need to understand more about Ph - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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post #1 of 11 Old 07-20-2011, 06:54 PM Thread Starter
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need to understand more about Ph


As I work to lower ph in my smaller tank, in preparation for German Rams, I find myself feeling bad that I don't have lower ph in my other tank, that has Angelica loaches, black loaches, Dwarf Neon Tetras and a Bolivian Ram and neon tetras. I thought about buying a bag of peat moss to put in filter, but can't decide if I want the look of "tea" water. If my fish are doing well, eating, swimming, and seem happy should I do something to lower ph? My ph is 8.0 to 8.2. If I did put peat moss in the filter, I assume I'd have to add new peat on some regular basis. When I first joined this forum, the information was more about keeping ph balanced rather than trying to lower or raise it, but I'm willing to do something to lower it for my other fish if that is a good idea. I'm using RO water in the other (smaller) tank with every WC (RO water I buy has a ph of 6.3) and I can do that for the smaller tank, but wouldn't want to do that for the larger tank, but could put peat in the filter if that's a good idea.

Thanks for ideas and thoughts on this! Other than that, I have lots of live plants in both tanks, and my nitrates pretty low at 10-15ppm, and I do WC of 40-50% weekly. I have no ammonia or nitrites.

Gwen

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post #2 of 11 Old 07-20-2011, 08:09 PM
peat would get the job done, Co2 would also, with Co2, and ADA amzonia my pH is 6 or below and I have rams in it, they breed every 2-3 weeks and are awsome, but with Co2 it would benifit your plants, maybe byron will see this post because he knows more than I don, if he doesn't maybe try and pm him

38 gallon :
Pelvicachromis Taeniatus Nigerian Red not yet breeding pair
4 Pangio Kuhli
12 Hemmigrammus Bleheri
2 Botia Lohachata
1 Botia Straita
1 Ancistrus Sp.
6 Poecilia Reticulata




The Wet Spot Portland Oregon!!!!!!

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GwenInNM (07-20-2011)
post #3 of 11 Old 07-20-2011, 08:53 PM
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Here's what I feel ... IMO ... you need to understand about pH ... DON'T mess with it. As you said, your fish are happy and doing well in a tank with higher pH than what you read about. Fish can amaze us with the ability to acclimate to pH's higher than they would experience in the wild ... if done gradually.

If you are set on lowering it to give your rams the best possible environment .... then yes peat moss and DriftWood are good natural alternatives to lower pH.

75g FW Cyprinidae Tank - Running Fluval 404
5 BlackRuby, 4 Albino Tiger, 4 Odessa, 3 Tiger, 2 Green Tiger, 3 Denison, 2 Cherry, 2 Gold, 2 Checkered BARBS + 4 Zebra Danios, 1 Red-tail Shark. Looking to add 4 Five Banded Barbs
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post #4 of 11 Old 07-20-2011, 08:59 PM Thread Starter
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Here's what I feel ... IMO ... you need to understand about pH ... DON'T mess with it. As you said, your fish are happy and doing well in a tank with higher pH than what you read about. Fish can amaze us with the ability to acclimate to pH's higher than they would experience in the wild ... if done gradually.

If you are set on lowering it to give your rams the best possible environment .... then yes peat moss and DriftWood are good natural alternatives to lower pH.

Thanks for that - but I'm set on lowering it for my German Rams, by using RO water for each WC. The real issue is I really can't afford to buy RO water for the larger tank, but do wonder because profiles talk about lower Ph for most fish, if I should use peat (I have wood in the tank already) to lower the ph for my other fish. I guess you confirmed for me that because they've acclimated and are doing well, I guess you're saying don't mess with it? I do want to provide them the best possible life, but read on the package for peat moss that it will turn my water a tea color, which is kind of a drag.

Gwen

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post #5 of 11 Old 07-20-2011, 09:26 PM
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Thanks for that - but I'm set on lowering it for my German Rams, by using RO water for each WC. The real issue is I really can't afford to buy RO water for the larger tank, but do wonder because profiles talk about lower Ph for most fish, if I should use peat (I have wood in the tank already) to lower the ph for my other fish. I guess you confirmed for me that because they've acclimated and are doing well, I guess you're saying don't mess with it? I do want to provide them the best possible life, but read on the package for peat moss that it will turn my water a tea color, which is kind of a drag.

Gwen
Yep .. Tannins will pretty much make your tank look like a big transparent teapot. Harmless to fish ... but not the prettiest thing to look at. I'd say leave the larger tanks pH alone and concentrate on the GB(blue right?)R tank. Peat moss and DW will get you to a point, after that it adding chemicals which is always risky IMO. CO2 does also lower pH ... but probably by small amounts.

Nothing wrong with trying to establish a certain pH from the beginning so go for it.

75g FW Cyprinidae Tank - Running Fluval 404
5 BlackRuby, 4 Albino Tiger, 4 Odessa, 3 Tiger, 2 Green Tiger, 3 Denison, 2 Cherry, 2 Gold, 2 Checkered BARBS + 4 Zebra Danios, 1 Red-tail Shark. Looking to add 4 Five Banded Barbs
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post #6 of 11 Old 07-20-2011, 10:43 PM
pH is fine to mess with but you have to be sure you don't just change pH, pH and GH and KH all have o go down for the parameters to stablize. I like black water but it's up to you... and changing the pH could go slowly, not all at once for the big tank, like .1 a day or something

38 gallon :
Pelvicachromis Taeniatus Nigerian Red not yet breeding pair
4 Pangio Kuhli
12 Hemmigrammus Bleheri
2 Botia Lohachata
1 Botia Straita
1 Ancistrus Sp.
6 Poecilia Reticulata




The Wet Spot Portland Oregon!!!!!!

ADA: Do!aqua Iwagumi 10 gallon size!
7 Clown Killies
7 Ghost shrimp
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post #7 of 11 Old 07-21-2011, 11:04 AM
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As has been mentioned by Christople, pH is connected to GH and KH. Using just peat may or may not work, depending upon the initial hardness of your water. I suspect it is high with a pH of 8 or higher. And it will stain the water as mentioned by someone.

You can read the technical stuff on this in my article on hardness and pH in the Freshwater Article section, here's the link:
http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/f...quarium-73276/

Without dealing with the initial hardness, attempts to adjust pH will usually fail.

Byron.

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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post #8 of 11 Old 07-21-2011, 01:13 PM
yes, that is where most people go wrong

38 gallon :
Pelvicachromis Taeniatus Nigerian Red not yet breeding pair
4 Pangio Kuhli
12 Hemmigrammus Bleheri
2 Botia Lohachata
1 Botia Straita
1 Ancistrus Sp.
6 Poecilia Reticulata




The Wet Spot Portland Oregon!!!!!!

ADA: Do!aqua Iwagumi 10 gallon size!
7 Clown Killies
7 Ghost shrimp
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post #9 of 11 Old 07-21-2011, 05:39 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Byron View Post
As has been mentioned by Christople, pH is connected to GH and KH. Using just peat may or may not work, depending upon the initial hardness of your water. I suspect it is high with a pH of 8 or higher. And it will stain the water as mentioned by someone.

You can read the technical stuff on this in my article on hardness and pH in the Freshwater Article section, here's the link:
http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/f...quarium-73276/

Without dealing with the initial hardness, attempts to adjust pH will usually fail.

Byron.

I read that, and it's great. You recommend only lowering ph via rainwater (don't get enough of that in New Mexico) and through RO, which I'm buying for my smaller tank. For my smaller tank, this amounts to 10 gal a week (WC for a 25ish gal tank), but would be an additional 20 gal each week for a WC on the other tank. Too many bottles to cart and to much expense. So, it sounds like using peat moss is out, unless I understand my GH, which I don't know. I don't see that info on the city site, just the ph. I did a Career day for my students back in May, and had someone from the water authority at the Career Day. I'll contact her and see if she can explain my water's General hardness and KH. My Bolivian Ram would be fine with the ph level and hardness I'm sure, but I wouldn't mind softening it a bit and lower ph for the other fish. Or, should I leave well enough alone?

Gwen

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post #10 of 11 Old 07-21-2011, 06:33 PM
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Originally Posted by GwenInNM View Post
I read that, and it's great. You recommend only lowering ph via rainwater (don't get enough of that in New Mexico) and through RO, which I'm buying for my smaller tank. For my smaller tank, this amounts to 10 gal a week (WC for a 25ish gal tank), but would be an additional 20 gal each week for a WC on the other tank. Too many bottles to cart and to much expense. So, it sounds like using peat moss is out, unless I understand my GH, which I don't know. I don't see that info on the city site, just the ph. I did a Career day for my students back in May, and had someone from the water authority at the Career Day. I'll contact her and see if she can explain my water's General hardness and KH. My Bolivian Ram would be fine with the ph level and hardness I'm sure, but I wouldn't mind softening it a bit and lower ph for the other fish. Or, should I leave well enough alone?

Gwen
Let's get the hardness numbers (GH and alkalinity or KH) first; it may not be necessary.

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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