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Questions regarding biotope setup - BADC 2022

Natthanon

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Greetings everyone.

Does anyone here entering BADC 2022? I’m going to enter Rio Negro biotope this year and have the following questions:
1. I’m using liquid test kit and I can’t see anything because of tannin stained water. Is there any way to test without buying electric tester?
2. What kind of lighting should I use between WRGB and white?
3. I can’t seem to understand what this GH and KH test kit instruction means. color change from red to green? Is it supposed to be red since the first drop?
4. Bacteria questions: Do Nitrification bacteria survive a pH of 4? Do we suck up/kill bacteria during water changes?

Thanks in advance for your help.
 
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Djoko Sauza

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1. I’m using liquid test kit and I can’t see anything because of tannin stained water. Is there any way to test without buying electric tester?
What are you trying to test actually?

2. What kind of lighting should I use between WRGB and white?
That's really up to you. Point source lightning usually works well with biotope - Kessil, AI Prime, even a regular household lightbulb would work since you'll probably want quite dim lighting.

3. I can’t seem to understand what this GH and KH test kit instruction means. color change from red to green? Is it supposed to be red since the first drop?
I'm not familiar with this test in particular but it looks like you have to add drops until the solution turns green and the number of drops you added is your hardness value.
 

Aqua360

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I want to, with a slow burn project I'm still collecting info for, but time will tell!

Your idea sounds great! What are the specs of your set up?
 

sparkyweasel

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Testing dark-stained water is never going to be easy.
What you can do is; fill a duplicate test vial with a sample of tank water (and no test reagents) and hold it in front of the colour chart. Then hold your test sample (after adding the reagents) in front of the white background. This allows for the water coloration. But it can still be hard to see the colours. A bright, pure white light may help.
You may also consider whether it is necessary to test;
have a look at this thread:
Test Kits

The hardness test is as @Djoko Sauza says. Add one and shake the vial. If it's red, add another drop and shake. Repeat until it goes green; if that is, for example, 6 drops the hardness is between 5 and 6 degrees. Because after 5 drops it hadn't changed, so hardness is more than 5; after 6 drops it had, so 6 degrees or less. If it goes green on the first drop the hardness is one degree or less.
hth
 

John q

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4. Bacteria questions: Do Nitrification bacteria survive a pH of 4?

On the face of it I'd have said no they wouldn't survive at such low ph levels, however, after doing a bit of digging it appears there could well be some level of nitrification occurring even in these hostile conditions. @dw1305 will probably give you a better, more precise answer, but for now here's a bit of reading for you.


 

dw1305

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Hi all,
On the face of it I'd have said no they wouldn't survive at such low ph levels, however, after doing a bit of digging it appears there could well be some level of nitrification occurring even in these hostile conditions....
I think microbial activity is reduced in the"black water", but nitrification doesn't stop, because we now know about s whole panoply of ammonia oxidising archaea that occur in acidic conditions.

Cheers Darrel
 

Natthanon

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Your idea sounds great! What are the specs of your set up?
191L aquarium (91.44x45.72x45.72cm).
Testing dark-stained water is never going to be easy.
What you can do is; fill a duplicate test vial with a sample of tank water (and no test reagents) and hold it in front of the colour chart. Then hold your test sample (after adding the reagents) in front of the white background. This allows for the water coloration. But it can still be hard to see the colours. A bright, pure white light may help.
You may also consider whether it is necessary to test;
have a look at this thread:
Test Kits
If I run water through activated carbon to remove tannin, would all parameters still be the same?
On the face of it I'd have said no they wouldn't survive at such low ph levels, however, after doing a bit of digging it appears there could well be some level of nitrification occurring even in these hostile conditions. @dw1305 will probably give you a better, more precise answer, but for now here's a bit of reading for you.
I think microbial activity is reduced in the"black water", but nitrification doesn't stop, because we now know about s whole panoply of ammonia oxidising archaea that occur in acidic conditions.
Thanks for your scientific explanation as always :)

Another question: Do we kill or suck up beneficial bacteria during water changes?
 

John q

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Another question: Do we kill or suck up beneficial bacteria during water changes?

I suppose there could be "some" bacteria that gets removed when we do water changes, but the amount would be insignificant. The majority of beneficial bacteria in our tanks will live on various surfaces ~ filter media, substrate, leaf litter, plants etc. So I don't think you've anything to worry about regards sucking out beneficial bacteria.

There could be a potential to harm the bacteria that's in our tanks if the incoming water had high levels of chlorine or chloramine in it and wasn't treated with a conditioner.

Lots of people do big water changes here at ukaps without issues.
 

Natthanon

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What species of fish are you planning on keeping? You probably don’t need to go as low as that with the PH.
I currently have 20 cardinal tetras in the tank. According to this website and this video, the Rio Negro river have pH of about 2.9 to 7 and I want to replicate that.
I suppose there could be "some" bacteria that gets removed when we do water changes, but the amount would be insignificant. The majority of beneficial bacteria in our tanks will live on various surfaces ~ filter media, substrate, leaf litter, plants etc. So I don't think you've anything to worry about regards sucking out beneficial bacteria.

There could be a potential to harm the bacteria that's in our tanks if the incoming water had high levels of chlorine or chloramine in it and wasn't treated with a conditioner.

Lots of people do big water changes here at ukaps without issues.
Glad that is not the case. I usually do 60%-80% daily water changes because I’m so paranoid of fish diseases and hair algae.
 

dw1305

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Hi all,
According to this website and this video, the Rio Negro river have pH of about 2.9 to 7 and I want to replicate that.
You just need to aim for <"low conductivity water">, and then any <"addition of tannins"> will reduce the pH.

From the <"FEOW link">:
....... The Rio Negro’s water is extremely poor in mineral content, with conductivity as low as 8 µS ........
What you have to remember is that pH <"is never stable"> in soft vegetated water and <"that it doesn't matter">.

cheers Darrel
 

dw1305

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Hi all,
A PH of 4 is pretty extreme. Somewhere around 6 should still be fine.
and this video, the Rio Negro river have pH of about 2.9 to 7 and I want to replicate that.
I really enjoyed the video, but he doesn't explain that pH is a ratio, as well as a log10 scale and it is the ratio aspect that means you can go through several orders of magnitude of pH change with very little change in actual ionic composition. This leads him to talk about rapid "pH change" being dangerous, where in this case the pH could easily show large diurnal (diel) variation just by changes in the CO2 : O2 ratio. <"Black waters">, and <"the fish that live there">, really are different.

I'd also like to address the issue of "no plants", where black water fish. Discus etc. live, these are emergent aquatic plants.

resizeimage.aspx

Photo copyright TomC from <"Collecting in Angamos, Rio Javari">

As soon as I found out that aquascapers have a fairly rapid one unit pH drop, and very rapid one pH unit rise, every day without it effecting their fish I knew that changes in pH aren't the whole answer.

It is water chemistry that is important, so just ensure no large changes in ionic composition, and you can do this by measuring electrical conductivity (ppm TDS). If you start <"with 8 micro S. conductivity"> in <"water that pure"> pH just isn't a very useful measurement.

cheers Darrel
 
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dw1305

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Hi all,
@dw1305 Do you have any info on how salinity, KH and GH affect fish like mollies? I once had mollies in brackish tank and now I’m planning to keep them in Yucatan coast biotope with 32ppt salinity.
I think you can keep Sailfin Mollies in full salinity. Seawater has high dGH and dKH and I'd definitely keep Mollies in hard water.

Cheers Darrel
 

Natthanon

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Hi all,I think you can keep Sailfin Mollies in full salinity. Seawater has high dGH and dKH and I'd definitely keep Mollies in hard water.

Cheers Darrel
Thanks Darrel.

Another question, does dGH and dKH affect fish in general? What happen if I keep hardwater fish in CO2 injected tank?
 

dw1305

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Hi all,
Another question, does dGH and dKH affect fish in general? What happen if I keep hardwater fish in CO2 injected tank?
I'm not a CO2 user and I don't have hard water in the tanks, but generally "hard water fish" don't do well in soft water. You can maintain soft water fish in harder water, but there life span maybe limited and they can't usually breed successfully.

If you travel to either end of the water spectrum, say the Rio Negro drainage and Lake Tanganyika, then the fish from these environments require very soft and very hard water respectively.

The pH changes caused by the addition of CO2 are a bit strange, you have <"more Total Inorganic Carbon (TIC)"> and that changes the pH ~ CO2 ~ Carbonate equilibrium point.

cheers Darrel
 
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