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Tanganyikan water and Barr GH Booster, CaCO3, etc...

Discussion in 'Are you new to aquatic plants? Start here' started by rusticitas, Jul 4, 2008.

  1. rusticitas

    rusticitas Lifetime Charter Member
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    If I am mixing up water for a new Tanganyikan tank, can I use just use Barr GH Booster and CaCO3? Would I need to add anything else to keep fish healthy and happy?

    Or, would I be better off using (for example) the Seachem Tanganyika Buffer, Cichlid Salt, and Cichlid Trace products?

    My tap water is extremely soft, virtually RO water...

    (I know this is slightly off-topic, but please indulge me for a moment here, I will have more plant-specific followup questions.)
     
  2. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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    Jason,

    Not off topic.

    I understand that using crushed coral (dolomite?) as a partial or substrate will help increase hardness over time.

    Also I know that certain rocks (limestone?) will also help increase water hardness the same way.

    Since your water is so soft, you need something more permanent to assist anything you add to the actual water.

    Not sure how this fits in with your scaping plans though.......

    I would go with your original plan and see how the water is affected. No sense buying more supplements than necessary right off the bat.

    Hope this helps.
     
  3. VaughnH

    VaughnH Lifetime Charter Member
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    You could us Tahitian Moon Sand, or one of the other substrates that are intended to slowly increase the hardness. Or, add dolomite to the lower substrate level - that slowly adds both calcium and magnesium.
     
  4. rusticitas

    rusticitas Lifetime Charter Member
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    Good points. I figure no matter what I'm going to have to add something to the tap water, at least for water changes, no? Fish won't like having to wait for the substrate, rocks and such to slowly alter the GH/KH I would think.

    I have some Tahitian Moon Sand (TMS) on hand, but have never noticed it to change anything with the water chemistry. I think it's supposed to be neutral. I will double check however, as I've never actually paid close attention to it!

    I'm not particularly concerned about plants at this point, I am looking to add a few easy, hardy species only. (Perhaps some anubias nana, or such). I would like to set up a species, "biotope-ish" tank of Tanganyikan shell-dwellers...
     
  5. ibnozn

    ibnozn Member

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    I use aragonite sand in my planted tang tank - in the non-planted part. It buffers the water nicely, in fact with the pumped in CO2 slowly dissolving the aragonite the KH can get a bit too high at times. Degassed the ph is around 8.2+/-. The GH for some reason still needs to be raised though, not sure why, so I adjust with magnesium (epsom salts).

    The aragonite never seemed to stay clean and white for very long so recently I mixed in some of the Tahitian Moon Sand with the aragonite, I think this is what Eco-Complete cichlid sand is. The salt and pepper look is much better and easier to keep looking clean. I'm pretty sure the TMS is inert.

    Over at Cichlid Forum there are simple DIY recipes for rift lake buffer you may want to look at. The ingredients are just baking soda, epsom salts and aquarium salt.
     
  6. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Careful with the mimicry of Tang and Malawai waters........

    It's not just KH, Ca and Mg...........

    There's a lot of K+ and SO4 as well.

    The Gh booster is not bad except for the KH part, and using potassium bicarbonate might be good there.

    Dolomite is slower to dissolve as is Calcite (Onyx sand is iron rich calcite), and aragonite is the easiest.

    But Dolomite has both a nice balance of GH and KH.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  7. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Also, unless you are raising wild fish and breeding, you might have fish that where tank bred and and raised in typical tap, thus they are not wild fish nor best raised in such conditions necessarily...........

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  8. rusticitas

    rusticitas Lifetime Charter Member
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    Tom,

    I had not realized or considered that tank-bred (Tanganyikan) cichlids might not need the water replicated to be like the lake itself. I am assuming that since my tap water is very soft that would not be ideal for these fish straight from the tap. So perhaps I should consider a mix of some aragonite in with Tahitian Moon Sand (TMS) and regular/silica sand as a "steady buffer," and when mixing new or change water to mix in some things like GH Booster, CaCO3, and ... Not sure what else just yet (Tom's last message is off screen while I write this and I don't recall which one he mentioned)...

    Luckily, I'm in no rush...

    If ignoring plants just for the moment, what minerals (GH and KH are only minerals, correct?) are important to the fish? And the harder water has more to do with osmotic pressure on the fish's internal water pressure vs. external? And the KH "means" what to the fish? I just realized as I think about this that I am losing track of the differences between fish needs and plants in the water column!

    8-}

    -Jason
     
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