PH? - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 22 Old 04-01-2018, 05:37 PM Thread Starter
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PH?

What is the proper PH for a tank? I know it somewhat depends on tthe fish, but for some reason my PH has been dropping. Started at 7.2 when I started the tank, and has dropped to 6.0 at this point. My ammonia levels are at .25 ppm, no2 at between 2 and 4 (a bit high), and my no3 levels are at about a 5. I thought the tank had completely cycled, and added moore fish. Got a spike of ammonia the other day, and now it's nitrite. This is alll before a water change, which I just did, today. I don't know if the other levels effect the PH. But it's been sllowly dripping for 2 months. I have 4 tiger barbs, 4 red tails, 3 bala sharks, 3 red tail sharks, a plant (don't know what kind) and 3 marimo balls. After all of that. I know I have to wait for the levels to calm back doown, but ph seems low to me. I see most people want it roughly at 7, mine is at a 6. How do I fix this?? Or should I?
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post #2 of 22 Old 04-01-2018, 05:54 PM
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In my opinion “proper” is whatever comes out of your tap. Stable pH is more important than perfect pH. With your ammonia/nitrite in mind, and also the stocking of your tank, you should be doing enough water changes that your tank water pH is whatever your tap water is. Once your tank is cycled and stable, then you can see where the pH will fall.

125 - BGK, chanchito cichlid, pictus cats, silver dollars, palmas bichir
125 - cichlids (severums, bolivian rams, chocolate), rainbows ( turquoise, red), loaches (angelicus, zebra, kuhli and horseface), plecos (BN, RL and clown), denison barbs, tiretrack eel, pearl gouramis, betta
90 - Congo tetras, african knife, upside down cats, spotted ctenopoma, kribensis, delhezzi bichir
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post #3 of 22 Old 04-01-2018, 06:13 PM
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What is the proper PH for a tank? I know it somewhat depends on tthe fish, but for some reason my PH has been dropping. Started at 7.2 when I started the tank, and has dropped to 6.0 at this point. My ammonia levels are at .25 ppm, no2 at between 2 and 4 (a bit high), and my no3 levels are at about a 5. I thought the tank had completely cycled, and added moore fish. Got a spike of ammonia the other day, and now it's nitrite. This is alll before a water change, which I just did, today. I don't know if the other levels effect the PH. But it's been sllowly dripping for 2 months. I have 4 tiger barbs, 4 red tails, 3 bala sharks, 3 red tail sharks, a plant (don't know what kind) and 3 marimo balls. After all of that. I know I have to wait for the levels to calm back doown, but ph seems low to me. I see most people want it roughly at 7, mine is at a 6. How do I fix this?? Or should I?
Can you tell me how many gallons of water your tank holds? Don't tell me your tank size. Measure from the top of your gravel/sand to the surface of the water. Then also get me the measurements of you tank length and depth. I may be able to make some recommendations.

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post #4 of 22 Old 04-01-2018, 08:46 PM Thread Starter
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Can you tell me how many gallons of water your tank holds? Don't tell me your tank size. Measure from the top of your gravel/sand to the surface of the water. Then also get me the measurements of you tank length and depth. I may be able to make some recommendations.

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I do know it's a 29 gallon, but I donn't have the measurements right now...I'll try to get them for you.
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post #5 of 22 Old 04-01-2018, 09:06 PM
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I do know it's a 29 gallon, but I donn't have the measurements right now...I'll try to get them for you.
Great. I have a 29 gallon tank that only holds 26 1/2 gallons completely empty. I did the measuring and calculations. I've learned that manufacturers don't always supply what say. You would have to subtract the gravel anyway to let me know how much water you have. My recommendations will be accurate that way.

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post #6 of 22 Old 04-02-2018, 06:35 AM
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PH?

To be completely honest, the number of gallons a tank holds is not what I base stocking decisions on, but rather the H, L and W of the tank. 29 gallon tank to me means it’s 30 inches long, 12.5 inches wide and some 18 inches tall. Yes those numbers equal volume, but as mentioned there will be less water in the tank than the total volume. So whether there’s 28, 26, 24 gallons in the tank, the fish will only ever have 30 inches of length to swim and 12.5 inches of width.

With that last part in mind, your stocking is a serious issue. I know that’s not what you came here to hear, but you’ve set yourself up for failure on that front and we can’t in good conscious ignore that. If that’s not something you care to discuss then so be it.

125 - BGK, chanchito cichlid, pictus cats, silver dollars, palmas bichir
125 - cichlids (severums, bolivian rams, chocolate), rainbows ( turquoise, red), loaches (angelicus, zebra, kuhli and horseface), plecos (BN, RL and clown), denison barbs, tiretrack eel, pearl gouramis, betta
90 - Congo tetras, african knife, upside down cats, spotted ctenopoma, kribensis, delhezzi bichir
2.5 - betta
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post #7 of 22 Old 04-02-2018, 07:31 AM
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I do know it's a 29 gallon, but I donn't have the measurements right now...I'll try to get them for you.
I respect jaysee's comments. You don't want to overstock your tank. He's right about how many fish a tank can hold. But he hates the use of "chemicals" and seems to think that as long as you keep pH steady no matter what it is happens to be fine. That's just fine. But humor me and get the measurements that I asked for. Unless you get your water from a well, the pH has already been adjusted by the water company and thier pH has already been adjusted by "chemicals" that have very little buffering capabilities. Neutral pH is suggested (7.0) for a community tank with variance of .2, meaning 6.8 to 7.2. There are safe ways to get your pH to that level and hold it there by buffering. Few people worry about a "chemical" to remove chlorine & chloramine, but for some reason freak about pH adjustment. Changes of more than .2 are dangerous to the fish at one time, but you tank at 6.0 is very acid and can be brought up to 7.0 slowly over a 6 to 8 day period and then held there with a buffer. With a buffer meant to hold the pH for a month can still begin to drop after 3 weeks if your fish load is high. But if you catch it by continuous testing, it can be safely re-buffered before you get out of a .2 range. You're still going to have to do water changes and filter maintenance, but you water should not be at 6.0...thats very acidic. And are you sure it's even 6.0 or are you using a pH test kit that has a color card that has it's last reading of a yellow strip of 6.0? Get me the measurements that I asked for and I'll explain every step I suggest ans the reason behind it.

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post #8 of 22 Old 04-03-2018, 03:26 PM
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The balas need to either be rehomed or a much larger tank needs to be set up for them. They can get over a foot long. I agree with jaysee's recommendation. Lots of water changes. You may need to add a buffer to up your kh. Something like aragonite might be enough.
I recommend setting out a glass of water and checking the checking every 12 hours. Do this over a couple of days. We can see what the four readings will tell us about your buffering capacity.

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post #9 of 22 Old 04-03-2018, 03:27 PM
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I meant checking the ph.

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post #10 of 22 Old 04-12-2018, 06:53 PM Thread Starter
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Sorry for taking so long to answer...been a crazy week. 30 X 12.5 X 18.75 inches. My tank is pretty much completely cycled, ph is 6.0-6.2. Ammonia is a trace (under .25) NO2 is virtually 0, and no3 is about 40. It is a test kit. not a strip. 5ml of water. X drops of solution, wait 5 min, etc. Other than the PH it seem stable over the last 7 days. PH keeps dropping. after a water change it's like 6.4, and slowly drops to 6. Also It has gotten cloudy the last week or so. Not sure why. My levels are good, and I don't think I'm over feeding.
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