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How do you buffer your water ?
Calcium in filter (crushed coral, shell, dolomite, etc) 13%  13%  [ 2 ]
Calcium in gravel (crushed coral, and, dolomite, etc) 25%  25%  [ 4 ]
Baking Soda (premix at water changes, etc) 13%  13%  [ 2 ]
Other "premix" buffers (kalkwasser, lime, aragamilk, etc) 13%  13%  [ 2 ]
Combination of in-tank and premixing 25%  25%  [ 4 ]
Buffer ? Are you crazy ? I keep Discus/apistos/killies and add PEAT ! 13%  13%  [ 2 ]
What's Buffer ? 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
Other (please describe below) 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
Total votes : 16
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 Post subject: Buffering water
PostPosted: Mon Sep 26, 2005 4:11 pm 
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Location: Boston
Lately there's been an interesting discussion going on in the BAS yahoo group regarding buffering water, especially the pro's and con's of using in tank buffers (ie crushed coral or oyster shell in a filter) vs using buffers added to the water before it is put in the tank (ie sodium bicarb - baking soda).

I think this is a perfect topic for this type of discussion board.

Which do you prefer ? Why ?

(and be nice to each other !)

_________________
Rich
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Part-time fishguy at Uncle Ned's Fish Factory (saturdays)
_______
Species I am currently keeping/breeding include :
Copadichromis borleyi "redfin"
Labidochromis caeruleus yellow labs
Aulonocara sp. "Lwanda"
Ancistrus cf. cirrhosus "Super Red Ancistris"
Xiphophorus montezumae Montezuma Swordtails
_______
(I'm in the middle of resetting and redesigning my fishroom - so things are kinda quiet)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Sep 26, 2005 4:23 pm 
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I was basically using just buffers added to my make up water when I did water changes - mostly Aragamilk in my livebearer and shellie tanks, and Seachem Neutral Regulator in my Peacock Gudgeon tank, although I do have a little coral sand mixed into the substrate on the livebearer and shellie tanks.
(my "normal" freshwater tanks are very soft, and the pH tends to hover around 6.5 or so)

However, this got to be fairly time consuming, and I really didn't have a good consistant routine setup to make sure I was keeping the water parameters consistant (I use the aragamilk in my reef tank along with Kalkwasser, since I got a free sample last year at MACNA :))

I was talking with another BAS member and the mentioned that they use crushed coral in a corner box filter - that seemed like a good way to make sure I had a consistant pH, and provide a large alkalinity reserve (so that the pH doesn't plummet if I miss a water change).
Plus corner box filters are cheap, and can give me a quick biofilter backup if I decide to move the sponge filter out of a tank to seed another tank.

Also - I use a python to fill most of my tanks from a laundry sink in the basement, and premixing large amounts of water for water changes means more hassle, which means I'm more likely to find excuses to do other things (the lawn, laundry, dishes, etc). Simplifying my water change routine will mean I'm more likely to do them more often.

all that being said - I find myself still using the Seachem buffer on my gudgeons, keeping them right around 7.0 pH.

_________________
Rich
_______
Part-time fishguy at Uncle Ned's Fish Factory (saturdays)
_______
Species I am currently keeping/breeding include :
Copadichromis borleyi "redfin"
Labidochromis caeruleus yellow labs
Aulonocara sp. "Lwanda"
Ancistrus cf. cirrhosus "Super Red Ancistris"
Xiphophorus montezumae Montezuma Swordtails
_______
(I'm in the middle of resetting and redesigning my fishroom - so things are kinda quiet)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Sep 27, 2005 9:43 am 
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Joined: Thu Aug 04, 2005 8:45 am
Posts: 157
Location: Leominster, MA
The majority of my tanks are acidic and soft, but I have one tank which I want the pH elevated and moderate/hard. I've used what Reefers would consider "Base rock" in the tank. Basicaly calcium carbonate I believe. I also had argonite sand in there as well, but I found that it created too much debris floating around for some reason vs. using standard silica sand, so I swapped it out last weekend. so far so good.


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 Post subject: Buffering Water
PostPosted: Thu Sep 29, 2005 10:42 am 
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Joined: Sun Sep 25, 2005 6:23 am
Posts: 200
Location: Chelsea,Ma
My water in the boston area (mwra) is treated.The water comes from
the tap with a very high p.h.-8.0-9.0. However their is no buffering
capacity and the water is very soft.The MWRA treats the water to
prevent corrosion in the pipes causing an abnormaly high p.h.
The p.h. can drop out quick with the water being so soft(100-150gh).
The p.h. in most of my tanks is about 6.5. In my breeding tanks the p.h.
may be as low as 5.0 or a little less.
If I'm doing larger water changes I add discus 5.0 to the tap water to
lower the p.h. especialy with delicate fish(breeding tanks).I also use
discus trace elements once a week to add minerals to the soft water.
The minerals and harder water in general benefit fry growth.
BTW,I don't keep discus.Mostly West African cichlids.

Tom


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Sep 30, 2005 10:20 pm 
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Joined: Thu Sep 15, 2005 11:13 pm
Posts: 30
Location: Maine
Since I raise and breed Tropheus, I need to get my water up there pretty high as far as ph and gh/kh. so I buffer both in the tank and during water changes.

In the tank I run two canister filters (90 gallon tank) In one of the filters I have it packed full of crushed coral and nothing else. This is my buffering/bio filter. The other canister is used as a mechanical filter and is packed full of filter floss. I do not use carbon unless I need to remove something from the water, (Like excess medications or the such)

Also, in the tank, I used Eco Complete African Cichlid substrate (gravel) but in my opinion, it doesn't seem to help "buffer" that much.

I also have 3 nice size holey rocks in the tank.

As far as during water changes. I pre-mix sodium bicarbonate in a large glass jar and slowly trickle it inot the tank through an airhose line as I add regular tap water. this system is ALOT easier than mixing 45-50 gallons of buffered water and then putting it in the tank.

I know this sounds like alot, but if you look at how I set it all up it really isn't. If I need to change out the crushed coral (witch I do every three months) All I ahve to do is turn off one filter. If I need to clean the Mech filter, I still have my buffering/bio filter running. I NEVER clean them both at the samt time. Slow trickle of buffering agent added while doiong weekly 50% water change is a breeze and my water stays at a constant PH 8.2 With the GH at about 85.

Oh yea. I also add 5ml of Flourish Excell every ther day as a liquid carbon source for my annubias and java fern.


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 Post subject: Re: Buffering water
PostPosted: Thu Apr 23, 2009 3:48 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jul 28, 2005 2:05 pm
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Location: Boston
I was talking with somebody about this the other day - we were looking to see if we could come up with an easy buffer recipe for Rift Lake tanks.
I found one online and don't want to lose the link, so I'm gonna post it here:

http://www.cichlid-forum.com/articles/buffer_recipe.php

:mrgreen:

_________________
Rich
_______
Part-time fishguy at Uncle Ned's Fish Factory (saturdays)
_______
Species I am currently keeping/breeding include :
Copadichromis borleyi "redfin"
Labidochromis caeruleus yellow labs
Aulonocara sp. "Lwanda"
Ancistrus cf. cirrhosus "Super Red Ancistris"
Xiphophorus montezumae Montezuma Swordtails
_______
(I'm in the middle of resetting and redesigning my fishroom - so things are kinda quiet)


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 Post subject: Re: Buffering water
PostPosted: Fri Apr 24, 2009 11:10 am 
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Joined: Fri Jan 09, 2009 4:52 pm
Posts: 30
I breed cichlids from malawi so i use a mixture of baking soda, epsom salts and your standard aquarium salts to get my water really high. I dont even bother measuring it out anymore i just eyeball it. I find it to be much much cheaper than buying pre-made mixes. The epsom salts and baking soda are like 50 cents to a dollar. I buy larger portions of aquarium salts to save on money.


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 Post subject: Re: Buffering water
PostPosted: Fri Apr 24, 2009 12:11 pm 
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Joined: Tue Sep 16, 2008 11:23 am
Posts: 35
Location: USA - Boston
I use baking soda too, but in a very different way. I've been experimenting with various ways of buffering water for a heavily planted tank, especially with regards to getting lots of dissolved CO2. In addition to a DIY yeast CO2, I use baking soda along with Seachem Acid Buffer, eyeballing both and testing for pH and kH. With some practice, I can maintain about pH 6.5 and about 100 ppm of bicarbonate pretty stably, and that gives nice pearling on my plants.

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 Post subject: Re: Buffering water
PostPosted: Sat Mar 27, 2010 11:35 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jan 02, 2009 1:34 pm
Posts: 111
Location: somerville near tufts
when i was doing africans in large quantities i had a sump running with about 75lbs crushed coral, 50 lbs chicken grit.. (aka crushed oystershell) and about 50lbs of limestone acquired a a local stoneworks in revere.. that worked for me..


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