New Hobbyist, new tank - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 7 Old 03-14-2010, 08:34 PM Thread Starter
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New Hobbyist, new tank

Hello Everyone,

I kind of got into the tropical fish thing by accident. My Mother-in-law bought our son a Betta about 1 and a half weeks ago, for bringing home a good report card. Anyhow, since then I've become obsessed. I didn't like that he was in a 1 gallon bowl, and have since moved him into a 10 gallon tank with a power filter. He seems to be really enjoying that much more. He is WAY more active than he was in the 1 gallon bowl.

Anyhow, I got the 10 gallon with the hope of adding more fish. Perhaps tetras or something. However I wanted to let the tank stabilize before doing so. Right now only the Betta is living in it.

The tank is stable, but we've only had it for 2 days now. The water is balanced and at 80 degrees, which I read is perfect for tropical fish. I did a water test kit and everything was perfect minus the ph level which seems kind of high. The ph level is 8.4 which concerns me because everything I've read says to keep it at perfect neutral of 7.0 is this correct? Can tropical fish acclimate to higher ph?

I also read that initially when setting up the new tank you might have a high ph from the tap water (which was treated before use). Can I expect it to level out at some point? The water hardness level was 150, which I think is ok....but what I dont' know is how that hurts/helps the ph level? Will it help it to level out or will it help the ph level to stay high?

Any other unsolicited advice that I might be forgetting to ask about would be greatly appreciated as well.

Thanks, and sorry if I seem too clueless, I'm eager to learn and find that this is a VERY fun (and dare I say theraputic) hobby so far.
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post #2 of 7 Old 03-14-2010, 09:14 PM
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Do you have plants in there? That could help even it out the ph.

or you could just buy these ph tablets that magically changes the waters ph :)

80 degrees is a bit high...and as summer comes along, it could get a bit toasty in their.

I always kept my tempurature about 78. i know it doesnt sound like a big deal, but it is. alot less stress on the fish.

As for companions, thats left up for you.

but if your intrested in a catfish, i'd reccamend the otto cats. there small, 1 inch. and they're peacefull and mind there own buisness.

Well, enjoy the hobby! :D
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post #3 of 7 Old 03-14-2010, 10:55 PM Thread Starter
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I'm looking for a little bit more feedback. Anyone? Thanks in advance!
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post #4 of 7 Old 03-14-2010, 11:10 PM
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After two days your tank isn't close to being stable. Have a read of this article:

I've got a 10gl tank that I'm currently using as a hospital tank that I set up two weeks ago. Due to the results that I get from my water testing (which I do daily) I'm having to do water changes daily. Eventually it will cycle but I have to keep my baby (who is in the tank presently) comfortable.

On another note I also keep a betta in a 6gl, she has 3 otos as company. They don't bother her and she could care less about them. It's heavily planted with a nice chunk of driftwood. The driftwood helps lower the ph (I'm 8.0 out of the tap, hard as concrete), which is 7.6. I keep her tank no less than 80 degrees.

All bettas are different, as far as personalities. Some don't mind tankmates but some can be aggressive towards them.

I think that it's great you stepped up to a 10gl, and awesome that your eager to learn. We have many, many experienced fishkeepers here, and yes, fish are theraputic and soothing. When I need to wind down all I need to do is sit in front of my tank, instant relaxation. :)
Welcome to TFK, we're glad you joined us!

If you don't stand up for something you'll fall for anything...
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post #5 of 7 Old 03-16-2010, 04:21 AM
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Welcome to TFK!

Fish don't need a "perfect" pH of 7.0. For one thing, 7.0 isn't "perfect"; it's just neutral. Secondly, fish in the wild rarely come from water with a pH near 7.0. Most come either from soft, acidic waters or from hard, basic waters. All fish are adaptable to a degree, some more than others. Bettas come from soft, acidic waters in nature but are hardy fish that can adapt to a wide range of water parameters.

Are you measuring your pH with paper strips or with a liquid test kit? If using the strips, I strongly recommend using a liquid kit as it's much more accurate. A pH of 8.4 is quite high.

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post #6 of 7 Old 03-16-2010, 01:22 PM
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You're in good hands with the two previous members, Kymmie and iamntbatman, so I'll just add my welcome to the forum. And also my agreement, don't fiddle with the pH via chemicals, the hardness of your water buffers the pH and it will not change excpet by natural means over time, so leave it.

Welcome to a great hobby too.


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 #7 of 7 Old 03-16-2010, 11:35 PM
One other note about the pH - chances are the fish stores you buy your fish from have a similar pH or the pH of the surrounding area (excluding internet purchases).

For example my pH is 8 out of the tap - its 8.5 in the city where the fish stores are, so the fish they sell have all been kept in pH of at least between 8 and 8.5 - I was worried that I would only be able to keep cichlids or mbuna fish because of my pH - but that is not the case. Just be sure to do your research with the fish stores too.
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