Help! Need to lower pH so I can keep goldfish
I just lost two goldfish. One was due to high nitrites. My tank is cycled now and the nitrites and ammonia are zero. I think I lost the other one because the pH spiked up high. I managed to keep the fish alive for a week by changing 1/3 of the water every time he became unhappy (daily) OR by adding API's PHDown (sulphuric acid). Both of those brought the pH back down to 7.8, where the goldfish began happily swimming around again. Next day, though, the goldfish would become unhappy and I would check the pH and it would be back up at 8.2 or 8.4. I have plants and a snail in the tank still. I want to get the pH thing figured out before I get another goldfish. The tank is a ten gallon tank. (Yes, I know I will soon have to move to a bigger one, but that is all I can manage at the moment. When I need to, I'll switch.) The temp varies between 66 and 74. The water department says we have hard water, 140. The API test strip results varied - GH results of 120, 120, 180, 60. KH results of 180, 120, 180, 120. I need the pH down a bit, I think, for goldfish. The fish store said that tap water in my area has high pH at this time of year, especially. It comes out of the tap at 7.4 and goes up to 8.2 within 12 hrs if I leave it sitting on the counter. They recommended that I do nothing about the pH, but when I tried that, the fish got really unhappy and then my efforts to fix things killed him. Ug. I should have just kept adding water changes or phdown daily. That didn't seem like a good permanent solution, though. Where was all that sulphuric acid going? How can I get it to come down a bit and stay down without springing back up again? Please help!
PS - I know this probably isn't the best place for a post on goldfish, but you guys have better information than the other sites I could find and I'm desperate.
I don't know much about pH except that it is vary hard to stabilize using these chemicals. You will be spending a lot of money and agonizing a lot over the pH. What I and others might ultimately recommend is that you explore keeping something that first is suitable for a 10 gallon and second can tolerate the pH of your water. This would be the best advice that we could give because it's ultimately what's going to keep you stress free and enjoying the hobby.
I know there are other alternatives but they could be costly and headache-y. I don't know the logistics of this options because I have never tried to do anything other than my tap water. I am sure others will give you advice on these.
Hope it all works out.
Look into things that could naturally lower it and keep it there like certain substrates, driftwood, and maybe plants(I don't know if plants will, but look into it). I know driftwood can though, and some substrates, but definitely look into driftwood.
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