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Discussion Starter #1
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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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.
 

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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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Discussion Starter #4
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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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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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.
 

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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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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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Discussion Starter #10
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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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.
Your tank without gravel holds 30.44 gallons. The other readings besides pH aren't bad. The ph is of course rather low. I'd be interested in knowing the pH of you tap water that has had a chance to naturally degas by open evaporation in a cup or clen jar. If you tap is too soft, it can be safely buffered and stabilized with the addition of crushed coral. If the pH is below 7.0 of your degassed tap water is too soft and needs some natural buffering. Hit me back with the tap water and let me know if youu have access to an aquarium shop to get a small amount of crushed coral. In case you need to use the coral, it wouldn't hurt to stop by a pharmacy or dollar and pick up a pair of ladies knee high nylon stockings...much cheaper than mesh bags from pet shop and work just as well. They also work well rubber banded over filter intak tube when there are small fry in the tank.

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Your tank without gravel holds 30.44 gallons. The other readings besides pH aren't bad. The ph is of course rather low. I'd be interested in knowing the pH of you tap water that has had a chance to naturally degas by open evaporation in a cup or clen jar. If you tap is too soft, it can be safely buffered and stabilized with the addition of crushed coral. If the pH is below 7.0 of your degassed tap water is too soft and needs some natural buffering. Hit me back with the tap water and let me know if youu have access to an aquarium shop to get a small amount of crushed coral. In case you need to use the coral, it wouldn't hurt to stop by a pharmacy or dollar and pick up a pair of ladies knee high nylon stockings...much cheaper than mesh bags from pet shop and work just as well. They also work well rubber banded over filter intak tube when there are small fry in the tank.

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Oh, the cloudiness is probably because of million of free floating bacteria feeding on ammonia and nitrites. They usually will eventually stick to the filter medium and gravel...water changes help the process along. If it continues for more than a week, a floculant may be needed. I suggest Water Clarifier by Aqueon. But give it some time first.

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Cloudy is either a bacterial bloom or an algae bloom. In the case of a bacterial bloom, it is NOT the beneficial bacteria that lives in your filter. You don’t ever see that bacteria in the water because they live and breed on surfaces, feeding on the water that passes by. The bacteria in the bloom is an airborne strain that dies off in the water, after gorging on excess ammonia. Once the food is gone they go too. Water changes have a tendency to not impact bacterial blooms because of the rapid reproduction rate. You simply can’t remove all the bacteria from the water and they multiply. Beneficial bacteria, by contract, are one of the slowest growing bacteria’s on earth, taking an entire day to double in size.

There’s a third cause of cloudiness and that’s suspended particulates in the water. Water changes will help that as long as the process doesn’t stir things up. Water clarifier will also help with that, but that’s a last resort in my opinion.


Don’t get zucked! Stand up to censorship! Someone else’s voice silenced today, yours tomorrow.....
 

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Discussion Starter #14
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.
Your tank without gravel holds 30.44 gallons. The other readings besides pH aren't bad. The ph is of course rather low. I'd be interested in knowing the pH of you tap water that has had a chance to naturally degas by open evaporation in a cup or clen jar. If you tap is too soft, it can be safely buffered and stabilized with the addition of crushed coral. If the pH is below 7.0 of your degassed tap water is too soft and needs some natural buffering. Hit me back with the tap water and let me know if youu have access to an aquarium shop to get a small amount of crushed coral. In case you need to use the coral, it wouldn't hurt to stop by a pharmacy or dollar and pick up a pair of ladies knee high nylon stockings...much cheaper than mesh bags from pet shop and work just as well. They also work well rubber banded over filter intak tube when there are small fry in the tank.

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My "out of the tap" ph is about a 6.8. I filled a glass, and just have it sitting on my counter with a paper towel on top, to keep the dust and stuff out. I'll check it daily, and see where it goes.

As far as the cloudiness, I do have to say, I probably leave the light on too much, so I started shutting it off more often, and for longer periods of time. I do have an led light, it goes from white light to blue light. I do want to avoid adding chemicals, so I'll try this first, and see what happens over the next week or so.
 

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My "out of the tap" ph is about a 6.8. I filled a glass, and just have it sitting on my counter with a paper towel on top, to keep the dust and stuff out. I'll check it daily, and see where it goes.

As far as the cloudiness, I do have to say, I probably leave the light on too much, so I started shutting it off more often, and for longer periods of time. I do have an led light, it goes from white light to blue light. I do want to avoid adding chemicals, so I'll try this first, and see what happens over the next week or so.
I'm not just a 30 year veteran to aquarium keeping, but I'm also a retired Chemist. I'm not afraid of using any commercial products as long as they list their ingredients. Don't get me wrong, I much more recommend natural answers to aquarium conditions...and sometimes it's as simple as telling someone to be patient and wait. I will admit that I really think about someone's situation before recommending antibiotics. If it's the only way to save a fish's life, I will, but even then I ask if the person has another container and aeration to do it in. Otherwise the whole biological filtration may be killed. If I ever recommend a product for any reason, will be able to assure it's safe. I totally recommend chlorine and chloramine removers for tap water changes.

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I'm not just a 30 year veteran to aquarium keeping, but I'm also a retired Chemist. I'm not afraid of using any commercial products as long as they list their ingredients. Don't get me wrong, I much more recommend natural answers to aquarium conditions...and sometimes it's as simple as telling someone to be patient and wait. I will admit that I really think about someone's situation before recommending antibiotics. If it's the only way to save a fish's life, I will, but even then I ask if the person has another container and aeration to do it in. Otherwise the whole biological filtration may be killed. If I ever recommend a product for any reason, will be able to assure it's safe. I totally recommend chlorine and chloramine removers for tap water changes.

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I use imagitarium water conditioner, and biologiccal boostar at evert water change. The water conditioner "removes chlorine, and chloramine, detoxifies heavy metals, adds essential electrolytes, and helps to replace lost or missing slime coat" And Bio booster "contains a team v essential live bacteria" both say to use at water changes. I change the water pretty much every saturday night, or sunday afternoone, depending on my work schedule, and I usually change about 7.5 gallons. Also I usually vacuum the tank (suction tube" at the same time, to keep down all the funk, and gunk at the bottom. Before I water change, and vacuum, I scrape the sides, if I have any algae or buildup on it.
 

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I use imagitarium water conditioner, and biologiccal boostar at evert water change. The water conditioner "removes chlorine, and chloramine, detoxifies heavy metals, adds essential electrolytes, and helps to replace lost or missing slime coat" And Bio booster "contains a team v essential live bacteria" both say to use at water changes. I change the water pretty much every saturday night, or sunday afternoone, depending on my work schedule, and I usually change about 7.5 gallons. Also I usually vacuum the tank (suction tube" at the same time, to keep down all the funk, and gunk at the bottom. Before I water change, and vacuum, I scrape the sides, if I have any algae or buildup on it.
That all sounds perfect to me. I use Aqueon Water Conditioner with water changes. It too detoxifies heavy metals and takes care of th chlorine and chloramine. My tap water has the perfect hardness and a pH of 7.0 from the tap so I don't require any extre electrolytes. I also buy 2 gallons of distilled water to replace 2 gallons of tank water. Even with proper water water changes using tap water, there is always the possibility of flouride build up. It doesn't evaporate and water conditioners don't get get rid of it.

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That all sounds perfect to me. I use Aqueon Water Conditioner with water changes. It too detoxifies heavy metals and takes care of th chlorine and chloramine. My tap water has the perfect hardness and a pH of 7.0 from the tap so I don't require any extre electrolytes. I also buy 2 gallons of distilled water to replace 2 gallons of tank water. Even with proper water water changes using tap water, there is always the possibility of flouride build up. It doesn't evaporate and water conditioners don't get get rid of it.

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...I only do the 2 gallons of distilled water once a month.

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I was going to do my water change today. But I forgot I was getting my water to the house turned off to fix a leak..lol. Guess I'll do it tomorrow, or later if the water is back on (Might not be till tuesday) Regardlless I dd pick up another plant, and some snails today (nerite), I have a plant already, but my fish are decimating it, so I figure either another will spread out the damage, and let the plants repair on their own, or they will kill this one too, and I'll have to figure out why they are sooo agressive towards my plant.
 

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I was going to do my water change today. But I forgot I was getting my water to the house turned off to fix a leak..lol. Guess I'll do it tomorrow, or later if the water is back on (Might not be till tuesday) Regardlless I dd pick up another plant, and some snails today (nerite), I have a plant already, but my fish are decimating it, so I figure either another will spread out the damage, and let the plants repair on their own, or they will kill this one too, and I'll have to figure out why they are sooo agressive towards my plant.
Good going. As far as the plants go, try adding a nice rinced lettuce leaf once in awhile. It will stay fresh all day. You may have to weight it dorn with a small rock. Remove it at night. The critters will continue to munch on fish food too, but herbivores and omnivores like fresh greens once in awhile. Just make sure when you remove it, there are no snails (or eggs) attached to it. Do this a couple times a week and it may give your plants a foothold and some growth before the nibblers start on them.

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