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1 Month in and already fed up with ph and algea probs

This is a discussion on 1 Month in and already fed up with ph and algea probs within the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium forums, part of the Freshwater Fish and Aquariums category; --> ok done my testing and results are as follows: PH in tank = 9.5 PH from tap = 8 Nitrite = 0.1 Nitrate = ...

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1 Month in and already fed up with ph and algea probs
Old 11-30-2009, 01:39 PM   #11
ok done my testing and results are as follows:

PH in tank = 9.5
PH from tap = 8
Nitrite = 0.1
Nitrate = 20
Ammonia = 0

My understanding from everything I've read is that other than the ph, everything else is fine? (could be to do with the 2x 90% water change over the last 2 weeks)
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Old 11-30-2009, 04:32 PM   #12
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Nitrite (NO2) Like ammonia nitrite is highly toxic to fish, therefore make sure it does not rise above a concentration of 0.2mg/l. If that happens and you have a test result way past that, do a 50% water exchange. This can also rise and be influenced by feeding too much, so consider for yourself how much you feed every day and maybe cut down.

Nitrate (NO3)Nitrate is the end product if you will of mineralization in your tank and even in relativly high concentrations not toxic to fish, BUT it has a negative effect on plant growth and the overall well being of touchy species, last but not least a elevated NO3 enhances the growth of algae and you won't want that. Because of all this, keep an eye on it and make sure it stay's below 50mg/l.
NO3 can easily be kept within proper range by doing a weekly w/c of about 20%

PH is directly linked to your KH. Not knowing your KH I can only assume that you have something within your tank such as gravel or rocky decor that gives off hardness, thus elevating your KH and so with elevating you pH from what your source water is.
This however may be the reason what cost you your Tiger Barbs, they pref water's in the range of 6-7.5 pH being so much past their range can be easily what killed them. I'm not sure what other fish you have but a lot of fish out there prefer lower pH and yours and it may be a option for you to figure out with us what hardnes your tank water this far up and eliminate it before it causes you more issues with fish keeping.

Hope this helps you.
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Old 11-30-2009, 04:38 PM   #13
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Never mind find my own answer on page 1 you have a Axolotl in the tank.
They also require a lower pH to stay healthy in the long run, generally its advised to house them in waters pH 6.5-7.5 and Temps ideally around room temp 60-68 F that does not exceed 75 F.

I hate to be the one saying this, but with the Axolotl's need in combo your high pH you're limiting yourself down pretty much when it comes to fish keeping.
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Old 11-30-2009, 05:06 PM   #14
Thanks for the heads up Angel079, I guess my next step would be to find out the kh of the water. I don't have anything out of the ordinary in the tank, just the following fish tank ornaments: 2 pieces or roman column, a 4 piece roman goddess statue, 4 plastic plants, 3 plastic moss balls, statue of neptune, white gravel, pack of bioorb rocks and some cheap smooth pebbles bought from a non fish shop (could it be these raising the ph?)
I currently don't have a kh test kit but will get one as soon as possible and post the results.
Many thanks for your advice
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Old 11-30-2009, 06:14 PM   #15
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I'm assuming all the decor and plants are plastic right?
Do you have any live plants or are considering to get any? These are extremely beneficial as they pretty much act as a natural filter if you will.
Rocks and the pebbles could be a cause, just take 'em out and drop vinegar on it see if it fuzzes, if so its indicating giving of too much hardness (then given this hardness off into your tank, which raises your KH and that then raises you pH as well).
I'd definitely suggest trying to figure out the cause and/ or only get fish in there once its established that can handle such high pH. Really the only ones I can think of from the top my head would be Cichlid's BUT they need higher Temps then what your Axo can tolerate, so finding fish that like your high pH and LOW temp's to keep with you Axo will need quite some research, on pages like here Knowledge Base - Seriously Fish
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Old 12-01-2009, 07:38 AM   #16
Not all the decor is plastic, the roman decor is made from some sort of chalky white resin to match the white gravel - hense the desire to clean so much when the brown algea appears...white was not a good colour scheme to go for!!! I'll take a few pebbles, rocks and gravel out this evening and try the vinegar test and see what happens, if they pass the test I'll move on to the roman columns / statues and test those.

It must be one of those peices causing a ph rise as the tap reading showed an 8.0 yet the tank a 9.5. Could the high ph also be causing the severe brown algea outbreak?

Will post the results of the vinegar test this evening...fingers crossed I find the culprit!
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Old 12-01-2009, 02:47 PM   #17
Tested every bit of decor in the tank with vinegar and no sign of fizzing on anything, gravel, biorocks, pebbles, roman columns, statues - everything!

So back to square 1. Cleaned all the decor but didn't do water change (you'll all be pleased to hear), have decided to buy some bottled water tomorrow and replace 15% of the tank water with bottled water and see what happens to the ph. Am also still waiting on peat moss to put in filter so maybe the 2 combined could be a solution?

Have also asked my other half to pick up a kh test kit tomorrow so I can test this before adding any bottled water because I'm assuming not much will happen if the kh reading is sky high.
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Old 12-01-2009, 03:36 PM   #18
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Peat will def lower your hardness and so with your pH.
When using R/O water (bottled) for the first time you need to do it SLOW any sudden changes in pH (which is what will happen with the R/O) can not only stress out your Axo totally but also be harmful to the extent of fatal if done too quick. So pers I'd do something like 1 cup every other day to slowly change the water, if not less then that.

However that said what's gonna happen now, you start with pH 9.5, get it let's say down to 7.5 over time. Then when you do your w/c you HAVE TO ensure you hit that exact water mixture between your tap and the R/O again to maintain the 7.5 If you don't do that to the T every week the up & down fluctuations are simply bad for your Axo and any fish that may move in eventually.
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Old 12-01-2009, 03:41 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by mik johnson View Post
Could the high ph also be causing the severe brown algae outbreak?
No I highly doubt that, the brown algae feeds off things like poor lighting and excess nutrition in the tank and nitrates.
Unscrew the bulb and look, It'll have a name on it.Most combo set's have these 'standard' bulbs, which not having live plants is not too terrible atm but you may want to consider upgrading it to a full spectrum bulb. It appears as though certain spectrum's of light enhance algae growth while others don't.

So what I'd do if it was my tanks (and there's other opinions on this as well I'm sure, so let's hope the others join the discussion)
- I'd exchange the bulb
- Run lights some 10-11hrs/day
- Keep up weekly w/c of about 25%
- Feed either very little each day, or only feed every other day

Here's a few suggestions that I'd personally go for, but they will cost some $...To counter the excess nutritious that the algae feeds off of and act as bio filter I'd add several fast growing stem plants such as Cabomba, Ludwiga, Vallis etc (Most stem bunched plants are anywhere's from $1-2 per bunch)
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Old 12-01-2009, 04:59 PM   #20
Thanks, I'll add a cup every 2 days as you suggested so not to cause my Axo any stress. I'll also mix bottled water with tap water until I get 7.5 ph when doing w/c before putting it in the tank, at least that way I can be sure to maintain ph levels - not the best option but it's a solution none the less. Will also look into the fast growing stem plants after xmas.

Thanks for all your advise, will still post kh levels tomorrow and continue to update with the tanks progress...you never know, one day my water may get down to acceptable level to house fish!!!
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