Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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kim0076 04-04-2008 11:12 PM

ph help
Hello everyone...I need some help with the ph levels of my tank. My tank is a 45 gallon tank with 1 bala shark (being moved in a few weeks to a 75), 2 bleeding heart tetras, 1 betta and a small leopard pleco.

Im in the 2 week of the cycling process as I had to move the fish from my 3 year old established tank due to an emergency. I had added over 40 percent of the established water, a established filter/cartridge, gravel and decorations. I've got the new filter system and the old established running on the tank and the water is consistently at 78 degrees.

So the ammonium is at 0.0, the nitrites are 0.0 but what is troubling me is the fluctations in the ph. The last two mornings my ph has been 6.6-6.8 and in the evening 7.4 and today I went to the local fish store where I've been getting some good advice from the owner and my ph was 7.6 and then I tested it about 20 minutes ago and it was 7.8!

The fish store man said to take all the plants/decorations, samples of the gravels, tap water and tank water and do all individual tests on them to see what is causing the problem. I did a 20% water change yesterday morning. I just don't understand what it causing it to rise so dramatically in less then 12 hours. I haven't added anything new to the tank since set up and I lightly feed the fish flake food this morning.

I have a bottle of ph adjust and I don't know if I should use it, or do a water change. I've heard adding extra prime could help?

Thanks in advance for any advice.

herefishy 04-04-2008 11:21 PM

Don't use the pH adjust. I have had swing in pH much more dramatic thatn that when I first started CO2 injection. So, as bad as it sounds It isn;t all that bad.

What is the pH of the water you use for water changes? I presume it is tap water.

kim0076 04-04-2008 11:30 PM

I'm on city water and the ph of the tap water is 6.4

herefishy 04-05-2008 12:32 AM

Wow!! I know people that would kill for soft water like that. If you want to raise the pH, and help stabilize it, filter over crushed coral or aragonite.

One other suggestion, use a liquid reagent test kit, if you are not already using one. Readings are much more accurate. You may also want to get a kit that measures Gh and KH. These readings will tell you how your water is conditioned and its potential to maintain pH levels. Try not to use any chemicals to adjust your pH. By using natural means, such as the one I suggested, you are doing your fish a big favor.

Since you are still in the middle of cycling, you can expect some fluctuations in all water parameters. Just keep up with the ammonia, nitrite and nitrate levels and keep them under control by doing constant water changes, maybe as much as 50%. Daily if necessary. I would hold of on the buffering until the cycle is finished.

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