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-   -   PH not stable. Don't know soft water. (

Ronnie 05-05-2012 09:06 AM

PH not stable. Don't know soft water.
I had a nirate problem, but after many water changes I've been able to keep it at a steady 20 ppm. The water is on the acidic side at around 6.3, but is not stable. I test everyother day and have been able to bring the ph back up. In other words it's acting like a new tank. Been adding stress zyme once a week so far my fish are doing fine and like the water. I think maybe if I keep up with this the water should stabilize once I have the bacteria established? How am I doin'?

kitten_penang 05-05-2012 10:26 AM

well is it a new tank?how may gallons is it.what substrate are you you have peat or carbon in the filters.try adding real plants to control the nitrate in the tank.try not to over feed.
which method did you use to heighten the ph.stop using the stress zyme.instead do 20% wc every will help stabilize the tank

Ronnie 05-05-2012 10:49 AM


Ronnie 05-05-2012 10:52 AM

The tank is a restart, but I've had it running since Febuary. I'm using neutral regulator by Seachem. That seems to be doing the trick. I only feed the fish in the morning and only what the can eat. I use test strips for the water, but I don't trust them and they are too vague. My ph seems to go down once a week. I use baking soda at 1/8 of a teaspoon at a time to bring the ph up also, but not more than .2 incraments at a time. You know what happens if you raise it too quickly. I will do the plants. Oh! It's a 30 gallon tank. Thx

kitten_penang 05-05-2012 11:19 AM

try peat in the will soften the water and regulate the ph to 6.5 without the use of baking soda.plants will help with the ph too.

thekoimaiden 05-05-2012 01:45 PM

I'm noticing a few problems here. Most notably, the lack of reliable testing equipment. You say you know the strips are unreliable, so how do you know the pH is changing at all? Get an API freshwater master test kit and use that to test your water. Follow the directions to a T.

Second, until you know the actual pH values I would stop adding things like baking soda and chemical regulators to your tank. It seems your water has little buffering capacity, and these products are going to cause rapid pH swings for your fish. This is deadly.

Lastly, what fish do you have? Most fish in the hobby like soft acidic water. Unless you have a fish that you know needs a pH above 7, you really have no reason to regulate the pH.

Byron 05-05-2012 04:07 PM

I'm with Izzy. And i just took a look in your log at the 30g which i assume is this tank, since you asked about the pH in the comments there too.

You have soft water fish, so letting the pH lower naturally will not cause trouble. It can get too low of course, but let's not worry about that just yet. First we need some reliable data, as Izzy mentioned. You should have a pH liquid test kit, API is a good brand that most of us seem to use.

We also need to know the hardness, the GH (general hardness) and KH (carbonate hardness, or Alkalinity). The GH is just as important for fish as the pH. The KH/Alkalinity will buffer the pH to prevent it from shifting, so we need to know this in order to gage what the pH may or may not do over time. In any aquarium the pH will tend to lower gradually, due to organics and such, unless there is something targeting it that keeps it from doing this. You can ascertain the GH and Alkalinity from your water supply folks, they may have a website with water data posted, or they can tell you.

Once we know the GH, KH/Alkalinity and accurate pH of your tap water, we will have a better idea of things.

And I will reiterate what Izzy said, don't use chemicals to fiddle with pH. Not only is this bad for the fish for several reasons, it may not work due to the KH and other factors.

If you want to read more detail on all this, here's an article:
Post the above numbers for the tap water, and the pH for the tank water (tank GH and KH doesn't matter here, as the article should explain), and we'll go from there.


Ronnie 05-05-2012 11:11 PM

Thanks to all. I've read on all my fish all of them are acid loving. My Blue Ram is doing quite well actually they all are. I will get that test kit and for right now leave well enough alone until then. Just started panicking and thought I should ask before going too far, and Petsmart is no place to get advice that's for sure so I don't ask them. Thanks again and I'll keep you all posted.

Ronnie 05-06-2012 08:38 AM

Just to let you all know I have ordered all testing supplies I needed. Thank god for Amazon!! The damage was just over $23. Not bad compared to Petsmart, and the don't have the hardness kit. Probably would have ran me $40+ for everything there. Thx again!

Ronnie 05-14-2012 09:39 AM

I'm glad to report that my water conditions are perfect!! I need to do nothing with the water for now. I observe my Blue Ram Cichlid to keep up with the health of my fish because he is the most delicate of all the fish I have. I use him as an alarm for any changes in water conditions in addition to testing. I just need to get him a girl friend!! Lol!! Thanks so much all!!!

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