Changed from gravel to Sand...will it start a mini-cycle? - Page 2 - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #11 of 16 Old 10-10-2011, 04:12 PM Thread Starter
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UPDATE 2: ppm is 81.8 which makes the dKH about 4.5808

29g
[7] Rummy Nose Tetra
[5] Pepper Cory
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post #12 of 16 Old 10-10-2011, 04:21 PM
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This is the City Of Ellensburg website. I live in Ellensburg, WA. Take a look around and if you can't find anything, ill call and ask.

UPDATE: I found a spreadsheet saying that on 5/12/10 the hardness was 81.8. There was no unit next to the number so I don't know what that number means...maybe you do? Also is that too old of a reading? Does the hardness change much over time?

Ellensburg, WA - Water Division
I can't see anything there, but the number 81.8 that you found is most likely in ppm or mg/litre (same basically), which means soft, about 4.5 dGH. That doesn't surprise me as you are in Washington State and water in the Pacific NW and SW BC is soft. And no, the hardness is unlikely to change unless the water is sourced from very different locations that have differing geology. This is not very likely in this case.

So this means the KH is likely low also (mine is), and thus in an established aquarium the pH will naturally lower. The rate depends upon the actual hardness, the number and type of fish, feedings, wood or leaves in the tank, etc. If there are fish in the aquarium now, the safest method is to let the pH naturally fall as the water acidifies. Helping this along with wood, dry leaves, peat will do no harm.

Once the tank is acidic, water changes will not have much of an impact, but given your high pH in the tap water (which is due to something else in the water, no idea what) I would be temped to change less water, and I would use a pH adjuster in the replacement water. But before using the latter with fish in the tank, I would experiment with a pail of tap water and the adjuster. Let it sit for several days and test the pH daily, at the approximate same time, to see what it does. The caution here is that whatever mineral or substance is in the water raising the pH, it may have some sort of buffering capability, and fluctuating pH is stressful on fish.

Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If youíre going to take it under your wing then youíre responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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post #13 of 16 Old 10-10-2011, 04:27 PM Thread Starter
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I can't see anything there, but the number 81.8 that you found is most likely in ppm or mg/litre (same basically), which means soft, about 4.5 dGH. That doesn't surprise me as you are in Washington State and water in the Pacific NW and SW BC is soft. And no, the hardness is unlikely to change unless the water is sourced from very different locations that have differing geology. This is not very likely in this case.

So this means the KH is likely low also (mine is), and thus in an established aquarium the pH will naturally lower. The rate depends upon the actual hardness, the number and type of fish, feedings, wood or leaves in the tank, etc. If there are fish in the aquarium now, the safest method is to let the pH naturally fall as the water acidifies. Helping this along with wood, dry leaves, peat will do no harm.

Once the tank is acidic, water changes will not have much of an impact, but given your high pH in the tap water (which is due to something else in the water, no idea what) I would be temped to change less water, and I would use a pH adjuster in the replacement water. But before using the latter with fish in the tank, I would experiment with a pail of tap water and the adjuster. Let it sit for several days and test the pH daily, at the approximate same time, to see what it does. The caution here is that whatever mineral or substance is in the water raising the pH, it may have some sort of buffering capability, and fluctuating pH is stressful on fish.
So i guess in that case, I don't really want to mess around with the pH...like you said, I will let it naturally lower in due time. Do you know any Cory's that will do well in my tank?

29g
[7] Rummy Nose Tetra
[5] Pepper Cory
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post #14 of 16 Old 10-10-2011, 04:47 PM
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So i guess in that case, I don't really want to mess around with the pH...like you said, I will let it naturally lower in due time. Do you know any Cory's that will do well in my tank?
Many species of corys are available, at least from some stores/importers. You are not far from Portland, there is an excellent store there called the Wet Spot, they have a website:
Home
and they frequently (depends upon season as the fish are imported from SA) have some lovely rarer fish. I just checked the corys now, they have 19 species listed.

The softness is fine, I would work to get the pH down a bit, as I suggested. It should be quite simple.

My pH out of the tap is 7-7.2, with GH and KH around 1 d. In a new tank, the pH will be 7, and I use the API pH adjuster to lower it just a tad. I know nothing in the water will buffer it, so this is safe. Then I set the tank up, put the fish in, and the pH from day one is 6.2 to 6.4 and stays there until it lowers further. I have mainly wild-caught fish (like some of those at The Wet Spot) and this works well.

Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If youíre going to take it under your wing then youíre responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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post #15 of 16 Old 10-10-2011, 06:23 PM Thread Starter
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Many species of corys are available, at least from some stores/importers. You are not far from Portland, there is an excellent store there called the Wet Spot, they have a website:
Home
and they frequently (depends upon season as the fish are imported from SA) have some lovely rarer fish. I just checked the corys now, they have 19 species listed.

The softness is fine, I would work to get the pH down a bit, as I suggested. It should be quite simple.

My pH out of the tap is 7-7.2, with GH and KH around 1 d. In a new tank, the pH will be 7, and I use the API pH adjuster to lower it just a tad. I know nothing in the water will buffer it, so this is safe. Then I set the tank up, put the fish in, and the pH from day one is 6.2 to 6.4 and stays there until it lowers further. I have mainly wild-caught fish (like some of those at The Wet Spot) and this works well.
So with the API pH lower kit, I can add it to the tank with the fish in it? And is this something that I will have to do often or can i lower it then it will stay?

29g
[7] Rummy Nose Tetra
[5] Pepper Cory
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post #16 of 16 Old 10-11-2011, 11:29 AM
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So with the API pH lower kit, I can add it to the tank with the fish in it? And is this something that I will have to do often or can i lower it then it will stay?
I would use the API pH lower in a pail of water before adding it to the tank. Again, we don't know what in the tap water is raising the pH and thus can't know what effect it may have until we try. And this should be in water without fish. If the test works, and the pH remains down for a couple days, I would use it in the tank, but slowly.

Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If youíre going to take it under your wing then youíre responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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