Treat water before.........

Yodi

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I'm sorry If this sounds like a silly question. My tank Is cycling right, I only have goldfish In It now. But when I do get tropical fish and I do water changes do I need to put the de-chlorine drops and water softener In the bucket of water and let It sit awhile or Is It okay to refill the tank directly and then add the chemicals? Everything seems so confusing!
 

Luniyn

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For the de-chlorinator it doesn't matter really, though I like to do it in the bucket before I put it in. But that's just my personal preference.

As for the water softener, the first question is why are you using it? What is the KH and GH of your water now? Or are you trying to adjust your pH? If so what is your pH? Also what type of tropical fish are you going to keep? A good deal of them don't mind harder water and can get used to any pH, so softening the water wouldn't do them any good. And in some cases some like harder water or higher pH because that is how their water is in the wild. Also what kind of water softener are you using? In most cases it is a peat that you either add as a substrate or put in your filter. Also driftwood will lower pH but that's something that is just in your tank all the time as a decoration. Lot of questions I know, but playing with the waters pH and hardness can be a tricky thing and is best left alone 90% of the time.
 
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Yodi

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I'm getting my tank ready for tropical fish. I plan on getting a small school of bettas, a few tiger fish and a few angel fish(I think) But I called Petsmart to ask what chemicals I would need to put In my tank and was told a de-chlorinizer and a water softener. I truely don't know that much about PH or what It's supposed to be 'cycled' at. I plan to get those test strips and test the water In the tank to see If It's ready for fish. Which I will probably ask you wonderful people how I'm doing. I don't want to kill my fish, so I'm going to be pretty anal about It. I thought about buying a book on all this stuff, but I think I would rather here from people that actually have experience at It. So THANK YOU!!

Yodi
 

COBettaCouple

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You'll want to read: https://www.fishlore.com/NitrogenCycle.htm for a good explanation of the nitrogen cycle. we have hard water and high pH here and the fish don't mind it, they're used to it and fish are happier with stable pH, kH, gH even if outside recommended zones than they are with those things going up & down on them. If you do want to soften water, do what luniyn recommended with peat moss or driftwood, but be sure you can find a good reputable source for it locally.

I'd really recommend the API master freshwater test kit. The test strips tend to be inaccurate and I just read yesterday where someone who liked to use strips tried the liquid testing and found his strips had been giving him very off results.

Angel fish are very territorial and you need to be careful what you put in the tank with them. Bettas and Tigers wouldn't be compatible and you'll end up with a lot of dead fish most likely. Plus more than 1 betta will result in them also fighting each other. Bettas have a short list of compatible fish including otos and corys. They're just very territorial, even more than the angels.
 

Luniyn

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If Petsmart told you to soften your water then chances are you don't need to. Especially if they never asked what type of fish you wanted to keep in the first place. But then again most of the ones that like softer water I wouldn't recommend for the beginner anyway. Especially if it requires you to play with your water hardness and pH. Just as FLBettaCouple mentioned, stable conditions are better then changing conditions, most fish will adjust.
 
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Yodi

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Thanks for the help! I really appreciate It. And no, Petsmart didn't ask me what kind of fish I was going to put In my tank.

Yodi
 

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