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JazDaemon 01-23-2008 08:25 AM

ph problem in new tank
Here's the situation:

20g tall
penguin 150 filter
temp 76
amonia 0
nitrite 0
nitrate 0

Tank is on its 9th day. Had it sitting 48 hrs then added 4 zebra danios. Initial ph was 7.2 which was the same as the tap. It was stable at 7.2 for 7 days. I did a 10% water change on 7th day. Yesterday I check my ph, it dropped to 6.6. Hmm weird, so I check the tap again and its 6.6!! I tested each twice to make sure, same results. This morning I check tank again and its now at 6. Checked tap and its neutral!! In a panic I went to WM and bought a ph stabilizer and added half the amount so as not to make the ph rise too quickly. Its at 6.6 right now. After close inspection of the stabilizer bottle I read it also removes amonia to my horror. If I keep killing any trace amonia my tank will never cycle...

What could cause the ph to drop so much in my tank?
Anybody else have problems with their tap water changing ph on a daily basis?

I have a master test kit bought at petsmart for 25$.

herefishy 01-23-2008 10:23 AM

The tank is still cycling. You are goingto have fluctuations in all segments of your tanks parameters until it is fully cycled. Do not add any buffers(which you already have done) to the tank. This will only prolong the process. It can take anywhere from 2-12 weeks for a tank to finally "settle in" and become totally stable. Even then, you can have surges in ammonia and such due to poor maintainence or an unseen dead body decaying in the tank.

JazDaemon 01-23-2008 10:31 AM

I'm affraid cycling has barely begun. But isnt weird that the tap water changes ph from day to day?

herefishy 01-23-2008 10:48 AM

No. The elements in the tank are maturing into a state that is a living organism in itself. It is similar to your voice changing. Going through puberty, your voice will crack, creak, squeal, ect until it gets to where it's mature. Your water conditions are doing a similar thing. Bad example, but I hope you understand what I am trying to get across.

JazDaemon 01-23-2008 11:07 AM

Alrighty I'll leave it be and just do the weekly water changes. Thanks

JazDaemon 01-27-2008 04:47 PM

I was still intrigued... I decided to test the tap water more.

I think I found the culprit!

straight from tap cold water ph is 6.8
hot water is 7.2

I will let both sit for 2 hours and note any changes and then overnight.

I will come back to post changes if any...

Question is: If my tap water needs to sit to stabilize how am I going to heat it up to tank temp? In doing a 10-15% water change if I use room temp water which would be around 66F will the fish be stressed if tank is kept at 76-77F?


JazDaemon 01-28-2008 05:20 PM

So I let everything sit overnight, no change in cold water and hot water dropped to 7.

Decided to test the water with my rose to 7.5!
Then tested with stresscoat, no change.

I will retest tomorrow to see if it stabilized.

I suspect low alkalinity. Used my pool test for alkalinity and total hardness of the tap water and found them to be 40ppm and 30ppm now i dont know how to translate that to numbers i found here which are not in ppm...

SST 01-28-2008 05:34 PM

I warm my water that's going into the tank (which has been sitting out from anywhere from 1 day - 2 weeks depending on which jug I grab) by sitting it in a few inches of warm water in the sink. I also let some warm water flow over the top as the sink fills. Now that I think about it, it would be more efficient to add some boiling water to the mixture in the sink.

I've a double sink, so the new water can be warming while I'm emptying and working in the other side.

JazDaemon 01-28-2008 05:41 PM

Should've thought of that!!! Thanks

SST 01-28-2008 05:49 PM

You're welcome! :D

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