help please

Discussion in 'Freshwater Beginners' started by traveler234, May 10, 2006.

  1. traveler234

    traveler234New MemberMember

    new guy here, I have a 20 gallon tank that hasnt been used for 2 years, got it out, cleaned it up and am ready to get started. When the tank ran before I encountered some problems that hopefully someone can help me with. For one I have well water that runs through a water softner. pH at the tap is 6 but will quickly climb to 8+ and stay at a very high level. Had a very hard time keeping fish alive when it was purchased and started trying to get it cycled, got frustrated and eventually gave up. I cant afford to buy water for this tank, but seems to me the pH staying high is inhibiting both my cycle rate and retention of fish. Are there fish that are better suited for the higher pH before I tried swords and danios and guppies just to get the tank cycled, but unfortunately they all met an untimely demise and after 3 months of not being able to get my tank stable I gave up. I have to tell you that the tank was NEVER over stocked 5 fish was the I had in it at any one time. Does anyone have any suggestions. thanks in advance for your answers. ???
  2. mistycheri

    mistycheriValued MemberMember

    I think mollies and platy's like a higher ph. Mine runs around 7.2 to 7.4
  3. OP

    traveler234New MemberMember

    I wish that I could get my pH to that level. I can use chemicals to bring it down but it doesnt stay down.
  4. ebbandflow

    ebbandflowValued MemberMember

  5. Isabella

    IsabellaFishlore VIPMember

    Well, it really depends. I know there are kinds of tropical fish that will tolerate higher pH. But you'd have to research well which fish do. I think some kind of Cichlids do, as Ebb suggested. But I think the Cichlids that tolerate higher pH are too large for a 20G tank. But once again - you'd have to research.

    How soon after you filled your tank with water did you add fish to it? How many fish did you add at once? In my view it's best to do a fishless cycle - this way no fish suffer and die. But if you want to use fish - stock the tank VERY gradually, adding like 1 fish per week, until it is stocked to a desired level (but not overstocked!). Do not add fish right after you sill your tank with water. Wait a few weeks until the parameters seem fine. Then start adding fish one by one. And choose only hardy species for your first fish.

    Many tropical fish will tolerate pH from 6 to 8. Even if you don't have a perfect pH, it's better to have your pH a little off BUT stable, rather than having a pH that fluctuates up and down all the time. It is the fluctuating pH that is more dangerous to fish than a bit higher or lower but stable pH. Perhaps you could get some hardy fish steadily used to the pH of 6 or 8 - as long as that pH stays STABLE.

    P.S. Adding commercial products that raise or lower pH is not a good idea (in case you were considering this).
  6. ebbandflow

    ebbandflowValued MemberMember

    I just thought of something. Does the pH rise when the water is just sitting there or once it is added to the tank. If it is only after adding it to the tank some of your decorations may be raising the pH. Just a thought...