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  1. I hope anything i said wasnt offensive to you? you said fish dont like change... because my GH fluctuates a fair amount, i was curious to see how you would handle solving the fluctuations? Unless you think i should just ignore it...?
  2. My GH fluctuates a significant amount based on rain and even season (melting snow, amount of vegetation preventing erosion, freeze/thaw of the ground etc etc), so this is reflected in my water supply...and causes my GH to fluctuate unhealthily perhaps during my water changes...since Goldies like consistent parameters I'm going to have to mess with my GH anyways to keep it more or less consistent even if I have aragonite substrate in the tank...so what are my options then? Smaller, more frequent water changes to minimize the difference in change of GH between water changes, Switch to RO water for consistancy and adjust it with the same dosages each time (limits human error) Add aragonite substrate and an undergravel filter for additional assistance and/or a cuttlebone Monitor GH and dose carefully with a GH booster Move to Florida to an area that receives water sourced from a deep aquifer that fluctuates little in composition and has a high natural alkalinity and is rich in minerals (I wish!!) Any other thoughts?
  3. I don't want to sound argumentative, because clearly I am not sure whether GH does have an impact on goldfish specifically and I am sure you are more knowledgeable than me, however, there is one comment you made that is more than likely true for your specific area in Florida but cannot be universally applied. "Whether you have hard or soft water from your tap depends on whether it comes primarily from deep wells (typically hard) or from shallow wells and bodies of surface water (typically soft). " "Some cities use a river or other body of water as their water source. This water is usually soft and goldfish do well there." This I can definitely see as being true as Florida is essentially at/below sea level and has very little topography. Also because Florida substrate is composed of calcium carbonate, deeper aquifers logically speaking would be harder than rain-fed surface ones. However, like I mentioned, this cannot be universally applied. The hardness of water is determined by the local geology and that varies by location. I have done local water tests as part of my studies in college in central Pennsylvania for example. Pennsylvania has part of the Appalachians and a much greater variety of substrate and topography than Florida. Simply put, there are parts where surface water is very hard, because the water flows past an area that is rich in calcium carbonate deposits (at one time in the geological history of the area, it was below sea level)...however in other areas granite predominates. Granite doesn't dissolve as readily in water, and therefore, the water is less hard. This alone doesn't tell the whole story however. Distance traveled also plays a part. Therefore, you can have areas of water that are hard in granitic substrate. Hardness also increases with distance traveled. The longer traveled the greater erosion and dissolution of minerals. I guess what I am trying to say is surface water can indeed be hard and is dependent upon the local geology. It cannot be assumed that all surface water is softer than deeper aquifers universally, although it may be true for Florida. You did allude to this as well "Now where do goldfish live in the wild? Mostly in shallow lakes and ponds fed by rain and surface (or near surface) water. Such water is typically soft. However there are lakes that have very hard water, and goldfish can live there too." Just putting a reason to why lakes with hard water do exist. It's just too general of an assumption to say that most shallow bodies of water are typically soft. Also the point can be made moot by the fact that many water sources, treat their water in plants extensively before distribution. Some places with very hard water soften it before distribution as hard water causes calcification in pipes and therefore increases the city's maintenance. So sometimes it doesn't even matter where your water is sourced from because it has already been artificially altered from its natural state. I think it is important to note that it is true that water drawn at the surface does fluctuate a great deal more than deeper aquifers. If it rains a lot a week or few days before you change the water in your tank, it can drastically alter your water chemistry (lower GH/KH), so another reason to promote smaller more frequent water changes over less often one large ones (something I'm notoriously guilty of recently ). So I know I have deviated from the point of your post, it seems you are saying that goldfish are adaptable to a wide variety of conditions including water hardness and can survive in both hard or soft waters and that stability is more important than numbers. That clearly makes sense. Fluctuation in conditions is stressful even for humans! But recently my tap water has had maybe even 0 GH (1 drop turns solution green)...and I can't imagine goldfish doing well or flourishing long term without any Ca/Mg hardness, even if they are adapted to softer water. Every animal can certainly adapt to the environment in which they live to an extent, but it doesn't mean its optimal living conditions. And if I have to mess with my GH anyways, barring human error, isn't it better to have conditions closer to the ideal than not?
  4. Hm thanks for the input! I wonder if the food does make a difference? I used to feed them ProGold from Goldfishconnection...ughh I am so sad he retired...its thrown off my whole maintenance schedule!!! Now I am feeding them ShoImpact sinking pellets...it does says it includes zinc, manganese, copper, potassium, and vitamins too...I also give them spirulina occasionally and krill. I cant seem to locate that article about sodium impeding dissolution...ill keep an eye out for it...I could have read it wrong though anyway and misunderstood and got it mixed up completely! Yesterday I did a 30% water change and this morning my parameters for KH/GH were 6/4, then today I did a 60% water change and now KH/GH are 6.5/6. So the water is now at what I think it is supposed to be. I just hope I didn't do it too quickly...plus I have ammonia in my tap water (0.5 ppm), so I keep adding ammonia back in to the system when I change the water. My filter takes care of most of it in a reasonable amount of time though. Hopefully someone can input on whether GH matters or not! Either way, the guy I was worried about hasn't been lethargic at all today. I think the salt dip helped a lot.
  5. Thanks Lisa! I may post in the DD section still but my main goal was to get my water parameters in check first, as historically they have been the problem for me and to see if that helps first, and I think it is. I am guessing (lots of guessing over here :/ ) my GH has been off for a few months now...because I got lazy with measuring my parameters and switched to pure baking soda for KH. So due to long exposure to non-existent GH, that is what I suspected was stressing my fish and susceptible to disease. I have been routinely changing my water, but that itself wasn't helping my fish... I am confused because Shakaho seems to be suggesting that goldfish aren't really bothered by low GH? (Although in my case nonexistent GH straight from the tap), in which case fixing the GH won't help? I did a 30% water change yesterday with water with 7 dKH (GH 125 ppm) keeping KH/pH consistent. I am going to do another 30% water change today with the same to bring my GH up hopefully. I also did a 3% salt dip yesterday (in lieu of a bath), and luckily the fish that was more lethargic, is much more active today already. It is a shame my anubias are looking pathetic, but I wasn't too concerned with them yet. They are still growing, but a couple leaves are beginning to melt. I haven't used my lights in months actually (plus they need replacement bulbs). But I have a lighting fixture that holds 4 x T5 45W 6500K daylight tube bulbs. The tank is near a window and gets some indirect sun there. The lights in combo with phosphates were giving me an algae headache. Unfortunately, the tank has no where else to relocate to in our house, so I "control" the amount of light it gets with the blinds. Maybe I should just switch over to the D&D thread?
  6. Wait, sorry I am confused...I don't have a water softener...I suspect that my water source softens it before distribution and adds orthophosphate to the water supply as well to regulate pH...this is why I think my KH/GH and pH readings are confusing. But I could obviously be wrong. You said that goldfish don't mind about living in soft water? It was my understanding that goldfish actually preferred harder water and that some hardness is obligatory for proper osmoregulation? Either way, here is an article on the relationship between "temporary hardness" (carbonate hardness) and non-carbonate hardness (magnesium). It delves into the chemical processes that occur for water softening via precipitation (obviously the opposite of what I want though): http://www.gewater.com/handbook/ext_treatment/ch_7_precipitation.jsp Another article I was reading that is less chemistry focused states the following about domestic water softeners: "...domestic water softeners...remove the temporary hardness(such as carbonates) that potentially furs up pipes and heaters by replacing it with permanent hardness (such as chlorides) that does not. While you can pass this softened water through a reverse-osmosis filter to remove the permanent hardness as well, until you have done so, you shouldn't consider the softened water as being suitable for soft water fish. In fact, aquarists are divided on whether the resulting softened water is safe for keeping fish at all. The odd balance of minerals in softened water is not typical of any of the environments from which tropical fish are collected. While the chloride levels are much higher than those soft water fish are adapted to, the levels of carbonate hardness are too low for the health of hard water fishes like Rift Valley cichlids, goldfish, and livebearers." http://www.wetwebmedia.com/fwsubwebindex/fwh2oquality.htm This one is about calcium in the aquarium, though it is specifically about marine aquariums there is valuable information about the precipitation process, particularly about supersaturated molecules. It also discusses the role phosphate plays in inhibiting dissolution: http://www.advancedaquarist.com/2002/3/chemistry Here is more on phosphate and its relationship to precipitation of carbonates and algal blooms: http://yyy.rsmas.miami.edu/groups/jmc/fla-bay/fbay.html Here is what I read about the importance of GH and redox: http://www.fishbeginner.info/home/aquarium-gh-kh-ph-chemistry-what-to-know/ http://www.americanaquariumproducts.com/AquariumKH.html The latter article is interesting because it provides reference links for additional information however, does pitch product sales so take with a grain of salt I am still trying to relocate the information I found on sodium preventing the dissolution of other minerals in the aquarium. I ended up doing a salt dip in the meantime with the fishies. I don't want to add or mess with the water too much. And I could also be simply really confused...I studied Geobiology and Environmental Ecology in college, which had a lot to do with water hardness etc., but it has been a while since I took chemistry. So maybe I am just completely wrong.
  7. I use 3 ACs on my tank (2 x 110s and 1 x 70) and have replaced the motors on them with the ones from Amazon. They work perfectly and you can tell the difference when you exchange them in regards to water flow! I suggest it...there is no reason to buy another media basket when you have ones that already work just fine! I have also bought other replacement parts and nothing has gone amiss yet.
  8. No water softener...unfortunately that is just the regular tap water in my area....someone else recently posted about the water being off in the same area too so its not my test kit
  9. Oh i should also say that i know there are alternatives such as aragonite, and cuttlebones to aid in raising GH gradually..if it really is super neccessary i can go out and get it...but im really trying to not have to (money is tight)!
  10. I am having issues with GH....well i didnt realize i was because i have been lazy about testing my water params....until my fish began looking unhappy and water changes werent helping...It all started with running out of the Buff it Up from goldfish connection... Just realized my GH from the tap is 0-17 ppm...ughhh...so now i realize thats why my anubias are melting... After i ran out of BIU i started adjusting Kh with baking soda, which doesnt unfortunately help my GH at all...but i figured it was probably fine (like an idiot)...so my question is at what rate can I safely raise GH so i dont cause my fish even more stress or osmotic shock or whatever? I have Barr's GH booster from my attempt at keeping plants days...also have equilibrium too...also have epsom salt on hand if needed (i have options, but i think i will stick with Barrs GH booster as it has a 3:3:1 K:CA:Mg ratio...unless you all tell me otherwise)... If it helps, to know my basic params they are as follows: (tank/tap) pH: 8 / 7.4-7.6 Ammonia: 0-0.25 / 0.5 ppm (just did a 30% water change after i took these measurements and doing another tomorrow) Nitrate: 20-30 / 0 ppm Nitrite: 0 / 0 ppm KH: 140-150 ppm / 17 ppm GH: 17 ppm / 0-17 ppm 3 fish/55 gallon tank with 2 AC110 and an AC70, and air pumps. I am currently aging ~25 gallons of water with an airstone in anticipation for tomorrows water change. The other issue i am concerned about is i wanted to treat with 0.1-0.3% salt because my poor fish are looking ragged...but i read that having too much sodium in the system will cause the other minerals too precipitate out...so maybe i should skip the salt until i can get a decent GH in the tank? i also think that there may be orthophosphate in the tap water...i read somewhere else that kaolinite/montromillionite clay may help bind orthophosphate? Has anyone else heard of this? I have both on hand (i use it for face masks!) and they also may help raise hardness i think... Sorry this was so lengthy but thanks for the help!!
  11. UGH I am SO LATE to the game...but I went to buy ProGold today and its allll gone I am so so so very sad....I used BuffitUP, ProGold, MM, JumpStart...everything from Rick for years....(and I cannot believe I missed the sale!)...if I hadn't procrastinated so much and restocked up on my goods.... I'm running out of BuffitUp, and am on my last specks of ProGold...what is everyone using to replace it? The only recommondation I have seen so far is the Total Koi Sho Inc here...does anyone else have any recommondations...I know I know that everyone recommends Repashy and gel foods...but I am unsure I realllyyyy want to to pursue that route... (Edit) Sorry, I saw Chelsea recommonds the following.. (1) ShoGold Impact (2) ShoGold (3) New Life Spectrum Thera A+ Anything else? Pros and Cons? or Preferences for any of these?
  12. Working on my Anubias collection The 55 gallon tank as of August 13th, 2013: Types of Anubias so far: *Anubias barteri var. glabra (aka Anubias lanceolata) *Anubias barteri var. nana *Anubias barteri var. nana 'petite' *Anubias barteri var. nana 'micro' *Anubias barteri var. nana 'golden' *Anubias barteri var. nana 'snow white' *Anubias afzelli Anubias Wishlist: *Anubias barteri *Anubias barteri var. coffeefolia *Anubias hastafolia *Anubias barteri var. nana 'stardust' *Anubias barteri var. nana 'marble'
  13. jfg5018

    The Tank Gang

    Thanks all! I started using Koi Clay a few months back (when the last three of these photos were taken) and the fish are even more colorful now! The first picture was taken within the past couple of weeks and you can see they have more orange/red color that just pops now! I highly recommend Koi Clay!
  14. Anubias Species, Varieties & Cultivars Compiled By: Julia, jfg5018 We all know it is incredibly hard to maintain a planted tank with our voracious goldies. There are very few aquatic plants that will actually thrive in our aquariums. Many of us yearn for a lusciously planted tank but are limited severely in our foliage selection. So why Anubias? Simply put, they are easy to maintain, require very minimal (if any!) additional nutrients and substrate, can survive in a plethora of water parameters, and are hardy enough to withstand curious goldfish tank mates. Thankfully, there are actually many morphologically distinct species, varieties and cultivars of Anubias to chose from! Not only do Anubias range in sizes suitable for fore-, mid-, and background arrangements but leaf-shape, and even color! Beautiful, aqua-scaped freshwater aquariums aren't just for tropical community tanks! Scientific Classification Kingdom: Plantae Phylum: Angiosperms Class: Monocots Order: Alismatales Family: Aracea Subfamily: Aroideae Genus: Anubias vSpecies: A. barteri, A. afzelli, A. gracilis, A. hastifolia, A. gigantea, A. gilletii, A. pynaertii, (A. frazeri: species status questionable) uVariegata (Variegations, Varieties: var.) wCultivar (produced in cultivation via selective breeding) Facts: Genus Characteristics: Roundish, typically heart-shaped (cordate), incised leaves. Often compact growth. Broad-leaved rosettes (leaves grow upward from a rhizome) Found naturally only in West Africa (Sengal to Angola and Zaire) Not all species of Anubias are suitable as aquarium plants Price per rhizome (as of 8/2013) can range from $5 for common strains to up to $85 for rare cultivars! Species, Varieties & Cultivars: Notations: vindicates species; uindicates variegation; windicates cultivar vAnubias afzelii Long pointed, elliptical leaves w/ prominent lateral nerves Reddish brown stems Mid Ground Plant vAnubias barteri Compact Heart Shaped Anubias One of the most common available. One of the most vigorous and smallest species uAnubias barteri var barteri Grows up to 45 cm tall Leaves tend to be slightly lighter in color uAnubias barteri var. angustifolia (Formerly Anubias lanceolata) Narrow leaves, height 10 to 15 cm Common aquarium plant Still often sold as Anubias laneolata within the hobby Elongated leaves (5-9 times long as they are broad) uAnubias barteri var. caladiifolia One of the larger varieties Height in aquarium 7 to 30 cm, Leaves 10 to 23 cm long and 5-14 cm wide uAnubias barteri var coffeefolia: Coffee Anubias One of the naturally occurring varieties Green leaves w/ creamed coffee to light lavender undersides Reddish purple stems Less tall, more spreading Deep, indented veins causing ruffled appearance uAnubias barteri var. glabra N.E. Brown (1901) (Pseudonyms: minima, lanceolata) Narrow-leafed (lanceolate), pointed tip leaves with short petioles Leaves: 5 to 10 cm long, 2 to 5 cm wide Flat, creeping rhizome up to 5mm in diameter Height 10 to 15 cm Propagation: Tends to not grow lateral shoots, cutting the rhizome induces the back part of the rhizome that remains in the substrate to generate a new shoot KH: 212°, pH: 6.0 to 7.5, T: 22-28 °C uAnubias barteri var. nana: Dwarf Anubias Dwarf creeping with heart shaped leaves Leaves are up to 6 cm long and 3 cm wide Height: 5 to 10 cm wAnubias barteri var. nana eyes Cultivar of the regular size Anubias nana They are considerably smaller than its larger counterpart Ideal for smaller tanks or foreground Grows horizontal rather than upward Stays only a few inches tall Flowers moderately, with soft whitish green blossoms wAnubias barteri var. nana golden Light green to golden leaves Color does not disappear as the plant ages or propagates wAnubias barteri var. nana petite Smallest variegation of the Anubias wAnubias barteri var. nana micro Smallest cultivar of the Anubias wAnubias barteri var. nana Stardust Characterized by white, light veins and mottled, marbled leaves wAnubias barteri var. nana Wrinkled Leaf Unique wavy-shaped leaves wAnubias barteri var. nana Marble: Marbled Nana Characterized by marbled leaves due to genetic mutation in DNA wAnubias barteri var. nana Snow White Characterized by mottled, white leaves due to genetic mutation in DNA Color does not disappear as the plant ages or propagates wAnubias barteri var. nana Ghost Characterized by young, white leaves that mature to a pale, green due to genetic mutation in DNA Anubias congensis (obsoletesee A. heterophylla) Anubias frazeri (species status questionable) vAnubias gigantea: Giant Anubias Large leaves and height vAnubias gilletii Initially heart shaped later with long rear fringes Leaves are arrow shaped Grows up to 25 to 40 cm vAnubias gracilis Soft, textured leaves Unsuitable for vigorous fish Triangular shaped, light green leaves Least robust species commonly available Often sold as A. hastifolia (completely different species) Does not like constant uprooting and excessive handling vAnubias hastifolia BIG plant with long heart shaped leaves Leaves up to 33 cm vAnubias heterophylla Engler (1879) Often commercially available as A. congensis (obsolete) Leaves are variable in size (10 cm 38 cm long), narrow to broadly lanceolate Slightly larger than A. barteri Leaves are a slightly paler green Grow tall in aquariums (up to 60 cm) Good general adaptation Propogation: Lateral shoots off the rhizome D: 2, KH: 215°, pH: 6.0 to 7.5, T: 22-26 °C, AH: 3 Anubias minima (see Anubias barteri var. glabra, Anubias lanecolata) Previously considered an autonomous species, reviewed by Crusio as a variety of A. barteri vAnubias pynaertii References: Anubias by Karen A. Randall 1998 http://www.sfbaaps.org/articles/randall_01.html Aquarium Plants Their Identification, Cultivation and Ecology by Dr. Karel Rataj and Thomas J. Horeman TFH 1977 ISBN 0-87666-455-9 Baensch Aquarium Atlas 2 by Hans A. Baensch and Dr. Rudiger Riehl Tetra Press 1993 ISBN 1-56465-114-2 Baensch Aquarium Atlas 3 by Hans A. Baensch and Dr. Rudiger Riehl Tetra Press 1996 ISBN 3-88244-053-8 The Genus Anubias SCHOTT (Aracea) by Wim Crusio Meded. Landbouwhogeschool Wageningen 79-14 (1979) The International Plant Names Index http://www.ipni.org
  15. jfg5018

    The Tank Gang

    Thanks They aren't anything fancy-the big chain store variety! But they are so fun and so quirky!
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