pH is always 7.6 on API test kit
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pH is always 7.6 on API test kit

This is a discussion on pH is always 7.6 on API test kit within the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium forums, part of the Freshwater Fish and Aquariums category; --> I've had my filter running in my aquarium for about 3 weeks now, the pH always reads 7.6+ on the API test kit. I ...

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pH is always 7.6 on API test kit
Old 01-29-2011, 09:21 AM   #1
 
Question pH is always 7.6 on API test kit

I've had my filter running in my aquarium for about 3 weeks now, the pH always reads 7.6+ on the API test kit. I am changing about 40% of the water weekly with tap water.

I've read that the high pH comes from tap water and also that API test kits are not very accurate. I know that I should not use pH up/down chemicals because they may stress the fish.

I want to maintain a normal 7.0 pH before I get any fish. I don't know what to do. Any suggestions?
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Old 01-29-2011, 10:02 AM   #2
 
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I find the liquid API test kit to be very accurate. Is that the one you are using, or are you using strips?
What fish do you plan on keeping? Many don't require a ph of 7.0. Just wondering why 7.0 is the number you want to aim for.
I have to use API's high end range test, due to many of my tanks being 7.8. Are you using the that one, or the regular ph test kit?
You can add peat to your filter, which will bring your ph down, and there are other ways to buffer the water. You are right in not to use chemicals.
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Old 01-29-2011, 10:04 AM   #3
 
I don't think that is too big of a deal. From what I understand (and I'm relatively new to this too), fish are much less sensitive to PH than most people think. In a natural environment, ph is not static. It fluctuates, sometimes heavily and quickly. For example, during a rainstorm, ph in a river can fluctuate up to an entire point (ex 7->8 or vice versa). In a drought , the ph can move in the other direction. I forget which way brings it up and which way brings it down, but as long as you're close to the natural environment, you should be ok. The trick is to acclimate the fish so that you don't shock it with an immediate change.

When adding fish, you should be sure to float their bag in your tank for a while to acclimate them to temperature. 5 or 10 minutes usually is suitable. Then you want to gradually begin adding water from your tank to the bag. I typically do this 3 times, spaced 10 minutes apart. In the end, I've just about doubled the amount of water in the bag. You don't want to leave them too long else ammonia will build up and they can also run out of oxygen. I don't know what "too long" is though. The last bit of advice, is do not dump that bag full of fish and water into the tank. The water from the lfs may not be healthy and you probably don't want it in your tank. I have a small 2 1/2 gallon tank that I empty the bag into and then net the fish to put them into my tank. Like I said I am new, and today is actually my first day at this forum. This is just what I've collected from a different forum. Definitely wait for a confirmation of this stuff from someone smarter than me! :)

Last edited by kcormier; 01-29-2011 at 10:07 AM..
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Old 01-29-2011, 06:04 PM   #4
 
Thanks for your responses...

@aunt kymmie
I am using the normal small test kit. I have read on the internet that if you test the same water with the low end kit and the high end kit (the one you use) both tests will give two different results (about 0.2 away from each other). This is why I asked if API kits are accurate enough. I am aiming for pH 7.0 because I've read that is standard for tropical fish. Another problem is that the low end kit only goes up to 7.6 so it is possible that my pH is higher than that.

@kcormier
Hey, I am new at this too. I don't have any fish yet though. I like I said before, I want to make sure everything is perfect before getting some fish in there. I'll sure to be careful when adding them. I've researched all I could and once I solve this pH issue, everything will be set.

Last edited by Volt; 01-29-2011 at 06:19 PM..
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Old 01-29-2011, 06:21 PM   #5
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Volt View Post
Thanks for your responses...

@aunt kymmie
I am using the normal small test kit. I have read on the internet that if you test the same water with the low end kit and the high end kit (the one you use) both tests will give two different results (about 0.2 away from each other). This is why I asked in API kits are accurate enough. I am aiming for pH 7.0 because I've read that is standard for tropical fish. Another problem is that the low end kit only goes up to 7.6 so it is possible that my pH is higher than that.
Since your test only goes to 7.6 I would still get the high end ph and test. My ph is 7.8, so getting the high end was what I needed to do. My water would test 7.6 every time on the standard ph. What if your ph is actually 8.2?? I'm not saying it is, but it would be nice to know without a doubt what your actual ph really is. If your water is anything higher than 7.6 the only way to know would be with the high end test.
There are many, many tropicals that can be kept in ph ranges from 7.0 all the way up to 7.8.
Properly acclimated there are many, many tropicals you can keep. What fish are you interested in??
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Old 01-29-2011, 06:51 PM   #6
 
7.0 is neutral pH, there is no "standard pH for fish" The normal range for fish is 6.0 to 8.5ish but that doesn't mean any specie can live within any pH in that range. All depends on what you are keeping. Generally though the rule is don't mess with pH. Doing so causes more harm then good.
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Old 01-29-2011, 08:11 PM   #7
 
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What fish do you plan on getting? There some pretty cool and hardy fish that can withstand a high pH too, like african cichlids.
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Old 01-29-2011, 10:47 PM   #8
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aunt kymmie View Post
Since your test only goes to 7.6 I would still get the high end ph and test. My ph is 7.8, so getting the high end was what I needed to do. My water would test 7.6 every time on the standard ph. What if your ph is actually 8.2?? I'm not saying it is, but it would be nice to know without a doubt what your actual ph really is. If your water is anything higher than 7.6 the only way to know would be with the high end test.
There are many, many tropicals that can be kept in ph ranges from 7.0 all the way up to 7.8.
Properly acclimated there are many, many tropicals you can keep. What fish are you interested in??
Your pH is 7.8? Just wondering, how do you keep your discuss's tank pH low enough.... I wanted to try an amazon tank but i was to scared because of the pH
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Old 01-29-2011, 11:00 PM   #9
 
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Originally Posted by amazon21 View Post
Your pH is 7.8? Just wondering, how do you keep your discuss's tank pH low enough.... I wanted to try an amazon tank but i was to scared because of the pH
Ph is 7.8 out of the tap, the discus tank sits at 7.6 without me doing anything. It's heavily planted, lots and lots of driftwood. The diurnal shift drops it to 7.4. My discus are all tank raised (second generation) by a local breeder in the same water as my tap, so it's no problem for them at all.
There are fish I would never attempt at my ph (German Blue Rams, for one) and I'm not skilled or patient enough to buffer and keep a tank at a lower Ph. What's your water's Ph??
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Old 01-29-2011, 11:31 PM   #10
 
LOL thats amusing. I have had GBR in 7.4 pH and raised them from fry and they eventually spawned all by themselves. I won't touch discus though .
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