Cichlid Tank to Tropical Tank - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 11 Old 03-21-2010, 03:17 PM Thread Starter
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Cichlid Tank to Tropical Tank

Hello,
I just bought a 55 gallon fish tank from a friend last week. He used to keep Cichlids in it. I have tropical fish in a 29 gallon at the moment. I have added water to the 55 gallon tank and have begun to set up its cycle. For some reason the pH in the 55 gallon is around 7.8. Nothing I add to the tank will bring it down. My 29gal which has water from the same source is at a pH of 7. Would anyone know why the 55 gal has such a high pH? Is it due to the fact that there used to be Cichlids in the tank? Any tips on how to bring the pH down?
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post #2 of 11 Old 03-22-2010, 04:02 AM
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Welcome to TFK!

Are you using his old decor? He could have used something like dolomite, crushed coral, limestone, aragonite sand, etc. which will raise hardness and pH (which is exactly what you want to do if you've got African cichlids). I'd ask him if he used these and replace them with inert materials if they're still in the tank.

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post #3 of 11 Old 03-22-2010, 04:09 AM Thread Starter
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Nope, the only thing in the tank that he used is the UGF. I wouldn't expect that to cause an issue would you?
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post #4 of 11 Old 03-22-2010, 04:25 AM
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I dunno, there might be enough residue left on the UGF or the inside of the tank generally that the pH would stay higher. Is all of the water in the tank your own, or is some of it leftover from his cichlids?

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post #5 of 11 Old 03-22-2010, 04:53 AM Thread Starter
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The water is all my own. As of now I am just going to do daily 25% water changes to see if that helps.
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post #6 of 11 Old 03-22-2010, 05:01 AM
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It should. Another thing that slipped my mind is that pH lowers naturally in a fish tank. CO2 that your fish "exhale" becomes slightly acidic in the water, which drives the pH down over time (not drastically but maybe enough to account for the difference you're seeing).

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post #7 of 11 Old 03-22-2010, 01:00 PM Thread Starter
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Well, thanks for the help!
I really like this community, and I hope I can find time to make some valuable posts. I have had fish for a long time, but I am just now coming to understand how to properly keep fish.
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post #8 of 11 Old 03-22-2010, 04:34 PM
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You don't mention the pH of your source water (presumably tap), have you tested it? If it is above 7, let a jar of water stand for 24 hours and then test the pH, as CO2 in water fresh from the tap can give false pH readings. This will tell you what the tap water pH actually is. Also, if you know the hardness, it is another factor.

My point in these questions is that the water in the existing tank may be pH 7 because of biological actions in the aquarium, as iamntbatman mentioned. Knowing the hardness of the tap water will tell us what to expect with respect to the pH lowering in an established tank.

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 you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]

Last edited by Byron; 03-22-2010 at 04:37 PM.
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post #9 of 11 Old 03-22-2010, 07:27 PM Thread Starter
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Opps, I did forget that. I have tested the tap water and I got 7.2 without letting it sit. I do not know if my water is hard or soft. I am using city water, not well water if that helps.
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post #10 of 11 Old 03-22-2010, 08:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigjay517 View Post
Opps, I did forget that. I have tested the tap water and I got 7.2 without letting it sit. I do not know if my water is hard or soft. I am using city water, not well water if that helps.
From this I would conclude that there is probably something in the larger tank that is raising the pH, as was suggested earlier in the thread.

The hardness, specifically carbonate hardness (KH) of the tap water will act as a buffer to keep the pH stable, within reason, so once established a tank usually remains fairly stable (same pH) if weekly water changes occur. Left alone, and depending upon the KH of the water, the biological actions in any aquarium will tend to acidify the water and lower the pH. The amount depends upon the KH value and extent of water changes.

Like iamntbatman, I don't know how much residue may be affecting this; a good scrub with vinegar and water of the filter plate and tank walls might help, then a good rinse.

You don't say what type of tropical tank, if you are thinking of a planted aquarium with tetras, rasbora, gourami, angels, catfish, loaches, etc., then a UGF would not be a filter of choice, and once it is in their you can't disconnect it without taking it out and tearing down the tank, so I mention this as a thought.

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 you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re 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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