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Are my fish acting alright? with Video, PLEASE reply!!

This is a discussion on Are my fish acting alright? with Video, PLEASE reply!! within the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium forums, part of the Freshwater Fish and Aquariums category; --> Im going to check the ph of my tap water. I will be checking the town hall tomorrow to see if they can clarify ...

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Are my fish acting alright? with Video, PLEASE reply!!
Old 06-15-2012, 10:48 PM   #11
 
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Im going to check the ph of my tap water.
I will be checking the town hall tomorrow to see if they can clarify whether my water is hard or soft. For reference, is it GH that is hardness?
These fish were raised in my towns water, ive read if they are conditioned to it they can be okay in it?
You said crushed coral..what about coral i already have? Its from Aruba, been boiled three times because i was going to put it in the tank, and was told not to.
I obviously wont act until i find out whether my water is hard or soft, but would that be a solution?
I can ask, but im not sure my lps had dolomite or argonite...

Why doesnt the master testing kit have GH and KH?? its supposed to be MASTER! lol
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Old 06-15-2012, 11:32 PM   #12
 
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Oh this is exhausting..

So i tested my tap water...and my tank water...FOUR TIMES. Seven, if you count the high ph tests.

Somehow, my 8.8 ph water is dropping to a 6.4.

How could this happen?

Youve seen my tank, what could be causing this??

Ive included a picture of all four low ph tests, labeled, and a picture of the three high ph tests i took on my tap.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg ph test 1 6.15.jpg (82.9 KB, 13 views)
File Type: jpg ph test 2 6.15.jpg (82.0 KB, 13 views)
File Type: jpg ph test three 6.15.jpg (83.7 KB, 13 views)
File Type: jpg ph test 4 6.15.jpg (83.9 KB, 13 views)
File Type: jpg high ph test tap 6.15.jpg (72.2 KB, 13 views)
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Old 06-15-2012, 11:46 PM   #13
 
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Just read that water straight from the tap usually gives off a false PH, much higher than it is, so i ran four tests, two low and two high on my aged water, its been sitting out a day and a half..
Attached Images
File Type: jpg ph tests aged water high and low 6.15.jpg (71.5 KB, 12 views)
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Old 06-16-2012, 02:59 PM   #14
 
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I'll try to answer everything from the last few posts.

GH is general hardness, and KH is carbonate hardness (often called Alkalinity). We really must have these numbers for your tap water, as they are probably the cause but without them we are guessing. GH and KH is not something most aquarists fiddle with, as it is safer to use what comes out of the tap and select fish that will manage. You can by a kit for GH/KH, but before spending money let's make sure you will use it. Once we know the GH and KH numbers for the tap water, we will know what we have to work with.

On the pH. When testing tap water, you must out-gas the CO2 in order to get a more accurate reading. You can let the water sit 24 hours, or you can shake it briskly for several moments; either way the CO2 will dissipate. CO2 adds carbonic acid to water, thus lowering pH. Tap water usually has some amount of CO2 dissolved in it, this varies from place to place. Also, only use one test for both because you can get different numbers depending upon the test, as you've seen. Once we have this all sorted out, the appropriate test for the tank will be obvious.

To explain why the pH is lowering in the aquarium. This is natural, due to the buildup of CO2 from fish and plant respiration and the breakdown of organics by bacteria. The CO2 creates carbonic acid, which lowers pH. Now. the extent to which this occurs depends upon several factors. First, the tank biology; more fish in smaller volume of water means more waste and thus more acid. The more food that goes in, the more waste. The larger the fish, the more waste and CO2. But aside from this, there is the KH of the source water. KH acts as a buffer to maintain the pH where it is coming out of the tap. The higher the KH, the more it will buffer.

My situation to illustrate. Tap water is near-zero GH and KH, and pH is 7 to 7.2; in my tanks, after a couple weeks new, the pH will be 5 if i do nothing. This is fine for the fish I have. In two tanks I buffer pH with aragonite to keep it in the mid 6 range; the other tanks I let go. The fish in these respective tanks are fine with the pH.

So, I am expecting your KH to be low, and usually the GH is similar. The water folks are probably adding something to raise the pH, assuming the GH is low. Mine do; they do this to maintain a higher pH which will not corrode pipes and water tanks as much as will an acidic pH. This has no effect on GH (or on KH either, we may assume from your pH numbers) and it is harmless. But worth knowing, as it is part of the whole picture.

Last comment on the fish adapting to your water. This is a commonly-held belief by some, but one I do not accept. If you read my article on Stress http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/f...um-fish-98852/ it goes into detail on the ways the physiology of a fish is designed for specific water parameters, and any variation will cause issues. Not everyone wants to hear this, but it is a fact of science. Now, having said that, there are some fish that can adapt to some extent to different parameters, but this has its limits and is also limited to specific species. When it comes to livebearers, they must have mineral in the water or they will not be healthy. Soft water fish are the opposite; hard water for them causes calcium deposits in the kidneys and other issues. Fish maintained too far out of their preference--which nature has programmed into them through evolution over millions of years--will not be healthy, their immune system is compromised, and in all cases they have shorter lifespans as a result. The cited article will expand on this.

Byron.

Last edited by Byron; 06-17-2012 at 11:46 AM.. Reason: correct 245 hours to 24 hours
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Old 06-17-2012, 12:18 AM   #15
 
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Wow! What a great article!
It really explains why the right size tank, water params and tank mates are so important..

I have been searching CL, and will be going to the Salvation Army to look for. 35-40 gallon tank. My fish are in a 24 gallon right now. There are three guppies and four mollies.

I probably need more plants in the tank, especially floating ones, to help keep the fish comfortable.

I am going to be contacting the water company to find out the KH and GH of my water. Could my LPS do it for me? I'll ask.

For now, I have added a few small peices of three times boiled sea shells, right under the filter, to attempt to help the PH to get higher. How long should I do this for? How many shells would I need?

Can I use actual coral? I don't believe my LPS has coral substrate.

Can I help co2 dissipate? Maybe an air stone? I have a bunch of little peices of marimo ball..with they use up more of the CO2? How about java moss? Those are tho only two plants I have access to.
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Old 06-17-2012, 12:21 AM   #16
 
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And may I say, Byron, how amazing you are?
You have truly helped me, not to mention so many other people on this forum.
I thank you whole heartedly!
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Old 06-17-2012, 11:52 AM   #17
 
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Quote:
I am going to be contacting the water company to find out the KH and GH of my water. Could my LPS do it for me? I'll ask.
The water company will be more reliable, but a good fish store will test GH and KH, just make sure they give you numbers, not some useless vague "OK, kinda soft" which tells us nothing.

Quote:
For now, I have added a few small peices of three times boiled sea shells, right under the filter, to attempt to help the PH to get higher. How long should I do this for? How many shells would I need?

Can I use actual coral? I don't believe my LPS has coral substrate.
Any form of coral will work as coral is simply calcium and it dissolves slowly. I've never used shells so I don't know how long this would take. Coral-based gravel or sand is easiest because it works fast. Any fish store that carries marine substrates will have this. I have used CarribSea's crushed coral/aragonite sand/gravel, but there are other brands.

Quote:
Can I help co2 dissipate? Maybe an air stone? I have a bunch of little peices of marimo ball..with they use up more of the CO2? How about java moss? Those are tho only two plants I have access to.[/
There is no issue with CO2 in the tank, I was referring to testing tap water. Just run a bit of tap water in a small jar with a tight-fitting lid, then shake it briskly for a couple minutes before testing the pH. No need to do this in the tank, you want CO2 in there for the plants.
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