please reply.. water quality and decor questions.

Discussion in 'Freshwater Beginners' started by DianaFaye, Nov 28, 2012.

  1. DianaFaye

    DianaFayeNew MemberMember

    I have 2 questions.. the first one is the one I'm most concerned with.

    I am looking into setting up my old 20gal again, but my tap water has a sulfuric smell and when the water evaporates from my turtle tank, it leaves a white residue that I believe is mineral deposits. I haven't purchased a test kit yet, but I am assuming that my water is hard, but I just don't know what to make of the sulfur smell. It's not an unbearable smell but it is noticeable; the water is otherwise clear, tastes fine, and the turtle (local species) seems to be ok. Would this be a problem for a freshwater aquarium?? Also, I live in a basement room and my nearest source of water is the hose faucet in the garage.. I'm not really able to haul buckets from upstairs so boiling water is not an option. I have a water cooler jug that I intend to use so I can let the water sit overnight, and (as I am going to get a new, better heater) I can use my old heater to warm it up some. Currently for the turtle, I've been taking him out and using my coffee pot to add hot water to the tank so I can maintain temp. I have a small heater for him but it's not good for heating up water, but will maintain the temp once I get it up there.

    My 2nd question is this- I want to get the Top Fin Hollowed Out Driftwood () as a centerpiece. If you go to the link and scroll down to customer reviews, there is a picture someone posted of it in their 20gal tank. It will take up my tank but it looks neat and and has lots of holes for fish to swim through and hide in. I am considering getting either danios (Glofish) or neon tetras, but I'm not sure if this piece of decor would be ok for them or not. I know the neons like plants, and the danios like swimming space. I would already be pushing it with the danios because my tank is high, not long, but they are a consideration because all the info I keep getting about neons is that they can be sensitive and a little tricky to keep. If I go with this decoration I would also be adding some fake plants, but would that be ok for either of those species?? Would it take up too much space for the danios, or would they enjoy swimming around and through it?? Would neons feel comfortable with it, or would something smaller and more plants be better?? Are there other fish that prefer driftwood that would be more suitable??
  2. Aquarist

    AquaristFishlore LegendMember

    Good morning and Welcome to Fish Lore!

    I have well water and it has a bit of the same odor you are describing. Adding Activated Carbon to your filter should remove the odor. If you are currently using it and it's more than 3 weeks old, it needs to be replaced for fresh. I use Activated Carbon in all of my tanks and no sulfuric smells.

    I think the ornament should be ok with the fish you've mentioned. Will they swim through it? Can't answer that one. :)

  3. AlexAlex

    AlexAlexWell Known MemberMember

    I agree with Ken's comment above about the Active Carbon. I use it in all my tanks and it is very beneficial in the fact that it cuts down on any odor and it will polish your water as well.

    Glofish are more of the "out in the open and swim a lot" fishes and Neon Tetras are the same, but love their hiding places, too.

    The driftwood will be fine for the tank as both school of fishes are small enough to be okay with it. Just make sure that you get at least 6-8 of either fishes you choose (Glofish/Neons). Both fish, too, enjoy plants rather they are real or fake.
  4. aylad

    ayladWell Known MemberMember

    I have that piece in my 29gal. It looks great and the fish swim through it all the time. I love it. :)
  5. Orion5

    Orion5Well Known MemberMember

    Hi! :)

    I had a similar problem and used activated carbon as well. I was a student back then and couldn't really afford much stuff, so I would put the carbon in the filter for 48 hours to get rid of the smell, then take it out and let it dry. I could use it several times like this over a couple of months, instead of leaving the carbon in all the time and having to throw it out every 3 weeks.

    Handy to know if you're on a budget. :)

    Best of luck!
  6. OP

    DianaFayeNew MemberMember

    Thanks, guys. I was worried that whatever is making that sulfur smell would be harmful so I feel much better now. Orion, I really like your idea with the carbon. I'm looking into getting an Aquaclear so I'll have more control over my media.

    And ty everyone for the advice w/ the decor. I'm planning on essentially having a species tank (might add otos if needed) so I'll have a school of at least 10. I know the Glofish n neons like their open spaces as well as hiding spots.. so I just didn't want to overdo it with the driftwood and take away their room. I will eventually upgrade to a 29-30 (waiting for Petco $1 per gal sale, or something cheap) but in the meantime, I didn't want to crowd my little 20gal.
  7. AlexAlex

    AlexAlexWell Known MemberMember

    I have AC Filters on all my fish tanks. IMO, best HOB Filter on the market (so far).

    On the carbon, if you don't want to keep it in the filters, you don't have to. It's a preference. I know for me and some of the other members, they like to keep it in there so it can keep the water "polished".

    I wouldn't keep any more than 10 maximum of either glofish especially in a 20 Gallon. I have 12 Neons in my 20 Gallon and it works perfectly and gives them plenty of room.
  8. OP

    DianaFayeNew MemberMember

    I've been looking into the neons too but I'm worried they'll die on me. I guess I'll know better when I can test my water, but w/ the sulfur n deposits I'm worried it might be too hard for them. Glofish being my other choice is because well, "pretty colors" :D haha and danios are a bit hardier and doesn't have the same preference for soft water like neons. Still not sure where I'm gonna go, but I have plenty of time to research