03-16-2009, 02:18 PM
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I fully agree with wmoyer2006's advice. Good as the bacteria stuff is (I expect it is "Cycle" or something similar) it only works when you have fish in the tank to create the ammonia to start the cycle. In a 55g tank, I would put in 3 or 4 fish and use the Cycle as indicated on the package. Use "hardy" fish, not something rare and delicate. What do you have in your existing 10g tank? After a few days add a couple more fish (having taken readings of ammonia and nitrite regularly to monitor it), and so forth. Most aquarists say that a tank is usually cycled in 8 weeks, a gradual process. Adding too many fish at once during this period is what causes imbalance in the biological cycle and fish stress if not death.
A caution on the pH adjustment. Using chemicals to lower the pH is not recommended; I went this route when I was starting out, and had nothing but trouble (fish loss, stressed fish, outbreaks of ick due to the stress, etc). An aquarium will balance out at some pH, depending upon the pH of the water put in it (out of the tap), the materials in the tank [regular aquarium gravel does not affect pH, but using coral or dolomite gravel as one would in a marine tank or Rift Lake chiclid tank will keep the pH high (alkaline) no matter what you do], buffering materials [like peat in the filter to lower the pH], tannins leeching from natural wood in the tank, and the biological processes of the inhabitants. Using CO2 as in a planted tank will also lower the pH. I (or others) can offer more detailed advice if you tell us the pH of your tap water which presumably will be the source for your aquarium water. Also, what is the material you have for the substrate? We need to know why the pH is now at 7.6 in order to offer suggestions for lowering it to 6 or 6.6 which is a very considerable adjustment. A change of one pH unit equals a change of ten times the acidity/alkalinity of the water, and most fish are very sensitive to relatively minor changes.