General African Cichlid Discussion • Cichlid salt, Tang Buffer & Epsom salt

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Cichlid salt, Tang Buffer & Epsom salt

Postby Tangcol » Mon Apr 21, 2008 12:54 pm

I've been adding Epsom Salt to my tank on the amount of 1 Tbs per 5 gallons of water changed. I also add the recommended amount of Cichlid Salt per SeaChem's instructions. However I stopped adding Buffer where I have been adding the Epsom Salt. Should I still be adding the Tang Buffer along with the Epsom salt?

Thanks For your help!

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Joined: Fri Jan 11, 2008 11:25 am
Location: Portland, Maine

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Postby geoff_tropheus » Mon Apr 21, 2008 5:54 pm

The seachem buffer will help with pH, KH (carbonate hardness) , and GH.

Your epson salt will only help with GH (general hardness - magnessium)

I would only use the seachem buffer as your staple buffer, and only if your tap water source is below 8.0

Epson salt is, in my opinion, not needed unless you got issues with diet or bloat.

Make certain your performing weekly or bi-weekly waterchanges that are keeping to pH above mid-sevens for certain.

Hope this helps..

Geoff
300G Petrochromis Trewavasae & Tropheus Lunangwa
300G Petrochromis Orthognathus Tri-Color & Tropheus Kambwimba
180G Karilani Island Duboisi & Rutunga & Katoto
180G Ikola
150G mpimbwe Red Cheek
150G brichardi Ujiji
115G annectens Kekese
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Postby Tangcol » Tue Apr 22, 2008 6:48 am

geoff_tropheus wrote:The seachem buffer will help with pH, KH (carbonate hardness) , and GH.

Your epson salt will only help with GH (general hardness - magnessium)

I would only use the seachem buffer as your staple buffer, and only if your tap water source is below 8.0

Epson salt is, in my opinion, not needed unless you got issues with diet or bloat.

Make certain your performing weekly or bi-weekly waterchanges that are keeping to pH above mid-sevens for certain.

Hope this helps..

Geoff





Thanks Geoff! I'm using the Epsom Salt because I received a shipment of 22 Tropheus a couple of weeks ago and I lost 17 of them to bloat due to stress of shipping I would suppose. I treated the tank with Metronidiazole when I finally realized that they had Bloat. By that time most of the fish had it and couldn't recover. That's what I get for not having it on hand when they were delivered. I was told to try Epsom Salt to help to pass the blockage, that the Magnesium in Epsom salt acts as a laxative. Since I've treated them I've been adding the Epsom Salt just to ensure that they are fairing well. I'd prefer not to add the Epsom Salt and just go back to adding the SeaChem Tang Buffer. My PH=8.2, Nitrites=0, Nitrates=0.5 (Maybe if that) and Ammonia=0, My GH =30 and KH=8. Everything seems fine in the tank, I just wanted a better understanding of what the Epsom Salt does besides act as a laxative. So another words, I should probably continue using the Buffer then?
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Location: Portland, Maine

Postby 24Tropheus » Tue Apr 22, 2008 7:49 am

Check out the magnessium and suphate content of your tap water and find out what is in the Tang buffer you are using. I suspect that you can drop the Epsom salts now your fish are over bloat. Lake tang water has quite a lot of magnesium and sulphate in it so maybe it can help prevent further episodes of bloat and help the fish stay healthy. It depends on how much you already have in your mix of tang buffer and tap water.

I am a bit rusty on this because my Tap water Magnesium and Sulphate = Tang water Magnesium and sulphate without additions.
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Postby geoff_tropheus » Tue Apr 22, 2008 10:35 am

What I have seen that most recomend for tangs is this..

pH 8.0 to 9.0
Temp : 76F to 82F
GH : 10-14 dH
KH : 15-20 dH
Ammonia, Nitrite : 0 ppm
Nitrates : Less than 20ppm or as low as you can keep it. I would not let it get above 60ppm

It is important to keep the weekly to bi-weekly waterchanges going becuase Nitric Acid forms from your bacteria cycle (nitrates) and Carbonic Acid forms from fish respiration (CO2). These acids will build and lower your pH. For tangs, and especially Tropheus, the pH is very important to be stable and not to get Acidic. I would not let it get below 7.5 if at all possible.

The relationship of pH and the fish, is related to gill function. The exchange of Oxygen and waste/toxins. God has made them to live in pH of 8.0 to 10.0, and when the pH get acidic it is very difficult for them to expel toxins and get proper oxygen.

This is why you need to be very careful, and check the pH content of any shipping water you recieve. If the fish were not in a direct flight, then more likely they will have toxins built up, and if the shipper did not starve them for a few days, they are going to have polluted the water. The pH in the shipping water drops from the build up of CO2 and wastes.

When recieving new fish, always check the shipping water pH and that it is within 0.5 of your aquarium water. If the shipping water is in excess fo this, you need to aeroate/agiatate with a powerhead or airpump for atleast an hour, and add fresh water every 30 mintues or so, until the pH they are in now (bucket or whatever) is within 0.5 of your aquarium. Once that happens, net and put into the tank.

Before you go to adding any water and what not, float the fish in the aquarium for atleast a 30 mintues or more so that temperature can equalize.

Never net and release fish into fresh water unless, you have dead fish in the bags. Then at that time it is emergency and be prepared to have to treat for bloat ASAP.

Another thing that is important. When you get Tropheus for the first time, always ask the shipper what food he is feeding and at what pH the fish are acclimated too. This is very important to know because if the fish are not eating, its not because they dont like your food. If the pH they are established in, is far different from what your keeping, this can lead to upsets in their bodily function, which can lead to bloat. You need to be careful and be sure to always ask those questions.

How are the surving fish doing good now?

Geoff
300G Petrochromis Trewavasae & Tropheus Lunangwa
300G Petrochromis Orthognathus Tri-Color & Tropheus Kambwimba
180G Karilani Island Duboisi & Rutunga & Katoto
180G Ikola
150G mpimbwe Red Cheek
150G brichardi Ujiji
115G annectens Kekese
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Postby Tangcol » Tue Apr 22, 2008 2:42 pm

The remaining five tropheus are doing great actually. The fish that had been lost are going to be replaced. I'm a bit wary of introducing the new tropheus to the tank where the 5 that have been in there have established their territories already.

As for introducing the tropheus into the tank after shipping, I was extremely careful with what I did to get them into the tank. I let the bags acclimate to my tank water temp for at least a 1/2 hour. The fish had been starved for 3 days previous to being shipped, so there was basically no wastes in the bag water what so ever...but I did not check the parameters of the water that they were shipped in. Every 15 mintues for about 45 minutes to an hour, I added a little of my tank water to the bags. Once the tropheus were placed in the tank, they seemed fine. No one was hiding, no one was on the bottom and no heavy respiration. Over the next few days things went down hill. I was advised not to feed them for a few days after they were placed within my aquarium...which I did just that...so they had no food during the whole time. At the time that the fish were put into the tank my parameteres were pretty much the same as they are now except the GH = 13. Once I fed them was when I knew there were problems. Some of the fish ate, but most didn't, which shocked me considering that they hadn't eaten for 6 days! Then came the stringy white poop, clamped fins, and hiding. Oh and incase you were interested, my tank temperature has been at 78 degrees consistent. The person that I bought the fish from is extremely reputible and trust worthy, so that's not the issue either. He did send along a bunch of the food that he had been feeding them and that is all that I have fed them since I've had them. I have 3 filters on my 120 Gallon tank, an XP3, XP4 and a HOB Rena Smartfilter 55.

As I had said earlier, I started using the Epsom Salt to help them with digestion (advised by the fish supplier) when I first noticed some not eating. I did a 40% water change first, then added the Epsom salt, SeaChem Cichlid Salt and Prime with the water change. I don't mind adding the Epsom Salt...I'd like to add less than 1 Tbsp/5 gallons though and start adding the SeaChem Tang Buffer again. Do you think that would be okay to do? Say cut the Epsom Salt down to 1 tsp/5 gallons and start adding the recommended SeaChem Buffer? I have well water and out of the tap it's about PH = 7.8. I've checked ammonia, nitrites, and nitrates and there is nothing showing at all. I have not checked the GH or KH though...I just assumed that wouldn't matter that much.

When the replacement fish arrive, I have Metro on hand...just in case, but I want to make sure that I am absolutely prepared this time, because I was physically sick watching those cute little tropheus die and I don't think I can go through that ordeal again.

Thanks,

Tangcol
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Joined: Fri Jan 11, 2008 11:25 am
Location: Portland, Maine


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