Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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itoshiixhito 09-12-2011 10:38 AM

Fluctuating pH levels?
Yesterday my tank was reading a 7.6 pH. I have two Jewel Cichlids, so I wanted to bring it down to 7 pH.

I added a Tetra Correct pH 7.0 tablet, and it brought the water down to the correct level.

I tested it this morning, and it's back up to 7.6 pH!

What the heck is going on? Those tablets are supposed to stabilize the pH for weeks.

The only thing I can think of is that because my tank is so new (3 days old), the water levels haven't settled yet.

What should I do? I don't want to keep using the tablets if it will just keep fluctuating. My fish are already spazzy enough as it is without extra stress.

Byron 09-12-2011 11:06 AM

First a warning: do not fiddle with the pH. Fluctuating pH can be highly stressful to fish, weakening the immune system and can even kill some species, though Jewels are pretty tough, but still the stress of this will have an impact.

To the issue. The pH is closely tied to the water hardness. Rather than detail all this, I will refer you to my article on the subject:
This will provide the whole story so you can understand the connection.

Next, the fish. This species, Hemichromis bimaculatus will manage fine in waters with a pH from 6 to 7.8, so your pH at 7.6 is fine for this fish. It does not need to be adjusted.

Now to another issue: your tank being new is likely not cycled, hence the fish spazziness. Read more about this here:

No mention is made of the tank size, but this fish attains 6 inches and is a rough customer. It needs space to grow properly, and will require a 4-foot tank.


itoshiixhito 09-12-2011 09:16 PM

Thank you for the advice Byron. As I also said in my other thread, I returned the two Jewel Cichlids and instead bought a Crowntail Betta. It's working out very well. He's loving all the room to swim around in :-)

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