Help! pH too high.

dbrunsii

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So I started my 55 gallon tank about 3 weeks ago. I put 3 bags of eco-complete in and put about 7 plants in the tank. I filled with de-chlorinated tap water using an API product. I used a quickstart bacteria (the local store said there was no advantage to not using it) and put in 10 zebra danio as starter fish. Half a week later I took my water in to be tested and they said it was okay to start buying fish. So on top of the danio I put a lyretail swordtail and 6 tiny guppies (had to take out the guppies because they were too small but that is another story). I then got my API tests and these were my results.

pH 8.2
Ammonia 0.25
Nitrite 5ppm or above
Nitrate 5ppm
KH 8 dkH (143.2 ppm)
GH 23 dGH

I then did what the store told me to help this and replaced half the tank water with RO water and amd adding small amounts of the same quickstart bacteria every day until the bottle is empty. The results were then:

pH 8.0
Ammonia >0.25
Nitrite 2 ppm
Nitrate ~0 ppm
KH 4.5 dkH (~80 ppm)
GH 12 dGH (214ppm)

This helped a lot with most stuff except the pH. I am still going to do more frequent water changes until NO2- and NO3- look better. The fish I have and want to get, according to fact sheets, would all be good at a pH of 7, kH of about 10 and GH around 12. I know fish adapt but I want to be able to gain experience in controlling the water parameters and naturally if possible to make the fish not stress. Another store said to try lowering the hardness with a softener pillow since hardness relates to buffering and another said to use Seachem Neutral Regulator to get it to 7.0.

Basically my question is how do I get the water parameters how I want them in the most natural way and is there a way to do it while keeping the tank clear. Wouldn't doing frequent water changes with RO do the same thing as the softening pillow and I could just add a little salt to get the hardness where I want it? And is buying the Seachem product really the best option or just the easy way out?

NOTE: I'm an undergrad in chemistry and I know different chemicals need to be present to buffer around 7.0. if someone could direct me to something that better describes all of this for aquariums in a more scientific way then adding almond leaves or peat it would put my mind at ease.

Thank you everyone!!!!!!!
 

Aquarist

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http://www.ratemyfishtank.com/articles/107

Hello,

Check out the information in the link above. I see nothing wrong with your pH of 8.0. Too, your aquarium is still cycling so the pH may bounce around a bit.

It is more important to maintain a pH value than it is to try and pinpoint a certain level. Most fish for the home aquarium can adapt to the pH we have to offer right from the tap. A good safe pH range for most fish is 6.5 to 8.5. Maintaining the pH level will be much easier on you and your fish compared to trying to pinpoint a certain level.

I do not advocate the use of salt in freshwater aquariums. It may do more harm than good and it simply is not necessary.

Hold on for more responses!

Ken
 

MtnTiger

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Ken's answer is right on. There is nothing wrong with your ph and don't add salt.

Sometimes we can over think this hobby.
 
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dbrunsii

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I forgot I have a bn pleco and I intend to add a rainbow shark. both of these say pH range is up to 7.5. Do you guys think that these guys would be okay in a pH of 8.0 as well? And I will not use salt of any kind.

Thanks guys
 

MtnTiger

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I forgot I have a bn pleco and I intend to add a rainbow shark. both of these say pH range is up to 7.5. Do you guys think that these guys would be okay in a pH of 8.0 as well? And I will not use salt of any kind.

Thanks guys
We have both for months with a pH of 8.0 and they are happy growing fishes!
 

CindiL

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PH ranges listed for fish come from their native habitats. I agree with everyone else that your ph is just fine and I'd leave it alone. I thought all of your other parameters looked good too, meaning GH and kH and I don't think you need RO at all. Its just one more step and annoyance that is unnecessary.

Your KH is perfect and softwater fish can adapt to higher GH and they only take what they need.


 
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dbrunsii

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Thanks! I am using my tap and half RO for water changes and it is making me happy.
 
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