ph high everything else 0?
So my tank has been going for a week with 2 goldfish in (suggested by pet shop even though want to start freshwater tropical and didn't know better at the time).
But my pH is 8 (tap pH 7.0, water hardness is soft: 16mg/L) and ammonia, nitrites and nitrates are 0... Does that mean my biological filter is working correctly? I use the API master kit to test as well.
Thought it was the stones (quartz) causing high pH: its not,, the aquarium checked by testing my tap water vs tap water w stones (both samples sat for 24hours) and there was .4 difference and since there was lots of stones compared the water they said if it was the stones the pH difference would be much more after 24hrs.
theres just 5 live plants everything is fake ornaments! Ive done water changes 20% and the pH drops slightly but back up the next day
The aquarium store isnt sure whats going on but thinks its new tank syndrome but they still don't know why everything else is 0 and that some ammonia should be detected by now??
Its 100L with the overhead filter with carbon, bioballs and ceramic rings. Theres a light that goes for 10hrs a day. Theres also an airstone going so lots of water movement happening.
Could it be too many plants, not enough fish causing low co2 levels and therefore alkaline water?
The only chemicals used are quickstart and stresscoat on water changes.
Thoughts greatly appreciated!!
24hrs is not enough for the testing of your stones. Did you do a vinegar or muratic acid test on your rocks before putting them in your tank. I would isolate and test your rocks for at least a month. I am currently testing 5 different rocks to get a better idea what parameter changes will happen. After 24hrs of testing mine didn't not shift either. But after 3 weeks, there are some changes happening.
The pH is high because the plants are lowering co2 and returning oxygen.
So I say nothing to worry about.
psssssssst the tank conditions especially pH are much more a functions of tank conditions then the replacement/input water conditions.
I think 2 goldfish in a 26 gallon would produce some kind of organic waste breakdown to lower the ph (they are 'dirty' fish, and eat a lot) I wouldn't add anymore fish to start this aquarium personally.
If your filter output splashes into your tankwater and creates surface turbulence, this is another way you will 'gas out' your co2. I do't think you need an airstone either, the plants will supply oxygen during the day, especially if you want your ph lower. But I wouldn't think it would rise that much based on this alone.
The only way to actually achieve a lower ph, would be to add more co2, (injection or preventing off-gassing) using tannin leaching ornaments/substrate like driftwood or soil as far as I can tell.
Quartz is inert, but maybe your substrate isn't 100% quartz? A 0.4 difference is still climbing, give it 48 more hours, and it multiplies two or three fold.
The only other thing I can think of is maybe your Kh from the tap source is high, I'd be curious to know it's value. You said your hardness is soft, does this mean general hardness and not carbonate? If your kh from the tap is high, your ph will rise on it's own relative to the kh. Gh is not as influential on stabilizing ph.
All in all, ph is a condition imo, rather than a parameter. Your tank is probably still balancing out. Aren't goldfish fine in a ph of 8 anyway? I would just give it more time. Also, with many plants, your nitrate cold still read 0. The plants are just eating up all the nitrates faster than your fish produce them. This is just a possibility. I still wouldn't add any more fish until it balances out and you find out what you intend to keep for good.
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