Question while lowering Ph
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Question while lowering Ph

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Question while lowering Ph
Old 07-04-2011, 04:07 PM   #1
 
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Question while lowering Ph


I'm waiting to purchase 2 German Blue Rams, while I get my Ph lowered. My tap water has a GH of 10 and a ph of 7.8. I've been doing 50 percent WC every other day, using RO water with a ph of 6.4. Obviously, this is a process that won't happen overnight. I don't want to use any chemicals, but do have bog wood and many plants. I have no fish or anything alive in the tank at this moment. I'm worried this isn't good, but the fish store guy says it's fine. Don't I need some type of life to keep my fish tank healthy? Is just having fish poop and whatever in the filter enough for the bacteria to continue? My tank has been established for many months and has parameters currently of 0 ammonia, 0 nitrites and 5.0 nitrates. The tank has been empty for 4 days, when I changed it over to sand, taking out about 75% of the water to do this. I swore after washing sand for my other tank, I'd never do it again. . . but I did! I'm a bit worried about putting my tank into a mini-cycle, though so far there is no evidence of this. Any advice on whether to take one of my fish from my other tank (I'd pull the female Opaline Gourami) and put her in this tank, while I do water changes, replacing with the RO water to lower Ph or just leave the tank empty?

Thanks for the help!

gwen
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Old 07-05-2011, 01:23 AM   #2
 
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Get a shoal of 4-6 phantom tetras (or any other hardy, inexpensive tetras) to make sure your tank is fully cycled. I've cycled all but one of my tanks with black phantom tetras and have never had any die.
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Old 07-05-2011, 01:44 AM   #3
 
If this tank is a salt water tank and are planing to put coral and live rock and other stuff it would be important to wait for everything to be at a normal level. But i would pull out one fish from another tank(least fav fish). I would then let the fish just stay in there for a while and do waterchanges often,that should help the problem.
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Old 07-05-2011, 11:09 AM   #4
 
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Originally Posted by GwenInNM View Post
I'm waiting to purchase 2 German Blue Rams, while I get my Ph lowered. My tap water has a GH of 10 and a ph of 7.8. I've been doing 50 percent WC every other day, using RO water with a ph of 6.4. Obviously, this is a process that won't happen overnight. I don't want to use any chemicals, but do have bog wood and many plants. I have no fish or anything alive in the tank at this moment. I'm worried this isn't good, but the fish store guy says it's fine. Don't I need some type of life to keep my fish tank healthy? Is just having fish poop and whatever in the filter enough for the bacteria to continue? My tank has been established for many months and has parameters currently of 0 ammonia, 0 nitrites and 5.0 nitrates. The tank has been empty for 4 days, when I changed it over to sand, taking out about 75% of the water to do this. I swore after washing sand for my other tank, I'd never do it again. . . but I did! I'm a bit worried about putting my tank into a mini-cycle, though so far there is no evidence of this. Any advice on whether to take one of my fish from my other tank (I'd pull the female Opaline Gourami) and put her in this tank, while I do water changes, replacing with the RO water to lower Ph or just leave the tank empty?

Thanks for the help!

gwen
In this case, the store advice is correct. They may or may not know why, but you have no problems as described.

First, bacteria can remain in "suspended animation" for long periods provided they are kept wet (nitrifying bacteria will die if dried out), warm (tank heated normally) and water circulates. I'm not sure just how long, but it is long.

Second, and actually more important, you have live plants. And with lots of plants, you do not need or want too much nitrifying bacteria, and once you introduce fish, the plants will easily assimilate the majority of ammonia. Plants out-compete bacteria handily.

I sometimes have a plant-only tank sitting with spare plants, daughter plants growing out, etc., with no fish, just some Malaysian Livebearing snails (I have dozens if not hundreds of these in every tank). I keep the filter (sponge) and heater running, and of course the light. I have had such tanks run for several months without fish. Then when I buy some new fish that I want to QT, or need to move something out of one of the other tanks, I just dump them in. No problems, as the plants handle everything.

On the suggestion of fish, I do not recommend using any fish unless it is something you want in the finished tank. That would be fine. Otherwise, let the tank sit as mentioned.

Byron.
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Old 07-05-2011, 12:31 PM   #5
 
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Originally Posted by Byron View Post
In this case, the store advice is correct. They may or may not know why, but you have no problems as described.

First, bacteria can remain in "suspended animation" for long periods provided they are kept wet (nitrifying bacteria will die if dried out), warm (tank heated normally) and water circulates. I'm not sure just how long, but it is long.

Second, and actually more important, you have live plants. And with lots of plants, you do not need or want too much nitrifying bacteria, and once you introduce fish, the plants will easily assimilate the majority of ammonia. Plants out-compete bacteria handily.

I sometimes have a plant-only tank sitting with spare plants, daughter plants growing out, etc., with no fish, just some Malaysian Livebearing snails (I have dozens if not hundreds of these in every tank). I keep the filter (sponge) and heater running, and of course the light. I have had such tanks run for several months without fish. Then when I buy some new fish that I want to QT, or need to move something out of one of the other tanks, I just dump them in. No problems, as the plants handle everything.

On the suggestion of fish, I do not recommend using any fish unless it is something you want in the finished tank. That would be fine. Otherwise, let the tank sit as mentioned.

Byron.
Great, thanks Byron. Yes, I agree, that I don't want to use any fish that I don't want. I just returned from the LFS and did buy one Bristlenose Pleco, because I planned on having one of those anyways, and it helped my fear about not having any fish in there (except I do have some very young MTS). So, already bought the fish, before I saw your advice, but I'm glad to know that good bacteria could live for a long time, with plants and no fish. Good to know! Thanks again. Any thoughts on how long it takes to get a 25 gal tank from 7.8 ph to 6.5 using RO that is at 6.4 and doing 10 gal WC every other day. A bit eager to get my new German Rams

Gwen
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Old 07-05-2011, 12:56 PM   #6
 
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Originally Posted by GwenInNM View Post
Great, thanks Byron. Yes, I agree, that I don't want to use any fish that I don't want. I just returned from the LFS and did buy one Bristlenose Pleco, because I planned on having one of those anyways, and it helped my fear about not having any fish in there (except I do have some very young MTS). So, already bought the fish, before I saw your advice, but I'm glad to know that good bacteria could live for a long time, with plants and no fish. Good to know! Thanks again. Any thoughts on how long it takes to get a 25 gal tank from 7.8 ph to 6.5 using RO that is at 6.4 and doing 10 gal WC every other day. A bit eager to get my new German Rams

Gwen
It is my understanding that diluting tap water by half with RO will cut the hardness in half. As this decreases, the pH should be less buffered and more inclined to shift, in this case downward. Of course, without fish producing organics in the tank, this could take long. The organics from fish waste and any dying matter (bacteria, plant leaves, bacteria) create organic carbon and CO2 and these acidify the water causing the pH to lower unless blocked by the natural buffering (KH). If you have a hardness test, you could measure the GH and KH of the tank to see where it now is. B.
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