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How to lower pH

This is a discussion on How to lower pH within the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium forums, part of the Freshwater Fish and Aquariums category; --> Norbdert, there are several important issues going on here, please bear with us as we sort them out. And I agree, no more fish ...

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Old 04-16-2012, 04:11 PM   #11
 
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Norbdert, there are several important issues going on here, please bear with us as we sort them out. And I agree, no more fish until this is resolved.

The fish dying as you described is due to toxins in the water. I'm not sure we can single any one thing out, but it could be one or more of the pH adjuster chemical building up, fluctuating pH (which is far worse than a steady pH even if not in the preferred range), ammonia, nitrite and nitrate from cycling. All of these cause stress, and fish behaving as you've described is one sign of this. My purpose in suggesting the article on stress was so you would recognize how easy it is to stress fish, and this always leads to health issues and if severe enough death, sooner or later. Every chemical that goes into an aquarium is causing stress, as is the combination of fish, having too few of a shoaling species, etc.

Back to the initial issue of the pH being high, now that I have the GH and KH I am wondering if the pH is accurate. When testing tap water pH, you have to take some water and shake it very briskly in a covered jar or something for a few minutes. This out-gasses the CO2. Then test the pH. Try this and tell us what you get; I'm suspecting it may be higher.

You gave me a link to Tropica Plants for the gravel, but I can't see anything about this on that site, which is all in German anyway and my German is not much.

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Old 04-18-2012, 12:06 PM   #12
 
Sorry about that website, there is a flag on top right corner if you want to have a look on it.
About that plants here's proper link Tropica Aquarium Plants - ABC
Just few words about plants....
Substrate
The bottom layer is fundamental for the development of the plant roots. The gravel grain size varies, but it's important that both water and nutrition can circulate. Gravel with a grain size of 2-4 mm is ideal for aquarium plants. The bottom layer can be supplemented with a nutrient-rich substrate if it has not already been added to the product.

As for ph in tap water you were right...it came in range 7.0 - 7.2 so it's probably 7.0. Below that my test tube would go green.
I'm bit confused that shaking can have so much effect.
So after all it's not that much difference between tank and tap water which is a relief.
Thank you very much for help guys.
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Old 04-18-2012, 12:38 PM   #13
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Norbert View Post
Sorry about that website, there is a flag on top right corner if you want to have a look on it.
About that plants here's proper link Tropica Aquarium Plants - ABC
Just few words about plants....
Substrate
The bottom layer is fundamental for the development of the plant roots. The gravel grain size varies, but it's important that both water and nutrition can circulate. Gravel with a grain size of 2-4 mm is ideal for aquarium plants. The bottom layer can be supplemented with a nutrient-rich substrate if it has not already been added to the product.

As for ph in tap water you were right...it came in range 7.0 - 7.2 so it's probably 7.0. Below that my test tube would go green.
I'm bit confused that shaking can have so much effect.
So after all it's not that much difference between tank and tap water which is a relief.
Thank you very much for help guys.
Gravel is fine (I doubt this is adding mineral, which was the initial issue). If the tank is still higher than the tap, I would remove the rocks, this could be the problem. Aside from this,. let things settle. As previously said, forget the pH adjusting stuff, that is not going to work as you've seen.

Which brings me to the CO2 in the tap water. CO2 acidifies water by causing carbonic acid. Decaying organic matter does this, along with the normal biological actions in any aquarium. So out-gassing the CO2 from the tap water is restoring the actual values.

You might find some background info here:
http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/f...quarium-73276/
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Old 04-21-2012, 12:57 PM   #14
 
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In regards to fish ... you've managed to get just about everything that doesn't work with anything else on that list o.O

Okay, so not quite that bad, but close, and a lot of them are shoaling fish (need numbers of 6+ in a lot of cases).
That's how it is when you go to Pets at Home and listen to advise from people working there - in effect you have fish which like soft and hard water.

About that chemicals - I'm having real problem now because I found today on 2 clown loaches white spots.
I know it's starting to develop and it's not an outbreak yet but this could be why my previous fish died too.
White spot cause rapid gill movement which I noticed and problems with breading - some of them been just below water before they died.

I have Interpet Anti White Spot but I'm not sure it's best solution. You'll probably know a lot more how to treath it and which is best and safest way.

I have also 10L tank with platys atm which can be used as quarantine tank but...
If I'm going to cure that fish in quarantine tank that doesn't mean I will get rid of all bacterias in my main tank so I will have same problem over and over.

What you think guys would be best way to get rid of this bacteria?
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Old 04-21-2012, 01:50 PM   #15
 
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Originally Posted by Norbert View Post
That's how it is when you go to Pets at Home and listen to advise from people working there - in effect you have fish which like soft and hard water.

About that chemicals - I'm having real problem now because I found today on 2 clown loaches white spots.
I know it's starting to develop and it's not an outbreak yet but this could be why my previous fish died too.
White spot cause rapid gill movement which I noticed and problems with breading - some of them been just below water before they died.

I have Interpet Anti White Spot but I'm not sure it's best solution. You'll probably know a lot more how to treath it and which is best and safest way.

I have also 10L tank with platys atm which can be used as quarantine tank but...
If I'm going to cure that fish in quarantine tank that doesn't mean I will get rid of all bacterias in my main tank so I will have same problem over and over.

What you think guys would be best way to get rid of this bacteria?
OK, white spot or ich is a parasite not a bacteria. I only mention that because treatments are vastly different for these things.

Clown loach are scaleless fish and thus any chemicals seriously affect them, including treatments. So I would absolutely take the safest approach. This involves raising the tank temperature and using CopperSafe which is the mildest (but still effective) anti-parasitic treatment I am aware of.

I just read through the list of fish (assuming most are still alive) and there are some that have trouble with very high temps so we need to consider that. I would raise the temp to 85F, this is tolerable for the short term with the fish named. Do this via a partial water change, change half the tank water now using a good conditioner and no other substance. Using sufficient warm water in the mix to raise the present tank temp up by say 3-4 degrees F (not sure what it is now, but don't go about 85F), and adjust the heater to increase it further to 85F max over the next few hours. After the water change, dose the tank with CopperSafe according to directions, which I believe is 1 teaspoon per every 4 gallons. Remember the substrate and decor displace some water, so a 20g tank will perhaps have 16 gallons or something. One teaspoon overdose won't hurt, just don't exceed it.

Maintain the temp for a full week starting tomorrow, then turn it down to normal on day 7 by adjusting the heater and letting the tank water naturally cool down to normal over a day/night or whatever. Wait another 4 days and do a 50% water change.

If you still see spots on day 7, leave the heat at 85F for another 4 days, then reduce it as above. If there are still spots, post on here and I'll take you beyond. This shouldn't be necessary, I've had a couple of bad bouts of ich but never had to go past the week with this method.

Ich (white spot) is caused by stress, nothing else, just chronic stress. Stress occurs from many things, including using all these chemicals previously. The red tailed shark also will cause stress to loaches. Clown loach are highly susceptible to ich, some fish are, some never seem to get it. Please read the article on stress as it will provide the background why this is so critical:
http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/f...um-fish-98852/

Byron.
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Old 04-21-2012, 01:57 PM   #16
 
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I did a little experiment with my API PH test and boiled off tannin water. I boiled a peice of new driftwood until the water looked like coffee and then tested the ph. No dice. It's exactly the same as out of the tap. I Looks like buying RO water is the only way to go.
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Old 04-21-2012, 02:00 PM   #17
 
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I collect rainwater for one of my aquariums and mix it with the tap.

As long you don't live in a big city or next to a factory, I consider it perfectly safe.

I use a (clean!) garbage can and leave it outside. You can cover the top with mesh or something to keep mosquitos out in the summer, but I consider the mosquito and bug larvae an added bonus.

Try to place it where runoff from your roof or gutters won't contaminate it though...
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Old 04-21-2012, 02:33 PM   #18
 
ok thnx, I have interpet bioactive tap safe which should be added before pouring water into aquarium. It also removes copper and adds some beneficial bacteria.

I have temp 24C atm. Do I have to increase it to 29-30 at once or increase few degrees each hour?



Last edited by Norbert; 04-21-2012 at 02:35 PM..
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Old 04-21-2012, 02:45 PM   #19
 
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I'm questionable about any product that claims to have 'bacteria in a bottle'. What does the bacteria eat while it's on the store shelf for who knows how long? How does it breathe?
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Old 04-21-2012, 04:36 PM   #20
 
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I'm questionable about any product that claims to have 'bacteria in a bottle'. What does the bacteria eat while it's on the store shelf for who knows how long? How does it breathe?
You are not alone in questioning this, but science has now proven it does work. Dr. Timothy Hovanec was the microbiologist who discovered the true species of nitrifying bacteria that establish in aquaria [you can read more about this aspect in my article on Bacteria, http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/f...quarium-74891/ ]. Within the context of this work, which is now accepted in the scientific community, he developed the "bacteria in a bottle" product.

Dr. Hovanec ran tests on other products such as Nutrafin's Cycle, and stated that while the bacteria species in this product (and most others up to then/now) is incorrect, they do serve to quick-start the nitrification bacteria by several days. But nothing more. His patented product contains the correct live bacteria, and he claims it will immediately "cycle" a new tank. And I should point out that the New England Aquarium, the London Aquarium, and other major aquaria use his products to add sensitive fish to a new display with no issues. I believe his initial product was BioSpira, and this formula was sold to Tetra who now market it as SafeStart. This is why I recomend this product as one that works. Seachem's Stability is different, but it does appear to somehow work.

Here is a link to Dr. Hovanec's article on his discovery and why it does what he claims it does.
Bottled Nitrifiers Work Part 1
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