Best chemicals?

  1. LJC6780 Well Known Member Member

    I've been reading a lot since I'm a newer fish owner ... so far I've gotten almost everything from my local stores but have been reading that many like the Seachem products. Is this pretty much the consensus? I haven't seen them for sale in store here but have a few in my amazon cart. So far I'm using floramax substrate, live plants and tetra quick start conditioner. I also have a master test kit. My pH is hanging around 7.6 despite using some 7.0 powder that is supposed to keep it neutral (I had read some of my fish liked a lower pH) and ammonia, nitrite and nitrate are all always zero. (I think the bio gravel and live plants have really helped there)

    Any thoughts or advice on the best stuff to use to maintain a healthy tank is appreciated.
     
  2. ashleyb Member Member

    I use mostly Seachem products. I use Flourish for my plants, Garlic Guard for occasional immune support, Stability sometimes after water changes and Prime as a water conditioner and any spikes in ammonia, nitrates and nitrites I don't like. I use API Stresscoat as my main water conditioner and Kents Marine liquid calcium for my snails and inverts. I also always keep Tetra Lifeguard and Kordan's methylene blue on hand for any health issues, although those two alone certainly don't tackle all health issues.
     

  3. Charles556 Member Member

    +1 to Seachem Prime. It's super concentrated, so you use less of it per water change compared to other conditioners. It also detoxifies ammonia and nitrite for 24 hours, which is probably the biggest pro for using it. If you have Amazon Prime, you can get a big 500 mL bottle for only $12 including free shipping. It's a great bargain.

    I wouldn't bother with that pH down junk. All you're going to do is kill your fish with pH swings. It's better to keep your water stable. I keep all of my fish, including Angelfish, German Blue Rams, and Cardinal Tetras in water with a pH of 7.8. Unless you're trying to keep sensitive and/or wild-caught fish, don't worry about lowering you're pH.
     
  4. LJC6780 Well Known Member Member

    Yes I have Prime (and definitely get my money's worth!) and thanks for the info on the pH. It hasn't changed even after trying to lower it so I guess it's not working anyway.

    So what products would you suggest buying first for my tank? I think everything I had in my cart was around $100 so I was trying to just get the essentials first.
     

  5. PlantedTanks Member Member

    Seachem products are good. If you want to save even more money, buy seachem Safe. It's a dry powder version of prime and is even more concentrated.

    Anyways, I use a bunch of their products. Prime, flourish, flourish potassium, flourish trace, purigen, etc. The main thing you need is prime. Don't worry about fertilizer just yet. Lighting is most important, then co2, then ferts. Even heavy water column feeders will enjoy the co2 much more than the ferts. You will want potassium though, it's almost always a limiting factor.

    To lower your PH, don't use any chemicals. You go that route, you're just gonna run into problems sooner or later. Fluval sells peat granules which work well, or just order a peat ball and hide it in your tank somewhere. Also, tannins from driftwood helps or indian almond leaves.
     
  6. Grimund Well Known Member Member

    Agreed on the lighting. API Leaf Zone is an intermediate potassium and iron source. If you get really serious about plants, dry fertilizers go a long way for the money. Phosphorus and nitrogen sources are natural in the tank via fish wastes, so most plants are fine there.

    Seachem tends to concentrate their products and sells them for around the same price as the other stuff. I recommend Prime as it's the products in one.

    Having meds on hand is a great idea too, but I can't recommend any. That's not a forte of mine.

    Fish can adapt to high pH very well. I agree that you don't need to lower it, but there's natural ways already suggested.
     
  7. LJC6780 Well Known Member Member

    Thanks guys! I'll be ordering a different light soon as well as some of the seachem products recommended.
     

  8. LJC6780 Well Known Member Member

    Thoughts on Matrix or Purigen?
     
  9. Grimund Well Known Member Member

    Matrix makes a great bio media. It can house bacteria that removes nitrates, which can help out. It's not needed, but best placed in a canister.

    Can't really comment about Purigen
     
  10. LJC6780 Well Known Member Member

    You know, I think my substrate is supposed to become biofilter or something. It's floramax and came in live bacteria liquid ... somethjng about being able to house bacteria ... i need to read up on it again.
     

  11. Grimund Well Known Member Member

    Your beneficial bacteria will grow where the water flows through a stationary colony. Your substrate will house some, but without flow, ammonia and nitrite won't really drop without the proper circulation.

    Your filter will literally bring your bacteria it's food and that's where it will colonize the most.