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Go Back   Tropical Fish Forum . Net > Freshwater Tropical Fish Discussion > Angelfish and Discus

Angelfish and Discus General questions and comments about angelfish and discus.

 
 
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  #11  
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Default Re: Thinking of Starting a Discus Tank

Double check the Estes Marine Sand. Substrate used for marine aquariums is usually crushed coral or seashells and is used to buffer saltwater to high ph......I also discovered that some of Estes regular aquarium gravel has what they describe as fresh water clam shells in it...Irregardless it will also inch the ph upwards......Any of it would work quite well for African Lake Cichlids, but not Discus or soft water fish.

Also check if the sand is high on phosphates and silicates.....It pays to research things for your self even if a LFS or someone like me recommends it.
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Default Re: Thinking of Starting a Discus Tank

So the tank was going fine after I added some Cory cats. So I added some cardinals and a few ottos. Well my pH went crazy. It jumped from around 7 to 7.6! And my hardness went crazy too (4.5 to 5.0 ppm). Now I have a mix of sand and gravel in my tank. The sand is CaribSea sand that is supposedly safe for fresh and salt. They claim that it should not affect your pH or your GH. Needless to say in a little over a week I lost all of my cardinals and 2/4 ottos. I have been battling my hardness with a water softener pillow and RO water changes every 2 to 3 days. I can not get either to decrease!!!! I am even using pH down that is supposed to lower my pH by 0.2 ppm every 24 hours. Just to be sure I checked my tap water since that is what I used the first time to fill my tank. My water has 1 ppm Hardness and a pH of 7.6. That at least explains the high pH but not the hardness. This is getting crazy. I broke down and bought Seachem's Discus Buffer and Neutral Regulator Water conditioners. They should get here by Friday afternoon so I hope to have the tank settled within a week. I want my discus!!! However, I will NOT buy any until I can get this water under control. If anyone has any more suggestions to lower my pH or hardness please tell me.

Thanks,
-Lucas

Last edited by lrmarks2003 : at . Reason: Added information about tap water.
  #13  
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Default Re: Thinking of Starting a Discus Tank

CaribSea Sand is advertised for marine and African Cichlid use!....It is crushed argonite and is a calciferous material...It will raise ph to and above 8.0..........Discus and other soft water fish will not thrive in alkaline water!
If you wish to keep Discus and other soft water fish, you will need to toss the CaribSea Sand and start over with gravel or sand that contains absolutely no calcium.
If you want to keep things as is, you will have to switch to fish that like hard water with high ph.
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Default Re: Thinking of Starting a Discus Tank

Maybe I should have been more specific on the type of Caribsea I have. . its the Super Natural. The link is http://www.caribsea.com/pages/products/super_nat.html

I believe I have the one called Marine Sand but the FAQ says that:

Will any of the Super Natural substrates impact pH?
No, they are inert and should have no effect on pH and KH.

Now I am begining to be a bit worried though after what you posted Dano. The chemicals will be here tomorrow so I hope by mid next week I can make a descision as to whether or not to keep the sand.
  #15  
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Default Re: Thinking of Starting a Discus Tank

Take some of the carib sand and put vinegar on it...If it foams, it ain't inert.
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Default Re: Thinking of Starting a Discus Tank

Ok will do. Hmmmm never thought of that test. Little Acetic acid and carbonate makes CO2. You a chemist Dano?
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Default Re: Thinking of Starting a Discus Tank

No....Just enough to get out of college and that was back in the 70s.
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Default Re: Thinking of Starting a Discus Tank

I did the test about 3 hours ago. . .the dang sand bubbled for an hour with just a little (1/4 cup) in a glass with ~1/4 vinegar and water!!!! I am seriously never buying Caribsea products again! That is bull that they say on the web site that it is inert and will not affect your ph or hardness. Needless to say I spent over an hour siphoning the sand away from the gravel. It took about a 50% water change to remove all the sand. So I refilled it with tap water. I added the chemicals I got today (Neutral Regulator and Discus pH) and hopefully everything will work. After 2 hours the pH is already down from 7.6 to 7.3 and that is with adding tap water at pH 7.6! I will check it tomorrow and hopefully soon I can add discus to my tank Fingers crossed everyone. . . .

Thanks for all your help Dano!
  #19  
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Default Re: Thinking of Starting a Discus Tank

Be sure to read up on Discus care and be patient with the cycling process.
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  #20  
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Default Re: Thinking of Starting a Discus Tank

So I finally got my fish on Wednesday. The tank has a pH around 6.8 to 7.0 and a hardness around 5. I talked to the breeder and he said they were viable for his discus. So I ordered 2 Cobalts, 2 Brilliants, and 2 Red Turquoise from Discus Hans. They are beautiful and doing great. They are eating bloodworms like crazy. I have two Ottos and 3 Cory cats with them right now. There are 6 more Ottos in my quarantine tank that I plan on adding. Anyway, thanks for everyones advice and I will attach some photos hopefully of the fish.
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