Relentless pH...I'm drowning in my own pH.

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Discuss all topics related to freshwater and planted tanks.

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Joined: Sun Feb 24, 2008 4:35 am

Relentless pH...I'm drowning in my own pH.

by Zambize4899

I had this on another thread, but it was off topic so I've moved it here. I have persistently high pH. I know it only matters that it maintain, rather than maintain a particular value, but it seems too high. Certainly too high for some fish. My last tests read:

pH: 8.2-8.4
Ammonina: 0
Nitrite: .25 ppm
Nitrate: 0 ppm

My 28 gallon is in it's 7th week. I have 2 Penguin 150's with a combo of filter pads and activated charcoal. I change water 25% twice a week. I have 5 Guppies, 5 Black Neon Tetras, and 2 Swordtails. The water is crystal clear. The temp is 78-80 degrees. I always dechlorinate the water, add a little plant fertilizer for one live plant (tank is otherwise densely artifically planted), add salt as instructed on conatiner (that's salt for freshwater). I suction the gravel as much as possible without removing plants, decor, or breaking it down entirely. I am very, very careful about how much I feed. If they don't hop to the dinner table, then they'll miss a meal. I feed little enough that my top feeders will resign themselves to scavenging on the bottom for a little desert.

I've got happy, healthy fish otherwise. I can't stand the thought of 1) watching them die off, or 2) not being able to add a few more fish soon. My pH fluctuates between 7.8 and 8.4.

Help....(gurgle, gurgle)


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by Peterkarig3210

Use different water if you want a lower pH. You already spend a lot on your tank that the cost of spring water couldn't be that much strain on the wallet.

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by miami754

How old is your test kit? The reason I ask is because your readings don't make any sense. In your seventh week you should have zero nitrites and you should see some nitrates (unless your tank is heavily planted). It is confusing that you are not seeing any nitrates and yet you appear to almost be done with your nitrite spike (wierd that it took that long anyway). I would be suspicious of your tests in the first place. What kind are you using (liquid drops, strips, etc.).

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Joined: Sun Feb 24, 2008 4:35 am

by Zambize4899

I use the API drops test kit, and I have a second pair of eyes in the house to verify my readings. According to some others helping me out with this, my readings do look a bit odd, and have for a while, and they also say that it has taken a while for my cycle to complete. I have read so much, here and other places, I can't imagine what I'm doing wrong.

Thank you all

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Joined: Sat Feb 23, 2008 9:18 am

by miami754

Well, that is the same kit I use. I know this may sound dumb, but make sure you are following the directions exactly. I have heard of people shaking a bottle for only 30 seconds instead of a minute and this impacting their readings, for example.

Other than an error in testing, I can't imagine why you have those readings. Ah well I guess that is for another post.

For the pH, why don't you try to filter over peat moss. I know we have been through all sorts of scenarios when you posted before and it sounds like none of the previous suggestions worked. Why don't you either buy water like Peter suggested or filter over peat moss. Either of these should work just fine.

Have you ever measured your kH? If you have really low kH, that could explain the huge swings in pH as your water has little to no buffering capacity. For your own personal knowledge, I would go buy a kH test kit (not very expensive if you just buy the individual kit) and see what the results are.

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by LeftysLoft7012

I concider myself still new at this, as I've only been doing this for about a year or so, but... IMO, ph stabilizes according to alkilinity hardness, which is different that calcium hardness (if I understand it right). My tap water, which I treat, has high ph for about a week after I draw it. When it's a new setup, I must treat the water with ph down daily for several days. I take it down and next morning it's back up. This goes on for several days, then the buffer zone aclimates to what I want. From then on, the tap water I add, with high ph, settles itself within hours. I find that water changes less often works better. Just make sure you keep the Nitrates down, and there's media (as I am just learning about) for nitrates. Like I said at the start, I am still reletively new at this and still finding my way. The above is just something I've noticed, and consiquently (*sp) read about.

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by Tmercier834747

Something I hadn't thought about before(thanks to leftysloft) could pre-treat tap water ie, right after you use your containers or h/e you refill your tank, refill them with water, add some sort of Ph down chemical, and let it sit until its time to change water again. It'd be safter than treating the water in-tank, and probably more reliable.

This is of course assuming you use containers and don't python or bucket your water straight to your tank. One little bottle of ph down should be able to treat tons of gallons of water, possibly cheaper than going out and buying R/O --whathaveyou.

Although natural methods like peat and driftwood are far more favorable imo than the buffering chemicals. Filtering through peat as miami said would probably be your easiest and best bet if you have empty media slots in your HOB's.

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by a1k8t31524

i forget Z do you have real drift wood? also you might think about using a "black water" has peat extract in it and it helps mantain a lower PH like the water you would find in the amazon.... worth a try.....i am thinking about starting to use it, as i plan on getting some rams here soon... and from what i hear they are very sensitive to any water changes...the peat would be good too though, you can get it at walmart and gardening and stuff like that too just make sure you get the pure peat, and not the stuff with the fertilizers in that merical grow crap

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by josmoloco

My ph is about 7.8 and all of my fish are fine.All my other tests are good and i already know the ph so i rarely test it. No chemicals and well water through a python. I also have bogwood but it no longer leeches tannins.

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Joined: Mon Feb 25, 2008 9:14 pm

by zambize

Thanks, I got my pH down to 7.8 with a *ton* of driftwood.

Relentless pH...I'm drowning in my own pH.

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