High pH?
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High pH?

This is a discussion on High pH? within the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium forums, part of the Freshwater Fish and Aquariums category; --> Well, after the initial failure of adding fish before my 25 gallon cycled, and losing the cories I started with , I went back ...

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Old 03-02-2011, 12:47 PM   #1
 
High pH?

Well, after the initial failure of adding fish before my 25 gallon cycled, and losing the cories I started with , I went back to the fish store and bought an API master test kit. Now I'm waiting for the tank to finish cycling. I went through a phase of a few days where the water got real cloudy, then it cleared up, so I'm hoping that means something was happening. (The cloudyness was before I bougth the test kit so idk what affect it had on the water conditions)

As of this week, the pH of the tank is holding steady around 7.8-8.0. After my ammonia (.25ppm) and nitrite (2.0ppm) reach zero and the nitrate goes up from zero, I want to add more fish. Will the pH affect what I can buy? From what I've been reading, it looks like it isn't so much the pH itself that matters, but the drastic fluctuations in pH that will kill the fish if I try to get it to lower back down to around 7.

Some possible fish I'm hoping to add: 5 cory cats, 6 of some kind of tetra, 2 kribensis and maybe a betta.
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Old 03-02-2011, 02:47 PM   #2
 
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Sorry about your corydoras.

Yes, the pH can effect what fish you get. Alot of fish prefer a pH lower than 7.8. From all I have read, the cories will do fine with a pH of 6-8, so that shouldn't be an issue. Bettas really prefer about 6.5-7.4, but I have heard of people keeping bettas in pH as high as 7.9. I am not necesarliy recomending that, though, so lets see if someone else comments on that.

Kribs like the pH at about 5.5 to 7.5 from all I have read. Not sure how they would do out of the range. I would not, however recomend some species of tetra with such a (relatively) high pH. Some species like the cardinal tetra will likely die with a pH so high. Also, alot of tetra will not get along with bettas or vice-versa. Tetra have been known to be nippy towards bettas sometimes, and bettas have been known not to put up with it.

The cloudiness in the water was likely a bacterial bloom. Not a bad sign, I don't think, if you don't have fish in the tank.
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Old 03-02-2011, 06:16 PM   #3
 
Your water sounds like mine, out of the tap we have a constant 8.0. I have managed to not only successfully keep but spawn on numerous occasions Kribensis (p. pulcher) both the super red and yellow cheek variety. When I first started keeping fish i though of this being an issue but have learned through experience that most fish will adapt to it. The high PH will not likely kill the fish but the flucuations in it will. If you want to get a 7 ph you can look at investing in a Reverse Osmosis filter, this is what i need to use to spawn some of the harder species.
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Old 03-02-2011, 09:20 PM   #4
 
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Hi, Just thought I would add my opinion... I have a ph of 8.4 all the time. I have a male half moon betta, no issues... he's in a 10 gal by himself. And I have 8 cory's in my 75 gal. Really the issue is sudden changes that will harm or kill your fish.
When you bring them home and rest the bag in the water to equalize the temps, give the bag of fish little "drinks" of tap water every 5-10 miniutes over the time span the bag is sitting. Eventually you will double the volume of water in the bag. This is much less of a shock and they slowly adapt. Take your time, the only thing that happens quickly in a tank are bad things. And messing with your PH will cause sudden fluctuations both ways as it is impossible to maintain the new ph level. Do yourself a big favour and buy local fish if you can, that way they are housed in similar water to yours but always do the "drink" thing to acclimate them. Good luck. ps I would never try Discus cause they need a very low ph, I'm better to go with African Cichlids but right now have Rainbowfish, mollies, swords, barbs and danios all with no issues to the PH.
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Old 03-07-2011, 04:18 PM   #5
 
Phew

Thanks for the helpful posts - I figured leaving the water as is would be my best bet. The people at the LFS said that the water in our town is good, and I think they use the same water in their tanks, so I plan on buying from there.

I'd like to go with the kribensis and a new set of cories, as well as a bristlenose pleco. I can't decide past that if I should get a pair of mollys or guppies or some tetras. I don't want to overstock and kill everyone!

Current API test results:
Ammonia - 1.0ppm
Nitrite - 5.0? ppm - I am having a really hard time matching up the color I have with the color sheet
Nitrate - 10-20ppm - same problem telling the difference btwn the orange colors!

I'm hoping it will finish cycling soon and I can add my fish!
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Old 03-07-2011, 04:39 PM   #6
 
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When you bring them home and rest the bag in the water to equalize the temps, give the bag of fish little "drinks" of tap water every 5-10 miniutes over the time span the bag is sitting. Eventually you will double the volume of water in the bag.

PLEASE LET ME CORRECT MY TYPING ERROR !! I meant to type.. "drinks" of TANK water. OMG OMG!! Hopefully no one used tap water. So sorry.
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Old 03-07-2011, 04:43 PM   #7
 
Haha...no sitting in the bag in the sink under the faucet then! Tank water it is.

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Old 03-07-2011, 04:47 PM   #8
 
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Thank goodness you have a sense of humour. my worry is the newbies that might have read this so far!! I should just keep my mouth shut and my hands still, no typing, and stay out of it all. Sheeeesh.
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Old 03-07-2011, 05:17 PM   #9
 
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Glad you corrected yourself, jackiebaby, I was a bit worried at first.

All of what has been posted by others in this thread is basically true, but a couple of important points have been missed.

First, hardness is as important as pH for many fish, especially sensitive species among the characins and cyprinids, and dwarf cichlids. Hard water contains calcium and magnesium primarily, and calcium can block the kidneys in soft water fish. This is probably the reason cardinal tetra do not normally live beyond a couple of years in hard water; they can live for more than 10 years in soft, acidic water.

Many fish are adaptable to pH and hardness that differs from their preference--at least to a certain degree. It also matters where the fish came from. Wild caught fish are generally (but not always) intolerant of significant differences. Tank raised fish, in "harder" water usually, are less fussy. And the species has a bearing. Mikrogeophagus ramirezi, the common or blue ram, cannot tolerate anything but the smallest variance from the water in which it was raised.

If you read our fish profiles, it mentions "ideal" water parameters for each species, and if there is need for caution with wild fish it will say that. It also mentions fish that manage in different (usually harder) water but will be less colourful, or less resistant, or unable to spawn, etc. It is only common sense to realize that these conditions clearly are the fish's response to something it finds stressful. It may not kill the fish, but it has sufficient enough impact on the fish's physiology that there is a reaction. If the fish is under stress from any such factor, it will have a weakened immune system, be susceptible to disease more than otherwise, and quite often live a shorter life span as a result of "burning out" over making concessions. Again, this is very general.

Having said that, I do agree that fiddling with water parameters can be dangerous if it is not done naturally and slowly, and carefully monitored. It is safer to select fish that can manage in the water out of the tap. This not only means the fish will be better off, but so will the aquarist. Water that is easily available with the turn of a faucet is a blessing when it comes to emergency water changes, and even regular weekly partial water changes.

Byron.
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Old 03-07-2011, 08:00 PM   #10
 
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Originally Posted by Jakiebabie View Post
Thank goodness you have a sense of humour. my worry is the newbies that might have read this so far!! I should just keep my mouth shut and my hands still, no typing, and stay out of it all. Sheeeesh.
Hahaha, no worries, I got it! Now I just need to decide what is going to work with my water and size of my tank...what stress!
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