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pH level issue questions HELP!!

1511 Views 16 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  Kara1979
I have a 55 gal tank that has been running a long time. I have tried to get guppies and mollies to survive in it and I am NOT having any luck!! My tap water pH tests out at 7.0 but when I do a water change even if it starts out lower with in 24 hrs my tank pH is 7.8 or higher my tester chart only goes to 7.8 but I would say its right at that or 8.0. I cant seem to anything to change that. I have stopped using chemicals because I have now done enough research to know that everyone says pH lowering chemicals are not good! So I am only using salt and stuff to correct the tap water. I have 2 filters in it each for 30-60 gal tanks so it should be getting good filtration. My temp is 79-80. I only feed once every other day now because someone told me that it wasnt necessary to feed every day but that didnt help the pH either. I have read that live bears like that kind of pH however I am not finding that at all. Any babies I am having born are dieing and not because of being eating because I have plenty of hiding for them. I dont understand what is wrong! Can someone help me plz!!!
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Did you cycle your tank? I've kept livebearers and my pH is 8.4.
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you mean as in let it run for a while before I add fish first right?
There is a lot more to cycling then just letting the tank run for a while. I suggest you read about the nitrogen cycle here. This is very likely the reason your fish were dying. We would be happy to walk you through the process, all you will need is a bottle of pure ammonia (no other additives or surfactants, check the ingredients!) and an API Master Liquid Test Kit.
Its not the ph. Livebearers like high ph. +l flint, I think that might be the problem as well.
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Hello there; Just out of curiosity, you stated you are treating your tap water with "salt and stuff" what kind of salt? And what is the "stuff" you are referring to? I've had Mollies breed successfully W/O any salt added at all, and my PH is 8.0. Also, is your PH test kit an API liquid, if so it sounds like you only have the "low range" portion. If you are using strips, THROW THEM AWAY!!! I've used about every strip on the market, They are all garbage. Like Flint said "API Master liquid test kit" Best 25.00$ spent. I would try letting your tap water sit 24-48 Hrs. then test it and see if PH changes, Mine goes 8.4 from tap, to 8.0 after aging 48 Hrs. and remains stable. High PH is o.k., but PH swings will kill.
Ok I agree with you... reading that I think that is my prob for sure however I have one issue. I still do have a few fish left in my tank. This article says its not safe for fish in the tank right? I think this would fix all my issues. Because I do have this strange stuff that builds up on my tank sides and in my filter like the article says. Suggestions?
I am using aquarium salt, and the stuff to remove the clorine and metals from the tap water cant off hand think of what its called... I am not a brand new tank owner I have had a tank for prob 4 yrs now but those fish have always done great never any issues I upgraded them to a 120 gal because one is an Oscar and he was just out growing his 55gal, he is also roomed with a red fined shark, 2 Chinese algae eaters, 2 gold fish, 6 tetra, and a pleco. So I do know a lil about tanks. But for some reason when it comes to this type of fish I cant seem to keep them alive for anything! My pH tester is a good API tester where you put the water in the tube and put 3 drops in kind of tester. The little chart it comes with reads as high as 7.8 which is blue, and my water test right at that color, very blue! I agree I hate the test strips as well... I am just not educated well enough yet to know other types of prob that could go wrong I guess like the issue I am having. I just dont see a reason y they rnt staying alive.
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You need to get the full API Master Test Kit (the liquid kind) and change the water whenenver you have any ammonia, any nitrites or nitrates over 20ppm. Without the test kit, I would be doing 50% water changes daily to protect the fish. Please stop using the aquarium salt, it is unnecessary.

Please either find a new home for your fish in the 120 gallon tank. Goldfish are coldwater fish and can't live with tropical tankmates, oscars are extremely aggressive and will eat all of those fish, especially the tetras. The pleco is a poop machine as is the oscar and the goldfish. This tank is likely not cycled either and I suggest you start doing 50% water changes a day on that one as well. It is very poorly stocked and you really need to rehome most of those fish.

If you want to keep the oscar -
1 Oscar
1 Pleco

If you want to stay tropical -
1 Red Tailed Shark
2 Chinese Algae Eaters
6 Tetra (You could up this school to around 30)

If you want to keep the goldfish -
2 Goldfish (your can add one more if it's a commet/shubunkin you can add four more if they are fancies)
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I would get rid of the pleco, it gets way to big. Also the chinese algae eaters. They get aggressive as the age. The oscar will start eating the tetras. Just do the goldfish or the tetras and redtailed shark. Plus what type of tetras are they?
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Ok you are the first to tell me to not to use salt. Everyone has always told me to use salt. I will get the test kit when I got to the town that has the pet store on Fri.

However, I didnt ask for your help on my other tank. I know it sounds like a messed up tank but I have had those firsh in there now for 4 yrs except for the tetra. My Oscar is an usual one and isnt aggressive for some strange reason. Thats the only reason why I have gold fish in there. The tetra got put in there cause I wasnt told they would eat fry. Some of the others were in there when I bought the used tank. I am NOT rehoming my fish they all get along great and have been in there for a very long time. The oscar doesnt bother anyone. But thank you for your tips.
The pleco its already pretty big... the Chinese alage eaters have never bother anyone either never new they got aggressive. I have a whole mix of tetra
Do what you want with your tank. But nothing will be happy and they will probably kill or eat each other. Oscar will eat the fish, goldfish like cooled water, tetras need to be in 6+ of their own kind, pleco gets to big, red tailed shark is fine, chinese algae eater will kill fish.
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you keep saying that but they have all lived with each other for 4 yrs and no one has killed anyone, except for the tetra they are the newest ones in the tank. I have 6 of them in there so then I am sticking with the right amount. My gold fish are 3 in long themselves. My temp is about 75... I would say out of all the fish the chinese are the most calm along with the shark... and they are prob 2.5 maybe 3 in long each... they have never hurt any of the fish including the tetra. My Oscar is not a normal Oscar he wont eat fish that y I have gold fish, the ONLY reason I didnt want gold fish as pets. So I have stopped putting feeders in there. When he was younger he ate them but as he grew he stopped wanting to eat fish and shrimp.

Now with my other tank, I am going to pick up the tester you all have recommended on Fri because our town doesnt have a very good pet store that carries that kind of stuff... I will start testing for what you have told me. The fish that have survived that water seem to be doing great but the tank has seem to have changed now. I dont have this strange whiteish film building up in my filter and tank any more like I had. So all seems well at this point so I will see what the tests say when I get it. So you say if the nitrates and nitrites are high the only way to fix it is every day water changes? Should have I have live plants is that the way to go?
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Ok I tested the water... everything is testing perfect! So I guess I will see if everything stays alive now. I have added new guppies. So if it wasnt cycled before it is now. I havnt done a water change in about a wk and my ammonia level was even at 0. Thanks for all the help.
Numbers help folks in these matters, perfect, excellent, good & so on doesn't give us much to work with. Please provide numbers for these test results, it will help us help you.

I'd like to see the results for hardness myself, this may be where the issue lies. As far as the oscar, I'd keep a divider handy, big cichlids can have aggression issue seemingly overnight. Count this as another no vote for the salt, it's one of the biggest scams out there.
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Ok so you want numbers... Ammonia was 0, Nitrites was 0, and Nitrates by the color I am going to go with I think was 10 poss 20 but no higher than that for sure and the book says it shouldnt get any higher than 40.... You want to know the hardness results however I either dont have that good of a test or dont know how to test for it... LOL How do you test for hard water? Living in the city I do that is a large possibility!

Its so strange I am just not hearing about the salt! Every pet store around even our good lil local ones say you must have salt lol but I will stop adding it. I have always been told thats what helps them keep their healthy slim coat.

I have had my new fish a wk now everyone is acting great except i randomly lost one of my older fish that had been in there the longest the other night! He was acting just fine and I came home and he was dead! Doesnt make sense if my numbers are testing like you all say they should be. Its been almost 2 wks sense a water change and my water is down about an inch and a half from the top and even though my numbers are good I am doing a water change today!
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