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Tropheus Disease, Health and Nutrition Discussion of Tropheus diseases, general health, nutrition and water conditions.

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  #1  
Old 11-01-2013
TroPhish
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Default bare min water parameters. Kh, Gh and pH

I completely under stand that tropheus are forgiving when it come to water parameters as long as they are consistent and stable.

But I would think there is a threshold minimum.

I am playing with the idea of a auto changer but would not be able to make it off a hard plumbing line if my water is not suitable.

Dechloranating can be done in line with carbon bottles.

But if the water is just too soft, I will have to have the auto changer system running off a tank of already prepared water. (salts and buffers added).

What would you think a bare bones minimum would be for

KH?

GH?

and pH?


It would be stable. But I may find that I just have to have a tank that I add water and buffers back to every once in a while and it can age and run through a carbon bottle.

I could also put some type of buffering sand or gravel in the bottom of the tank? crushed coral? Although Im not sure that would have the needed effect.

Anyway...just thinking.

John

PS... you guys on hard water wells are super lucky.
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Old 11-01-2013
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I have other tanks other than Tanganyika cichlids, so I am ok with our soft water. It's easier to add stuff to hard water than to take stuff out for R/O water.

But I would be interested in knowing what the thresholds are too. I would think that there be a slightly different set for wild caughts and tank raised.
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Old 11-01-2013
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So no one has experience with having less than ideal numbers and keeping trophs in that water anyway?

Guess Im just going to have to slowly lower the levels until I get results.

The results might be death....but its for educational purposes.
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Old 11-01-2013
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Also, Im sure they can go lower than we think...especially if the transition is slow.

But it may cause long term health problems that will take a while to show.

And It may also shut breeding down.

We'll see.
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Old 11-02-2013
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Say for the average NA male, maybe age expectancy of 90 under optimal conditions. You start subtracting years of life from 90 due to pollution, smoking, stress, lack of exercise, improper diet etc., there's many variables that comes into play.

Say a fish can live for 10 years under optimal conditions. Subtract half a year off it's lifespan for too low a pH, a year for too low GH, a year or 2 for stress, more time for improper diet, high nitrates etc. The problem is that it would be difficult to pinpoint the cause for shortened longevity. There's also too many variables into play unless you can do a controlled study with many colonies of fish and introducing 1 variable at a time. I can see it taking years before you can see any long term results.

Sorry, I'm not trying to discourage you, I hope you can find immediate and measurable results because it would be interesting. Just thinking of your future troph colonies laying their lives on the line for educational purposes.
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Old 11-02-2013
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Yeah, no doubt. Im not really thinking of keeping my prized tropheus in discus water!

However, thats about what I have.

I do appreciate your replies and willingness to "brain"storm.



Anyway, I wish others that were keeping their tropheus in the lower known to be acceptable ranges would chime in. Or others that were using substrate only as their buffer.

My next step is to set a tank up with just dechloranated tap water and filters running and keep it cycled with ammonia.

Then just allow it to run with my caribsea substrate and do some daily testing of hardness values to actually find out the buffering capacity of the substrate and decor. To find out if run on just tank water and left to its own devices, to see if the end product is acceptable.

then perform a normal water change and test before and after for a day or two to see if the swings are acceptable.

Iv always just adjusted with baking soda it to be perfect because I had fish in the tank.

So I think it will be beneficial to me to go one more step beyond knowing what my start points are for my tap water and then treating it, but to see what it actually does just running it untreated in the tank and allowing time in contact with all substrate etc.

I can then try some things like coral in the filters and purposefully choosing decor that will aid in buffering capacity and test periodically and perform WC's.

Also, this is all in attempt to set up auto water changers that run on drip. That will have less of a swing impact vs a full on large volume water change...so if the substrate and decor can buffer at the rate the drip enters, and stay within the lower acceptable ranges, it may prove to be doable.

Anyway, Ill be sure to record all my start and end point data and let you know.



John
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Old 11-02-2013
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Just curious...what's your water parameters out of the tap? Other than baking soda, what else are you adding to your water?

I found aragonite superior than crushed coral to prevent pH swings. Crushed coral has a shelf life to aid in buffering but aragonite just keeps on ticking until it's dissolved. When I age my water in barrels, I filter it through box filters filled with aragonite so water going in is very close to the water going out.

The question that I always had but never found the answer to was the importance of the KH value. To me, KH is just the measure of carbonates, the higher the KH, the more resistance to pH dropping, added insurance policy. If I can keep the pH rock steady with a KH measure of 1dH, is that on the too low end of KH? Assuming pH is constant, is a lower KH detrimental to hard water fish? Does a higher KH add more to the water other than keeping the pH stable? The reason I ask is that I can maintain a very steady pH of 7.6/7.8 by adding aragonite to my hob filter, but it only increased KH from 0 to 1dH. pH never wavered.

So with substrate buffering only or filtered in your storage tank, it can maintain stable water parameters, just not sure of the lower KH values.
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Old 11-02-2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dahling View Post
Say for the average NA male, maybe age expectancy of 90 under optimal conditions. You start subtracting years of life from 90 due to pollution, smoking, stress, lack of exercise, improper diet etc., there's many variables that comes into play.

Say a fish can live for 10 years under optimal conditions. Subtract half a year off it's lifespan for too low a pH, a year for too low GH, a year or 2 for stress, more time for improper diet, high nitrates etc. The problem is that it would be difficult to pinpoint the cause for shortened longevity. There's also too many variables into play unless you can do a controlled study with many colonies of fish and introducing 1 variable at a time. I can see it taking years before you can see any long term results.

Sorry, I'm not trying to discourage you, I hope you can find immediate and measurable results because it would be interesting. Just thinking of your future troph colonies laying their lives on the line for educational purposes.
I think that the Main Factors in this equation would really only be:

1.The Ph (Akalinity AKA: the Acids or bases in the water) as Trophs need more basic water and this can affect their overall natural systemic processes I believe.
2. The Kh (Carbonate/ Bicarbonate) Level as this is level of Carbs/Bi-carbs that absorb the harmful acids produced by the NItrogen cycle.

Proper Diet and NItrates won't be an issue as John is an Astute care giver and a Drip System will illeviate nitrates all together.

I think that a higher long term threat is the continual exposure of Floride for the fish. But this can removed through the use of Activated Carbon if memory serve me correctly.



Quote:
Originally Posted by TroPhish View Post
Yeah, no doubt. Im not really thinking of keeping my prized tropheus in discus water!

However, thats about what I have.

I do appreciate your replies and willingness to "brain"storm.



Anyway, I wish others that were keeping their tropheus in the lower known to be acceptable ranges would chime in. Or others that were using substrate only as their buffer.

My next step is to set a tank up with just dechloranated tap water and filters running and keep it cycled with ammonia.

Then just allow it to run with my caribsea substrate and do some daily testing of hardness values to actually find out the buffering capacity of the substrate and decor. To find out if run on just tank water and left to its own devices, to see if the end product is acceptable.

then perform a normal water change and test before and after for a day or two to see if the swings are acceptable.

Iv always just adjusted with baking soda it to be perfect because I had fish in the tank.

So I think it will be beneficial to me to go one more step beyond knowing what my start points are for my tap water and then treating it, but to see what it actually does just running it untreated in the tank and allowing time in contact with all substrate etc.

I can then try some things like coral in the filters and purposefully choosing decor that will aid in buffering capacity and test periodically and perform WC's.

Also, this is all in attempt to set up auto water changers that run on drip. That will have less of a swing impact vs a full on large volume water change...so if the substrate and decor can buffer at the rate the drip enters, and stay within the lower acceptable ranges, it may prove to be doable.

Anyway, Ill be sure to record all my start and end point data and let you know.



John
Both my taps water parameters of Gh and Kh are around 5-6 and I used to not even use epsom salts or aragonite to buffer these. So I think that they can survive fine and even spawn in lower conditions. As far as the Bare minimum, what are your tap waters parameters? I was under the impression that there was basic level for these throughout the country with some variation. I woudn't think that your water has no Gh or Kh at all..

but if they are to low, I would probably only stick with a large resevoir to buffer the water between Water changes and forget about the Drip system.. As it may be more stressfull for the fish to deal with continual water fluctuaions of that sort.

Have you thought about a plumbed drip system that has a large buffering resevoir for the water Before the drip to the tank?

So have a large drum that you plumbed cold water to that had a powerhead and aragonite/ crushed coral sitting at the bottom and then a output line to the main tank(s)?his might give you the drip system and prebuffered water. But this might be the same thing as if it were buffered in the tank. It might have to be a much larger resevoir than your tank so that the water is exposed to dissolving carbinates/ bi-Carbonates of the Aragonite/ crushed coral for a longer duration. Ultimately rasing the paramters before they drip into the tank.
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  #9  
Old 11-02-2013
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Oh Andrew my boy...I'm already on to saltwater/reef salinity dosing pumps and having a small container of highly concentrated buffer mix and intermittently doesing it into the tank at a rate that coincides with the fresh water exchange rate.

I also may use your idea of an auto feeder of buffer. I actually think that would work. Nice thinking outside of the box. If only I had bought the three feeders luis had. Lol

Anyway...I don't ever see a reason to stop or give up....I just realign my chee and re route my plan.

A constant near zero nitrate drip fed tank is going down. I will either figure out a way to fit it to tropheus....or I will fit something like discuss to it.

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  #10  
Old 11-02-2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mastiffman View Post




Both my taps water parameters of Gh and Kh are around 5-6 and I used to not even use epsom salts or aragonite to buffer these. So I think that they can survive fine and even spawn in lower conditions. As far as the Bare minimum, what are your tap waters parameters? I was under the impression that there was basic level for these throughout the country with some variation. I woudn't think that your water has no Gh or Kh at all..
After allowing water to sit out for 24 hours.

pH 7.6-7.8

GH - it took 2 drops to change the color. 2 x 20 = 40 ppm

KH - it took 4 drops to change the color. 4 x 10 = 40 ppm

Now the instructions say:

" Multiply GH or KH (mg/L CaC03) by 0.056 = dH degrees or /ou/o/ gH degrees".

2.8 GH degrees

and 2.8 degrees KH

Soooooo I guess Im not going to be keeping tropheus on straight tap water?

I tested it all back in the day and made my recipe that I use now and it clearly works great and puts my numbers right where I want them for the tropheus.

However, even though I knew they were low, I was hoping to come back and test the water again and find that it might just be within range of being able to eliminate the buffers.

Doesnt look like it.


Anyway, My gh is pretty soft. So Im thinking I could do a discus tank?

Or I could set up an auto system as long as I figured out how to get buffers into the tank.

Thats my last barrier.


Anyway, tell me you thoughts on those numbers above
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