60l Starter Tank

Discussion in 'Beginner Discussions' started by Bluefinllama, Mar 5, 2021.

  1. Gio

    Gio

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    @Bluefinllama did you ever get to the bottom of your low GH and KH?
    I seem to be having a very similar issue with mine which is causing quite large intraday pH changes between just below 6 and 7.5, I've tested the residual water from my water change on Wednesday (which I'm thinking could be used as a control as it's dechlorinated tap water which has been standing for 2 days) against my tank water.

    What strikes me it it seems the tap (Rand Water) water (left hand test) looks to be soft which I did not expect?
    I was worried that something in my tank was decreasing it, but from the looks of the test below the control is similar to the tank water after a couple of days.
    JBL test.jpg
     
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  3. OP
    Bluefinllama

    Bluefinllama

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    @Gio

    In my case it turned out to be the aquasoil, it seems to act like a buffer in itself and will always lower pH, KH etc as long as it is still active, from the reading I've done this is normal and trying to counter it as you'll probably lose the battle.

    What type of substrate do you have?
     
  4. Gio

    Gio

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    Also LanGa, with quite a bit of driftwood.

    I was just surprised at the out of tap readings. What did you end up using to buffer the KH?
     
  5. A new day

    A new day Moderator

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    I suggest you add crushed coral (about 1/2 to 1 flat teaspoon to 60cm tank)
     
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  6. Gio

    Gio

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    Thanks @A new day will try find some this weekend. Would that equate to +/- two spoons for a 200L?
     
  7. OP
    Bluefinllama

    Bluefinllama

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    @Gio

    My tap water readings in Pretoria also after standing for a bit:

    Nitrates = 10
    Nitrites = 0.25
    GH = >7
    KH = 4.5
    PH = 7
    Chlorine = 0
    CO2 = <15

    I couldn't find any crushed coral, if you do please also let me know where I can find.

    I used seachem alkaline buffer, but the Langa just keeps dragging it back down and as I've mentioned it seems to be the desired effect.

    Did you treat the driftwood - as A New Day mentioned it releases tannins and lowers pH KH and gh as well.
     
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  8. A new day

    A new day Moderator

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    Yes you’ll have to play around with it a bit. I have around 2 tablespoons in my 240L at the moment. Used to have more but reduced it as my pH climbed to 7,5. With lots of Langa (or similar) and especially something like mopane one might need more. so I’d say start with 2 tablespoons and see if further adjustments are needed?
     
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  9. A new day

    A new day Moderator

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    I got mine from a lfs that also does marine. Have been a repeat customer so when I begged they gave me a little bit from their own supplies
     
  10. Gio

    Gio

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    I'll let you know if I come right with the coral,

    I soaked the wood for about a month changing the water weekly, then poured boiling water over it. That's about the extent of the treatment I applied.
     
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  11. Gio

    Gio

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    @A new day I have some sea urchin shells which it seems would have the same effect as crushed coral, do you have any experience with this?
     
  12. A new day

    A new day Moderator

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    I don’t have personal experience no. Hope others could chime in. I know that stuff like crushed mussel or clam shells supposedly work just as well so would imagine that urchin shells could do???
     
  13. Gio

    Gio

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    Well I'll give it a go and let you know of the results. @Bluefinllama apologies for the thread hijack!
     
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  14. OP
    Bluefinllama

    Bluefinllama

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    @Gio

    This is South Africa, sadly we're already used to it :D

    On a serious note, not at all, we're all learning here. I actually have cuttlebone in my tank, I wouldn't say it made any difference, probably more to calcium for shrimp / snails etc.
     
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  15. Radesh

    Radesh

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    Hello @Gio

    I asked a few LFS i visited for their dead coral, which I think they throw away. And was given a few pieces for free. One charged me a really small amount for the dead coral so I have enough to keep my PH quite high. You can break these into small pieces and put in a filter bag. I just left them whole in one section of my sump tank.
     
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  16. A new day

    A new day Moderator

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    Excellent! I would boil to sterilise first if it’s been used in a tank
     
  17. OP
    Bluefinllama

    Bluefinllama

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    I'm looking into getting a new filter, hang on back, cannister or maybe a sponge, not completely sure yet, but would like to be able to control flow a bit better, Jeff seems to be doing well and makes bubble nests, but both him and the nests sometimes get blown away with the current even with the smaller filter on, any suggestions for a decent filter?
     
  18. A new day

    A new day Moderator

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    I run a pimped up DoPhin CF300 cannister on my 65L these days. Dunno, when it works it works well. But somehow I feel like there’s an issue every now and again, I have to open up the filter more often and doing it feels more more onerous than on some of my other tanks.

    I run a pimped up Aquaclear 20 on my 45L QT which works pretty well and which I can recommend. A bit more visible than I’d like. Also directly under the ‘waterfall’ there is quite a strong downwards flow which is a nuisance as it pushes plants down. But gentle flow in the rest of the tank.
     
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  19. OP
    Bluefinllama

    Bluefinllama

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    Been looking at the Aquaclears, do they do fine with load shedding though, does it properly prime or do you need to do so? Should be able to baffle the waterfall a bit somehow which should improve the flow you mentioned.
     
  20. A new day

    A new day Moderator

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    Yes mine does fine with load shedding, primes itself. Have heard others experiencing the opposite and apparently it has to do with how you load it with biomedia.
    I kept the sponge then added about 250ml of matrix in a plastic mesh bag, as well as some Purigen in stocking. Also DIYed a sponge cover for the intake (to protect shrimplets)
     
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  21. A new day

    A new day Moderator

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    Then I’ve actually developed a liking in the little Sobo internal filters. They’re cheap and nasty but I have one on my 38L and now on my little Beta tank. They come with a sponge but you can cram some matrix in. If the tank is lightly stocked that’s one up from a sponge filter, small & unobtrusive and does a great job.
    Edit: they come in bigger sizes too
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2021
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