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Author Topic: pH problem  (Read 783 times)
jeffreynnefty
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pH problem
« on: July 06, 2011, 06:28:57 PM »

I've been an aquarium hobbyist for a long time.  After a ten year hiatus or so now, I'm finally getting back into it.  Which is to say I've forgotten a lot, and when I went to the pet store, there are a lot of new products out. I've had several planted community tanks but I have never had a "goldfish" tank before.

We have plans for a 50 -100 gallon tank in the future. I have a 10 gal tank with 2 fantails and one live plant. I used some planting substrate that I kept from 10 years ago, along with a layer of sand, and med/large size gravel for the bottom, takes up about a half inch altogether. I have an external filter strong enough for a 20 gallon tank and a 6 inch bubble wand.

I recently learned not to use well water...too hard!!! and buffers out anything I put in it to lower pH or soften the water... so I moved to bottled RO water (7.0pH)....pH did not spike as quickly, but within a week rose to a dark 7.6.   So now I tried a little  distilled water, changed 1 1/2 gallons with distilled water (6.5 pH)...but after a few hours, and filtering still 7.6...

 My fantails are happy colorful and active, don't seem effected... My goal is to put a few more plants in, but don't want to put anything new in until the pH is lower and consistent... I also have a green and brown algae problem. 

How can I lower the pH and how often do I need to change the water? any product recommendations for getting rid of the algae? how tolerant are fantails of pH etc? Huh
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fantailer
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Re: pH problem
« Reply #1 on: July 07, 2011, 07:28:23 AM »

Well since you have 2 fantails in a 10 gallon which is overcrowding I would do a water change 2 or 3 times a week. You would need a 20 gallon tank for those ( the exact same thing happened to me! ). Wink

About the pH your pH is actually just a bit out of the prefferred fish and plant range ( 6.5 - 7.5 ) so I think you'll be fine. Smiley

For the algea I haven't seen a product that kills algea but not live plants so I would get an algea scubber and scrub it off. Then do 10 % water changes for 10 days straight.
Or if you don't want to do water changes for the rest of the tanks life then you can use aluminum foil to cover the sides closest to the sun.
« Last Edit: July 07, 2011, 07:32:32 AM by fantailer » Logged
Nossie
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Re: pH problem
« Reply #2 on: July 07, 2011, 12:41:01 PM »

Fantailer summed it up nicely Smiley
But I've got a few points for you: Leave the pH alone. It's perfect. Adding more live plants will absorb nitrates as nutrition, competing with the algae naturally. If you're keeping the tank light on for longer than 10-12 hours, try decreasing it, since algae thrive in a well-lit environment!
You're probably familiar with the nitrogen cycle and water testing since you said you've kept fish before? Do you regularly test the ammonia, nitrite and nitrate too?
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lreiden
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Re: pH problem
« Reply #3 on: July 07, 2011, 01:20:46 PM »

can pH ever be too low?  If so, how do you correct for that?
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fantailer
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Re: pH problem
« Reply #4 on: July 07, 2011, 04:36:04 PM »

Any pH below 6.4 is too low. Ive heard putting a bit of baking soda in the water makes the pH go up.
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Nossie
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Re: pH problem
« Reply #5 on: July 08, 2011, 04:37:02 AM »

The pH is too low if your fish are showing symptoms on it, these include flashing, darting around in the water etc. I'd say it's too low when it reaches 6.0, otherwise it's perfectly fine as long as it stays constant!

There are pH-raising chemicals available in the pet shops, but they should be used very carefully since they can do more harm than good.
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jeffreynnefty
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Re: pH problem
« Reply #6 on: July 13, 2011, 09:25:55 AM »

thanks fantailer and Nossie... very helpful!  Smiley I haven't tested for nitrates or ammonia yet, I'm waiting for my super duper testing kit to  come in the mail... the pet stores near me are mostly over priced and they don't have a good selection.
 
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Nossie
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Re: pH problem
« Reply #7 on: July 13, 2011, 10:39:11 AM »

True, true! When I bought mine, it was the last kit they had, and I still had to buy the nitrate and ammonia tests separately :/
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jeffreynnefty
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Re: pH problem
« Reply #8 on: July 13, 2011, 05:35:04 PM »

got my testing stuff! Grin  and... my pH is more whacked than I thought... I actually had to use the higher pH test to figure out what it was... its 8.2!!! Shocked  yikes! um, everything else tested good though, no nitrates, no ammonia... Grin

anyone have experience using peat moss to bring down pH?

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Nossie
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Re: pH problem
« Reply #9 on: July 14, 2011, 01:26:07 AM »

LEAVE. THE. PH. ALONE.

I have no idea how many times I've had to say that on this forum :/ 8.2 is perfect for goldfish. As long as it stays constant! Don't waste money on any pH-lowering chemicals or agents.
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jeffreynnefty
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Re: pH problem
« Reply #10 on: July 19, 2011, 04:10:54 PM »

okay, thanks. Wink Yeah the fantails seem completely happy, doesn't seem to bother them at all.  Like I said, I've never had goldfish before, and your input is very helpful.  Now that I have a stable pH, I'm going to put some more plants in, being mindful of the high pH... finding plants that will tolerate that... I found a great article,( since I'm a new member, the forum won't let me share it...) its titled ' plants in the goldfish tank' by Jennifer Greene...(case anyone wants to google it)  I've found a few plants from that article that tolerate high pH...that I think I will try... later and thanks...

 
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Nossie
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Re: pH problem
« Reply #11 on: July 20, 2011, 02:06:15 AM »

Nice Smiley

My pH is pretty average, just over 7, and I believe both the plant species I have would also tolerate higher pH. Check out Java Fern maybe? Very hardy plants. And Anubias come from one of them African lakes, so it will even thrive in hard and alkaline water.
Which ones did you find interesting in the article? Smiley
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Ron H
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Re: pH problem
« Reply #12 on: July 20, 2011, 06:41:44 AM »

I have to bring the PH up slightly in the rainwater water I use  for water changes... and fantailer is right, baking soda works fine (and you dont need much) also its cheap and not nasty... cheers >Ron
« Last Edit: July 20, 2011, 06:47:16 AM by Ron H » Logged
scrivens345
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Re: pH problem
« Reply #13 on: July 20, 2011, 12:04:38 PM »

ah! the myth that water is neutral pH 7. All water will absorb CO2 from the atmosphere, thus increasing its acidity. In the UK tap water is about pH 5.5 and can be made "safe" by adding aquasafe, and it also helps to leave the "change water" out overnight Smiley
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