Advice on caring for my new Ram cichlids
Yesterday I purchased two Blue Ram cichlids from a pet shop in a nearby town and upon purchasing them they informed me that my pH should be about 6.5 for these fish. Sadly I was unaware, until I got home and had already added the fish to my aquarium, that my pH was about one degree too high (should be ~6.5-7.0, mine is ~7.5-8.0). I have my local pet store to thank for this, as they would not sell me angel fish on account of my pH being too low (at 6.5, which I later discovered was perfect for angel fish), they told me I should purchase a buffer to raise the pH to the 7.5 range. So anyways, now my pH is too high for some of my fish and I know that it can be difficult to get the pH to go back down without stressing out the fish (especially my new rams), so my main question is, would it be better to leave my pH as is for now and let my new fish get used to it before trying to adjust it any more, or should I consider it an emergency situation and take measures to reduce my pH?
What test kit are you using to test the ph? I would stop using the buffer and with weekly 10 to 20 percent water changes without adding buffer your Ph should return to what it was before. I would NOT attempt to do this suddenly but rather as described slowly over a period of weeks. The rams do not appreciate very hard water but I keep mine at Ph7.4 They also are sensitive to ANY levels of ammonia or nitrites and nitrAtes should be kept below 20 but this can be achieved through water changes and not overfeeding. Anytime you begin messing with the Ph it usually turns out bad for the fishes.;-)
I use a Tetratest Laborett, it came with dropper tests for nitrite, ammonia, fresh/marine pH, GH, and KH. I have a well planted tank so I have virtually no problems with nitrate/nitrite, and, although I don't test it as often as I do the nitrates, I never seem to have trouble with ammonia. So far my rams seem to be doing just fine, they are eating when I feed the other fish and seem very active. I stopped using the buffer several weeks ago, but I don't do water changes very often (every 2 weeks or so) since my tank is fairly well established. My concern with doing small water changes weekly is that my tap water has virtually the same exact pH as my tank (tap has much lower KH, however) so will it really affect the pH very much?
I think the fish will be fine with Ph you have. Water changes not only remove dissolved organics but replenish minerals needed by fish and plants.
IMO.. Your pH should have been fine before. My pair spawned frequently under those pH conditions. Just start doing some water changes to get it back to how it was before. You shouldnt have to worry too much about pH unless it is extremely off. I would always research caresheets and forums before taking the advice of people from pet stores. They will often tell you anything to get you to buy all kinds of products. I work at a pet store and I dont do this, in fact I often talk people out of buying things, however this isnt usually the case.
Thanks a lot for your advice, I agree that my pH was probably just fine before but I guess I learned my lesson about blindly taking advice from people at my local store. I'm going to start doing water changes a little more often and see if that helps.
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