Trouble with Apistogrammas

Biollante

Lifetime Charter Member
Lifetime Member
Jun 21, 2009
3,210
1
36
Surprise, AZ
We EvilPlantMonsters Like Tasty Vegitarians

Hi Helgi,

Unless you are buying the high end, extreme activated charcoal I am not sure recharging/refreshing is worth the effort.:rolleyes: Recharging seemed to work, but it was a hassle, I know some reefers use really high end charcoals and it may make sense there. :rolleyes:


  • Basically soak the AC for a day or so in distilled or de-ionized water,
  • then dry well in the sun and
  • put it in the microwave at full power for 15 minutes or so…
    • The best results seem to be when I put it the ceramics kiln and let it cycle through a firing.
    • For some reason the LoudCreatureWhatSharesMySpace and the insidious (and they call me evil!) ThingWhatSpawnedTheLoudCreature do not seem to like me putting stuff in the kiln while they were firing stuff, go figure.
  • I never really tested the effectiveness… So it is rather subjective, it seemed to work well.

For the most part I do not use it in the typical way anymore; when I did I reused the AC buy using it in flower beds or pots.

A primer on activated charcoal, http://www.cee.vt.edu/ewr/environmental/teach/wtprimer/carbon/sketcarb.html and http://www.hallman.org/filter/gac.html
An activated charcoal comparison http://www.pets-warehouse.com/carbon.html
A practical guide http://www.mchportal.com/fishkeepin...ter-the-environment/571-activated-carbon.html

I think I may see where the problem lies…:gw

More in a bit. I caught some vegetarians, gonna through them on the grill…:eek:

Biollante
'Twas night in the dwelling,
and Norns there came,
Who shaped the life
of the lofty one;
They bade him most famed
of fighters all
And best of princes
ever to be.
 

douahe

Junior Poster
Nov 29, 2010
26
0
1
Washington
"Yes the “Filter-Mate” or any of the KMnO4 for regenerating iron filters for water systems is wonderful. This stuff used to available everywhere."

I found "Filter-Mate Softener Cleaner" at Lowes. However, it doesn't say anything about the chemical composition. Nowhere is Potassium permanganate or KMnO4 mentioned. I figured I should double check and see if you recognized that as being the correct thing before I go dumping chemicals into my tank... I tried looking up the MSDS sheet for it and it says it is citric acid... which seems weird if it is the Potassium permanganate... http://www.amazon.com/dp/B000X2FVE0/?tag=barrreport-21 This is the stuff that I found at Lowe's...I know this is repetitive but I want to be sure.

Thanks

Helgi
 

Biollante

Lifetime Charter Member
Lifetime Member
Jun 21, 2009
3,210
1
36
Surprise, AZ
Away Our Norse Hero to Lowes…

Hi Helgi,

That is Filter-Mate Softener cleaner, I believe it is a Citrus product, it is not Potassium permanganate.:(

The Filter-Mate for iron filters says Potassium permanganate Regenerates greensand iron filters on the front. At the Lowe’s around here it goes for about US$33.00. http://www.summitbrands.com/summit/our_brands/water_mgmt/potassium/

The Pro Pot-perm version http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_n...ywords=regenerate+greensand+filters&x=15&y=22

A higher grade (more expensive) version from the ChemicalStore http://shop.chemicalstore.com/navigation/detail.asp?id=PP100

Biollante
 

douahe

Junior Poster
Nov 29, 2010
26
0
1
Washington
Well, I've been to or called a dozen or so places in the area trying to find the Potassium Permanganate. So, I'm going to have to order it. I will post an update after I have been able to get it, and after I get the localized water report.

I looked through the info on the charcoal, and recharging appears to be more trouble then it is worth.

Did you have another thought at a possible culprit?

Thanks,

Helgi
 

Biollante

Lifetime Charter Member
Lifetime Member
Jun 21, 2009
3,210
1
36
Surprise, AZ
So The Whole Marriage To A Valkyrie Thing… Kinda Awkward With The In-laws?

Hi Helgi,

Our Norse hero asks “is there is another culprit?” Yes, I think so, I think you may have already solved the direct problem… :confused:

I think you have systemic problem though.:rolleyes::rolleyes: I need to complete a little research and I will get back to you on what I think happened and suggestions on how to proceed.:gw

And yes, whenever possible, building, plumbing and wiring things in is a most excellent idea. :D

  • Something to keep in mind when moving or buying a house and you like larger and/or multiple tanks, how can they be tied in and automated.:cool:

I do not think the PP is critical, it is nice to have and could help detect circulation problems…:)

I doubt the AC is critical at this point either, though if you have AC on hand I think it a wise precaution to use it for now, anyway.

Biollante
 

douahe

Junior Poster
Nov 29, 2010
26
0
1
Washington
Here is the more detailed water report I received. Our water comes from three different wells. The report for each well is three pages long so I will post what seems important and leave out the rest. If I've missed something, let me know and I will add it.

Well #1

Nitrite =
 

douahe

Junior Poster
Nov 29, 2010
26
0
1
Washington
Biollante;69581 said:
Hi Helgi,

Our Norse hero asks “is there is another culprit?” Yes, I think so, I think you may have already solved the direct problem… :confused:

I think you have systemic problem though.:rolleyes::rolleyes: I need to complete a little research and I will get back to you on what I think happened and suggestions on how to proceed.:gw

And yes, whenever possible, building, plumbing and wiring things in is a most excellent idea. :D

  • Something to keep in mind when moving or buying a house and you like larger and/or multiple tanks, how can they be tied in and automated.:cool:

I do not think the PP is critical, it is nice to have and could help detect circulation problems…:)

I doubt the AC is critical at this point either, though if you have AC on hand I think it a wise precaution to use it for now, anyway.

Biollante

What is the direct problem that you think I solved? Are you referring to the algae eaters, or the high carbonate hardness? If not, what is the direct problem that you are referring to?

At risk of becoming pesky, have you further suggestions about the systemic problem you were referring to?

I spoke with the Wet Spot Tropical Fish (where I have been getting my Apistos) and asked them what they thought. Everyone I have spoken with there is basically at a loss. The only real suggestions they had are diet, (they suggested stopping the Omega One flakes and bloodworms and giving them frozen cyclops and brine shrimp instead. I can't say that this makes a whole lot of sense to me however.) and switching to a sand bottom.
Based on the suggestions that it might be a stock problem I asked what their source was. The only thing that they could tell me was that the fish are tank bred, and come from outside the U.S.

Do you have any suggestions for another source? How about AZ Gardens?

Right now I am still waiting to get a more solid handle on what to do better next time before I get any more fish. In the next batch I am hoping to try another pair or two of Apistogramma and some discus.

Thanks again for all your assistance.

Helgi
 

Biollante

Lifetime Charter Member
Lifetime Member
Jun 21, 2009
3,210
1
36
Surprise, AZ
Must Keep Helgi "bane of Hundings" from becoming Helgi bane of EvilPlantMonster

Hi Helgi,

Here I am keeping a Norse Hero waiting, I may have been disowned already, but if not, then certainly for this. :(

I am sorry I got distracted… :eek:

Actually, I think you may have resolved the main problem… :)

I really do not think it was poor stock. :)

  • I actually think within the bounds of reason people are better off dealing with and supporting local businesses.

I will get more out this evening or tomorrow morning.

Biollante
 

Biollante

Lifetime Charter Member
Lifetime Member
Jun 21, 2009
3,210
1
36
Surprise, AZ
Low Friends In High Places... High Friend In Low Places

Hi Helgi,

I think the Rasbora die-off is a key indicator.

I suspect that you have areas of poor circulation, though I do not think that is the main problem.:confused:

I have a high-friend-in-a-low-place doing some research for me so I am going to put you off a little longer.:eek:

I do think the fluctuations in KH is a factor, I suspect from what I see in your water reports that if you want to keep Apistogramma you are probably going to need an RO filter.

  • The reason I asked about tap water temperature is that RO membranes are sensitive to temperature.
  • I also think it will pay you put a couple of filters in front of your RO filter to extend the life of the membranes,
  • Depending on your water pressure and consistency a pressure pump may help.

I think you may need to rearrange or thin your plants to guarantee adequate circulation and help reduce the organic compounds in the water column.

You may need to rearrange your flow patterns a bit, I know Duthcy has an efficient back to front flow pattern that seems to work well.

  • I like the uphill, downhill method for consistent flow end to end.
  • Many ways to skin the proverbial cat.:eek:

I have another high-friend in a very low place that has given me the inside dope on your live fish seller:eek:, I am assured that the Wet Spot Tropical Fish is a very good store.

  • Its principle weakness is that it is a “one man show,” as with many small businesses they have some really good employees it is simply hard for the owner to trust others (those that work for them) so things get a little backed up.
  • There principle focus is not Apistogramma (that is okay, they provide good quality fish).

I am also told there is a fairly active Dwarf Cichlid group in the Portland area. These folks may be able to help with specific local issues.:)

Biollante
Undan komst Helgi ok fór á herskip. Hann felldi Hunding konung ok var síðan kallatur Helgi Hundingsbani.
 

douahe

Junior Poster
Nov 29, 2010
26
0
1
Washington
Biollante;70180 said:
Hi Helgi,

I think the Rasbora die-off is a key indicator.

I suspect that you have areas of poor circulation, though I do not think that is the main problem.:confused:

I have a high-friend-in-a-low-place doing some research for me so I am going to put you off a little longer.:eek:

I do think the fluctuations in KH is a factor, I suspect from what I see in your water reports that if you want to keep Apistogramma you are probably going to need an RO filter.

  • The reason I asked about tap water temperature is that RO membranes are sensitive to temperature.
  • I also think it will pay you put a couple of filters in front of your RO filter to extend the life of the membranes,
  • Depending on your water pressure and consistency a pressure pump may help.

I think you may need to rearrange or thin your plants to guarantee adequate circulation and help reduce the organic compounds in the water column.

You may need to rearrange your flow patterns a bit, I know Duthcy has an efficient back to front flow pattern that seems to work well.

  • I like the uphill, downhill method for consistent flow end to end.
  • Many ways to skin the proverbial cat.:eek:

I have another high-friend in a very low place that has given me the inside dope on your live fish seller:eek:, I am assured that the Wet Spot Tropical Fish is a very good store.

  • Its principle weakness is that it is a “one man show,” as with many small businesses they have some really good employees it is simply hard for the owner to trust others (those that work for them) so things get a little backed up.
  • There principle focus is not Apistogramma (that is okay, they provide good quality fish).

I am also told there is a fairly active Dwarf Cichlid group in the Portland area. These folks may be able to help with specific local issues.:)

Biollante
Undan komst Helgi ok fór á herskip. Hann felldi Hunding konung ok var síðan kallatur Helgi Hundingsbani.

Yesterday I had someone suggest using Seachem Acid Buffer to lower my KH. From what I can gather here: http://www.fosterandsmithaquatics.com/product/prod_display.cfm?pcatid=4124 it appears that it converts the alkalinity into CO2. I'm sure that this is not optimal, but at this time I can't really afford to spring for an RO system. Would this be a viable alternative until I can get an RO system?

I am already working on the plant/flow problem. I tend to keep my tanks densely planted. While I do trim them and keep them looking nice, it does get to be looking like a jungle in there :) I like the look. However, plants grow back so I'm going to try and see if thinning them out significantly and rearranging the flow will make a difference in keeping Apistogramma. I actually have a 4 1/2 foot piece of driftwood a neighbor brought back from the ocean that I am working on treating so I can put it in the tank. I've got it in the cooler getting waterlogged right now. Soon it will be ready to switch and boil the other side :) This change will mean removing a significant number of plants that I have in the tank. I have had dwarf hairgrass in the tank, and I discovered recently that it is a fantastic place for detritus to build up. So, I'm going to switch to something a little less dense. I'm thinking dwarf baby tears would look nice. I'm going to ditch the SAEs and flying foxes and get some Otos. Would you suggest that I add another powerhead for circulation or just rearrange the way the water is currently flowing?

I'm curious about your comment on the Rasbora die off. That happened more than a year ago. Do you think whatever caused that is sill a problem?

Thanks,

Helgi
 

ShadowMac

Lifetime Members
Lifetime Member
Mar 25, 2010
1,043
13
38
Grand Forks, ND
I used the seachem acid buffer and found that the changes did not hold, pH wise. You probably will end up with kH fluctuations anyways. I also did not notice much of a benefit from it. I would say save your money and put it towards RO in the future or keep critters that like your parameters (advice I didn't follow :D)
 

douahe

Junior Poster
Nov 29, 2010
26
0
1
Washington
Biollante;70180 said:
Hi Helgi,

I think the Rasbora die-off is a key indicator.

I suspect that you have areas of poor circulation, though I do not think that is the main problem.:confused:

I have a high-friend-in-a-low-place doing some research for me so I am going to put you off a little longer.:eek:

I do think the fluctuations in KH is a factor, I suspect from what I see in your water reports that if you want to keep Apistogramma you are probably going to need an RO filter.

  • The reason I asked about tap water temperature is that RO membranes are sensitive to temperature.
  • I also think it will pay you put a couple of filters in front of your RO filter to extend the life of the membranes,
  • Depending on your water pressure and consistency a pressure pump may help.

I think you may need to rearrange or thin your plants to guarantee adequate circulation and help reduce the organic compounds in the water column.

You may need to rearrange your flow patterns a bit, I know Duthcy has an efficient back to front flow pattern that seems to work well.

  • I like the uphill, downhill method for consistent flow end to end.
  • Many ways to skin the proverbial cat.:eek:

I have another high-friend in a very low place that has given me the inside dope on your live fish seller:eek:, I am assured that the Wet Spot Tropical Fish is a very good store.

  • Its principle weakness is that it is a “one man show,” as with many small businesses they have some really good employees it is simply hard for the owner to trust others (those that work for them) so things get a little backed up.
  • There principle focus is not Apistogramma (that is okay, they provide good quality fish).

I am also told there is a fairly active Dwarf Cichlid group in the Portland area. These folks may be able to help with specific local issues.:)

Biollante
Undan komst Helgi ok fór á herskip. Hann felldi Hunding konung ok var síðan kallatur Helgi Hundingsbani.
\

About halfway done with my rescape. I'm hoping to be done and ready to restock the tank in the next 2-3 weeks. Most of what I have left is replanting, and pulling out SAEs and Ancistrus. I'm still debating what to put in as I'm still a bit unsure of the cause of death:confused:. Hoping you might have some more information for me. :) I've considered just adding one pair of rams or apistogramma and waiting 4-6 months to see if they survive. The impatient part of me however wants to get a decent stock of fish in there. Once my algae eaters are gone and with all the rescaping, the tank looks pretty empty. My KH has been steady at between 5-6 for the last couple of months. I'm debating on whether or not to get a RO filter or not. Need to figure out if I can afford it or not. I'm planning to stock with 5-7 discus, 1-2 pair of apistogramma, and maybe one pair of rams, a school of Rasbora and some Otos. I would think that in a 210g this would be acceptable.

Any idea how to get in touch with the Dwarf Cichlid group in Portland? I've done a couple searches and have not come up with anything.

Thanks again for all the help. Hope I'm not becoming annoying :rolleyes::D

Helgi
 

Biollante

Lifetime Charter Member
Lifetime Member
Jun 21, 2009
3,210
1
36
Surprise, AZ
What Barely Passed For A Brain Has Completely Slipped Away

Hi Helgi,

I haven’t forgotten you, just ran out of Helgi Hundingsbane hero stories.
:eek: May have to go with some other Norse hero:gw or make up my own, which seems popular.:eek:

Actually I have some stuff I will try to post tomorrow.

Biollante

 

douahe

Junior Poster
Nov 29, 2010
26
0
1
Washington
Thanks! Look forward to it!

We've decided it is time to fork out for an RO unit. I'm hoping to get it ordered by the end of the month. APEC has their units on sale until the end of August. Since we want to use it for drinking water as well, that should work out pretty well. I'm planning to start doing two 25% water changes instead of one big 50% change each week. I'm going to get a big rubbermaid and put it in the stand with a heater, pump, and airstone so the water does not go stagnant. I'm going to run a line from the RO to the rubbermaid, and then the outlet from the rubbermaid into the tank. Still working on the details. I'm not completely sure that it will work quite the way I want.

I've got the tank completely rescaped now. I've taken out the vast majority of my plants and purchased several new ones to put in there. I've removed all my SAEs and flying foxes, and gotten 5 otos to begin with. I also put another 10 cardinals for a total of twenty and 30 pork chop rasbora.

I think the tank will look really nice once it grows out. I will try and get a picture up in the next couple days.

Helgi
 

Biollante

Lifetime Charter Member
Lifetime Member
Jun 21, 2009
3,210
1
36
Surprise, AZ
So Anyway This Whole Valkyrie For A Wife Bit…


Hi Helgi,

Glad to hear the decision on the RO.

Careful thought, placement and a little plumbing action can make a big difference in the enjoyment of the hobby; this is supposed to be fun!
:gw

Speaking of pumps and RO systems (I was), consider some filtration out in front of your unit; this can save a lot of money and maintenance. I like a decent whole house sediment filter followed by a charcoal block filter.
:) Check the hardware or big box stores for what works for your area.

Also if your water pressure is not good or fluctuates get the pressure pump for the RO unit from the beginning, they are not terribly expensive and can really save on the membrane replacement and increase the quality and consistency of the RO product.
:)

I am still waiting on some information, but I think you are on a good track.
:cool:

[video=youtube;vHxQra9hSBQ]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vHxQra9hSBQ&feature=related[/video]

Biollante
 

douahe

Junior Poster
Nov 29, 2010
26
0
1
Washington
Biollante;71561 said:

Hi Helgi,

Glad to hear the decision on the RO.

Careful thought, placement and a little plumbing action can make a big difference in the enjoyment of the hobby; this is supposed to be fun!
:gw

Speaking of pumps and RO systems (I was), consider some filtration out in front of your unit; this can save a lot of money and maintenance. I like a decent whole house sediment filter followed by a charcoal block filter.
:) Check the hardware or big box stores for what works for your area.

Also if your water pressure is not good or fluctuates get the pressure pump for the RO unit from the beginning, they are not terribly expensive and can really save on the membrane replacement and increase the quality and consistency of the RO product.
:)

I am still waiting on some information, but I think you are on a good track.
:cool:


Biollante
[/FONT][/SIZE]

I received the RO unit this week and have gotten that all set up. I have a 90gpd unit that will serve both to provide RO water for my aquarium as well as for drinking water. I am trying to figure out a way to set up either an automated or semi automated system to fill up a container in the stand. I would like to have lines running for both RO and tap water. I am planning to have a heater and a small (400gph) powerhead in the bin to bring the water to the correct temperature and circulate the water so it does not go stagnant. Because of space restrictions I'm unable to set up a 50 gallon drum (which is what I would like to do in the long run) thus the bin under the tank. I have not been able to find anything bigger than a 35 gallon that will fit. I've contemplated filling up that 35 gallons entirely with RO water and having a second larger bin that I pull out only when it is time for a water change. However, I would rather have something set up to do the water changes more frequently with less time than that. This is my first foray into doing anything with plumbing for my aquarium other than just setting up my canister filters. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Here is what I'm thinking. With that 35g bin, I will have 1/4 inch lines running for the tap water and RO water. I've thought about having manual shut offs for this, and just filling the bin when I have time, or doing a full automated with a valve in the bin as well as on the line to prevent overflow. For output I was thinking to put a spout at the bottom of the bin and run a 5/8 line to the input for my xp3, with a shut off valve so I can flip it on/off. Do you think that this will work?

Also, when mixing RO and tap water, is there a "formula" or something that will assist in estimating the RO tap water ratios? Or is it simply based on testing?

What changes would I need to make to my EI dosing if I switch from one 100g WC to doing 3 35g WCs?

Thanks,

Helgi
 
Last edited by a moderator: