Ph problem - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 7 Old 02-11-2008, 09:15 PM Thread Starter
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Ph problem

I am a newb. I have a two month old tank. 30 gal. cycled with bio spira. gradually added fish and have worked up now to 7 tiger barbs, two sterbais corys, and a rainbow shark. the tank seems well and has always tested zero ammonia,zero nitrites and very low nitrates with regular water changes 30% very two weeks. It seems though my Ph has been consistently creeping up, and just yesterday was at 7.4, and I know that is too high for whats recommended for these fish. I did a water change and it went down just slightly, still at 7.4 by the color cards though. I also have a fair chunk of bog wood in there, two small java ferns. I use liquid fertilizer per the directions when I add new water to the tank. I guess I should go check the Ph of my tap water. should i treat it with aqua safe first before I test it? I am concerned because overall it just seems Ph slowly trending upwards......the tap water itself can't be the only thing resposible for that now can it?
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post #2 of 7 Old 02-11-2008, 10:16 PM
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Tap water in different areas has differing ph values. TBH i wouldn't worry too much about your value of ph. A stable ph is much more important.

Don't know much about ferts, I'm lucky to manahe well planted tanks without them, but i seriously doubt they would have anything to do with it. Dritwood will lower the ph rather than increase it.

Let us know when you are able to test your tap water.

What value was ph when you started testing? You said that it has been increasing.
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post #3 of 7 Old 02-11-2008, 11:03 PM Thread Starter
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it was 6.4 when I started, not to far off the mark for the tiger barbs I started with at the time. so its gone up a whole point. Ph values if I remember from chemistry represent an exponential factor of tenfold, or seomthing like that, so I figured it would be significant at some point if it kept going up. It is past the recommended limits for the fish I have already, but I guess still pretty close. the fish do seem fine anyways. I will check the tap tomorrow....
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post #4 of 7 Old 02-17-2008, 02:00 AM
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The things you have to care about is first the alkalinity of your water and second the Ph of the fertilizer you are using.

If you really had 6.4 stable PH in your tank and that now you have 7.4 its means that you have or you put in your tank a somethings which has a PH of 8.4.

It cannot be the tap water, no tap water is 8.4 PH.... (or I hope so for th people who drink it)

It cannot be your fishes that would a little bit acidify the water by their wastes.

It cannot be your filtration.

Could it be any chemical that you had to the water

If you want to overcome the problem you have to find the source of the basic PH if you modify your water so that the alkalinity raise, you will gain a stability in your PH. (Alkalinity can be raised by adding a carbonate buffer material. Alkalinity can also be maintained through the use of substance called kalkwasser.)
High alkalinity equals conditions where the PH is very difficult to change what ever you do or chemical you use.

hope it helps

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post #5 of 7 Old 02-17-2008, 06:23 PM
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First of all, test the water you have coming out of your tap and post the results. Our water here varies from 7.3-7.8 throughout the year. I believe this has already been asked, but have you added any rocks to your tank at all in the last little while, and what chemicals do you add to your tank? What is your substrate? Don't use pH down or anything like that, things will wind up worse for sure. Check those things out and let us know about the results.
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post #6 of 7 Old 02-17-2008, 06:24 PM
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PS--some people's tap IS that high of pH, although it is unusual.
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post #7 of 7 Old 02-25-2008, 11:08 PM Thread Starter
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well , its taken me a while to post it in here, but the PH of my tap water does appear to be around 7.8. This is where my tank appears to have settled in around these past two weeks, so whatever trend I was observing, seems more stable now. I am not sure how I got 6.4 before, but it was a very new tank at the time I checked it. I wonder if it was just the tap water changed???? This is still above recommended range for my tiger barbs, cories, and rainbow shark. Not sure what to do. I have regular epoxy coated gravel in my tank, and the big chunk of bogwood, and java ferns that i mentioned. I have only ever added aquasafe and the plant fertilizer I mentioned, and only at the indicated amounts....
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