High Ph - Should I Worry

Discussion in 'pH' started by FantasyFanVII, Apr 16, 2018.

  1. FantasyFanVII

    FantasyFanVIIValued MemberMember

    First off, sorry if this topic doesn't exactly fit this thread. I'm just making my best guess. EDIT: Oh look I got moved to a better forum I hadn't noticed before. Thanks Mods!

    Now to the point. I have three aquariums- low tech planted 5 and 10 gallons and a 20 gallon I plan to turn into a high tech planted tank. The PH of my tap water tends to be pretty high. It starts around 7.8 and hits 8-8.2 after being out in a cup for two days. The tanks all tend to hover around 8-8.2 PH. I decided to test the PH right before and about 20-30 minutes after my last water changes. Only the 10 gallon showed a noticeable difference. It was 8 before the change and 7.8 after. The 5 and 20 gallons stayed at 8. Note: I'm using the API high range PH test from their master kit. I struggle a little with telling exactly what the color of the test water is compared to the chart, but I should be close.

    As far as tank inhabitants, the 5 gallon has 1 male betta and 2 Nerite snails. The 10 gallon has 7 guppies, 1 amano shrimp, and a bunch of assassin snails. The 20 gallon has 4 zebra danios, 1 pearl danio, 5 neon tetras, and a handful of assassin snails. I would like to add shrimp and/or freshwater pop-pom crabs after I have it fully planted and stable.

    My fish seem healthy to me, however I have lost bettas earlier then I would expect. As in they only lived 1 year- 1 1/2 years. I stay fairly consistent on weekly water changes and use seachem prime, however, I might miss a week every once in a while. I'll never leave any of the tanks more then 2 weeks though. Could the high PH be what's affecting my fish's life spans? Note: I've only had 2 bettas and I'l admit I wasn't using a water conditioner for the first 4-6 months I had the first one. I've learned better since then

    I'm mostly worried about plants being affected by high PH, especially in the 20 gallon I want to turn into a high tech tank. I've had issues keeping plants in my small tanks that theoretically should have been fine. Specifically, water wisteria, water sprite, and bacopa australis. Don't ask me exactly what i've had in each tank, because I tend to use similar plants in both. I have successfully kept anubias nana, cryptocoryne wendtii, java fern, and marimo moss in the 10 gallon tank for many years. I added micro sword and bacopa caroliniana around a month ago, and both seem to be doing fine right now (knock on wood) I've kept anubias nana petite, marimo moss, and a cryptocoryne plant I can't remember the exact name of anymore (sorry) for a couple years in the 5 gallon tank, It also got micro sword a month ago, and that also seems to be doing fine (knock on wood again) Both tanks have eco complete substrate and are dosed with liquid ferts, but no root tabs. Let me know if you need to know exactly what ferts, and what the other water parimaters of the tank are.

    I'm worried about the PH now because I'm afraid of how it will affect the high tech tank I want to make. I'm not sure what plants I want right now, but I'm concerned any more sensitive and demanding plant will be negatively affected by the PH. Should I actually worry about it?

    Thank you for taking the time to read this long post, and hopefully you can help me out. :)
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2018
  2. Mary765

    Mary765Fishlore VIPMember

    I also have high ph. About 8-8.3 but the colours are pretty similar.

    Anyway I haven't had any ph-related problems thus far with my guppies, snails or shrimp. I also plan on getting neon tetra. Are yours visibly affected by ph? They usually need much more soft and acidic water.

    Anyway, I wouldn't worry about it, just don't add any more fish which need soft water. Plants aren't really affected much by ph so it wouldn't be an issue.
  3. OP

    FantasyFanVIIValued MemberMember

    Thanks for the response.
    The neon tetras seem fine to me, but I'm no expert. I'll add a few pics and a vid for you to see for yourself. I have noticed mine tend to be fairly inactive and live around a year, maybe two if I'm lucky. Assuming they make it through the first month...
    Yeah one thing to note with them; I lose more of them then any other fish when I'm trying to add new ones. I now know they don't handle big pH swings well (been doing some more reading) so I wouldn't be surprised if that was the reason. If your getting any, I would try testing the pH at the store they're coming from if you can to make sure the difference isn't too ridicules. I'd also HIGHLY recommend drip acclimating them. Maybe try and get an extra one or two to buffer any losses.
    Sorry for the background algae and snail...party.
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2018
  4. Mary765

    Mary765Fishlore VIPMember

    It's ok my tank has lots of algae too!

    Well your neons certainly look very healthy (but their lifespan in your tank says otherwise)

    Yeah I was planning on drip acclimatising over the course of as close to 24 hours as I can manage!! I really don't want to shock the little guys and I've heard if they are acclimatised properly I should see no further issues :D I was also planning on getting 7 so if I lose one I still have a healthy school number!

    Thank you so much for that information! It's really comforting to know I can do this successfully and I'm not just leading 7 fishes to their certain death ;)
  5. OP

    FantasyFanVIIValued MemberMember

    You're welcome.
    I've honestly been keeping neons for as long as I remember, and they've always seemed like normal little fish to me. Like you said their lifespan may be an indication otherwise, but I don't think there's really a way to tell if it's specifically because of the PH. I also might just be off on how long they live. I have a horrible sense of time and I don't really write down the exact dates of arrival and death of my fish. I'm at least reasonably certain the youngest neons I have now are at least six months old though.
    I can tell you one thing though: I rarely if ever see any neon get sick before it dies. I just wake up and suddenly there's a dead fish. At least they're not showing any obvious sign of being affected by the PH *shrug*
    Anyway, good luck with your own neons. I hope it goes well for you and them :)
  6. Mary765

    Mary765Fishlore VIPMember

    Thanks! I will try to update you when I get them ;)