pH Fluctuations..... - Page 2 - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #11 of 20 Old 03-17-2009, 12:07 PM
good post so far. yes avoid chemical if possible. ph up and down puffers can be unstable and/or inaccurate. like Lupin said, what is your kh. kh is key. kh is your buffer. to low and you get ph swings. peat filtering is also inaccurate. you have to experiment with it to get the ph you want. and use peat that doesn't contain foreign chemicasl in it. filtered rain water, co2 and a RO unit are about the best ways to lower your ph if necessary with use of chemicals. although its easier to match the fish to the water vs matching the water to the fish. some of us take the second of the two. It takes a little research and/or experience to accomplish this.
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post #12 of 20 Old 03-17-2009, 02:37 PM
I can understand your confusion on this matter, i too went thru this as many have. PEAT is shredded mulch like stuff, it has to be placed in a MEDIA BAG then placed in a filter basket ( in a canister) or in the hang on filter,( i can't imagine it fitting). So you might put it in a media bag and simply place it under the water flow, this is probably the best way for you because your ph is so high it needs to come down slowly. I'm not sure how fast that works so you'll have to watch it. The way i once did it is by adding a few drops of BLACK WATER EXPERT (peat extract) to tap water ( hard/high ph like yours) before i add it to my tank. YOU can do this also slowly by doing a weekly water change with slightly adjusted water ph . Hmm... Say 25% w change @ 7.0 every week until your ph stabalizes at neutral 7. It will you must check quite a bit but unless fish seem distressed give the peat 24 hours to work its majic.My LFS gets $18 a bag for peat= my reason f
or using blackwater... ANYONE think the time frame could be reduced ?

PS The blackwater expert does not take that long i waited only an hour.

Last edited by catfishtabbi; 03-17-2009 at 02:52 PM.
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post #13 of 20 Old 03-17-2009, 02:53 PM
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How about adding a piece of driftwood?
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post #14 of 20 Old 03-17-2009, 03:04 PM
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Driftwood influences ph? That would explain why I didn't even need to put peat in my filter in my new tank even though my tap water has a high ph...
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post #15 of 20 Old 03-17-2009, 03:58 PM Thread Starter
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Lupin, I have no way of testing my KH. I don't even know what that one is as I've never heard of it. I test my nitrates, nitrites, pH, and ammonia levels frequently, but not that one.

Ok, heres what I ultimately decided.....
I took back that pH up and down crap. So, I ain't gonna use that. I don't like putting chemicals in my water, especially ones that say "WARNING: Irritant" on the bottle.....
I went buy my fish place today to get another gourami cause mine died early this morning, we come to the conclusion he had an intestinal blockage.
Anyhow, their water there and my water is the same cities water. Their pH stays the same as mine and they don't seem to be having any trouble with their fish with it. Its a pretty reputable place, known for having good fish.
Therefor, I'm just gonna leave it be, after all my fish were doing fine in it to begin with. I just figured that now I have that blue ram and they are fragile that I'd lower it to better suit him. But he seems to be doing great now. So why fix it if it aint broke?
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post #16 of 20 Old 03-17-2009, 04:06 PM
Originally Posted by Firefighter337 View Post
How about adding a piece of driftwood?
It works a bit, i found that it EVENTUALLY lowered my ph by .2 but it doesn't work on water being added during changes and that causes a shift. I add 7.0 water and later my ph is 6.8 which is where i want it to be.
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post #17 of 20 Old 03-17-2009, 05:47 PM
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I recently read a post in another forum that seemed to explain pretty well why it is so hard to get a stable ph with PH Down. I'll try to paraphrase it.

PH Down is acid (phosphoric I think) and when you add some to your tank the ph goes down. Then the buffers in the water (carbonates I think, kh) neutralize the acid and the ph goes back up. Add some more acid and the ph will fall again but go back up more slowly. Eventually it will go down and stay there when all the carbonates have been "used up".

But now the water has no buffering capacity and the introduction of even a small amount of acid (like from the breakdown of fish wastes) will cause the ph to fall farther, or additional buffers from a water change or substrate or will make it drift back up.

This is probably a simplified version of what happens but it makes sense to me.
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post #18 of 20 Old 03-17-2009, 06:32 PM
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Originally Posted by 1077 View Post
It passes my understanding how fish that are tank born and raised would have any concept of what water conditions that their wild caught cousins may expierience.
Its evolution. Their biologic systems have evolved to function best in certain water conditions. Tank raised fish will adapt somewhat to unnatural conditions but there is a limit to how much their biology can change without many generations to do it in. This doesnt just apply to ph, but all water parameters. With enough selective breeding, it should be possible to breed fish that thrive in high ammonia levels. Heck, with enough selective breeding you could produce fish that dont need water. But they wouldnt be fish anymore. I think this has happened before naturally. Sorry, I kind of got off on a tangent here.

I agree 100% about keeping fish that will do well in your tapwater.
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post #19 of 20 Old 03-17-2009, 08:34 PM
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This is a messy subject to say the least. Attempting to move pH in a freshwater aquarium, especially attempting to LOWER pH, is probably the 2nd leading cause of fish deaths, behind the dreaded iforgottocyclemyaquarium disease.

This exact issue is the #1 problem for saltwater reef systems. The only difference is the salts we measure and terms we use. We say alkalinity in the saltwater hobby. Lupin calls it kH. In either case, you absolutely should not be adjusting the pH of your water without first testing for and then adjusting the necessary buffers that hold the pH in place.

It is critical that you purchase a hardness test kit and correctly establish the proper buffering level for your desired pH. If you are not willing to take this step, then you need to purchase fish which will be comfortable in the pH of your tap water.

This is one nice aspect of the marine hobby. Every fish we purchase has the same basic water requirements.
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post #20 of 20 Old 03-18-2009, 04:06 AM
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I agree with most of what has been said. I would ,, if I were to attempt to adjust the water I would do so in a large rubbermaid tub or other suitable container. I would not attempt to adjust water with fish in the tank. Ph while important, is but a number that people sometimes foolishly begin chasing in an effort to make their water suitable for a particular species. The sudden changes of total dissolved solids, the buffering capacity of some water, and the sudden change in conductivity all affect the osmoregulation of fish and indeed,, few fish survive these sudden changes. I am no expert on water but I have been keeping fish since the early 70's. I have long ago learned that anything added to the tank affects the conductivity and contributes to the total dissolved solids which affects the osmoregulation of the fish often times to the detriment of the fish. Keep it simple. Purchase fish that will do well in the water that is easiest for you to provide on a consistent basis, and you will have less trouble with sick or dying fish. Simple as that.
The original poster indicated that he or she was attempting to adjust the Ph for one fish(blue ram) If I were this person, I would set up a small ten gal tank using material from the larger tank to help establish the smaller tank and then I would expieriment with the water in this smaller tank until i achieved the Ph I desired. I would probably use a mixture of distilled water and tap distilled being cheaper than R/O. I would then slowly acclimate the ram to this water and as mentioned,, I would keep a rubbermaid tub or other suitable container of this mixture on hand for water changes. In my humble opinion, the blue ram if that is what the fish is as opposed to bolivian ram, is not going to do well with the Ph posted.

The most important medication in your fish medicine cabinet is.. Clean water.
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