Need help with water
Tropical Fish

Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources » Freshwater Fish and Aquariums » Beginner Freshwater Aquarium » Need help with water

Need help with water

This is a discussion on Need help with water within the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium forums, part of the Freshwater Fish and Aquariums category; ...

Check out these freshwater fish profiles
Oscar
Oscar
Tail Spot Cory
Tail Spot Cory
Reply
Old 03-13-2009, 07:50 AM   #1
 
Need help with water

I have a 55 gal tank that has been set up for 2 years. I initially tried to get the PH to 7.0, but it would never go there no matter what I did. I didn’t want to make my tank a chemical soup. I have done my water changes every couple of weeks, only feed fish once a day. About 6 months ago I added live plants. Now I get algae blooms.

So I began testing the water again. I don’t have a KH/GH kit yet. After 24 hrs of letting it sit, my tap water tested this way with quick dip test strips: Nitrite 0, Nitrate 0, Total Hardness 25, Chlorine 0, Alkalinity 40, PH 6.8. After 48 ours of letting it sit the readings became Nitrite .5, Nitrate 20, Total Hardness 0, Chlorine 0, Alkalinity 80, PH 6.2.

I tested my tank water for a few days with the following results:

Day 1 (test strips) – Nitrate 20, Nitrite .5, Hardness 300, Chlorine 0, Alkalinity 0, PH 6.2

Day 2 (test strips) – Nitrate 20, Nitrite .5, Hardness 150, Chlorine 0, Alkalinity 0, PH 6.2

Day 2 (test tubes) – Nitrate 0, Nitrite 0, PH 6.0, Phosphate 10

At this point I added some PH up. After 24 hrs the results were:

Day 3 (test strips) – Nitrate 0, Nitrite .5, Hardness 150, Chlorine 0, Alkalinity 40, PH 6.2

Day 4 (test strips) – Nitrate 20, Nitrite .5, Hardness 150, Chlorine 0, Alkalinity 40, PH 6.2

Here I did a 12% water change and vacuumed the gravel. After 24 hours the results were:

Day 5 (test strips) – Nitrate 20, Nitrite .5, Hardness 300, Chlorine 0, Alkalinity 0, PH 6.2

Day 5 (test tubes) – Nitrate 0, Nitrite 0, PH 6.0, Phosphate 10, Ammonia .25

Can anyone suggest why my tank water is hard if my tap water isn’t? Is there anything I can do for the PH? Any other suggestions would be helpful. I read the forums on water chemistry, but somethings not right with mine.

I stock mollies, swordtails, gouramis, danios, plecos, tigerbarbs. I added a red tail shark recently and he died.

Thanks for any help you can provide.
dabrugo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-13-2009, 09:21 AM   #2
 
1077's Avatar
 
Were it me , (and it ain't) I would toss the test strips. I and many others have found them less than accurate. APh value of 6.0 to 6.8 would not in my view be considered hard or alkaline water.I might try the API freshwater master kit or take sample of water for second opinion. The mollies I have kept along with swordtails would probably do better in slightly alkaline water but many have kept them with the Ph you posted. In my view,, unless you are keeping 'Wild caught " fish The fish will do fine with Ph values you posted. Many of the fish offered for sale today are not wild caught as they were years ago. They have been tank raised or farm raised in water that is little like the waters that their ancestors came from. Thus they have adapted to different water parameters and many do well so long as their water parameters remain stable. An algae bloom would have more to do with excess nutrients or organics in the tank or too few plants,too much light,or all of the four. A recent dead fish may have been sick when purchased or the sudden change in water chemistry from dealers tank to your own may have contributed. I personally have found it easier and more enjoyable keeping fish if I purchase fish that will do well in the water that I have easily available(tap) rather than trying to adjust my water to suit the fish.Just my opinion.
1077 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-13-2009, 10:11 AM   #3
 
Thanks for your response. I do have the API master test kit and just ordered the GH/KH test kit and I'll retest hardness with that to see if the water is really hard or not. If it's acidic water I should have soft water. I've read not to get to wrapped up about the PH and as you said, focus on the fish that do well in the water you have. I think algae is caused because the phosphate level is so high. Does Phos-zorb work well for this?
dabrugo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-13-2009, 10:20 AM   #4
 
1077's Avatar
 
Have never tried it.
1077 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-13-2009, 12:11 PM   #5
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dabrugo View Post
Thanks for your response. I do have the API master test kit and just ordered the GH/KH test kit and I'll retest hardness with that to see if the water is really hard or not. If it's acidic water I should have soft water. I've read not to get to wrapped up about the PH and as you said, focus on the fish that do well in the water you have. I think algae is caused because the phosphate level is so high. Does Phos-zorb work well for this?
No not necessarily. Although MOST fish can adapt wider Range pH than pH of their natural biotope, providing proper pH, at least not extreme, ensure longevity andd heahtiness of fish.
Difference b/n pH 7 to 6 is tenfold. Difference b/n 6 and 8 is 100 fold . The difference b/n 6 and 9 1000 fold, and so on.

Yes, your pH of 6.0 is extreme for thype of fish you want to keep.
I dont see the need for GH/KH test kits for your tank.
Once tank is cycled (MUST be free of Ammonia and Nitrite) you can raise the hardness and pH using handful or two of crushed coral in net. Put it in the filter (depends on tank size) until your see little increses. Remove the Bag and Wait couple or more hrs or so and insert the bag again, repeated until proper/desired pH is reached. MUST BE DONE GRADUALLY AND STOP FOR WHILE WHEN FISH SHOWS ANY SIGNS of DISCOMFORT SINCE YOUR WATER IS REALLY LOW TO BEGIN WITH. Once at 7.6 for example, YOu could use the bag as you see fit (once pH slags off again, add the bag in the filter) or ADD CALCACEROUS ROCK in the Tank to keep high all the time. Dont let it go too high though. Idea is to avoid extreme.
If tank already has high level of PO4, try to avoid any Buffers on the market which may add to PO4 problem
PO4 zorb works but may take good time before dropped to low level if it at 10ppm now.

If tap water has high PO4, Google for TAP WATER FILTER BY API. An inexpensive OPTION since your tap water is not VERY HARD. REPALCEMENT CARTRIDGES wont last as long in hard Water.

AGAIN, raising pH has to be done when NH3/NO2 are free from water and done gradually

Hope this help you a bit.
cerianthus is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-13-2009, 12:35 PM   #6
 
1077's Avatar
 
If i were to attempt to adjust the water for use in MY aquariums, I would do it in a seperate container such as rubbermaid cart or tub of say,30 or 35 gal. I would aerate and heat this tub of water and once the desired water was achieved, I would use this water for water changes so that the change for fishes was gradually done. I would not expieriment with live fish in the tank. The storage water can be filtered and dechlorinated as well , before it is needed in the aquarium.
1077 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-13-2009, 01:35 PM   #7
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cerianthus View Post
No not necessarily. Although MOST fish can adapt wider Range pH than pH of their natural biotope, providing proper pH, at least not extreme, ensure longevity andd heahtiness of fish.
Difference b/n pH 7 to 6 is tenfold. Difference b/n 6 and 8 is 100 fold . The difference b/n 6 and 9 1000 fold, and so on.

Yes, your pH of 6.0 is extreme for thype of fish you want to keep.
I dont see the need for GH/KH test kits for your tank.
Once tank is cycled (MUST be free of Ammonia and Nitrite) you can raise the hardness and pH using handful or two of crushed coral in net. Put it in the filter (depends on tank size) until your see little increses. Remove the Bag and Wait couple or more hrs or so and insert the bag again, repeated until proper/desired pH is reached. MUST BE DONE GRADUALLY AND STOP FOR WHILE WHEN FISH SHOWS ANY SIGNS of DISCOMFORT SINCE YOUR WATER IS REALLY LOW TO BEGIN WITH. Once at 7.6 for example, YOu could use the bag as you see fit (once pH slags off again, add the bag in the filter) or ADD CALCACEROUS ROCK in the Tank to keep high all the time. Dont let it go too high though. Idea is to avoid extreme.
If tank already has high level of PO4, try to avoid any Buffers on the market which may add to PO4 problem
PO4 zorb works but may take good time before dropped to low level if it at 10ppm now.

If tap water has high PO4, Google for TAP WATER FILTER BY API. An inexpensive OPTION since your tap water is not VERY HARD. REPALCEMENT CARTRIDGES wont last as long in hard Water.

AGAIN, raising pH has to be done when NH3/NO2 are free from water and done gradually

Hope this help you a bit.
Some good tips. Thanks.
dabrugo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-13-2009, 01:43 PM   #8
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by 1077 View Post
If i were to attempt to adjust the water for use in MY aquariums, I would do it in a seperate container such as rubbermaid cart or tub of say,30 or 35 gal. I would aerate and heat this tub of water and once the desired water was achieved, I would use this water for water changes so that the change for fishes was gradually done. I would not expieriment with live fish in the tank. The storage water can be filtered and dechlorinated as well , before it is needed in the aquarium.
That is another way (should I say better way for someone who is not used to above method) as we, old timers, used to do as we would always have reserve running (tap/rain) with aerationor PH and heater w/o any conditioner. But todays water has more contaminants in it including induced chemical such as Chloramine. Thus requires water conditioner to brekj the bond b/n chlorine and amine (Nitrogen as in ammonia) group.
I sure like to know how these conditioners works as to turning into non toxic ammonia and detox NO2 and NO3 in terms of chemical reactions. Anyone?

Last edited by cerianthus; 03-13-2009 at 01:45 PM..
cerianthus is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-13-2009, 09:14 PM   #9
 
syrinx's Avatar
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cerianthus View Post
I sure like to know how these conditioners works as to turning into non toxic ammonia and detox NO2 and NO3 in terms of chemical reactions. Anyone?

The makers of Prime (Seachem) say on their website that they dont know how it detoxifies no2/no3, so there probably isnt much hope for the rest of us on that one. I think the conversion of ammonia is better understood, but I have never seen it explained in detail.
syrinx is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
water question deoinized water vs distilled water jaysix79 Saltwater Fish 13 02-08-2010 01:42 AM
Questions on my water conditions. Advice on water changes and liquid fertilizer saulat Beginner Planted Aquarium 13 07-05-2009 05:50 PM
White Cloudy Water + Dead Fish after water change HELP!!! eviltuna Tropical Fish Diseases 8 03-05-2008 12:03 AM


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 10:18 PM.