pH levels pretty high
Hello, in my fish-in cycling tank, my pH level is at 8.2. I tested my tap water and its at 7.4. Its a 5 gallon tank, with 1 panda cory *the other one died the other day* and I think the cause of his death was the abnormally high pH. The surviving cory doesn't look too god either. Is there anything I should do to reduce the pH back down to safe levels? I'm decreasing the level of air in the water as to allow more CO2 to mix in. Is there a way to safely lower the pH back down so it won't shock my last fish?
*Update* So I did some reading about my water. It seems that my tap water is actually at 8.0 or so pH, and is pretty hard. I am now super worried now because cory cats like more neutral water. Any advice on trying to lower the pH, or should I give up on corys and get fish more acclimated for higher pH? :( And it seems I've been reading my pH test wrong :( darned things are so hard to read and get an accurate color match >_<
What are the other parameters of your water? Ammonia, nitrates, nitrites?
Cory's are not really hardy enough to cycle a tank. Cory's don't enjoy hard water either.
With your water being hard, you need to find out from your water company some information on how hard it is. They can tell you the general hardness (GH) and the KH, that would help. But overall it's difficult to lower the ph of hard water.
What is your water temperature?
Panda Corydas like cooler water 70-79.
kH: Average bicarbonate is 176 ppm
gH: 38 ppm Calcium, 8.1 ppm magnesium. Both are average levels., gH of 12
Water Temp: 79 degrees F, was treating for Ick. Will lower it to 77-78 degrees.
Ammonia: .25 or less ppm
Nitrites: I try keeping it around .25 ppm
Nitrates: between 10-20 ppm
I didn't mean to use my cory as the fish-in cycle, I went on the advice of my LFS *my mistake* so now I'm paying the price. But that's in the past, so now I'm just chugging forward.
Thought about live plants? They might save your cory.
(they use ammonia and reduce the impact of a cycle)
Yes, I currently have a bundle of anacharis plants floating around in the tank. 5 stems or so? I checked pH today, its down to 7.8 but I just did a pwc so I'll check again later today. I also turned down the air stone so its just a trickle right now so CO2 can build up and hopefully lower it.
And my cory is doing ok, considering how much stress is put on the little guy. She's swimming around, and eating. She's just lonely right now I think. She's by herself, so she spends most of her time hiding or laying on the gravel behind the air stone.
Your KH equates to 9-10 dKH [I just like degrees better than ppm] so that is going to buffer your pH to prevent adjustments, which in turn means it will be more difficult to adjust the pH, so don't. Using any chemicals or pH adjusters with a KH of 9 will mean rapidly fluctuating pH and that is much worse.
But KH has no effect whatever on fish, other than the pH buffering. The GH is important to fish, so let's explore this. By 12 do you mean 12 ppm? Or 12 dGH? All your other figures are in ppm, but 12 ppm is less than 1 dGH and very soft so I want to be sure. This has a bearing on pH too.
Corys are highly sensitive to any chemical or medication, so it may have been the high temp plus ich medication that took the cory more than the pH/hardness. Lowering the temp plus a water change may work wonders for the remaining cory.
Sorry for not being clear; its 12 degrees hardness. I did use quICK cure, half dosage while at a higher temperature, but I changed the water after I finished treatment 5 times already. Since turning down the aeration and water changes, my pH went up to a more acceptable 7.8. Still far from the norm, but still better than 8.2. Will keep things updated. Thanks for the help and advice so far. Very much appreciated :)
Use a pail for this, so as not to further stress the cory with more fluctuating water. Mix tap water with rain water until you have the pH you want, and I would aim for around neutral. pH of 7 is un-natural, but 6.8 or 7.2 is what I'm meaning to aim for. Then, let it sit overnight and test pH again. The idea here is that we are reducing the hardness more than the pH, so the pH will not keep rising. Also, the hardness is equally important for the fish. Rainwater normally has a low pH, but some mixing is still important for stability.
Once you have it stable, you can do small water changes over several days until you have the tank where you want it.
Collect some rainwater to use for water changes, same principle. The good news is that once you have the tank stabilized with softer water, the ph will tend to lower a bit on its own, so using a mix of tap/rain water for water changes should work well.
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