Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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-   -   pH Fluctuations..... (

RandallW20 03-16-2009 07:38 PM

pH Fluctuations.....
I bought some API pH up and down for my aquariums today just in case.
BUT, are there any other ways to change the pH up or down without using a chemical????


Freddiesbuns 03-16-2009 08:22 PM

I saw this post after I replied to your other one lol. To lower ph, definitely peat.

FishGirl 03-16-2009 08:56 PM

I make snail pucks for my - snails to get enough calcium. The pucks also have the effect of raising the pH a few degrees and keeping it more consistent than the API up and down stuff. You have to be really careful with that stuff because every water change it will get thrown off. I believe the less chemicals the better. But I do need my pH a bit higher for my snails shells. Also, mine is a heavily planted tank with CO2 that decreases the pH, so I need to adjust slightly.

Anyway a puck is simply made out of plaster of paris and mixed with fish food then allowed to dry in ice cube trays. I have a 75g and am experimenting with 2 pucks/cubes. They last a while and plaster of paris is inexpensive. Also, I believe it is what is used in those weekend feeders. You can add pelleted or granuals (not flake) foods and feed your fish as well or just make them plain. Use the directions for making plaster, then let them dry until hard and not wet in the middle (overnight?). Then you would be good to go.

Other people use crushed coral mixed in with their substrate to raise pH. I haven't but that's another option.

Again, injected CO2 (for planted tanks) will lower pH.

If these suggestions don't work for you, maybe you can let us know what you are trying to achieve with your setup.

dramaqueen 03-16-2009 09:17 PM

I've heard people on the forum say not to mess with your ph because it will stress the fish out too much.

Lupin 03-16-2009 10:10 PM

What is your KH? Adjust that one as you need to ensure it is high enough to avoid the pH from rocking up and down.

RandallW20 03-16-2009 11:50 PM

Cool, thanks guys!!!
The pH in my tropical 20 gal is sitting at 8.0 right now, I was wanting to drop it to 7.0 "very slowly"

RandallW20 03-16-2009 11:54 PM

What can ya'll tell me about "peat filtering" what is it and how does it work?
Is it like an actual filter cartridge you use or what?

Thanks Guys!!!!!!

Lupin 03-17-2009 01:18 AM

You have no reason to lower the pH unless you are keeping wild caught fish which I am sure you don't. Leave it that way. What is your KH again?

Byron 03-17-2009 10:08 AM

I comented on pH fluctuations yesterday, but that was a different topic and poster, so I'll repeat it here. Some of this has already been mentioned by earlier posters, but it bears repeating.

Using chemicals to lower the pH is not recommended; I went this route when I was starting out, and had nothing but trouble (fish loss, stressed fish, outbreaks of ick due to the stress, etc). An aquarium will balance out at some pH, depending upon the pH of the water put in it (out of the tap), the materials in the tank [regular aquarium gravel does not affect pH, but using coral or dolomite gravel as one would in a marine tank or Rift Lake chiclid tank will keep the pH high (alkaline) no matter what you do], buffering materials [like peat in the filter to lower the pH], tannins leeching from natural wood in the tank, and the biological processes of the inhabitants. Using CO2 as in a planted tank will also lower the pH.

The pH of your tank you say is 8; is this the pH of the water out of the tap? Or do you have a substrate comprised of dolomite or coral that is raising it in the tank? And what fish do you intend to keep in the tank? With respect to Lupin, and depending upon what fish you are keeping, I can't agree that keeping the pH at 8 doesn't matter unless the fish are wild caught. If the fish are those that occur in acidic waters in their natural habitat, they will not thrive (be healthy and at their best and free of stress) in a pH of 8 even if they are tank raised. We can't change their natural programming that has taken millions of years to develop. As an example, neon tetras are today captive raised almost exclusively, but you will find that all reputable aquarist sources recommend a pH within the range of 6-7, and not above 7. I see no problem with maintaining livebearers or Rift Lake chiclids at pH 8, but I would not attempt keeping characins above 7.

Lowering the pH from 8 to 7 is a very considerable adjustment. A change of one pH unit equals a change of ten times the acidity/alkalinity of the water, and most fish are very sensitive to relatively minor changes. There is a complex biological process that occurs in all fish to maintain a balance between their internal pH and the pH of the water they are in. Subjecting any fish to rapid changes in pH is stressful, and I can assure you will lead to other problems and, if serious enough, death.

I am fortunate enought to live in an area where the tap water is soft and slightly acidic, perfect for the South American characins and catfish I maintain. Peat filtration has therefore been unnecessary for me for twenty years of fishkeeping, but it is the best way (as someone earlier said) of lowering pH to a stable level. Please don't use chemicals to do this, as the fish will suffer.

1077 03-17-2009 11:10 AM

I shall throw my two cents in. It passes my understanding how fish that are tank born and raised would have any concept of what water conditions that their wild caught cousins may expierience. With that said, I belive and always will,, that it makes fish keeping much easier and more enjoyable if you keep fish that will do well with the water you can easily provide without the use of additives or chemicals rather than attempting to adjust the water to suit the fish. Just another opinion.

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