Major ph problems!! help to lower!
My tank needs to be a 7.0 ph for the fish I have. My levels are easy beyond 7.6! I have been adding neutral regulator every other day for a few days now did water changes and its not helping! I am not sure what else to do? If anyone can please guide me as to a new idea maybe I would really appreciate it! All other levels are perfect and right on when tested btw...
Also what causes this to happen?
Never add chemicals to an aquarium containing fish to lower or raise pH. There is a lot of water chemistry involved. Your tap water probably has pH buffers in it particularly if it is above neutral (pH 7) and depending upon the hardness. Chemicals to lower pH will work short term but within 24 hours the natural buffers in the water will counter the chemicals and restore the water's natural pH. Every time you do this the fish suffer quite a lot. I have written elsewhere about the internal processes fish have to go through to equalize their internal pH and salinity with the external water, and it can severely stress and weaken fish.
There are ways to lower pH naturally, peat filtration and RO units being the usual. But first... it may not be necessary.
1. what is the pH and hardness of your tap water, out of the tap, that you use for your partial water changes?
2. what fish species are in the tank? (Are they those listed for your 30g, or something else?)
1) The water I use is bought from a fish store called Big Als (one of the best around) and tends to test at 7.0-.2 all others (nitrite, amonia, nitrate) test properly as well
2) Yes the 30 gallon listed is the one I am talking about and those are the fish in the tank.
I know Big Al's, they have two stores in Greater Vancouver where I live, and one of them is my regular store.
You buy the water from the store? This must be expensive. Is there some reason you don't use tap water?
If the water you have in the tank is pH 7 or 7.2 when it goes in, and the tank pH tests at 7.6, then something in there is raising the pH. Normal biological processes in a tank will gradually lower (acidify) the water. What kind of substrate gravel do you have? Are there any rocks in the tank? And what is the media in the filter?
There will be a lot of questions for you to sort this out, but none of us can help if we don't have all the facts.
No real reason just not the hassle of dealing with clarifying the water myself and for 35 cents a gallon it really is worth it to me. I know it's good everytime I pour it in :)
As for the items in my tank...everything but three silk plants have been in there since day one with no issues until recently, so I don't think it would be the gravel, fake rock, or castle thing.
OK, I've two suggestions.
First, ask them next time you're in the store what exactly is in the water you buy (unless it has this on the label). I would bet there is some dissolved mineral in it to add some hardness. As others will tell you on this forum, "pure neutral" water is not suitable for fish because there is nothing, literally, in it. Fish need some minerals (just as we do) and they get these from what we feed them (minimal) and from the water they live in. Fish absorb water through their cells by osmosis, which is their equivalent of our drinking, and they adjust their internal pH, salinity, etc. to equal the water they live in. This is why fluctuating pH and hardness is so detrimental to fish. Anyway, to get back to the water, if there are minerals in it there will be a buffering capacity, and I would leave it alone.
Second point is that for the fish you list, a neutral to alightly alkaline (basic) water is OK, so I would leave it alone. Swordtails and platys are livebearers, and all livebearers prefer and are healthier in slightly alkaline water, anything (stable) from pH 7.0 to 8.0 is fine. Albino corys come from slightly acidic water but they adapt very well to what you have, provided again it remains stable. White clouds are not really tetras (stores often label them as such, but they are not at all related to the "tetra" of the characidae from south America) but are minnows from the White Cloud Mountain streams in China; they are fine in your water, as are Glofish which I assume are the genetically-modified forms of zebra danios. The two true tetra species can also manage quite well.
It is a common fallacy that the best aquarium water is neutral, pH 7.0, and aquarists sometimes go to great lengths to achieve this. I cannot think of a single fish that lives in a neutral water in nature (there may be some, I just don't know of them), mainly because such water is anything but natural. Vegetation (plants, trees) and soil add tannins (acids) to water, or limestone rocks make it alkaline, and so forth. It may seem sensible to provide neutral water for a mix of fish from varying waters in nature, but the problems caused by fluctuating water parameters are far worse on the fish than getting them adapted to a slight variation that remains steady.
Here is my take on this, my water is around 7.5-.8ish straigh out of the tap (good ole city water). I put declorinator and Sea Chem Discus Buffer in my tank and my ph is ALWAYS in the high 6 range (yes it drops that far!). For the price of the Discus Buffer it is well worth it! I have german rams that are in my tank and they have no problems! From the fish you have, I have had/have almost all of them and they did fine as well.
You can use tapwater just fine. pH is not really an issue. What are your KH and GH?
after adding a peice of driftwood into the tank my ph dropped to about 7.4 I am completely happy with a 7.4 reading over 7.6-7.8 :) Thank you all!
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