How to stabilize PH - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 6 Old 01-17-2011, 06:23 PM Thread Starter
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Question How to stabilize PH

I've had ongoing trouble with PH in my aquarium. My tap water is 6.8, but water in the tank is reading 6.0. This is ridiculous because I've had a mesh bag of aragonite hanging near the filter, coral skeletons, and a big chunk of limestone in there for months. I have been doing extra water changes this week because the addition of new fish caused an ammonia spike, so maybe that's why the PH is down, but 6.0?? That seems way too low. I am worried about my mystery snail's shell eroding and that I might loose my Platy. Does anyone know how to bring PH to a nice steady 7.0 and keep it there, even with water changes?
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post #2 of 6 Old 01-17-2011, 10:36 PM
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Sounds like a cycling problem, Did you cycle your tank?

If not your going to have to remove the fish from the tank for like a week or so til it cycles

Youd be fighting a losing battle

*Amonia created faster than bacteria can eat it*

If you did correctly cycle then id take a guess as to say your fish tank may have nasty fish in it
(Like pleco/goldfish)
Tank may be too small to accomodate such fish

Hope any of that helps! :D
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post #3 of 6 Old 01-18-2011, 04:58 AM
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Check your KH and GH. Do you have test kits for both? Test both and post them here.

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post #4 of 6 Old 01-19-2011, 01:46 AM Thread Starter
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The tank has had fish in it for six months, so it's got to be cycled right? But I still noticed ammonia after adding two new platies a couple weeks ago. I figured the added bio-load might do that and that some extra water changes were the best course of action. Then one of the platies died. I felt bad, but she also seemed like a stressed fish from the start,so I don't think it was just the PH that did her in. The other platy is healthier and I think she'll make it if I can get things stabilized. I just tested PH again and it was back to 7.2, but there was also 1.0 ppm ammonia so I had to do a water change. I shook some of the coral particles around in there and I hope that helps. It's a 14-gallon with five White Clouds, one Platy, and a Mystery Snail. I am not planning to add anymore fish.

Lupin, I don't have tests for KH and GH. I can try to get those tested at a store soon and post numbers.
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post #5 of 6 Old 01-19-2011, 04:14 AM
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Appears you have been struggling with platy's since Sept. of last year.This is not uncommon when we begin trying to adjust water to suit the fish, rather than simply purchasing fishes that will thrive with the tapwater we have whatever the pH or hardness is.
When I suggested last September, using crushed coral to increase the hardness and thus raise the pH , I should have also mentioned, that as the crushed coral get's covered with algae,mulm,bacteria,dirt,etc, it becomes less effective and should be cleaned once a month with hot tapwater or replaced.
Could be why your pH is now wanting to return to that closer to what comes out of the tap.
I suspect that if you were to leave five gallons of tapwater to set overnight,that the PH may be closer to 7.2 than the 6.8 right from the tap without setting overnight but you can try this and see.
Ammonia is indication of too much food being offered too frequently and some going uneatean or,, something decaying in the tank,or organic build up in substrate. I might try feeding tiny amount of food for no more fish than you have ,once a day. Would see that no one else is also offering food.I recall much younger years when My three sister's unknown to me,,were also feeding my fish ,and water quality issues were baffling to me until this was discovered.
Might also suggest not replacing filter cartridges until they begin to literally fall aprt from swishing them around in old aquarium water you take out during weekly water change.Would not clean this cartridge in tapwater for any reason.This will help save money on cartridges,and prevent you from throwing out beneficial bacteria that works to consume afore mentioned ammonia, and or organics that may be lying about on substrate.Might also consider vaccuming areas of the substrate wher there are no plant's more often and try and vaccum different areas each time .
Might also test tapwater for Ammonia to see if this is present and would strongly urge you to consider dechlorinator such as PRIME if you are not already using it.
These are some things for you to consider but were it me,, (and it ain't) I would consider keeping fishes that enjoyed soft acidic water you are blessed with. Things become way easier and hobby will be more enjoyable.

The most important medication in your fish medicine cabinet is.. Clean water.
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post #6 of 6 Old 01-19-2011, 09:55 AM
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I had a issue pg being to high. Out of the tap around 8.5. I have been using proper ph 7.0 rather than a pg down or up it.rebuffed the water to maintain 7.0 the only time I have to add more is when I do a water change.
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