Repeated pH Crash
Yesterday my goldfish was gasping for air, so I checked the pH and it was around 6.2. I did a 40% water change, using water that had a 7.4 pH, and as a result I got the tank pH up to around 7.
But, in the morning, the pH was back down in the low 6 range, and the goldfish was still gasping. How do I keep the pH up? What's happening?
You'll need to post aquarium info to paint a clearer picture, i agree that trhis must be dealt with !!! fast because a swing from 6.2 to 7 is not a good idea.
What water do you use ? r/o?
Ph adjustor? conditioners ?
API test kit? results ?
How many fish ?
Even if i sign off before you respond people here will know what to do about this.In the meanwhile try not to cause a ph swing like that small partial water changes are the way to go, unless you can match your tanks ph by .2.
thanks for replying! since i posted we raised the pH up to 6.6. how do we keep it up? i know its bad to have big pH swings, but if it drops down again to 6 every day, what can we do if we can only change it a little at a time?
here are the tank details:
2.5 gallon tank
we use Brita water, with water conditioner (stress coat) and cycle and aquarium salt
-the tap water is around 6.0 pH, but i just realized that yesterdya, so we adding pH up
we have about 1/3 inch of gravel, 3 fake plants
we have one small comet goldfish, and one small bottom feeder
we have a whisper filter
I wonder does the brita filter remove all minerals, that would otherwise act as buffers to stabilize your waters ph. Is 6 your tap without using the brita filter? Whatever the answers. You could always buy reverse osmosis water (r/o) thats a straight 7 and most places now buffer it so your ph will hold. You may also continue using your filtered water and add coral to raise your ph but this takes time :( . Ph down is an acid and tends to cause fish loss i know i've been this route:( Double check your tap without the filter ok and if that isnt explanation you may like to consider r/o or different fish that like your ph. A 2.5 is not adequate for a comet they get like 18" ish. Bettas do ok in a 2.5. Good luck and post as to how you fix this up.
First, do not use chemicals to raise the pH. It will only keep fluctuating which as you know is stressfull on any fish and if continued could lead to death. There are better, safer and easier ways. Chief among them in my opinion (I've used it several times to provide suitable alkaline water for livebearers and African rift lake cichlids) is to have dolomite (crush coral also works) either in the substrate or preferably in the filter. If the filter has a space for adding about a cup of dolomite, fine. If in the substrate, you can't get it out without removing all the substrate, and it is not easy to know exactly how much dolomite/coral you need to raise the pH to where you want it. However, a 2.5g tank is not large so it wouldn't take much. I favour dolomite gravel (marine aquarists use this as a substrate), a cup added to the gravel in your tank would probably do it.
Once you do this, the pH will rise a bit; monitor it daily, and if it settles at say 6.4 then add a bit more, but not much--once it starts working, it doesn't take much more to go farther. Iot will stay there, and weekly partial water changes will only cause it to fluctuate a couple of decimal points which is normal and (as far as we know) easy on fish. I suspect it occurs with all of us at every water change.
In the meantime, I wuld leave the pH alone. Fluctuating pH is very stressful, and if your tap water has always been pH 6 you have probably had the pH in the tank that low all along. Please don't fiddle with it except on a "permanent" basis as I and catfishtabbi suggest (RO water is another, if more expensive method).
I've assumed your tap water right out of the tap 9not through the Brita) is pH 6. If not, let us know (test the water without the filter).
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