Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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SillyOscar 11-09-2010 11:43 AM

Ph troubles in a new home.
We recently moved our large collection of fresh water fish and multiple tanks into a new home. it was a bit dramatic making the trip with some of the larger fish and the 150 gallon tank but everyone made it in good health.
we had tested the well water at the new location and knew the Ph was much lower and softer than our previous tank setup so we brought along enough of the water from our old home (with all the plants floating along in it) to set up most the of the tanks with half of their regular water. most of the fish did very well but we did have some problems with beta species tank.

Since then we have been battling the new watter to try and get the ph up into acceptable range. I cant seem to get the Ph up in any of the tanks. the 'perfect ph' treatments cant be used in any of the tanks because they are all planted. so normally i do small adjustments with ph up and down as when needed, well watter at the old house would fluctuate a little depending on rain so we would make small adjustments after changes if needed.

I have a just planted tank that serves as our sick tank when needed. its only 20 or so gallons and after being fed up with the Ph being stuck at 6.0 (the lowest my test reads) in all the tanks, I dumped about 4 times the recommended dosage of ph-up in the tank with no effect on the tests.

I am at a loss of how to treat this. Thank fully most of the fish have not shown too much stress over this yet, but I still need to get it under control.

Byron 11-09-2010 12:30 PM

Please do not use any of those chemicals to attempt to adjust the pH; they frequently do not work (as you've seen) and at this point I will not go into the reasons. But it is very dangerous with fish in the tank, as fluctuations in pH can be fatal long-term. A stable pH even if not within the preferred range for the fish is much safer in the short term.

A pH of 6 is fine for soft acidic water fish. What fish species do you have? And what is the pH of the source (well) water, and hardness if you know it. When you provide this info, I can advise further.


redchigh 11-09-2010 12:32 PM

I agree, stop adding chemicals to the tank.

Could try ground limestone (added in tiny amounts over time) but for now, let the fish get adjusted.

SillyOscar 11-09-2010 01:09 PM

The list of fish is in my signature.
some are more comfortable with the low ph levels. Bear in mind my Ph tests only read down to 6.0

the well water tests the same, but again may actually be lower than 6. well water is slightly softer than in the tanks as we have corals and substrates to add minerals and hardness.

The hardness is slightly different in each tank because of the setups and which fish we are keeping in it. But generally each tank is still softer than the target because of the new water.

I agree that chemicals are Not the way to solve that. That test was merely to show the buffering capacity or the ridiculously low PH that I am fighting. I have used the ph adjusters for small adjustments in the past and thats what i will continue to use them for.

Thank you for the limestone suggestion. I will try that on top of the crushed coral.

Byron 11-09-2010 06:11 PM

You seem to have a fair grasp of the issues, so I will offer a quick suggestion without all the explanations.

Livebearers should be together and not mixed with soft water fish for obvious reasons, so raising the hardness and pH via dolomite, limestone, coral in the livebearer tank will work. The other fish like soft acidic water so I would not worry there. But a small amount of the afore-mentioned substances in the filter will maintain stability.

I forgot last time, so,,,welcome to Tropical Fish Keeping forum.


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