230 Litres Aquarium Water Problem PH
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230 Litres Aquarium Water Problem PH

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230 Litres Aquarium Water Problem PH
Old 09-17-2010, 08:22 AM   #1
 
230 Litres Aquarium Water Problem PH

Hi all,
I have a 230 litre aquarium and have a problem with the water.

I do 25% bi-weekly water change but PH is extreemly low.

Water parameter from aquarium :-

GH - 6
PH - 5
N03 - 50
no2 - 0
kh - 3


Water parameters from tap :-

GH - 3
PH - 9
kh - 3

The problem is that the PH is always low and cannot keep community fish in the aquarium.

In the tank I only have pebles as gravel, few plastic plants and one petrified wood. These have been there for some time now.

Filter I have Bio-Home, Eheim Ceramic (10 years old never changed but cleaned), cotton and coarse filter.

When i do water change i syphon the bottom so that it always be clean.

How can i arrange this sittuation?

Thanks
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Old 09-17-2010, 03:30 PM   #2
 
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maybe the ceramic is lowering the ph.take out the ph and test the water tomorrow and see if there's a difference
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Old 09-17-2010, 03:43 PM   #3
 
why do you think the ceramic is lowering the ph?
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Old 09-17-2010, 05:01 PM   #4
zof
 
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What kitten said is always worth a try as you need to eliminate variables until you figure out what is causing it, I wouldn't think petrified wood would cause the pH to lower but taking that out and doing a water changes is always worth a try to.

Also fill a jug with water and let it just sit out and test the pH on it occasionally to see if something in your tap is raising the pH for a while, if you find no change after a few days then try and add 1 chemical at a time that you normally add to your tank to see if any of those are the culprit.

Also pH 9 from tap and pH 5 from tank are rather extreme changes(two to the either side of neutral), what test kit do you use?
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Old 09-17-2010, 05:12 PM   #5
 
I use tetra test. As regarding additional things I add prior to water change is Tetra aquasafe.

Now I left a bottle of water that was filled with tap water about a month ago and made another test resulting with the same PH of 9 so tap water is not the issue.

Something else?
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Old 09-17-2010, 05:12 PM   #6
 
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If the "ceramic" refers to the ceramic disks that go in the first basket of Eheim (and Rena and Fluval) canister filters--they are completely inert and will not affect water chemistry. Their sole purpose is to remove large debris so it doesn't clog the finer filtration further along.

The numbers you post indicate a real problem in the aquarium which I'll try to help you figure out. First, nitrates at 50ppm means insufficient water is being changed regularly. The lack of live plants means there is nothing to use the ammonia/ammonium so bacteria convert it to nitrite then to nitrate--and there it stays. Until you remove the water. In a plantless tank, a weekly (every week) water change of 50-70% is advisable. I do 50% weekly and I have heavily planted tanks.

While many will argue that nitrates are "harmless," the fact is just the opposite. Many fish are adversely affected by nitrates at this level, some even lower. Nitrates at 40ppm is generally considered the highest, and preferably they should never be above 20ppm. In planted tanks they are often below 5ppm and frequently zero. But that's the plants working for you.

Second thing that pops out is the increase in hardness. If the tap water is 6 dGH, the tank should not be 9 dGH unless due to something calcareous is in the tank. And if that were the case, the pH would also rise correspondingly. A pH of 9 out of the tap and 5 in the aquarium is almost unheard of. Are you certain of the hardness readings? Can you contact your water supply people to ascertain their hardness measurement to compare? This frankly does not seem possible.

The petrified wood--do you actually mean "petrified?" This is a rock. Real wood will partially lower the pH, but not to the extent you describe.

Soft acidic water fish would have a perfect home in this tank, once the nitrates are lowered of course. It is only livebearers that will not manage.

Byron.
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Old 09-17-2010, 05:19 PM   #7
 
It is Eheim ceramic discs. About water chemistry i the local water supply confirmed almost the same water parameters that I told him.

About nitrates the local water supply has 50 nitrates and i cannot use RO.

Petrified wood should be petrified it is like a stone.

I have more GH because once I used a stone that was porous and the GH went up.


Also lately i am using Seachem Neutral Regulator and PH goes up a little. The problem is that it starts coming down after 1 day :(
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Old 09-17-2010, 07:26 PM   #8
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by migdem View Post
It is Eheim ceramic discs. About water chemistry i the local water supply confirmed almost the same water parameters that I told him.

About nitrates the local water supply has 50 nitrates and i cannot use RO.

Petrified wood should be petrified it is like a stone.

I have more GH because once I used a stone that was porous and the GH went up.


Also lately i am using Seachem Neutral Regulator and PH goes up a little. The problem is that it starts coming down after 1 day :(
Using chemicals to adjust pH rarely works as the KH of the water affects it, as it presumably is here. If there are fish in this tank, please do not use these adjusters, the fluctuating pH is worse on the fish than a steady pH. Won't get in to all that, but it damages the fish internally.

We didn't have all the facts in the first post. It helps to know everything in order to sort out the trouble.

So the water people confirm the GH and KH is 3 (this is dGH and dKH presumably?) and the pH is 9. Definitely? If yes, I would ask them how they raise the pH to 9. They are adding something to do this, similar to what the water board in Vancouver does. I have GH and KH at 1 and pH is 7.2 because they use soda ash or something. See if you can find out what it is. Much we could suggest may be counter to what they are doing.
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