British Columbia Aquarium Forums banner
1 - 18 of 18 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
16 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi guys

It was recently brought to my attention that Vancouver has super soft water and that is part of the reason my fish and shrimp keep dying.

So, I ordered some api testers for gh and kh and I've come up with about 2-3 drops for each of them... This puts me in the super soft range as expected.

Along with my test kit came a bottle of seachem equilibrium and a bottle of Alkaline buffer.

Thing is, I am not confident I understand the instructions and don't want to mess up. I have a 10g and by the instructions I'd need to add 1/2 a teaspoon into some water, disolve it and then add that into my tank? Then what do I do? Is this a daily thing or just during my weekly water changes? The instructions also call for acid buffer to be used at the same time? Is that necessary? Don't I need to do this adjustment to gradually?

What about options for increasing the buffer naturally via some thing else like crushed coral?

Thanks
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
572 Posts
Seachem equilibrium takes time to dissolve - so you might want to be a little careful as to how much you put. Based on my experience, changing the gH too quick can also cause death (water params changing too quick)... What I would do is add a little bit, maybe half a tea-spoon full, wait several hours until you see it's all dissolved and then measure what your gH has changed to while acclimating your fish/shrimp to your desired gH. If you want to change your water params to 5 gH, I would do this over 2 weeks to be safe - perhaps 1 gH increase every 3 days.

I know there is a way to calculate how much you need to use but it's honestly confusing for me... Even if you calculate how much is needed to adjust the 10gal to the gH you want, you'll want to slowly acclimate anyway. I'm sure more experienced members will have a better way to do this but this is how I would do it haha.

gH may be the cause of your shrimp's death - but fish I'm not so sure... Is your tank established completely (i.e. running for 2-3 months, cycled, etc.)?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Glad I'm not the only one scratching my head....
Gradual acclimating makes a whole lot of sense. Thanks.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,717 Posts
Seachem gives the directions on their website: Seachem - Equilibrium

To raise GH by 3dH 1 tablespoon is needed per 20 gallons, so to for each dH in 10 gallons you need 1/6 tablespoon which is 1/2 teaspoon which is what you stated you understood from the directions so you are correct. I dose mine directly into the tank as the tank is being filled, but as Dou suggested you probably don't want to jump 3 dH at once, so I would try for 1/2 dH per week so that 1/2 teaspoon should be about right. If you don't pre-dissolve then it will slowly raise the GH and not jump it all at once.

Crushed coral will affect GH very little as mostly it affect KH.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Seachem gives the directions on their website: Seachem - Equilibrium

To raise GH by 3dH 1 tablespoon is needed per 20 gallons, so to for each dH in 10 gallons you need 1/6 tablespoon which is 1/2 teaspoon which is what you stated you understood from the directions so you are correct. I dose mine directly into the tank as the tank is being filled, but as Dou suggested you probably don't want to jump 3 dH at once, so I would try for 1/2 dH per week so that 1/2 teaspoon should be about right. If you don't pre-dissolve then it will slowly raise the GH and not jump it all at once.

Crushed coral will affect GH very little as mostly it affect KH.
So by these instructions, if I dosed 1/12 of a teaspoon of equilibrium and the alkaline buffer say... into the back of my HOB every week that would work? of course, testing inbetween....

what about water changes? Do I dose based on total tank volume or volume of what I'm adding in?

Thanks!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
572 Posts
So by these instructions, if I dosed 1/12 of a teaspoon of equilibrium and the alkaline buffer say... into the back of my HOB every week that would work? of course, testing inbetween....

what about water changes? Do I dose based on total tank volume or volume of what I'm adding in?

Thanks!
This is one of the trickiest parts for me... Especially WC. If you do a 50% WC, technically you are removing half of the gH. Theoretically, you would want to add water back in that's the same gH that's currently in there to keep maximum consistency. Same idea as with 25% WC - but using this method you would have to have a bucket of water that's been already adjusted to the gH you want WITH equilibrium. This is a lot of work...

This is what I do - 10-15% WC and add a little bit of equilibrium back in each time. However, this does mean that my gH can vary between 4-6 depending on the week, depending on how I feel about adding minerals back in. It will usually vary over a long period of time , but as long as you do things slowly I found that it was okay. My amanos had no issues - but died when I did too sudden of a change as a FYI. If you're raising more difficult shrimp (crystal reds/blacks) you may want to be even more careful in terms of doing WC/adjusting tank parameters (or even purchase other types of minerals that dissolve faster, ex. salty shrimp gh+). If you're only doing neos/amanos, it should be fine to have that variation as long as its not too sudden of a change.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Kinda motivating me to make that raspberry pi monitoring station..... Hmm maybe.... One step at a time.....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,464 Posts
I don't keep a shrimp only tank, but with my Tanganykan tank I first figured out how much additives it took to bring the parameters of tap water to the correct level. Then I put a tape mark on the tank after taking out 1/4 of the water. Each water change the water is lowered to the tape mark, and the new water is given 1/4 of the original additives. I should measure the parameters, but never do. Shrimp are more fussy, so I would use the same system but would test the water more often.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,717 Posts
With my fish I never worry about it too much. It does most of my tanks using EI so the 50% wc resets everything every week. In some tanks I do 80% wc so that's even better. I have also not had too many problems with Cherry shrimp doing the same thing. I just dose for the whole tank volume each time after a wc. The plants uptake some of the Ca++ and Mg++ so as the week goes by the GH lowers anyway, as well as my KH (but that's partly due to the increase in organics in my high bioload tanks).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Right, all my friends that live in Richmond, Burnaby and Surrey don't understand why I'm having trouble and then I was told that Vancouver water is super super soft and that's why none of them ever needed to add anything or have the issues.

Thanks for all your input!

I think I'll do 10% weekly and dose into the stream as I fill
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,717 Posts
No, I don't think that's quite accurate. I am in Burnaby and the water out of the tap has a TDS of about 12 at most. it's almost rainwater. Most of the Metro Vancouver water supply comes from the same water shed so I don't think Richmond would be any different. Not sure about Surrey though, their supply might be different.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Maybe I'm measuring my GH and KH wrong? I got a color change in 1-2 drops of the API test kit. each drop is = to 1 degree of hardness
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,717 Posts
How are you measuring it? In a container after it sits out for a while? I can't really say without seeing how you are doing it. When I last used a GH kit before I got a TDS pen the colour changed with the first drop. I just took my TDS pen and measured in my holding tank that is aerated and got 8 PPM just now.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,009 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
16 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
TDS and PH pens came in. they didn't come with batteries so total cost of 2 sensor pens and 2 full sets of batteries was just over $20 CAD.
PH pen came with calibration powder that you mix according to english instructions and it was within 0.1 ph
TDS pen also measures temperature which is nice to check the temp of the water going in during a water change.
http://www.aliexpress.com/item/PH-M...c-Device-Testing-PH-009-IA-0/32330376666.html
https://www.amazon.ca/pack-MAXELL-AG13-button-battery/dp/B001FDOJCQ

Tested my tank: TDS is at 56 with doses of equilibrium and alkaline buffer. PH is at 8.

out of the tap, TDS is 17 and PH is 7.9

Fish seem brighter colored now but I still feel like my GH is low?? I may keep my dose of alkaline buffer the same and increase my does of equilibrium to 2x what I'm at now over the next month or so. that should put me at a GH of about 7-8???
 
1 - 18 of 18 Posts
Top