High PH- newbie here

Fish5234

Hi, first off thank you for taking the time to read this post. A few days ago, my ammonia went to 4.0 ppm and PH was at 8.8 and I had a pretty close call with my fish- but they are all ok and moved into a temporary holding tank. My tank is about 7 weeks ago and I also made the mistake of changing the filter a few days before the cycle crashed. I've since done a 60% water change, bringing the ammonia level down to 0.5 ppm but the PH is still 8.8 ppm (from the tab its only 6.8 ppm). Earlier today I also removed everything from the tank with the exception of the gravel and the silk plants to be tested to see if there is limestone and if these items could be driving the PH up. The PH in the tank still reads 8.8 and there is no indication that the decor or gravel is causing the PH to rise. I did put Ick Guard into my tank the day is crashed but the filter has been running for 4 days now. Two questions, if the low ammonia and PH at 8.8 is it safe to put my fish back into the tank and is there anything else I should consider looking into to identify the high PH.
 

Mongo75

You may want to read my post in your other thread (Toxic Tank- Please Help | 460255 | Freshwater Fish Disease and Fish Health).

The only thing I can think of trying, would be to remove everything, including your substrate, do a huge WC with the right temp water, then put your fish back into the tank. Over the next few days, monitor your pH to see if it goes back up, and your ammonia to make sure the fish are safe.

Right now, your fish need to be in a filtered, heated, and cycled (or cycling) environment.

You may also want to rethink your filter. The Aqueon Quietflow 10 you have is for a 10 gallon or less tank, and not suitable for your 20 gallon, especially with your stocking level. I would recommend a Tidal, Aquaclear, or any other filter that used a media basket rather than cartridges.
 
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Ghelfaire

Water changes are probably your best bet. You can also try adding driftwood and/or almond leaves to your tank. It'll lower the ph a little bit. It will also stain your water brown fir a while as they release tannins. Not sure where the spike would have come from.
Any more details on your tank/fish would help.
 
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Fish5234

You may want to read my post in your other thread (Toxic Tank- Please Help | 460255 | Freshwater Fish Disease and Fish Health).

The only thing I can think of trying, would be to remove everything, including your substrate, do a huge WC with the right temp water, then put your fish back into the tank. Over the next few days, monitor your pH to see if it goes back up, and your ammonia to make sure the fish are safe.

Right now, your fish need to be in a filtered, heated, and cycled (or cycling) environment.

You may also want to rethink your filter. The Aqueon Quietflow 10 you have is for a 10 gallon or less tank, and not suitable for your 20 gallon, especially with your stocking level. I would recommend a Tidal, Aquaclear, or any other filter that used a media basket rather than cartridges.
Thank you this has been helpful. I’ve put the fish back in. The dwarf gourami didn’t seem to miss a beat and the tetra seems a bit scared but ok. The cories seem pretty low energy on the bottom of the tank and a bit stressed. I’ll keep monitoring them and am planning on performing a 50 percent water change at least every other day to ensure the ammonia and nitrates stay in check.
 
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Fish5234

Looks like we’ve reached the point rather quickly that I do need a new filter. Most of the fish appear to be at the top of the tank. How large of a filter do I need for a 20 gallon tank? Anything you could point me to would be helpful!
 
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Mongo75

Looks like we’ve reached the point rather quickly that I do need a new filter. Most of the fish appear to be at the top of the tank. How large of a filter do I need for a 20 gallon tank? Anything you could point me to would be helpful!
I believe in over filtering, and none of the filters I recommend are inexpensive. I have the Seachem Tidal 55, which I can recommend, on my 20 gallon and also have a sponge filter rated for 40 gallons.

Others that I would rank as equal to the Tidal products would be the AquaClear 50, and the Fluval C series. All 3 filters have a filter basket, and water flows from the bottom of the filter to the top.

The filter basket makes it extremely easy to customize the media you want to use, and I like the flow from bottom to top because it insures that there won't be any dead spots where the water doesn't pass through.

What sold me on the Tidal filter is it's pump is in the tank, so in the event of a power failure, or just during a WC when you turn it off, it doesn't need to be primed to get the water flowing again. With the pump in the tank rather than outside like most other filters, it also runs a bit quieter.

I linked the filters to Amazon, but kensfish.com, or chewy.com may have better prices. I bought my Tidal and my sponge filters from kensfish.com. They may also be available from your LFS or big-box stores too.

There are a lot of other filters you could buy, but you asked, and IMO, there are the better ones.
 
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Fish5234

Thank you so much! I’ll get to researching
 
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