Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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-   -   ph and alkalinity probs (http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/beginner-freshwater-aquarium/ph-alkalinity-probs-100205/)

marshallsea 05-01-2012 08:37 AM

ph and alkalinity probs
 
ive been trying to lower ph and alkalinity for weeks now. it pretty much stays constant at nitrate 1.0, nitrite 1.0, total hardness 0, chlorine 0, alkalinity off chart over 300, ph 8.4, ammonia .25. ive used topfin water conditioner, prime seachem, and ph corrector fizz pills. nothing seems to help. what am i doing wrong?

Geomancer 05-01-2012 09:02 AM

Don't use chemicles to try and adjust pH, as you are seeing they do not work and many will harm your fish.

Is there a reason you are trying to mess with it? Platy's need hard basic water, so you you should be fine. A hardness of 0 dosen't make sense though.

It's false to believe water should be a pH of 7.0

Of more concern is your levels of Ammonia and Nitrite. How old is this tank? The initial cycle takes on average 4 to 8 weeks to complete. You can read more here: http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/f...m-cycle-38617/

marshallsea 05-01-2012 09:11 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Geomancer (Post 1065477)
Don't use chemicles to try and adjust pH, as you are seeing they do not work and many will harm your fish.

Is there a reason you are trying to mess with it? Platy's need hard basic water, so you you should be fine. A hardness of 0 dosen't make sense though.

It's false to believe water should be a pH of 7.0

Of more concern is your levels of Ammonia and Nitrite. How old is this tank? The initial cycle takes on average 4 to 8 weeks to complete. You can read more here: http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/f...m-cycle-38617/

the tank has been up since january. its my smaller tank i have a sick panda platy in it. she doesnt eat , doesnt move much, gasps for air. i tried to medicate her according to petsmart. i stopped medicating 5 days ago and put in new carbon cartridge. shes a little more active but wont eat, gills look red.

Boise1024 05-01-2012 09:48 AM

As I understand your situation, you have very hard water out of the tap. Did you measure the GH and KH of that tap water ? If so, what are the results of the tests ?

What kind of fish do you keep/want to keep ? This will help us know what should be the correct GH/KH for you.

Afterwards, you will be able to calculate how much RO/DI water you need to add to your tap water to bring it down in hardness to the wanted level. The theory behind this is that RO/DI water have absolutely no hardness at all. By mixing it in a calculated proportion with your tap water and using that mixed water for your weekly water changes, you will be able to hit the right GH/KH for your fish.

Using ph down chemicals is risky business. Without going in an all-out scientific explanation, let me explain the role of the alkalinity buffer in water. In water, the pH is buffered by the alkalinity of the water, wich is mostly bicarbonates. What this means is that if there is more CO2 or more H+, substance that will normally lower the pH, the bicarbonates bond to them to form HCO3-, so there is no change in pH. So, when you are adding ph down, it will only create more HCO3- in your tank, UNTIL all the bicarbonates and bound up in HCO3-. There is no practical way to know when it happens. When it happens though, your will experience a very drastic drop in pH, possibly killing your fish. That's why it's easier and less risky to use RO/DI water...

Also, your ammonia and nitrite reading are quite high, is your tank cycled ? Do you have fish in there ?

ladayen 05-01-2012 09:49 AM

It's because your water is so hard it's going to take a lot to bring it down. Try buying some distilled/Reverse Osmosis water and mix it 50/50 with your tap water in cup or some sort of container. Test it after 24 hours and again after 48 hours. I wouldn't bother wasting more money on any sort of PH adjuster stuff, it rarely works consistantly to begin with and with your very hard water it's just not going to be at all stable.

marshallsea 05-01-2012 10:08 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Boise1024 (Post 1065495)
As I understand your situation, you have very hard water out of the tap. Did you measure the GH and KH of that tap water ? If so, what are the results of the tests ?

What kind of fish do you keep/want to keep ? This will help us know what should be the correct GH/KH for you.

Afterwards, you will be able to calculate how much RO/DI water you need to add to your tap water to bring it down in hardness to the wanted level. The theory behind this is that RO/DI water have absolutely no hardness at all. By mixing it in a calculated proportion with your tap water and using that mixed water for your weekly water changes, you will be able to hit the right GH/KH for your fish.

Using ph down chemicals is risky business. Without going in an all-out scientific explanation, let me explain the role of the alkalinity buffer in water. In water, the pH is buffered by the alkalinity of the water, wich is mostly bicarbonates. What this means is that if there is more CO2 or more H+, substance that will normally lower the pH, the bicarbonates bond to them to form HCO3-, so there is no change in pH. So, when you are adding ph down, it will only create more HCO3- in your tank, UNTIL all the bicarbonates and bound up in HCO3-. There is no practical way to know when it happens. When it happens though, your will experience a very drastic drop in pH, possibly killing your fish. That's why it's easier and less risky to use RO/DI water...

Also, your ammonia and nitrite reading are quite high, is your tank cycled ? Do you have fish in there ?

i dont know what ghkh is. im keeping platys in 20 gal and a sick platy in a 10.they both have same water probs.dont know if it ycled

marshallsea 05-01-2012 10:18 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ladayen (Post 1065496)
It's because your water is so hard it's going to take a lot to bring it down. Try buying some distilled/Reverse Osmosis water and mix it 50/50 with your tap water in cup or some sort of container. Test it after 24 hours and again after 48 hours. I wouldn't bother wasting more money on any sort of PH adjuster stuff, it rarely works consistantly to begin with and with your very hard water it's just not going to be at all stable.

sounds good . thanks. should i use water conditioner at water changes

ladayen 05-01-2012 10:23 AM

Yes always use water conditioner.

marshallsea 05-01-2012 10:28 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ladayen (Post 1065550)
Yes always use water conditioner.

thanks

Boise1024 05-01-2012 10:47 AM

dGH is hardness, it's a german unit. It's the most used unit here. Divide your ppm value for hardness by 18,7 to get dGH.

dKH is alkalinity, same german unit as dGH. Divide your ppm value for alkalinity by 18,7 to get dKH.

I just realized you have 0 hardness and a lot of alkalinity, wich is to me quite unnatural. Are you in a city where they add lime at the treatment plant to soften the water ?

How long have you had your 20 gal ?


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