Added fish to the cycling with plants - How's this look? - Page 5 - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #41 of 45 Old 07-30-2011, 03:58 PM Thread Starter
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I have mostly wild-caught soft water fish. My tap water has <1 dGH and KH, so the pH naturally falls fast. Each tank has its own biological equilibrium, some run around pH 5, some 6 to 6.2, and one is 7.2 (calcareous substrate to achieve this, for basic water fish). I don't fuss with the 5-6 tanks. The fish are fine. Lots of plants, weekly 50% water changes, and not overstocking help to maintain stability.
That's fine, but I thought it wasn't so much the Ph value as it was the CHANGE in the Ph from week to week. If the Ph of a tank falls from 7.6 to 6.4 during the week, then during a weekly water change, it goes back up, wouldn't that cause distress in the fish?

As always,

Thanks for your advice

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post #42 of 45 Old 07-30-2011, 04:03 PM Thread Starter
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Most aquarium plants will manage in moderate light. There are a few that tend to require higher light, and usually more nutrients and CO2. Low light plants like Anubias will be fine in a "shady" spot, such as overshadowed by large swords, floating plants, etc. Anubias is useful in rear corners for this reason. Crypts tend to adjust, but do not like changes once settled, or they tend to melt. Java Fern I have found similar.

In a 70g, swords are ideal, several of the Echinodorus species, some are in our profiles. Pygmy chain sword for mid- to front. Aponogeton should work, and Vallisneria [Corkscrew Vallisneria is nice], Sagittaria. Stem plants will be easier, but I find they still do not do well without more light. Brazilian Pennywort is an exception. But my Wisteria and Hygrophila corymbosa do not do well, I suspect due to the light. Once I find plants that will grow in my conditions, I stick with them. The fish are prime, not the plants, so the latter have to be suitable to the former.
Thanks! That's exactly the kind of answer I was looking for......The species of plant to put in the tank.

No more questions (at least not today!)

Thanks
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post #43 of 45 Old 07-31-2011, 10:37 AM
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That's fine, but I thought it wasn't so much the Ph value as it was the CHANGE in the Ph from week to week. If the Ph of a tank falls from 7.6 to 6.4 during the week, then during a weekly water change, it goes back up, wouldn't that cause distress in the fish?

As always,

Thanks for your advice

Never Quit
The lowering during the week in this example would be gradual. And I doubt you would raise it back up that much with a water change. The stability of the biological system once the tank is established will tend to maintain fairly constant values for pH, partly determined by the hardness (KH and GH), stocking, live plants, feeding, temperature, etc. Provided the tap water is not too far removed, and here the KH and GH are as important as the pH, the shift in the tank is not going to be significant. As in my tanks, where the pH of 6 in the tank rises to maybe 6.3 with a 50% water change using pH 7 tap water.

The pH stress to fish depends upon the extent of the pH change, both the level and the time during which this occurs. Minor fluctuations are fine, and natural; tropical waters have more flux in temperature and pH than many aquarists realize, the idea that they are static or stable is incorrect.

There is a diurnal pH fluctuation in all planted tanks, which can be as much as .4 or .5, example from 6.2 to 6.6, every 24 hours. The pH is always lowest (most acidic) at the end of the "darkness", and highest at the end of the daylight. This is caused by plant photosynthesis, using CO2 during the daylight which removes carbonic acid from the water thus raising the pH, and during darkness CO2 is released by fish, plants and bacteria adding carbonic acid and thus lowering pH. This occurs in nature too, and fish are fine with it.

During my weekly water change the pH changes (rises) by .3 to .4 within a few minutes, then lowers again over the next several hours.

One author has written that a pH change up to 1 full point, say from 6 to 7, was the maximum fish could handle without difficulty. I wouldn't want to push it that far, but clearly some fluctuation is acceptable.

The pH shock occurs when the change is drastic, such as a major shift in very short time frame. Or a constant significant fluctuation. The afore-mentioned shifts are not within this realm.

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 youíre going to take it under your wing then youíre 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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post #44 of 45 Old 07-31-2011, 11:36 AM Thread Starter
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That was interesting! Thanks for enlightening me on the fluctuations of pH.

Thanks, you just can't get this kind of information from your local pet store...At least that's been my experience! Instead of explaining the process, like you did, The pet shop person just says "Here, buy this, it will stabilize your Ph."

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post #45 of 45 Old 07-31-2011, 11:39 AM
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That was interesting! Thanks for enlightening me on the fluctuations of pH.

Thanks, you just can't get this kind of information from your local pet store...At least that's been my experience! Instead of explaining the process, like you did, The pet shop person just says "Here, buy this, it will stabilize your Ph."

Never Quit
And sadly, using those concoctions (which sometimes don't work due to the chemistry) often stresses out the fish terribly, weakening their immune systems, so then you have ich and more chemicals go into the tank... you get the idea. Natural is always the best course; let nature do what it does best.

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 youíre going to take it under your wing then youíre 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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