Aquarium Not So Hot After Move
I started my 29 gal tank in October of 2011. I allowed it to become a viable ecosystem before putting any fish in. I started off with plants because I knew it would make for a better tank. I have Amazon swords. They were really a beautiful feature of my tank. But then I had to move. Now, my plants aren't in great shape. All the large leaves died. I thought maybe this was due to shock from moving and that the leaves would grow back. The only problem is, the fresh new leaves are starting to show signs of being ill. I fertilize them with API's Root Tabs once a month.
Recently I noticed the health of my fish starting to decline. All 32 of my fish survived the move. But lately I've noticed a few issues. So I tested my water with the API liquid water test kit. All the tests came back with no negative results except the pH test. My water pH is about 7.8. My tank has a collection of neon tetras, harlequin rasboras, oto catfish, cory catfish, and zebra danios. I know that most of them prefer more acidic water, and 7.8 is a little high for the plants.
So, after all that long story, my question is this: What can I do to reduce the pH in my tank? Am I stuck with what comes out of the tap? Do I have the wrong plants and fish for the water I have?
Thanks to everyone who responds in advance. I appreciate it!!
Well, I have about 8.0 pH and I have had amazon swords that have done well before. Also crypts and vallisneria. You can definitely grow a lot of plants in hard water! I wouldn't worry about the pH so much with them. I can't say why they aren't doing well now.
Also, I was interested in getting neon tetras and I've read a lot about them being able to adapt fairly well to hard water. I haven't tried yet though. The otos are wild caught often so I don't know how well they can adapt. The others idk about.
I personally don't like messing with the pH, but if I were to, I would research into adding RO water. You can mix like 25% RO water with 75% tap water or something and that will lower the pH and hardness. You can do this every water change so the water going into the tank is fairly stable, just a lower pH than tap. Again, research this because I've never done it.
I don't know too much but I thought I'd give you some info that I do know. :D
The plants/fish may be suffering from a bit of shock from the change in water parameters (I'm assuming you're previous tap had harder water?)
Have you tested the new tap for ammonia, nitrite, or nitrate?
Do you dose the water column at all? If not you may want to try that and see if the plants perk up a bit. Seachem Flourish Comprehensive is a good choice.
The new ph theoretically shouldn't affect the plants, although they may need time to adjust.
Austin mentions a viable way to reduce the ph, but I myself haven't tried that either. You may want to further research that or post a specific question about it, in a new thread.
I don't have a clue as to what is bothering your tank except a possible over stock 32 fish in a27 gal. Did you have that many before the move?
I tried changing pH but it turned out to be a nightmare.
One other info, I screwed up with my first attempt at fishless cycling and over dosed ammonia and got the same results plants dying whole sale. I know you tested water and everything was OK, just uttering a thought.
I agree about not changing the pH, what the fish really need is a STABLE pH, and it's nice to have a pH in their preferred range.
I have tested the water. 0 ammonia, 0 nitrate, 0 nitrite. I don't typically fertilize the water column, but I have some API stuff that I have used a little in the past.
I did have 32 fish for quite some time before the move. My plants were super healthy and everyone flourished in the tank.
Also, a little background. I moved right at the beginning of June, so the tank has had a little over two months to "settle down". Maybe I just need to be more diligent with water changes.
Thanks for your input, everyone.
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