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Aftmorn
05-02-2003, 10:52 AM
When I do a water change, do I refill directly from the tap or should I get water jugs and let the water set for a few days?

Boilermaker
05-02-2003, 11:46 AM
Aftmorn, you can do either if I were you I would use buckets till you find out whats in your tapwater call the water company and see how much chlorine and or chloramine comes out at the tap.
I go straight from the tap,and use a product called Novaqua which adds a slime coat and takes out chlorine and heavy metals etc.. I add this while filling the tank, if you have chloramines you'll want to add Amquell also.
Also check your pH levels etc..... you can do this with your own test kits also.

WorldNation
05-02-2003, 11:49 AM
do 25% water changes once a week. and like Boilermaker said, u cna either use tap or let the water settle. i use tap and add novaqua and amquel.

fOx
05-02-2003, 12:12 PM
I don't have that product available to me, so I use either Tetra's AquaSafe, or Hagen's Aqua Plus. Personally I prefer Aqua Plus, I use it all the time without any difficulty. Both of these products do the same as novaqua above. (slime coat, etc.)

Good luck.

fOx

Aftmorn
05-02-2003, 12:54 PM
thanks everyone for the help.
I know my tap has a ph of 8 but, as for the chlorine and chloramine what levels are acceptable and if I let the water set for a few days will that eleminate them?

fOx
05-02-2003, 01:22 PM
Yes, if you let them set for a few days it will evaporate. I don't have the time or the space to store water, so I just do what you were proposing and I have never had a problem. As for acceptable levels, I would say 0, or as close to zero as is possible.

fOx

chc
05-02-2003, 02:47 PM
Chlorine will evaporate if the water is aerated vigorously or if it sits for several days. Chloramine is less likely to do so and could result in some real trouble for your fish.

As far as water changing methods are concerned, it is important to consider the hardiness of your fish. Most Central American, South American, and African cichlids are hardy enough to have their water treated (i.e. the chlorine and chloramine removed) while it is being pumped into the tank. However, several Tanganikans, etc. are more sensitive to big water quality changes, so you'd be better off treating the water in a large container before pumping it into the main tank.

Tell me what species you keep, and I'll give you my assessment.

Also, do you have a Python? It's almost a necessity in small to moderately sized tanks. What size is yours?

aharris
05-02-2003, 02:53 PM
If you consider a Python, make sure it will fit on your faucet. Ours doesn't so we're hauling buckets at water change time.

Aftmorn
05-02-2003, 03:52 PM
ok, here goes.
I am new to this hobby and if I can keep these fish alive for three months I'll be extreamlly surprised! I know next to nothing about what I am doing so, I'm keeping my fingers crossed!

I set this aquarium up using tap water. after five days all levels were fine to support fish except my ph level which stayed at 8, fine for cichlids but maybe not for other fish. I assume this means Chloramine in my tap water is not an issue, I could be wrong but I will assume this for now.

In my tank now I have one pseudotropheus zebra "super red" and one pseudotropheus elongatus "chewere", or at least thats what the fish store told me. They are sharing their habitat with one crab, no problem so far.

My tank, well it is a hexagon, with two mirrored sides, 19 gallons (I think) it has a biowheel for the filter. I have a powerful air pump hooked to an air bar under the gravel, so I'm pretty sure the oxigen level is fine.

Everything else I am trying to learn very quickly.

I am not sure what a python is. The first time I saw it on this web site I wondered why someone was asking about a snake on this forum.lol. I assume now that it is to fill your tank.

I found, when I filled my tank, that using a plastic tub most people use for storage worked very well. I need to do a water change soon so my plan is to fill one and let it set for a few days, then do my first water change. After that I hope to have learned more about what the heck I am doing and can improve my methods.

I realize I need a bigger tank but, I have so much to learn I better figure it out befor I invest that kind of money.

All suggestions are welcome and much appreciated. I thank everyone for helping to lead me down the right path, for I have found I am already very fond of my mbuna and want to keep them alive and fit.

Boilermaker
05-03-2003, 01:36 AM
Originally posted by aharris
If you consider a Python, make sure it will fit on your faucet. Ours doesn't so we're hauling buckets at water change time.

A Harris, theres a plastic threaded adapter that attaches to the sink you can even make it work on the bathroom sink.
Sometimes there a pain in the butt to find when you need one, I always pick up two cause I end up stripping one or losing one.

jonah
05-03-2003, 07:21 AM
Originally posted by Boilermaker
A Harris, theres a plastic threaded adapter that attaches to the sink you can even make it work on the bathroom sink.
Sometimes there a pain in the butt to find when you need one, I always pick up two cause I end up stripping one or losing one.

There's a brass version of it too. I have it on two of my 3 sinks. The third faucet doesn't accept the fitting so I never use it, but there's also a universal adapter that Python sells that will work on pretty much any sink. It's basicly a short length of hose with a couple of D-rings and a threaded end to hook the Python up with. You could probably make one of your own if you can't find it at the store. I've seen it available on one of the online shops like bigals or pet warehouse.

jonah
05-03-2003, 07:23 AM
Aftmorn: www.pythonproducts.com/nospill.htm

It also shows a small picture of the adapter I was mentioning earlier.

chc
05-03-2003, 09:50 AM
Aftmorn.......... you're off to a good start. Welcome to the ball game, and I bet if you make it that three months you'll really be hooked! Just wait a couple of years....... you won't even recognized yourself!

I assume you clicked on the link above and now know all about the Pythons. It's a very handy piece of equipment and makes gravel cleaning easy too. If you are still using the tub to fill and empty the tank make sure you use it for nothing else!

If I were you, I'd certainly purchase a bottle of Prime at the local fish store (lfs). Prime takes out chlorine and chloramine and also gives a little relief for Nitrite stress, etc. (don't worry if you don't know what all these terms mean, you will soon enough; they all basically refer to "bad" water). You really don't need to let the water sit if you use Prime, and as it is you may have a chloramine problem (your lfs should be able to tell you if your local water supply has it).

As I read your post, it sounds like your tank is very new. If that is the case, it will take some time to "cycle" (a term which basically describes the growth of beneficial bacteria in your filter and on all the surfaces of your tank; the cycle term refers to the fact that you will have an ammonia spike initially which is very dangerous to fish, then a nitrite spike which fish don't like either but is not quite so dangerous, and finally a gradual increase in nitrate levels as the other two go back to zero....... then you're home free). It generally takes a tank up to six weeks to cycle, and during that time your fish are at risk, so don't add any more for now. In an established tank, there is a "cycle" established that involves the production and breakdown of wastes into products used by bacteria and plants. The cycle ISN'T exactly complete in a home aquarium, so you can finish it by changing 25% of your water each week or so.

That process of bacterial breakdown of wastes is called biological filtration. It's the filtration you can't see; the one that removes things disolved in the water. Another form of filtration, the one you're more familiar with is mechanical filtration. Mechanical filtration removes particulate waster that you can see; it kind of strains them out of the water. Mechanical filtration makes the water look good to you, but it doesn't necessarily make it FEEL good to fish, so biological filtration is the important one.

There are ways to lessen the impact of initial cycling on your fish. You could purchase some ammonia absorbing resin (fairly cheap; look for stuff like "Ammo-sorb" or "Ammo-sponge" on the carbon shelf at the lfs). Best of all would be PolyFilter (looks like a white floss pad) or Chemi-Pure (in the carbon section too). Those two are expensive but offer a great deal of protection from ammonia and nitrite spikes. Use of materials like this is refered to chemical filtration, and it eventually becomes unnecessary in most instances. Once the tank is established, you can run it actually fairly inexpensively.

If you have test kits, you can track the progress of your tank cycling.

Please tell me specifically which filter you have. You said a biowheel. Is that an Emperor or Penguin hang on back filter or a Magnum canister or HOT Magnum (a canister which hangs on the back; H.O.T. stands for hang on tank). Depending on which one you use I can tell you how to utilze the chemical filtration listed above. Again, there are three types of filtration (mechanical, biological, and chemical), and they usually take place all at once.

Fill me in on your filter type, and I'll forward more recommendations.

Also, what type of gravel do you have?

Mbuniac
05-03-2003, 11:43 PM
My$.02 worth. I use a Python into buckets with Stresscoat added. Even when I just had my 29 gal. I swear my arms were getting longer from carrying buckets. I'd pop for the brass fittings. Your gonna be replacing the plastic ones frequently enough that the brass will pay for itself. LOL
Sam

Boilermaker
05-04-2003, 12:34 AM
Originally posted by jonah
There's a brass version of it too. I have it on two of my 3 sinks. The third faucet doesn't accept the fitting so I never use it, but there's also a universal adapter that Python sells that will work on pretty much any sink. It's basicly a short length of hose with a couple of D-rings and a threaded end to hook the Python up with. You could probably make one of your own if you can't find it at the store. I've seen it available on one of the online shops like bigals or pet warehouse.

I knew you were gonna catch me Jonah :lol:
I have a chrome plated one on the kitchen sink, but I didn't know about the universal one.
They ought to come up with a quick disconnect version, like you see for the garden hoses nowdays.

chc
05-04-2003, 08:53 PM
They've got some of them....

Boilermaker
05-04-2003, 10:20 PM
Originally posted by chc
They've got some of them....

The quick disconnects?

chc
05-05-2003, 06:31 AM
Yes, from the hose to the siphon control at the faucet (not from the fauscet to the control though, but if you get brass there too its easier).

Aftmorn
05-05-2003, 10:07 AM
chc,
I called my (lfs) and you were right, I do have chloramines in my water. They said Prime is extremely harsh and I should use one of the other brands for removing chlorine and chloramines. Do you have an opinion on this?

As for test kit, what kit can I get to test all the levels I need?
Are there kits that give actual numbers or are they all color-coded like the ph test kit I have? (Color coded answers do not work well for me)

The filter well, I really don't know. My tank is a "hand me down" that was operational before it was broke down and moved to my house. The biowheel hangs on the tank with a canister that drops over the back of the tank. As for the gravel, I'm not sure what size it is. I will try and figure these things out tonight and get back to you tomorrow
.

chc
05-05-2003, 10:33 AM
I sure do have an opinion........ they either don't know their stuff or their profit margin is better on some other product (such advice unfortunately happens often).

It doesn't really matter what you use as long as it is a reputable brand that handles both chlorine and chloramine. Prime is made by Seachem.

I used to use other products, but I use Prime exclusively now. It was first recommended to me by a Marine Biologist friend who's in the hobby..... good enough source for me! If you want a slime coat product, the same company makes Stress Coat.

Boilermaker
05-05-2003, 11:15 AM
Chc, Great post on the biological, mechanical, and chemical etc...
Everyone should read this post even us oldtimers as a refresher course.

chc
05-05-2003, 02:55 PM
Thanks, but I really need to work on my typing! I just corrected a couple of mistakes...