View Full Version : New To Freshwater

04-20-2012, 06:18 AM
Kinda feel stupid for asking this. A business asked me to take over the maintenance on their freshwater tanks. I'm a saltwater dude for quite a few years. I no nothing about freshwater as in water parameters. I plan on doing the regular filter cleaning and water changes with RO water but is there anything I should be concerned about as in the water parameters. In my mind should be a bit of a cakewalk compared to salt.

04-20-2012, 06:19 AM
Not sure RO is the way to go in FW unless you add supplements. So I've heard...

04-20-2012, 06:27 AM
Oh? So tapwater with prime? I've got a sweet setup for filling those 5G jugs. Be a pain in the butt filling those water jugs outta the tap.

04-20-2012, 06:28 AM
I think so. Apparently RO is too pure without adding something..maybe some FW people can verify, or Google it. I've read, years ago, that you would need to add salts back into the RO

04-20-2012, 06:30 AM

04-20-2012, 06:32 AM
Ok thanks. I assume it's good to vacum the gravel as well? This is great, now i'm a newb! Well hey this part of the board is'nt as busy as the others anyways.

04-20-2012, 06:36 AM
I use water right from my tap with prime, I just adjust it to the temp of the tank & use my phython hose. So much easier then salt. Plus clean the gravel/sand as I'm doing the water change.

04-20-2012, 06:51 AM
Thanks guys. I think I will use RO water with that recommended additve. The water from the tap at that part of this town smells like rotten eggs. Figure if i'm gonna charge people for changing water I better treat it as if it were my own tank. I'll probably lose money at this, i'm too OCD.

04-20-2012, 07:04 AM
I ran FW for years, and I am not going to say I know it all, but it's not much different than a SW tank as far as testing goes.

I killed my first Goldfish when I was 7, and 38 years later, I think I have a handle on FW fishkeeping.

Using RO is a waste of money, but not time, when running FW tanks. If your system is plant deficient, you may want to use RO water, but do not run DI water, ever.
No matter how much algae you have in your system, no amount of clarified water is going to solve your problem.
You can run a UV sterilizer, but it won't fix a problem. It should only be used as a preventative measure.

An over-populated system is going to need 50% water changes every week. Ya, I know it. I've done it.
1-2" of fish/G of water is a heavily stocked FW tank !!!

Having many fast and slow growing plants will take care of most algae problems, if you do not over-feed. If you have no plants, you're on your own.

And when it comes down to it, Nitrates and Phosphates were my biggest enemies in my FW tanks.
Keep the PO4 and NO3 down to minimize algae issues and you're good to go

There's so much more to learn, but there's a start for ya
Good luck :wink:

04-20-2012, 07:07 AM
Gravel cleaning is good for a FW tank, but the same rules apply for any substrate, including SW
Don't dig too deep ....
Only go about 1/2" into the substrate so you don't disturb the anaerobic bacteria

04-20-2012, 07:09 AM
i'm too OCD.
You think you're OCD ... HAHA
Check my build :razz:

04-20-2012, 02:26 PM
Can you give some details on the system?

As with SW the care varies.

Planted or not?
Predator tank?
Size? Stock?

04-20-2012, 03:04 PM
Oh? So tapwater with prime? I've got a sweet setup for filling those 5G jugs. Be a pain in the butt filling those water jugs outta the tap.
honestly, I would even spend the money on prime for FW. I have used tetra aquasafe for 10 years in my cichlid tanks with no problems what so ever, it does generally the same thing (I.e. removes chlorine/chloramine, detoxifies nitrates etc.)
Its about half the price and comes in very large containers.

Again if its planted or fish only that can help narrow down a few things to monitor, obviously, its very low maintenance, filter cleaning and minor substrate cleaning (depending on substrate, I leave my sand alone except for a slight stir of the top 1/2" when doing WC's.) you want to monitor nitrates, nitrites and ammonia, but dont go crazy on it, also depending on water quality, phosphates. I dont bother with ph, cause my sand buffers my ph, to a perfect level for the cichlids. If its planted, there are other things to look at like, co2 levels and lighting. All in all its quite easy, I spend maybe 2 hours once a month on my freshies, as well as top ups. I wash the decor down during WC's as well, with just hot water.
No biggie, its as easy as pie :) Good luck

04-20-2012, 03:27 PM
also I find going over kill on filtration has worked well for me in FW, as you dont have live rock to handle Biofiltration. I was origninall running 2 AC110s the that along side a Marineland C-360 canister, now I just run 2 of the canisters, a total of 160(rated) gallons of filtration, In one I have all my biomedia, and chemical media, and the other is strictly mechanical filtration. For chem. filtration I am using, Chemi pure, carbon(lots :)) phosban, which is a phosphate remover, and I cant remember the name of the other stuff, but its an ammonia absorber. my water is clear as crystal (now that I got an actual Light you can see it too :lol:) Also depending on species, you may consider frozen/home made foods, my cichlids are of the herbivore species, so I feed them a frozen mush of spinach, peas, zuchini, broccoli, loads of garlic, and a bit of shrimp mixed in for protein, this diet has been used along side new life spectrum for 6 years, and the love it, never lost a fish in my tank I am happy to report! :)

04-20-2012, 04:20 PM
I have yet to see either of these tanks as there is 3 of them. They did'nt know what size they were when I asked when she phoned. I'm going to go this morning and give them a quote for a monthly fee. I'm also to do a WC on one of the tanks so they can see my work. Whatever that means?

04-20-2012, 05:09 PM
I have a forty gallon Discus tank and I use RO-DI water in it. It is a planted tank so I just skim the surface of the substrate going deeper will damage the roots. Also I do 25% water change every other day due to the finicky nature of Discus. Most other tank are every other week except a goldfish tank they are a very dirty fish and require more frequent changes. Just my opinion.