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Does Florabase Pro lower Gh?

Gaina

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Forgive me if this question has been asked elsewhere, I had a look around but couldn't find anything.

Does Florabase Pro lower Gh when it 'sets' your PH? I'm on day 7 of my fishless cycle and the pH is steadily dropping towards 6 as indicated on the Florabase packaging (currently 6.4), but my GH is also steadily dropping and today it's 3 degrees and I'm perplexed.

I initially filled the aquarium with 50/50 RO/Tap as my water is extremely hard (13 degrees) and have literally done nothing else bar add a pinch of fish food daily, so all I could think was that the substrate is responsible for the drop in GH.

I don't want to start meddling with parameters and making life unnecessarily complicated for myself so I'm wondering if I should totally forget RO and stick with tap if the substrate is going to soften the water anyway?

Any input from those of you who've used this substrate would be gratefully received.
 

zozo

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Some substrates indeed can change water parameters, but this will never realy be permanent. And the more water changes you do the sooner it'll be done buffering and or adding. It is very popular marketing yell nowadays to advertize with Kh and Ph lowering/stabilizing substrates, since planted tanks and using Co2 became more popular in the hobby. I experienced the same thing with Akadama, that lowers kH and it does but rather for a short periode after that it's back to square one with what comes from the tap. Same as with filtering over peat to change kH and pH, it does for a few weeks than it's completely buffered and you need to refresh it.

gH 13 is hard, but not realy to the extreme and it doesn't nessecarily need to be lowered for a regular planted community tank.
 

ceg4048

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Hello,
I agree with Marcel. It doesn't really matter at all whether a new substrate affects the alkalinity or General Hardness. The effects will be temporary and even if it were permanent it would not really matter.

One of the biggest mistakes hobbyists make is that they fret over KH, GH and pH. When they do this they miss the boat because they should be worried about more important things like performing adequate amounts of water changes and keeping the tank clean. A lot of propaganda is promulgated in this hobby, mainly to make people worry so that they will be afraid enough to buy useless products. Some products actually do more harm than resolving the problems they are marketed to solve. "pH Down" is a typical example of a toxic product that causes more harm than good, yet, many folks buy and use this toxic acid because they have been programmed to believe that they must maintain some mythical pH.

You do far more damage to your fish and plants by putting food in the aquarium than is done by substrate acting upon KH, GH and pH. It's simply not worth worrying about.

As Marcel points out, unless you are aiming to breed soft water fish, you may wish to reconsider the use of RO as it becomes time consuming and tedious. You can easily use the tap water as it is without worrying over it's hardness.

Cheers,
 

ian_m

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as my water is extremely hard (13 degrees)
Hard, hard that's not hard that is positively soft, I have 22º water. Don't appear to have any issues breeding fish and growing plants and getting CO2 in the water.

Again you need to seriously think about starting to use RO as it makes fish & plant keeping 10 times harder and 10 time more time consuming and 10 times more worry. Also cost, if you are on a water meter it can work out about 2p per litre for RO water.
 

Gaina

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Thanks so much for the detailed responses. I will definitely stick with tap from now on.

The whole RO thing started because about 7 months after I started my first tank, my fish started dying after exhibiting various symptoms that being a novice, I couldn't pin down to a common ailment. I had a few survivors, so I waited a month before restocking and everything was fine for a fortnight, then the whole lot - bar one toughie that I still have - died over the course of a weekend.

I asked the local water company for a report but nothing jumped out at me. The only thing is that it sometimes the water smells a bit 'bleachy' out of the tap (I always used dechlorinater without fail). The only conclusion I could come to was that my water hardness had weakened their immune system.

I think I listened to some really bad advice as newbie (NOT, from my LFS I hasten to add, they're excellent) that confused me but now I'm a a lot more discerning in where I get my information.
 

dw1305

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Hi all,
I asked the local water company for a report but nothing jumped out at me. The only thing is that it sometimes the water smells a bit 'bleachy' out of the tap (I always used dechlorinater without fail).
Could you use rain-water?

cheers Darrel
 

ian_m

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The only thing is that it sometimes the water smells a bit 'bleachy' out of the tap (I always used dechlorinater without fail).
What dechlorinator did you use, some are more effective than others ?

Also generally if you add chlorinated water to a dirty tank (and/or dirty filter) you can be OK as the chlorine quickly reacts with the organics and gets neutralised, which is why some people get away very dirty tanks, using straight tap water and fish not being killed.

If chlorinated water is the issue, you get immediate response from the fish, due to gills being "burnt" and quite quick deaths, if chorine level is high enough. However chlorinated water can also wipe out the filter bacteria which can rot and cause oxygen depletion a couple of days later.

So I doubt it would be chlorinated water your issue. But that is no excuse not to dechlorinate, especially if you said your water smelt of bleach.
 

sparkyweasel

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If "the whole lot" died after a fortnight, you probaby stocked too quickly, you need to increase the stock level gradually.
hth
 

Gaina

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If "the whole lot" died after a fortnight, you probaby stocked too quickly, you need to increase the stock level gradually.
hth

Ah, sorry I should have specified I was in the process of adding them back again gradually when the two I had added, plus the rest of the original batch died. Water tests showed nothing out of the ordinary.
 

Gaina

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What dechlorinator did you use, some are more effective than others ?

Also generally if you add chlorinated water to a dirty tank (and/or dirty filter) you can be OK as the chlorine quickly reacts with the organics and gets neutralised, which is why some people get away very dirty tanks, using straight tap water and fish not being killed.

If chlorinated water is the issue, you get immediate response from the fish, due to gills being "burnt" and quite quick deaths, if chorine level is high enough. However chlorinated water can also wipe out the filter bacteria which can rot and cause oxygen depletion a couple of days later.

So I doubt it would be chlorinated water your issue. But that is no excuse not to dechlorinate, especially if you said your water smelt of bleach.

I've always used Aqua Care up to now, but I've been hearing good things about Seachem so I'm wondering if I should change.
 

Gaina

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What dechlorinator did you use, some are more effective than others ?

Also generally if you add chlorinated water to a dirty tank (and/or dirty filter) you can be OK as the chlorine quickly reacts with the organics and gets neutralised, which is why some people get away very dirty tanks, using straight tap water and fish not being killed.

If chlorinated water is the issue, you get immediate response from the fish, due to gills being "burnt" and quite quick deaths, if chorine level is high enough. However chlorinated water can also wipe out the filter bacteria which can rot and cause oxygen depletion a couple of days later.

So I doubt it would be chlorinated water your issue. But that is no excuse not to dechlorinate, especially if you said your water smelt of bleach.

I've always used Aqua Care tap water conditioner and bio-boost.
 

ceg4048

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I've always used Aqua Care tap water conditioner and bio-boost.
Can you please clarify if you are adding CO2?
Also, how often are you performing water changes?
Did you notice any symptoms before the fish died?

Cheers,
 

Gaina

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Can you please clarify if you are adding CO2?
Also, how often are you performing water changes?
Did you notice any symptoms before the fish died?

Cheers,

Well, it's going back 3 years ago now, but if it helps someone else facing the same situation it's worth revisiting.

I was doing 10% once a week (the tank was 65 liters). No Co2 (it was a very low-tech tank with Hardy plants like Echinodorus Bleheri). The symptoms were varied, ranging from overall colour fading, white fins which eventually eroded to some showing no symptoms until shorty before death when they seemed uncoordinated and a few with small blood streaks on the body (no redness in the gills).

I spend many late nights researching the symptoms and the closest thing I could come up with was columnaris, though I have no idea how it could have entered my tank unless it was already laying dormant in the fish when I bought them. I am lead to believe Harlequin Rasbora (which I had before Hengel's) are rather susceptible to this, as well as Neon Tetra disease and it can take several months to manifest.
 

Gaina

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Hi all, Could you use rain-water?

cheers Darrel
Hi Darrell, sorry I'm so late replying to your post, I've only just seen it. :)

My Dad does have water butts, but whatever rain water we do get goes on his veg or in my wildlife pond. I might just tests some rain water out of sheer curiosity, though. ;)
 

alto

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These are just general signs of internal bacterial infection, possible septicaemia ... color loss is associated with some specific viral infections (conversely fish with terminal viral infections can also appear very brightly coloured) but also occurs just when fish are stressed whether by environment (poor water quality, behaviour) or pathogens
The uncoordination is also more often linked to viral conditions, but I also don't really know what you mean by "uncoordinated"

You might confirm with your water company, that water is only taken from a single source always (many water providers use multiple sources) & that only chlorine is ever used (many water providers will add chloramines seasonally or increase chlorides)
If Chloramines are a possibility, Prime is one of the most effective water conditioners on the market - it's also more concentrated than many so 1ml treats 37litres with up to 2ppm chlorine (or 4ppm???) sorry I can't recall & can't seem to quickly find the answer on the Seachem site, but they do have actual numbers for chlorine/chloramine, ammonia, nitrite

Whenever something like this occurs, you might confirm with water company that there is no infrastructure work being done on the lines, no road repairs etc - water is determined to be safe for human consumption, aquarium fish, shrimp etc are not considered

After any fish losses, health issues, it's always a good idea to increase water changes to daily if possible, as you were only doing 10% weekly, I'd begin with 10% daily, then after 7 days, increase this up to 25% water changes - still daily, depending upon fish condition
After a couple weeks of the daily water changes, you can be certain that tank & tap water are now well matched so larger changes won't be noted by fish, the process has also been gradual, giving fish time to react/acclimate

While healthy fish are well able to deal with (possible) large changes in water parameters, compromised fish often do not manage


Columnaris would be unlikely (IMNSHO ;))
 

alto

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Ah, sorry I should have specified I was in the process of adding them back again gradually when the two I had added, plus the rest of the original batch died.
This does seem to indicate some pathogen that came in with the new purchases

- which is why it's recommended to quarantine new stock for 2-6 weeks before adding them into the tank, also to add 1or 2 of your "home" fish to the Q tank for 1-2 weeks before combining all the fish
Of course not many hobbyists can manage this so knowing your shop & their practises can go a long ways to successful new fish additions

It seems you were just rather unlucky, hopefully things are going better since :)

I do run quarantine tanks now but have also experienced complete losses after water changes, it's devastating :(
 

Gaina

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These are just general signs of internal bacterial infection, possible septicaemia ... color loss is associated with some specific viral infections (conversely fish with terminal viral infections can also appear very brightly coloured) but also occurs just when fish are stressed whether by environment (poor water quality, behaviour) or pathogens
The uncoordination is also more often linked to viral conditions, but I also don't really know what you mean by "uncoordinated"

You might confirm with your water company, that water is only taken from a single source always (many water providers use multiple sources) & that only chlorine is ever used (many water providers will add chloramines seasonally or increase chlorides)
If Chloramines are a possibility, Prime is one of the most effective water conditioners on the market - it's also more concentrated than many so 1ml treats 37litres with up to 2ppm chlorine (or 4ppm???) sorry I can't recall & can't seem to quickly find the answer on the Seachem site, but they do have actual numbers for chlorine/chloramine, ammonia, nitrite

Whenever something like this occurs, you might confirm with water company that there is no infrastructure work being done on the lines, no road repairs etc - water is determined to be safe for human consumption, aquarium fish, shrimp etc are not considered

After any fish losses, health issues, it's always a good idea to increase water changes to daily if possible, as you were only doing 10% weekly, I'd begin with 10% daily, then after 7 days, increase this up to 25% water changes - still daily, depending upon fish condition
After a couple weeks of the daily water changes, you can be certain that tank & tap water are now well matched so larger changes won't be noted by fish, the process has also been gradual, giving fish time to react/acclimate

While healthy fish are well able to deal with (possible) large changes in water parameters, compromised fish often do not manage


Columnaris would be unlikely (IMNSHO ;))

Thank you for such a thorough reply.

By 'uncoordinated' I mean they would be swimming around normally one minute then going nose-down or floating in their side for a few seconds before righting themselves and carrying on as if nothing happened. These episodes would get more frequent the closer they got to death.

I actually live not far from the reservoir that supplies our area and when I got the report from the water company they said no work had been done recently on the pipes or supply.

I'm definitely in agreement with you about a viral infection now as one or two of the fish were very vivid in colour when I look back at photos and video I took before they died.

Thankfully, since this happened I've managed to find one or two people in particular who give very good advice, and although I obviously sincerely hope this never happens again, I'm armed with much better information that makes more likely to be able to save some fish.
 

Gaina

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This does seem to indicate some pathogen that came in with the new purchases

- which is why it's recommended to quarantine new stock for 2-6 weeks before adding them into the tank, also to add 1or 2 of your "home" fish to the Q tank for 1-2 weeks before combining all the fish
Of course not many hobbyists can manage this so knowing your shop & their practises can go a long ways to successful new fish additions

It seems you were just rather unlucky, hopefully things are going better since :)

I do run quarantine tanks now but have also experienced complete losses after water changes, it's devastating :(

As these were my very first fish, I didn't have anything to risk the first time, but because I don't have room for a quarantine tank I will only buy new fish from this shop because they've been around a long time and the Hengel's I got from them in 2016 are little belters and coped well with the ammonia spike I just experienced (I had already ordered my 125 at this point and I was doing multiple water changes so they only had endure it for a short time but I'm still impressed with the way they coped).
 
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