PH Question ????
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PH Question ????

This is a discussion on PH Question ???? within the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium forums, part of the Freshwater Fish and Aquariums category; --> I have a 90 gallon tank with a built in overflow and wet/dry filter system. I have regular natural color gravel and quite a ...

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Old 08-25-2010, 08:08 PM   #1
PH Question ????

I have a 90 gallon tank with a built in overflow and wet/dry filter system. I have regular natural color gravel and quite a few artifical plants and Several large pieces of real drift wood one about a foot in diameter and an inch thick with lots of holes in it that has been in water in aquariums several years. I have about 40 Small fish Tetras, Mollys. Gourmis and Plattys. I do not over feed at all. Water changes every Monday about 30%. The tank is free of algea.
My question is my tap water PH is around 6.4. The tank PH is 7.6? Is this normal? I would like it around 6.8. I hate to start buffering water. My fish are fine , but would like a lower PH. Some of the Rummy nose Tetras like a lower PH. Any suggestion on this PH gladly accepted. Thanks
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Old 08-25-2010, 08:19 PM   #2
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IMO, your pH is just fine. Apparently your fish think so too. Don't start messing with pH or you can have serious issues. I'm not sure how your tap water can be lower than your tank water, if you are using tap water to fill your tank. Driftwood softens water, but won't lower pH from what I understand. It has something to do with the amount of dissolved limestone. As I understand it, some rocks or coral in the tank can raise pH. Someone with more knowledge in that area would have to chime in.
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Old 08-25-2010, 09:41 PM   #3
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There is definitely something IN the tank that is raising the ph, the driftwood being so many years old proply isnt leeching as many tannins as it used to. i would scoop out a small amount of your substrate and put it in a cup or something where it can completely dry out. after its dry pour some vinegar over it and ho,ld it to your ear. if you hear the slightest fizz then thats whats causing the ph to raise. Inert material will not fizz at all when vinegar is poured onto it so you can test pretty much everything. About the ph buffing, From me personal experience its a pain in the rear. Every time you w/c you have to condition the water and monitor your ph like every few days depending on your gh/kh. But if i were you which im not i wouldnt mess with the ph seeing how the fish are happy as is.
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Old 08-25-2010, 11:41 PM   #4
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MoneyMitch is correct, something in the tank (or possibly some media substance in the filter?) is leeching calcium into the water, and this raises hardness and pH. All else being equal, a tank will gradually lower in pH as the water acidifies, depending upon the KH of your source water (tap water). The higher the KH the more it buffers pH preventing fluctuations. With a pH of 6.4 in the tap water I would expect the hardness (GH and KH) to be very low, though it sometimes can be different.

That said, to explain why, now to what if anything you should do. Livebearers (molly and platy) need harder basic (alkaline) water. The 7.6 is [perfect, and as mentioned above, this is probably being caused by something calcareous so the hardness of the water will be higher than out of the tap too. Fine for livebearers. But not for rummys.

Rummynose tetra should never be housed with livebearers because their preferences in water are too different. There are three species of rummys, the most common now is Hemigrammus bleheri. If you check our profile of this fish (click on the shaded name in posts, or use the second tab from the left in the blue bar across the top) you will see it recommends a pH below 7 and preferably below 6.5. The habitat water pH as stated there is 3.7 to 5, and I have this from Heiko Bleher who has explored the Amazon region and discovered hundreds of fish including this beautiful species as it mentions in the profile. And all fish are wild caught, so maintaining this fish in basic hard water will be detrimental over time. The result will, at best, be a shortened lifespan, and could be worse. Calcium deposits build up in soft water fish and block kidneys, all sorts of problems. Water parameters are very important for wild caught fish.

If it were me, I would decide on a soft acidic water fish tank or a basic harder water fish tank, and proceed accordingly with suitable fish, re-homing whichever to another tank or the store or another hobbyist.
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