ph high in tank with CO2 - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
 
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post #1 of 7 Old 04-25-2010, 07:43 PM Thread Starter
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ph high in tank with CO2

Hi all, first post here and need some help.. Just set up a 46 gal freshwater tank 2 weeks ago. Has heater, fluval 405 filter and redsea CO2 system, running at about 30 bubbles a minute. Bought plants and some driftwood and it's been in there. PH and everything else has tested fine the last two weeks, until we put fish in yesterday (9 black tetras). One was dead this morning and another isn't looking good now... PH is testing at 7.6 now and we can't figure out why. Fish are gasping so they are definitely uncomfortable.
If someone has any idea about what's going on, we'd appreciate it!!
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post #2 of 7 Old 04-25-2010, 08:24 PM
did you cycle the tank? The plants will take some of the bioload, but may not be able to deal with all of it. All the water parameters are safe? A ph of 7.6 is not really high. What is your taps pH? The CO2 should lower the pH in the tank, other things in the tank can raise the pH though.

Is the CO2 system yeast based or pressurized?

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post #3 of 7 Old 04-25-2010, 08:35 PM Thread Starter
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Didn't really cycle the tank, I guess, but I let it run for a couple of weeks with stress zyme and squeezings from another bio-filter and some bio media.
The plants are all fairly new (got them about a week ago) and are still small, so that could be why they aren't coping well.
CO2 is pressurized and tap pH is 6.6
Nitrites and nitrates aren't very good either, nitrites 25 to .50 and nitrates are 80....
That's the part that's confusing; the CO2 should lower the pH, but it's not.. Is it just the spike because of the fish we added?
We turned the bubbles on the CO2 down from 50 bpm to 30 bpm because the fish were gasping.... Thanks for the help and suggestions!
Doing a 20% (approx.) water change now as well....


Edited to add:
Ok, changing the water made a big difference! Ammonia is barely over zero, pH is about 7 and nitrites .25 ppm, maybe a little less. Nitrates are 20 ppm. How can such a little water change make such a difference? lol. Hopefully it will stay down... But something caused it in the first place. Addingl the fish??

Last edited by goatkeepers; 04-25-2010 at 08:55 PM.
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post #4 of 7 Old 04-25-2010, 09:39 PM
Your tank is cycling, you are going to want to reduce or turn off the CO2 for now. Ammonia and Nitrite are toxic and from the cycling. They will be reducing oxygen levels in the tank. CO2 should reduce pH and it will also slightly reduce oxygen levels, which is why you should really let up on it until the cycle is over.

What type of gravel are you using in the tank? And what products are you using? There are only a few things that can raise pH, so it should not be too hard to figure out.

I believe I have that same CO2 system paintball version?

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post #5 of 7 Old 04-26-2010, 12:09 AM
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I definately agree, TURN THE CO2 OFF.

The water change probably lowered the ammonia and things, but the agitation of adding added tons more oxygen.

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post #6 of 7 Old 04-27-2010, 07:52 PM Thread Starter
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We use black sand, the kind you can buy at petsmart/petco. A live sand....
We use aquarium salt, stress zyme and stress coat.

Well, we lost all but one of the black tetras but all three cory cats are alive.

All the levels are back to normal after being high for a day; could it be that the cycling is done already?? Everything other than nitrates are normal, they are slightly elevated, but not much.
Thanks!
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post #7 of 7 Old 04-28-2010, 01:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goatkeepers View Post
We use black sand, the kind you can buy at petsmart/petco. A live sand....
We use aquarium salt, stress zyme and stress coat.

Well, we lost all but one of the black tetras but all three cory cats are alive.

All the levels are back to normal after being high for a day; could it be that the cycling is done already?? Everything other than nitrates are normal, they are slightly elevated, but not much.
Thanks!
By "live sand" I'll assume you don't mean the live coral sand for marine tanks but rather the planted tank enriched substrate that comes wet in a bag; correct me if I'm wrong, but assuming this is what you mean, it's fine. it will raise pH a bit for a few weeks (according to some manufacturers, depending upon the one you have) but will then settle and be inert (no effect on pH or hardness). I agree with Mikaila and redchigh, do not use the CO2 until the tank is stable. This may take several weeks.

Once it is stable, the pH will be close to the tap water pH. Depending upon the KH of your tap water, the pH will remain close to this or drop slightly due to biological processes; the more hard your tap water (higher KH) the more it buffers pH to stay where it is. Adding CO2 then will lower the pH and you will have to monitor it as depending upon the KH this will be variable and you want to avoid sudden fluctuations or drops.

I have some warnings on the salt and stress zyme.

Salt: a debatable issue, you will find aquarists here and elsewhere that are pro and con on salt. My advice is never put salt in a freshwater tank; perhaps as a specific medication for a disease issue, but never as a general principle. Different fish have different tolerance levels for salt. Corydoras are highly sensitive to salt and it can kill them in time depending upon the level. Several knowledgeable ichthyologists have noted that in their habit, those corys that occur in coastal rivers will never venture into any brackish water but remain well back in totally fresh. Dr. Stanley Weitzman, who is Emeritus Research Scientist at the Department of Ichthyology of the Smithsonian Institute in Washington and an acknowledged authority on characoid fishes, has noted that soft water fish have a very low tolerance of salt. Dr. Weitzman writes that 100 ppm of salt is the maximum for characins, and there are several species that show considerable stress leading to death at 60 ppm. 100 ppm is equal to .38 of one gram of salt per gallon of water. One level teaspoon holds six grams of salt. I can assure you that corys are just as adversely affected as characins.

Stress Zyme: From API's website, this info.
Improves the development of the biological filter and helps clean a dirty aquarium. Contains over 300 million live bacteria per teaspoonful. Breaks down organic compounds that cause dangerous conditions such as ammonia and nitrite poisoning and low oxygen levels. Continuous use assures an active biological filter, cleaner aquarium, healthier fish and good water quality. No refrigeration necessary. Use when setting up and maintaining an aquarium.
While I have in other cases recommended biological supplements, I do not recommend this one. "Cleaning a dirty aquarium" is open to interpretation. Breaking down organic compounds is the job of normal bacteria in a balanced aquarium, and I do not recommend adding products that affect this is some way, as this one clearly does if their information is to be believed. It also raises ammonia initially. I would not recommend using this product further. The fewer chemicals and "substances" that go into an aquarium, the better will be the health of the fish long-term.

On the nitrates, what is the actual number? Nitrates are normal (some planted tanks have zero, some low nitrates) but the number is needed in order to determine if there is or isn't an issue looming with nitrates.

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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