldnt mess with the PH either. I have had angels spawn in 7.6-7.8 PH and raised the babies in the same water and it takes more than just PH down to bring it down and for it to be stable.
 

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Aspiring Aquarist
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Mine is super high, it's at like 8, and all my fish supposedly need 6.5 to 7.5 . When I had the 55 gal I had a pH kit that seemed to work pretty fine, but then again ended up with two kois and a pleco so who knows .
 

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Pleco n bn breeder n BOSS
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My advice would also be forget the scarlet badis, most won't eat prepared or dried foods and will only eat live foods. It took me a couple of months to get mine to eat frozen brine shrimp, lost 7 in the process of trying to change them over and only have 3 left.
 

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Wow, guess you learn something new every day! I had no idea scarlet badis would only go for live foods...

logansmomma1228, I too have a high ph (at least 8 out of the tap and 7.8 once settled in my tank w/plants and driftwood.)

I've had great results with drip acclimating new fish for a few hours. There are kits you can buy, or do like I did...get a bucket, place all new fish with the water from the baggies and knot some thin airline tubing once. Start a siphon with one end of the tube in the main tank and place the other end in the bucket. You only want it to drip 2-3 drops every second. Tighten the knot if necessary. I cover the bucket with a towel to keep things dark and quiet. Let it go for a couple hours and throw out a little of the water in the bucket to replace the old water with the new tank water.

Going slow with this process allows the fish to adjust to the differences in the water. Patience is key! Best of luck!
 

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I use peat moss in the substrate which on my planted tanks seems to keep kh and gh constant for at least 2-3 years. With a sand only substrate both tend to rise.

I also let my plants condition the water and never add chemicals of any kind. I use no circulation and with the plants pH rises to 8.4-8.8 with the api high range test kit.

Yet with that high pH all fish do fine and live for years. PH rises with lower carbon dioxide. So that plants consumeing the carbon dioxide seems to keep the fish healthy even if it results in a high pH.


my .02
 
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