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New products, any advice? I'm on a roll

This is a discussion on New products, any advice? I'm on a roll within the Axolotl General Discussion forums, part of the Axolotls (Ambystoma mexicanum) category; Today I bought several products from Petsmart. I bought Quick Dip, to test for Chlorine/Chloramine, and also Proper pH 7.0. ...

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Old 7th May 2005   #1 (permalink)
rheann
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Today I bought several products from Petsmart. I bought Quick Dip, to test for Chlorine/Chloramine, and also Proper pH 7.0. Its a box that has two little packages that I just drop one in for each 10 gallons of water. I'm so happy! I'm learning so much! i also bought a nice new thermometer, and some Aquarium Silicone and Terra-cotta pot so i can decorate it with my old natural aquarium gravel. I am soaking the pot in water right now to make sure that it is aquarium safe. I also went to home Depot, and bought some play sand. it said on the package that it has been sifted and washed and what not, but i'm going to wash the fanoth'en out of it tomorrow just in case. I hope it's safe to use, it doesn't have any coloring or dyes added to it, and its natural looking which I really like. My ten gallon tank is going to do really nicely for my Axolotl, and I really hope that i have everything I need to make sure the water is correct. Tomorrow I'm going to go and get a Ph Test kit containing test strips cause I forgot to pick one up today while I was out. I think that I will take out all the water in my tank, and replace it with Arrowhead bottled water and use the proper pH kit and Chlorine/chloramine strips on it just in case. I may also just go to a water company down here in Sacramento where they sell filtered water by the gallon. My husbands parents get some from some place, but i don't know what the place is called, so i'll have to ask them, otherwise i'll use arrowhead. also, can anyone Recommend me any aquatic plants that wont raise the Ph level too much? and 7.0 is the right level for Axolotls right? Thanks so much everyone for your excellent advise and kindness, its so wonderfulClick the image to open in full size.just for the heck of it, i tested the Chlorine/chloramine level in the water already in the tank, and it added to 0.0ppm. thats goodClick the image to open in full size.. I'm still concerned about other chemicals or metals in the water. Thanks everyone!



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Old 7th May 2005   #2 (permalink)
cynthia
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I would return the proper pH you don't need or want to mess with altering pH unless your pH is very very low and in California I have not heard of that being a problem.

What I would suggest you buy is a test kit that allows you to test for ammonia, nitrite and nitrate. www.bigalsonline.com sells a Master Test kit for like $13 they sell the same test kit here at petco for more than twice that much.
Here is a link to the kit:

http://www.bigalsonline.com/catalog/...tegory_id=2255

With the filtered water just make sure it is not RO water (reverse osmosis) nothing can live in straight RO water.

Live plants need good lighting. If your tank has Fluorescent lighting then you could have most cryptocornes, java ferns, java moss. If your tank has the "light bulbs" I would not get live plants and I wouldn't turn those lights on as they create quite a bit of heat.



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Old 7th May 2005   #3 (permalink)
jennifer
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I agree with most of Cynthia's comments. The Proper pH product is not a bad thing; if you're going to worry about pH (which you probably don't need to) then this is the best thing to use. But here's what I don't understand about the Proper pH stuff: how will you do a 1-gallon water change (which you should do every week) if the baggie of product is designed to treat 10 gallons? The water you use for partial changes should also have the correct amount of Proper pH added so that the pH stays the same.

Also, the water sold in "water stores" is usually RO water, so heed what Cynthia said. I know you are worried about your tap water, but Brita-filtered water might actually be better than bottled. The Brita filter doesn't remove the natural minerals, which may be beneficial.



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Old 7th May 2005   #4 (permalink)
rheann
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While I was at petsmart, i saw the product Proper pH 7.0 and on the front it said, Neutralizes Chlorine, Detoxifies heavy metals, contains Aloe Vera, adds electrolytes. the instructions read:
add the entire contents of one Proper pH packet for every 10 gallons (37.8L) of aquarium water. Repeat treatment when PH test indicates a change of more than 02.pH. IN very hard water, it may be necessary to first soften the water. For more information see "Factores Affecting pH" in the enclosed instruction booklet. Use the Aquarium Pharmaceuticals GH and KH Test Kit DryTab Range pH or Freshwater ph Test Kit to ttest Aquarium water.
I think that I should have got a worker at the store to help me pick out something. I'm not sure what I'm doing. There was a pH testing kit there, i hadn't picked it up yet. Plan to later today or tomorrow. The proper pH package that I bought has this goofy picture of a fish wearing a doctor uniform and a picture of an aquarium with tropical fish in it. The package is mostly yellow. I should have bought the test kit first i think. I don't knwo what the ph level is in our water. I feel so stupid. I guess i figured that if the ph wasn't 7.0 that it would bring it to it, because isn't that the proper ph for Axolotls? I hope I didn't make a fool of my self. The chlorine/Chloramine test strips worked great. I'm glad for that part. I haven't used the proper ph packages yet, because i wanted to get some input on them first and get the test strips first and use them. Thanks guys for being so patient. I'm a little slow.



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Old 7th May 2005   #5 (permalink)
rheann
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what is reverse osmosis? I don't understand exactly what that is. They have some other nice testing kits at pets mart. There are several pet stores here, thats the one i go to the most because its so clean and the staff are very helpful. I'll pick up a test kit that allows me to test for test for ammonia, nitrite and nitrate. i'll check at pets mart and if i can't find one for a good price, i'll order one off of big al's. does anyone else have any advise for me? I wont use store bought water then. I'll use the tap and do what i can to make it right. When i bought my mudpuppy, the pet store didn't mention anything about any of this. I tried asking him as many questions as I could to get everything right. I asked him, water quality, food, lighting, substrate, size of tank. He gave me the answer that i should just put declorinater in the tap, that he will eat bloodworms, ghost shrimp and feederfish, that he doesn't like the light, and just use aquarium gravel. I looked up stuff on mudpuppies over the net while i had him hoping to do what i could for him, but he still didn't live that long. I feel so bad now, like i should have looked more into it. When i got him he was so thin, and wouldn't eat the blood worms and ghost shrimp and feeder fish i bought for him. I burried him in a park hidden away after he diedClick the image to open in full size.I have a small 7 gallon aquarium with two tinfoil barbs and a chinese algae eater. I just use declorinater in the water and use a filter. they do really well, and i'll have to get a bigger tank for them soon cause they're getting really bigClick the image to open in full size.. i've had them since last August. is there anything else I should do for my Axolotls tank? thanks everyone



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Old 8th May 2005   #6 (permalink)
joan
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The only test kits you really need are ammonia, nitrate and nitrite. I suggest getting a test kit with 'drops' in it instead of the dip in stick types. These only have a shelf life of 6 months, and are not very accurate anyway.

For dechlorinator, I use ACE or AmQuel (I have both at the moment).

Reverse Osmosis is when you force water through a semi-permeable membrane, forcing out everything in it. Some of this stuff you actually want, like the calcium and magnesium salts. These are good. They make your water hard, and axolotls like hard water.

About pH, you shouldn't mess with it. As long as your water is fairly hard, the pH can range from 6.0 to 9.o or so and this will be just fine. using the adjuster chemicals can send your tank into wild pH swings, and this is dangerous. A properly cycled tank will have adequate pH.

Using tap water is JUST fine. There are national standards set by the DEQ (The Safe Water Drinking Act) that limits the amount of heavy metals and chemicals that can be in drinking water. Your tap water will be more than adequate, as long as you dechlorinate it.

Most pet shop employees are fairly ignorant when it comes to amphibians. Occasionally you'll find one that's fantastic (there's one near me that is very knowlegable!).

All you need for axolotls is dechlorinator (the two I mentioned work for both chlorine and chloramine, so you don't have to worry), and a filter!

You'll be okay.



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Old 8th May 2005   #7 (permalink)
joan
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One more thing, I have purchased TONS of stuff from www.aquariumguys.com. They have supergreat customer service and speedy shipping.



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Old 8th May 2005   #8 (permalink)
rheann
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thank you so much! That was so helpful! I am going to petsmart right now, i will see if they have the Dechlroinater that you suggested, if not, i will order off the website. I am so loving my new hobby. can't wait to get my AxieClick the image to open in full size.So if i use just tap water (which i'm using now) and dechlorinater, i wont have to test for Amnonia Nitrate, and Nitrite? Thanks again guys



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Old 8th May 2005   #9 (permalink)
joan
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You'll have to test for ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate as your cycling the tank. When ammonia and nitrite are 0, and nitrate is low, you're all cycled.



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Old 9th May 2005   #10 (permalink)
rheann
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Thanks Joan. I went to pets mart and found Amguel plus. It sais on the bottle that it removes Nitrate, Nitrite, Amonia, Chlorine, and Chloramine. I will test the water tomorrow to see the results. everyones comments have been so helpful. At the moment, i don't think I have any more questions, but i know that i will soon:Click the image to open in full size. Thanks again everyone!



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