Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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-   -   pH Jump?! (http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/beginner-freshwater-aquarium/ph-jump-199394/)

Neil D 06-06-2013 04:22 PM

pH Jump?!
 
Hey all,

So the past 2 years, my pH in both fish tanks have been around 7.6-7.8. (10g and 38g)

And I just checked it in my 38g (getting fish tmrw) and it's at 8?! How does it jump that much?

What should I do? Will it have an effect on gourami and cardinals? (From what I read is that if you buy them locally (LFS) they'll be fine)

fish monger 06-07-2013 03:58 AM

"When" you take your readings can make a difference in your numbers with a planted tank. Try testing first thing before the light comes on and then about 5 hours after the lights have been on.

Neil D 06-07-2013 06:22 AM

Crap I forgot to mention, there are no live plants in either tank.

fish monger 06-07-2013 07:24 AM

My bad. Should have noticed. I see you are using a bubbler also. My thought about timing of testing had to do with CO2. I could be wrong, but with no plants and the bubbler, it doesn't seem like there should be a significant change in the amount of CO2 throughout the day. The tank is currently empty, right ? Maybe try the different test timing just for the heck of it. Sorry, that's all I have.

Neil D 06-07-2013 09:30 AM

I just tested the tap water's pH and it was right about 7.6/7.7.

I also tested the tank itself after a water change, with the high range pH and regular pH.
Between them I'd say the pH is higher than 7.6 but lower than 7.8.

So I have no idea what would cause a pH change. I do have a chipped aquarium plant (the weight on the bottom) in there, but I don't think that would cause a pH jump like that. I'm thinking it was a one time thing...

Byron 06-07-2013 03:22 PM

I'll just point out a couple of things.

First, the pH of your tap water can change. This is due to your water source. Some cities have more than one source and depending where they get the water it might fluctuate. Some seasonal changes due to spring rain runoffs and such is also possible.

Second, when testing tap water make sure you outgas the CO2. Water running through pipes can collect CO2 and this will add carbonic acid which obviously lowers the pH. Shaking a small jar of tap water very vigorously for a couple minutes should outgas any CO2; then do the pH test.

This is not necessary for tank water as CO2 does outgas over about 24 hours anyway, as far as the tap issue goes. Obviously CO2 is being regularly and continually produced in an aquarium by respiration of fish, bacteria, plants (if present) but even more by the breakdown of organics. So there can be variance during the day from all this, even without plants. It is always advisable to test pH the same time every day, to get a more consistent and accurate reading.

You mentioned cardinals and gourami. While pH is important, the GH is even more important, especially for cardinals which come from very soft water. Do you know the GH (and KH or Alkalinity) of the tap water? This you can get from the supply folks, on their website probably.

Byron.

Neil D 06-08-2013 11:11 AM

GH is water hardness correct? The website for my area says (In a few ways):

-7.5 grains per gallon with a range of 6.7 to 8.5 grains per gallon
-92 milligrams per liter (mg/L)


I decided to go with neons because from my research they are more suited to a slightly larger range of water quality. However the stress from the move took two of them. The others are eating and seem to be doing well.

Byron 06-08-2013 12:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Neil D (Post 2275266)
GH is water hardness correct? The website for my area says (In a few ways):

-7.5 grains per gallon with a range of 6.7 to 8.5 grains per gallon
-92 milligrams per liter (mg/L)


I decided to go with neons because from my research they are more suited to a slightly larger range of water quality. However the stress from the move took two of them. The others are eating and seem to be doing well.

Grains per gallon is roughly the swame as degrees GH, so 7.5 gpg would be about 7.5 dGH. Subjectively this is what we would term moderately hard. Most soft water fish will probably be OK in this, at least the tank-raised ones (like neons).

Neil D 06-08-2013 01:32 PM

Well, seems like something is wrong. Since we got them last night, 2 have died. There is now a third one displaying the same issue...floating, but still swimming a bit. Based on the other two, this one will die within the hour. What is going on? My ammonia is at 0, so is nitrite. Nitrate is lower than 5ppm. pH is around 7.8 now. Temp is 80F. And I already stated my GH...so what should I do?

Byron 06-08-2013 02:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Neil D (Post 2275842)
Well, seems like something is wrong. Since we got them last night, 2 have died. There is now a third one displaying the same issue...floating, but still swimming a bit. Based on the other two, this one will die within the hour. What is going on? My ammonia is at 0, so is nitrite. Nitrate is lower than 5ppm. pH is around 7.8 now. Temp is 80F. And I already stated my GH...so what should I do?

Temp at 80F is very warm for neons, much too warm. Is this due to a heat wave, or is the tank heater set for 80F? [I wouldn't expect this to kill them so quickly, but it is stressful and that won't help.]

Second issue, how did you acclimate them?

Third, what tank size, and what other fish are in the tank?

Byron.


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