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Everything posted by Brett4Perth

  1. Brett4Perth

    Ants & Flood

    What a drama Craig. Our hobby is full of interesting tales Cheers Brett
  2. Brett4Perth

    Question about general hardness

    General hardness is the concentration of calcium + magnesium ions in the water. I am not sure what your test kit is measuring exactly. Cheers Brett
  3. Brett4Perth

    Buffering Planted Tanks

    Hi Parrdog, Most plants are pretty tolerant of pH. Whether it is 6.8 or 7.8 probably wont bother them much. More important is to have adequate Ca and Bicarbonate levels, a kH of 4 is reasonable target to aim for. Cheers Brett
  4. Brett4Perth

    A miserable first attempt.

    I agree with Simon, you are unlikely to have success with Java fern planted in the substrate. Better to attach it to some wood or rocks, cotton or fishing line works well. Cheers Brett
  5. Brett4Perth

    Epson salt for worms

    Magnesium Sulphate (Epsoms salt) is an effective laxative in humans, if you eat it Not sure how you would get the fish to eat it In any event, giving your fish diarrhoea will not fix worms, only constipation So if your fish really do have worms, then I suggest you use levamisole Cheers Brett
  6. Brett4Perth


    Don't be too hard on the doc, it is illegal to perscribe government subsidised medication except for the approved indications. I doubt treating your fish is one of them. Cheers Brett
  7. Brett4Perth

    My First Planted Tank

    Hi Jamie, Brown algea is often a phase that newly set up tanks go through. I am sure that the high nitrates didn't help. Give your tank some time and let it settle in, now that you have rectified the nitrates. an effective brown algea eater is Otocinclus. These are great for planted tanks and stay small. One will probably clean up your tank in a few days. My only concern about Oto's are feeding them once all the algea is gone. Many seem to starve to death in small tanks. Cheers Brett
  8. Brett4Perth

    Perth panorama

    Do they turn out the lights at 10pm !! I didn't know that, but then I am always in bed by 9:00 Brett
  9. Brett4Perth

    KH, GH and pH all over the place

    I suspect that most of these hardness test kits are lucky to be within 20% of the "true" result. The kH tests do seem to be particularly disparate though. pH of 8.4. What did you expect it to be? Cheers Brett
  10. Brett4Perth

    New to planted tanks

    To answer Daniels CO2 question. CO2 in the water is in equilibrium with the CO2 in the air. This exchange takes place at the water surface. Co2 travels from air->water and from water->air. When the two rates are the same the system is said to be in equilibrium and the CO2 concentration is stable, about 3-4 ppm CO2 at standard temperatures. If you increase the CO2 levels in the water, then the rate of CO2 loss to the air is increased and the levels gradually fall till they return back to the equilibrium levels. You can only maintain persistingly high Co2 levels by continuosly adding CO2. How much you have to add depends on how much is lost, which is dependent on the surface area (which does not change) and the degree of surface agitation (which you can vary, and is dramatically increased by wet/dry filters). So wet/dry filters make it more difficult to keep your CO2 levels elevated. However, if you are NOT adding CO2, the increased surface agitation increases BOTH the rate of CO2 loss (to the air) and gain (from the air) the same amount. The net result is no change to CO2 concentrations. I am not sure why your plants did not grow with a wet/dry filter. Perhaps there was some other explanation. Maybe high oxygenation resulting in oxidation of trace elements???? Cheers Brett Aquatic Rocks, that is a nice tank. I would like to see it. Maybe you can pm me?
  11. Brett4Perth

    How do I stabilise pH?

    CO2 of between 10 and 20 ppm, is about right for plants. As it says on the graph CO2 > 35 is potentially dangerous for your fish. So, if your kH is 3, pH range of 6.5 - 7.0 is about perfect. If your pH is lower than this then you are adding too much CO2. HTH Brett
  12. Brett4Perth

    New to planted tanks

    Wet/dry filters only "lose CO2" if you are adding extra. They make absolutely no difference to a non-CO2 tank. I have a fabulous low light , non CO2 planted tank with this set-up. Cheers Brett
  13. Brett4Perth

    New to planted tanks

    Filters in planted tanks mainly promote water circulation. There function as biological filters are less important as the plants remove most of the nitrogenous wastes. Undergravels are not usually recommended as they provide poor water circulation and make it difficult to keep nutreints within the substrate. Cannisters are usually prefered as the outlet can be adjusted to minimise surface agitation, this is only really relevant if you are adding CO2. Smaller tanks may get away with just a power head for circulation and no filtration at all. Clearly your fish load will influence this. Cheers Brett
  14. Brett4Perth

    How do I stabilise pH?

    Hi Parkap, Try this link It is the most comprehensive discussion on DIY CO2 that I have found. Look at the chart that compares pH, kH and CO2 levels. You can see that the more CO2 you add the lower the pH, If you know the kH, you can calculate the concentration of CO2 you must have to achieve that pH. kH is also refered to as carbonate hardness because it essentially measures the amount of carbonates in the water, mostly bicarbinate at the pH levels found in aquariums. Yes, shell grit is mainly calcium carbonate and will increase your carbonate hardness and consequently your pH. However, the increased "hardness" is not enjoyed by "soft water" fish, like your apisto's. Depending on the species they may tolerate increased hardness, but most are from very soft environments. Caccatoides are an example of an Apisto that will tolerate harder water. Try and stabilise your CO2, this can be difficult with DIY, what sort of set-up are you using? Cheers Brett
  15. Brett4Perth

    Lighting question

    Not sure I agree with this, Watts/gallon is not as informative as I would like but it is the best guide I have found so far, short of using an underwater light meter. 30W standard fluoros over a 90l, 60cm deep tank is low light and will significantly limit the types of plants that you can grow. I have seen plenty of beautiful low light planted tanks, but plant selection needs more care. A bit off indirect room ligth can make a lot of difference to these "skinny" tanks (such as near a window). More light will give you more options , with or without CO2. It is much easier to block out some light than add in extra later on. Cheers Brett
  16. Brett4Perth

    How do I stabilise pH?

    Well, well ... never take anything for granted. When I asked if you were adding anything else to the tank, I wasn't expecting to hear CO2. This will certainly drop your pH, in fact you can determine the level of CO2 in your water if you know the kH and pH. Plenty of tables around to help with the calculations. Now the question is "which of the many potential causes of acidity is the most significant" Cheers Brett ps Please don't add carbonates (coral, limestone, bicarb, etc) your apisto's will not enjoy it.
  17. Brett4Perth

    How do I stabilise pH?

    Hi Parkap, If your pH is falling, first check for ammonia/nitrites/nitrates, but these are unlikely to be the cause in a low stocked, heavily planted tank. Next check your water (presumably from the tap), but only after you have airiated it for 24 hours to allow the pH to stabilise. If there is a substantial difference in the tap water and the tank water then something in the tank is leaching acids. This could well be your wood, which leach tannins that are acidic. If the wood has not been submerged for a long period of time (many months), then this could be the problem. Consider other decor. Are you adding anything else to the tank, dechlorinators, etc. Many of these are not pH neutral. It is unlikely to be your plants, which tend not to alter pH, unless there is a lot of decomposing leaves, etc which will turn the water acidic. I am assuming your tap water is relatively soft, which your apisto's should love. Unless your pH drops rediculously low (<5), then I would leave well alone. Most Apisto's will thrive in soft acid water. Cheers Brett
  18. Brett4Perth

    Fast respnse time (0.01 sec), & iso to 1600

    Hi Craig, Certainly empathise with your dilemma, there is certainly information overload with camera reviews. A couple of years back I bought a Canon G3, nice camera with plenty of flexibilty and easy to use. My son has a digital SLR, Canon 300D, which is an excellent camera. Despite this equipment the photos aren't that special. Lack of skill on the part of the photographer. Aspects like lighting and technique are just as important, if not more so, than the camera itself. I think it is easy to overcapitalise on the camera, unless you are a real enthusiast and prepared to spend the time learning the craft. Go back through the Photo section and look at the pictures "Enigma" was taking with his old camera. Still way better than anything I have taken despite using similar equipment. Good Luck with your choice Brett
  19. Brett4Perth

    Help with fish AND disease ID?

    What "rock salt" are we talking about here, sodium chloride?? Cheers Brett
  20. Brett4Perth

    Nerite/Olive snails in OZ

    Importing snails is an even bigger no no than importing shrimps. Potential to carry lots of nasty diseases. Cheers Brett
  21. Brett4Perth

    Disease that wiped out my clown loach population

    Food that is not frozen has bacteria multiplying rapidly within it. Many of these bacteria secrete toxins that are not destroyed by re-freezing. It is usually these toxins that cause "food poisening". The important point is how long, if at all, the food was at or near room temperature or above. More than an hour or so and there is the risk of food poisening. Cheers Brett ps Sorry to hear about your fish
  22. Brett4Perth

    Pics of my 90 Litre Tropical Tank

    That is a lovely set up. Cheers Brett
  23. Brett4Perth

    are these things bloodworms?

    Hard to say from the picture, but I doubt they are bloodworms. They seem to be too long and too dense a population. I would suspect some form of tubificid worm, anyone got any other thoughts. Cheers Brett
  24. Brett4Perth

    Plants that eats up Nitrate well.

    Hi viv, I suspect the plant you are refering to is Water lettuce, more a floating plant rather than a true aquatic. Generally for nutrient removal you are better to use fast growing floating plants as they are not limited by the CO2 in the water as they get there CO2 from the air. As mentioned they can be a pain to remove once you don't want them anymore and many are noxious weeds and illegal. Cheers Brett
  25. Brett4Perth

    Sick fish

    Your nitrates are high enough to be causing problems. If not by themselves at least making your fish prone to illness. The only rapid way to lower your nitrates is with water changes. Perhaps a little often if your fish are already stressed. Good luck Brett ps Your biological filter is still working or else you wouldn't be getting such high nitrate readings and your ammonia and nitrite would be raised.