How do I raise PH? totally confused

diamonfingers
  • #1
Test kit shows my PH level is yellow which is 5.0 . I want to add CO2 diffuser to enhance plant growth and that is said to decrease the PH even more. I am confused how can I increase the PH level? I use RO water (filtered from tap).
 
PeterFishKeepin
  • #2
It is an easy, relatively quick and easy and cheap solution,get some pieces of crushed coral, limestone or seas shells and add to take they should raise pH to around 7 shouldn't take more then a month to do it
 
Manjit
  • #3
You can always crush some corals and add it in your filter media
 
MacZ
  • #4
Generally KH is what raises pH, as KH, pH and CO2 are in a chemical correlation. Lower pH means low KH (which is expected with using RO) and at low levels the water has little to no capacity to take up more CO2. And yes, CO2 is dissolved as carbonic acid (basically like sparkling water) lowering pH. I advise to get a KH/GH testkit and a TDS/EC-meter when using RO. Otherwise EVERYTHING becomes guesswork and guesswork in water chemistry is a guarantee to even bigger problems than you might think you have right now.
Test kit shows my PH level is yellow which is 5.0 . I want to add CO2 diffuser to enhance plant growth and that is said to decrease the PH even more. I am confused how can I increase the PH level? I use RO water (filtered from tap).
- Do you use 100% RO? What is the reason you use it? Hard tap or Nitrite/Nitrate in tap?
- What fish do you keep?
- What plants do you keep/want to keep?
Depending on your answers you might neither have to buy anything nor is there a real necessity to do anything at all.
 
diamonfingers
  • Thread Starter
  • #5
It is an easy, relatively quick and easy and cheap solution,get some pieces of crushed coral, limestone or seas shells and add to take they should raise pH to around 7 shouldn't take more then a month to do it

I'll see if I find crushed coral. Sea shells are just regular sea shells and place them in the tank? does the effect wear off after some time?

Weak research shows that crushed corals raises PH because it contains minerals. I am now using tap water which is very hard and contains a ton of calcium and magnesium so not sure if that would help? but my test kit show low PH level even in the tap's hard water. i am confused.


Generally KH is what raises pH, as KH, pH and CO2 are in a chemical correlation. Lower pH means low KH (which is expected with using RO) and at low levels the water has little to no capacity to take up more CO2. And yes, CO2 is dissolved as carbonic acid (basically like sparkling water) lowering pH. I advise to get a KH/GH testkit and a TDS/EC-meter when using RO. Otherwise EVERYTHING becomes guesswork and guesswork in water chemistry is a guarantee to even bigger problems than you might think you have right now.

- Do you use 100% RO? What is the reason you use it? Hard tap or Nitrite/Nitrate in tap?
- What fish do you keep?
- What plants do you keep/want to keep?
Depending on your answers you might neither have to buy anything nor is there a real necessity to do anything at all.

-Yes. I use RO to give cleanest water for my fish not to die. Previously we had gold fish but they always died. After sometime I realised we add chlorinated tap water that must have killed them. My family got fish and I thought we should use RO to keep them alive it worked. Previously fish died in like 1-2 weeks. Tap water is for sure hard but my test kit show no nitrite or nitrate (very low) even chlorine is like 0.5 although you can actually smell it in the water.

-I have 2 silver dollars, 2 angels fish, 2 cat fish, and four yellow ones I do not know their species. it is a jungle.

-mostly java moss and dwarf sword.

Ph is already at its lowest at 5, idk what happens if I add CO2 which brings it even lower? there is no less tan 5 on the scale as it seems.
 
MacZ
  • #6
-I have 2 silver dollars, 2 angels fish, 2 cat fish, and four yellow ones I do not know their species. it is a jungle.
Oh, that was YOU?

I told you in your other thread that the tank is TOO SMALL for the silver dollars, angels and the catfish you showed me. And the yellow ones are Glofish-Tetras.

As you seem to not have registered my sincere concerns about your stocking and don't seem to plan to do anything about it, I don't know how to help you any further.

Good luck then.
 
diamonfingers
  • Thread Starter
  • #7

UPDATE:-


I mixed in tap water + Seachem PRIME with RO water in the tank (first experiment, reasons is RO takes long time to fill via house filter) . There is expired perfume like smell. PH levels shot up, now its near the 8 level, I can't tell the shades of green are too close on my test kit. KH is also at high end of 300ppm . I do not understand why there is KH meter and PH meter since high PH also means high KH correct? Water is pretty hard at 300ppm. Chlorine seems to be between 0 and 0.6.

Yesterday I found one of the silver dollars laying on its side on the bottom of the tank like its suffocating I thought it was going to die due to the tap water. I poked it around it started swimming around. Looked the internet and it says they like to play dead sometimes. Today one angel fish was swimming side ways. Not sure if they are ok or something is wrong in there.

Oh, that was YOU?

I told you in your other thread that the tank is TOO SMALL for the silver dollars, angels and the catfish you showed me. And the yellow ones are Glofish-Tetras.

As you seem to not have registered my sincere concerns about your stocking and don't seem to plan to do anything about it, I don't know how to help you any further.

Good luck then.

I did not ignore your advice, its very appreciated I just can't do anything about it. Its the family tank and they want to keep the fish. I also have no where to put the fish except in return them to the store or kill them basically. How big of a fish tank do you suggest? Believe it or not those fishes were living a long time together in a 10G tank. Yes its an amateur mistake I didn't know before I bought them.

Thank you so much for identifying the fish I have . I finally found the answer!
 
MacZ
  • #8
I did not ignore your advice
It came across like it, as you just didn't react at all.
I just can't do anything about it. Its the family tank and they want to keep the fish.
NEVER put the wants of humans (even family) over the needs of the fish. They can't choose, only us humans can.
How big of a fish tank do you suggest?
The species of catfish (which will become big enough to eat the tetras, so you will have to separate them soon), silver dollars and Angelfish? Then we're talking 150x60x60cm or roughly 450 liters (that's 5 foot long and 140 gallons for you). At least.
I also have no where to put the fish except in return them to the store or kill them basically.
Return them to the store and they get a second chance to be sold to someone who can provide properly. Do the responsible thing. If not I give these fish a few months until game over.
Yes its an amateur mistake I didn't know before I bought them.
Then make up for it! It's in YOUR hands!


------ SEPARATE POST ------
PH levels shot up, now its near the 8 level,
And that's why you don't just do this. Did you mix IN the tank?
I do not understand why there is KH meter and PH meter since high PH also means high KH correct?
KH determines pH. NOT the other way round. You have to know KH of your sourcewater first so you can calculate the numbers for certain mixes. 1:1 RO:tap sets KH and GH to 1/2 of the tap level. 2:1 to 1/3 and so on.
Yesterday I found one of the silver dollars laying on its side on the bottom of the tank like its suffocating I thought it was going to die due to the tap water. I poked it around it started swimming around. Looked the internet and it says they like to play dead sometimes. Today one angel fish was swimming side ways. Not sure if they are ok or something is wrong in there.
No, they don't play dead. They are suffering from osmotic shock.

I can only repeat what I wrote above: RETURN the fish to the store, start over and research before messing with water parameters ony based on a very short introduction by someone on the internet.
 
SparkyJones
  • #9
Man oh man. Your fish were pretty safe at pH5, ammonia is bound as ammonium and too big a particle for the fish to absorb, using only the RO water even, yeah, it limits you, you are stuck with acidic water CO2 breaking down and becoming acids without a buffer, but it was safe for the fish and non-toxic, and more importantly the fish were all acclimated to it.

What you did, without really researching and understanding what you did, was in order to add more CO2 and not drop pH lower, (which you don't even need, when carbon dioxide is dissolved in water, the release of hydrogen ions in the form of carbonic acid is what lowers the pH especially with no KH to buffer the acid produced, CLEARLY you have enough CO2 absorption.)
You slammed your pH up 3 full points, unlocked all the ammonia that might of been bound as ammonium by the pH, and slammed your fish with osmotic shock which they will be lucky to survive, but they likely won't be able to survive unbound ammonia when it builds up and hits them.

The biggest problem I have with this entire scenario you described, is you experimented on the tank with the fish to see what would happen, when you could have done the same experiment in a bucket of tank water and lowered the amounts of water and had no fish in it to see the results of the experiment. ....... Well guess what? Either they will come out of the shock and survive or they are going to die, that's what's gonna happen.

Best of luck to you, your fish, and your experimentations.......... I agree with MacZ. return the fish.....

You could have left it as is and just learned some patience to wait for plants to grow, maybe add some GH raising minerals/nutrients to promote their growth and left KH and pH alone. it's not hurting anything. The most likely reason for the plants growing slow is either the lighting,,,, or most likely the 0 GH from RO water and not anything at all to do with CO2 or pH.
 
diamonfingers
  • Thread Starter
  • #10
It came across like it, as you just didn't react at all.

NEVER put the wants of humans (even family) over the needs of the fish. They can't choose, only us humans can.

The species of catfish (which will become big enough to eat the tetras, so you will have to separate them soon), silver dollars and Angelfish? Then we're talking 150x60x60cm or roughly 450 liters (that's 5 foot long and 140 gallons for you). At least.

Return them to the store and they get a second chance to be sold to someone who can provide properly. Do the responsible thing. If not I give these fish a few months until game over.

Then make up for it! It's in YOUR hands!


------ SEPARATE POST ------

And that's why you don't just do this. Did you mix IN the tank?

KH determines pH. NOT the other way round. You have to know KH of your sourcewater first so you can calculate the numbers for certain mixes. 1:1 RO:tap sets KH and GH to 1/2 of the tap level. 2:1 to 1/3 and so on.

No, they don't play dead. They are suffering from osmotic shock.

I can only repeat what I wrote above: RETURN the fish to the store, start over and research before messing with water parameters ony based on a very short introduction by someone on the internet.

-I didn't feel the need to respond to the post as I had nothing to reply to your advice but I gave it a like I believe. I will try to exchange the fish for something that can live in my tank. Any suggestions for something that can live with angel fish?

-Yes I mixed in the tank. I added Prime to the tank then added the tap/chlorinated water. I thought this is the best way because whatever the chlorinated water touches will be treated already. If I added the chlorinated water first I thought it might kill the bacteria before the Prime takes its effect as my understanding is once the chlorine touches the bacteria it dies.

-osmotic shock? I thought everyone uses tap water with Prime for years with no issues?
Man oh man. Your fish were pretty safe at pH5, ammonia is bound as ammonium and too big a particle for the fish to absorb, using only the RO water even, yeah, it limits you, you are stuck with acidic water CO2 breaking down and becoming acids without a buffer, but it was safe for the fish and non-toxic, and more importantly the fish were all acclimated to it.

What you did, without really researching and understanding what you did, was in order to add more CO2 and not drop pH lower, (which you don't even need, when carbon dioxide is dissolved in water, the release of hydrogen ions in the form of carbonic acid is what lowers the pH especially with no KH to buffer the acid produced, CLEARLY you have enough CO2 absorption.)
You slammed your pH up 3 full points, unlocked all the ammonia that might of been bound as ammonium by the pH, and slammed your fish with osmotic shock which they will be lucky to survive, but they likely won't be able to survive unbound ammonia when it builds up and hits them.

The biggest problem I have with this entire scenario you described, is you experimented on the tank with the fish to see what would happen, when you could have done the same experiment in a bucket of tank water and lowered the amounts of water and had no fish in it to see the results of the experiment. ....... Well guess what? Either they will come out of the shock and survive or they are going to die, that's what's gonna happen.

Best of luck to you, your fish, and your experimentations.......... I agree with MacZ. return the fish.....

You could have left it as is and just learned some patience to wait for plants to grow, maybe add some GH raising minerals/nutrients to promote their growth and left KH and pH alone. it's not hurting anything. The most likely reason for the plants growing slow is either the lighting,,,, or most likely the 0 GH from RO water and not anything at all to do with CO2 or pH.

I am confused. I am not sure what I did wrong?

All I did was a 30% water change and instead of using RO as usual I added tap/chlorinated water treated with Seachem Prime. I did not add in CO2 diffusion yet and I did not add any crushed corals or anything. All I did was add tap water with Seachem prime.

I thought everyone in the hobby does this, they even fill it up completely with tap water with a water condtioner/dechlorinator . I have it mixed with RO water which should be even less of a danger.

Can you tell me what I did wrong?
 
RayClem
  • #12
When you are using RO water, are you adding any minerals to increase the hardness of the water?

When water goes through an RO membrane, nearly all of the minerals are removed. All plants and animals require minerals to live. For example, animal bones are comprised of calcium and plants need iron to produce chlorophyll. Those are just two examples.

Yes, there are some fish who live in the Amazon rainforest in tributaries where the water is very soft and acidic due to high rainfall and decaying vegetation. If you obtain wild caught fish from these waters, then can live in soft, acidic water. Most fish, however, that you will find in pet stores have been bred and raised in water that is more neutral in pH and higher in hardness.

I use RO water in my aquariums. When replacing water lost to evaporation, I add water right out of the RO system. However, when doing water changes, I add Seachem Equilibrium to the RO water to raise the hardness of the water through the addition of calcium, magnesium, potassium, iron, etc. This additive does not contain any carbonates or phosphates to buffer the pH, so I add buffers separately to achieve my target pH level.

RO water should come out of the membrane at a neutral pH of 7. However, because the tap water introduced to the RO system is likely to contain dissolved carbon dioxide, some of that CO2 passes through the membrane and reduces the pH of the water. My RO system discharges into a large container. I keep a heater in that container to keep the water at the same temperature as my tanks. I also have a air stone in the container to strip the dissolved CO2 from the RO water so the pH won't be low.

If you are planning to inject CO2 into your tank to promote plant growth, you are going to need to add both minerals to increase water hardness and carbonates to increase pH and alkalinity.
 
SparkyJones
  • #13
Osmotic shock because the fish were at pH5 with your RO water and by doing what you did, how you did it, mixing blindly with no clue what you were doing to experiment, you slammed them into pH 8 and zero acclimation for it.

The prime, sure it neutralizes chlorine. It don't do anything for 3 full points of pH shift.
Fish are lucky to survive more than three tenths of a point of pH shift at a time, not 10 times that....

RO water isn't good to keep fish alive long term it's devoid of minerals or nutrients GH and probably KH, like distilled water is. It will work for a while, the pH will drop and ammonia will be bound as ammonium and the fish are safe from ammonia and all is good until they start running nutrient deficiencies and start acting all jacked up.

RO water is used as the starting point to build the water how you need it to be, carefully, in a bucket and testing it and the tank to compare before adding it to the tank so it doesn't shock the fish.
Doing it wrong. It's not gonna end well for the fish.

Links were posted earlier follow them, read, read more on things you don't understand, until you do understand. Until then you are dangerous to the fish becuase you don't know what you need to know, and you don't even know that you need to know more about water chemistry and what is or isn't liveable, before trying an idea out.

I'm trying to be as nice as I can about it, you got me about furious by doing that experiment and not even knowing it was really bad for the fish to do it to them or that it could have been done without putting the fish through that.
 
diamonfingers
  • Thread Starter
  • #14
When you are using RO water, are you adding any minerals to increase the hardness of the water?

When water goes through an RO membrane, nearly all of the minerals are removed. All plants and animals require minerals to live. For example, animal bones are comprised of calcium and plants need iron to produce chlorophyll. Those are just two examples.

Yes, there are some fish who live in the Amazon rainforest in tributaries where the water is very soft and acidic due to high rainfall and decaying vegetation. If you obtain wild caught fish from these waters, then can live in soft, acidic water. Most fish, however, that you will find in pet stores have been bred and raised in water that is more neutral in pH and higher in hardness.

I use RO water in my aquariums. When replacing water lost to evaporation, I add water right out of the RO system. However, when doing water changes, I add Seachem Equilibrium to the RO water to raise the hardness of the water through the addition of calcium, magnesium, potassium, iron, etc. This additive does not contain any carbonates or phosphates to buffer the pH, so I add buffers separately to achieve my target pH level.

RO water should come out of the membrane at a neutral pH of 7. However, because the tap water introduced to the RO system is likely to contain dissolved carbon dioxide, some of that CO2 passes through the membrane and reduces the pH of the water. My RO system discharges into a large container. I keep a heater in that container to keep the water at the same temperature as my tanks. I also have a air stone in the container to strip the dissolved CO2 from the RO water so the pH won't be low.

If you are planning to inject CO2 into your tank to promote plant growth, you are going to need to add both minerals to increase water hardness and carbonates to increase pH and alkalinity.

-No i am not adding minerals I thought the fish get all they need from the food

-Why do you use RO water and then add minerals to it over using just regular tap water and adding Prime to it? just wondering
 
ruud
  • #15
Did a quick scan of this thread, just responding to the latest questions.

-No i am not adding minerals I thought the fish get all they need from the food

Short answer: some fish species (softwater species) can hold minerals in their system, other (hardwater) species cannot. To varying degrees.

-Why do you use RO water and then add minerals to it over using just regular tap water and adding Prime to it? just wondering

Short answer: RO remineralized allows you to create the exact water parameters you want. With tap water you are dependent on the public utility company.

So, always know the parameters of your tap water. If you are lucky, given the tank/fish you want, you can stick to tap water. If not, you need to find yourself another water source that matches the tank/fish you want. The easiest way is RO remineralized (except for blackwater) or creating a fixed ratio of tap water and RO. Or simply give up on the tank/fish you have in mind and choose something else that matches a water source you can offer.

Experimentation is good, as long as its done in a bucket. Mix whatever you want and test it....in a bucket.
 
LizStreithorst
  • #16
Ask your fish store about the parameters of their water and see if they are the same params, as your tap water.
 
RayClem
  • #17
-No i am not adding minerals I thought the fish get all they need from the food

-Why do you use RO water and then add minerals to it over using just regular tap water and adding Prime to it? just wondering

My tap water is "liquid rock". It is some of the hardest water in the country with dGH values ranging from 19-29 depending upon the time of year and the wells that are online at any given time. Because it is so hard and so variable, I have to use a sodium ion exchange water softener to soften the water to make it suitable for washing clothes, dishes, and showering. However, the water now ha so much sodium that it is not ideal for drinking, cooking, or aquarium use. Plus, my water supplier treats the water with chloramine which means the tap water contains ammonia.

Thus, I have an RO system that provides water for cooking, drinking and for aquarium use. I use water straight out of the RO system for replacing water lost to evaporation since evaporation leaves behind the minerals. However, when doing water changes, I add Seachem Equilibrium to the RO water to achieve my target dGH. I my case, I try to maintain a target of 7-8 as that works for tetras, barbs, corys, platies, and guppies. Some fish would like it lower than that. Some fish would like it higher. My target is a compromise that seems to work.

Likewise, I add buffers to achieve a pH of around 7.5, Again, some of the fish would like it lower and some would like it higher, but 7.5 seems to be a good compromise for a community tank.
 
diamonfingers
  • Thread Starter
  • #18
My tap water is "liquid rock". It is some of the hardest water in the country with dGH values ranging from 19-29 depending upon the time of year and the wells that are online at any given time. Because it is so hard and so variable, I have to use a sodium ion exchange water softener to soften the water to make it suitable for washing clothes, dishes, and showering. However, the water now ha so much sodium that it is not ideal for drinking, cooking, or aquarium use. Plus, my water supplier treats the water with chloramine which means the tap water contains ammonia.

Thus, I have an RO system that provides water for cooking, drinking and for aquarium use. I use water straight out of the RO system for replacing water lost to evaporation since evaporation leaves behind the minerals. However, when doing water changes, I add Seachem Equilibrium to the RO water to achieve my target dGH. I my case, I try to maintain a target of 7-8 as that works for tetras, barbs, corys, platies, and guppies. Some fish would like it lower than that. Some fish would like it higher. My target is a compromise that seems to work.

Likewise, I add buffers to achieve a pH of around 7.5, Again, some of the fish would like it lower and some would like it higher, but 7.5 seems to be a good compromise for a community tank.

-I too have RO water filter in my house but it literally make water drops until it fills a mini tank, so when I pour a glass of water its enough for the glass but no way its enough for to fill gallons of water. It will literally take hours...for each water change.

-If your tap what has chloramine using something like Prime should work right?
Did a quick scan of this thread, just responding to the latest questions.

-No i am not adding minerals I thought the fish get all they need from the food

Short answer: some fish species (softwater species) can hold minerals in their system, other (hardwater) species cannot. To varying degrees.

-Why do you use RO water and then add minerals to it over using just regular tap water and adding Prime to it? just wondering

Short answer: RO remineralized allows you to create the exact water parameters you want. With tap water you are dependent on the public utility company.

So, always know the parameters of your tap water. If you are lucky, given the tank/fish you want, you can stick to tap water. If not, you need to find yourself another water source that matches the tank/fish you want. The easiest way is RO remineralized (except for blackwater) or creating a fixed ratio of tap water and RO. Or simply give up on the tank/fish you have in mind and choose something else that matches a water source you can offer.

Experimentation is good, as long as its done in a bucket. Mix whatever you want and test it....in a bucket.

ok I see , thanks. So each kind of fish has the exact balance of minerals needed . So is there like products with that adds exact minerals mix for RO water for each fish type?
like Angel Fish tablets and Cichlids tablets and so on? RayClem says he uses Equilibrium from Seachem but I am not sure how one minerals mix is good for all types of fish since each has its own mineral needs.
 
LizStreithorst
  • #19
Why are you making this so hard on yourself? The store where you purchased your fish keep their fish alive, right? See what they do to their water. My guess is they use tap water. They might age it but only of there is a pH swing of over .4.
 
diamonfingers
  • Thread Starter
  • #20
Why are you making this so hard on yourself? The store where you purchased your fish keep their fish alive, right? See what they do to their water. My guess is they use tap water. They might age it but only of there is a pH swing of over .4.

because the store I bought the fish from is totally ignorant when I asked the employee if they sell Chemi-Pure Blue he looked at me like I was speaking Chinese. I really do not expect him to know any GH or KH levels of any fish type.
 
LizStreithorst
  • #21
But he would certainly know about the water they used for WC. If the guy doesn't know ask to speak to the person who usually does WC on their fresh water fish.
 
ruud
  • #22
Stores deal in compromises. When I bought chocolate gouramis a few months ago, they were in a tank that was connected by a water system to other tanks. The only difference was that the chocolate tank contained a few Catappa leaves. So these tanks had a 5 dKH and 6,5 dGH.

My chocolates are currently in a non-remineralised RO water tank (neglible KH and GH) after a long period of acclimatisation.

So your question is fair and the reason some of us, including yours truly, don't support the usual community tank.

You simply need to pick a theme / tank with specific but stable (KH/GH) water parameters and choose fish accordingly. That's pretty much it. It is best to define these water parameters based on a water source, and not by making all sorts of corrections inside the tank.

The next parameter I would take into the equation is temperature. Unlike KH/GH, temperature is actually preferred to fluctuate in certain daily and seasonal patterns for many, many fish species. The exact pattern is different for different species.

Hence, the usual community tank....no thank you.
 
LizStreithorst
  • #23
Why does everyone make what should be easy so hard? Most fish adapt well to a change in water parameters. I keep and Discus in my moderately hard water. They do fine. I only use RO for breeding them. I have friends who have raised Discus from 2" to 6" adults in rock hard water with the pH in the high 8's. The fact that fish live in the wild in certain water params, does not mean that they can not do well in water with far different parameters.
 
RayClem
  • #24
-I too have RO water filter in my house but it literally make water drops until it fills a mini tank, so when I pour a glass of water its enough for the glass but no way its enough for to fill gallons of water. It will literally take hours...for each water change.

-If your tap what has chloramine using something like Prime should work right?


ok I see , thanks. So each kind of fish has the exact balance of minerals needed . So is there like products with that adds exact minerals mix for RO water for each fish type?
like Angel Fish tablets and Cichlids tablets and so on? RayClem says he uses Equilibrium from Seachem but I am not sure how one minerals mix is good for all types of fish since each has its own mineral needs.

Yes, RO systems make water by the drop. However, most RO membranes are rated to produce about 50 gallons of RO water per day. You would only need more than 50 gallons per day if you have a lot of aquariums.

I actually have two systems. One system collects water in a 10 gallon pressurized tank that supplies the water dispenser and icemaker in my refrigerator. That is what we use for cooking and drinking.

My second system discharges into a 42 gallon Roughneck garbage can. Since I only use a few gallons of RO water per day, the system runs on a timer for about 2 hours per day. A solenoid valve turn the supply water on an off. I also have a level sensor on the container that will turn the water off if the level gets too high.
 
SparkyJones
  • #25
Yes, RO systems make water by the drop. However, most RO membranes are rated to produce about 50 gallons of RO water per day. You would only need more than 50 gallons per day if you have a lot of aquariums.

I actually have two systems. One system collects water in a 10 gallon pressurized tank that supplies the water dispenser and icemaker in my refrigerator. That is what we use for cooking and drinking.

My second system discharges into a 42 gallon Roughneck garbage can. Since I only use a few gallons of RO water per day, the system runs on a timer for about 2 hours per day. A solenoid valve turn the supply water on an off. I also have a level sensor on the container that will turn the water off if the level gets too high.
FANCY!
 
JustAFishServant
  • #26
Wow...this...this is bad. Please read everyone's replies no matter how hard they are on you. It's life or death for the fish, truly. Read the links our friend MacZ provided to get yourself more knowledgeable on these sorts of things. One thing I learned about myself: sometimes I make things difficult. Sure I've been in the hobby for 10 years but I've also changed my methods several times since then. Just try to make it as simple as possible. It'll be better for your health and of course, the fish's. I hope they'll be okay :(
 
MacZ
  • #27
Why does everyone make what should be easy so hard? Most fish adapt well to a change in water parameters. I keep and Discus in my moderately hard water. They do fine. I only use RO for breeding them. I have friends who have raised Discus from 2" to 6" adults in rock hard water with the pH in the high 8's. The fact that fish live in the wild in certain water params, does not mean that they can not do well in water with far different parameters.
While agree with you that you can keep softwater fish in hard water, the approach of "the fish will adapt" is falling apart in recent years.
Information and studies on WHY fish adapted to soft water in the first place show pretty clear why many Discus keepers have to do crazy amounts of waterchanges, install UV-sterilizers and so on. Osmoregulation in softwater fish is also a very important part, as long term (talking months to years depending on size) they get kidney problems and have constant trouble with bacterial infections.
I also agree that using RO and remineralizing is total work overkill. These fish don't need minerals in the water and the KH-buffer-system is not necessary in softwater if one is willing to use the buffer capacity of humic substances. But that's what you get when you look at chemistry by theoretical and laboratory standards and not simply at nature. (Sorry, Ray, while I agree YOU have a reason for your system, I'm very sure you could streamline it by a lot.)
 
ruud
  • #28
Why does everyone make what should be easy so hard? Most fish adapt well to a change in water parameters. I keep and Discus in my moderately hard water. They do fine. I only use RO for breeding them. I have friends who have raised Discus from 2" to 6" adults in rock hard water with the pH in the high 8's. The fact that fish live in the wild in certain water params, does not mean that they can not do well in water with far different parameters.

You can keep fish in a wide range of water parameters and they'll show normal behavior. Until you take account of endpoints that are not visible on any regular day. Like growth rate, reproduction rates, immune system, lifespan, and the likes. Then it turns out that certain water parameters work out better for a given fish species than others.

There are of course studies available that pertain to our hobby and indicate this. However, dive in the field of aquaculture, which turns fish into economics, and you'll find a vast amount of information. Information that sheds light on our hobby as well.

Taking account of fishes' basic needs, water and food, is not hard. A handful of variables - that's it.
 
diamonfingers
  • Thread Starter
  • #29
Stores deal in compromises. When I bought chocolate gouramis a few months ago, they were in a tank that was connected by a water system to other tanks. The only difference was that the chocolate tank contained a few Catappa leaves. So these tanks had a 5 dKH and 6,5 dGH.

My chocolates are currently in a non-remineralised RO water tank (neglible KH and GH) after a long period of acclimatisation.

So your question is fair and the reason some of us, including yours truly, don't support the usual community tank.

You simply need to pick a theme / tank with specific but stable (KH/GH) water parameters and choose fish accordingly. That's pretty much it. It is best to define these water parameters based on a water source, and not by making all sorts of corrections inside the tank.

The next parameter I would take into the equation is temperature. Unlike KH/GH, temperature is actually preferred to fluctuate in certain daily and seasonal patterns for many, many fish species. The exact pattern is different for different species.

Hence, the usual community tank....no thank you.

What you say is very logical, choosing a fish based on the water source but only a professional in the business would know such wisdom.

As for community tanks, I think its nicer to have multiple species instead 1 type of fish so I think some guide should be made with fish that live in the same conditions/parameters and you should choose which group of fish you would like to keep and not cross the groups.
Yes, RO systems make water by the drop. However, most RO membranes are rated to produce about 50 gallons of RO water per day. You would only need more than 50 gallons per day if you have a lot of aquariums.

I actually have two systems. One system collects water in a 10 gallon pressurized tank that supplies the water dispenser and icemaker in my refrigerator. That is what we use for cooking and drinking.

My second system discharges into a 42 gallon Roughneck garbage can. Since I only use a few gallons of RO water per day, the system runs on a timer for about 2 hours per day. A solenoid valve turn the supply water on an off. I also have a level sensor on the container that will turn the water off if the level gets too high.

you have a nice system working there
Why does everyone make what should be easy so hard? Most fish adapt well to a change in water parameters. I keep and Discus in my moderately hard water. They do fine. I only use RO for breeding them. I have friends who have raised Discus from 2" to 6" adults in rock hard water with the pH in the high 8's. The fact that fish live in the wild in certain water params, does not mean that they can not do well in water with far different parameters.

Why do you use RO water for breeding?
Wow...this...this is bad. Please read everyone's replies no matter how hard they are on you. It's life or death for the fish, truly. Read the links our friend MacZ provided to get yourself more knowledgeable on these sorts of things. One thing I learned about myself: sometimes I make things difficult. Sure I've been in the hobby for 10 years but I've also changed my methods several times since then. Just try to make it as simple as possible. It'll be better for your health and of course, the fish's. I hope they'll be okay :(

I am taking everyone's replies into consideration but I still do not understand what I did wrong. I watched reviews and researched and everyone seems to use tap water + Seachem Prime for their aquariums and everyone praises how Seachem Prime is a great product.

When I came here and I said I added tap water + Seachem Prime to my tank everyone is talking to me like I am a fish terrorist.

The funny thing, there are people who are saying I should NOT use RO water because it does not have the minerals like calcium that plants and fish need.

So If I should not use tap water+Seachem, and I should not use RO water. What type of water should I use then!?
 
ruud
  • #30
Plenty of sources online that tell you which species are sympatric. Having a few different fish species from the same area is not bad, provided your tank (size and structure) allow for this.
 
CMT
  • #31
What you say is very logical, choosing a fish based on the water source but only a professional in the business would know such wisdom.

As for community tanks, I think its nicer to have multiple species instead 1 type of fish so I think some guide should be made with fish that live in the same conditions/parameters and you should choose which group of fish you would like to keep and not cross the groups.


you have a nice system working there


Why do you use RO water for breeding?


I am taking everyone's replies into consideration but I still do not understand what I did wrong. I watched reviews and researched and everyone seems to use tap water + Seachem Prime for their aquariums and everyone praises how Seachem Prime is a great product.

When I came here and I said I added tap water + Seachem Prime to my tank everyone is talking to me like I am a fish terrorist.

The funny thing, there are people who are saying I should NOT use RO water because it does not have the minerals like calcium that plants and fish need.

So If I should not use tap water+Seachem, and I should not use RO water. What type of water should I use then!?
I'd say it's the switching from one method to the other, in a rapid and experimental way, that has drawn the ire of folks here in the thread.

And add the backdrop here that it appears you maybe have no solid reason why RO was used to begin with nor a good understanding of water chemistry and it's problematic.

But probably the biggest concern is it appears you have major overstocking issues that means all of this water chemistry talk is probably moot in the long term anyway and your initial reaction is there was nothing you could really do about it, which isn't true because you can always rehome fish.

My advice...do some research on water chemistry as it relates to aquariums, pick a water source and maintenance routine based on what you have available to you and stick to it, and then stock a tank at a responsible level based on the knowledge from your research.
 
ruud
  • #32
So If I should not use tap water+Seachem, and I should not use RO water. What type of water should I use then!?

The starting point could be the main fish species you intend to keep; find out what the water requirements for this species are (KH, GH, temperature) and find out what species are sympatric, in case you like to have more than once fish species in this tank.

If your fish requires, let's say, 6 dKH and 6 dGH (which is fairly average), then see to it that you can deliver this water.

Many people can achieve the required water by mixing their tap water with RO water in a certain ratio. So mix these two sources in a bucket and start measuring, until you have found the right ratio. And use this ratio with every water change.

Next, determine the temperature requirements. A lot of fishes benefit from 2 seasons; do your research and adjust temp accordingly.
 
diamonfingers
  • Thread Starter
  • #33
I'd say it's the switching from one method to the other, in a rapid and experimental way, that has drawn the ire of folks here in the thread.

And add the backdrop here that it appears you maybe have no solid reason why RO was used to begin with nor a good understanding of water chemistry and it's problematic.

But probably the biggest concern is it appears you have major overstocking issues that means all of this water chemistry talk is probably moot in the long term anyway and your initial reaction is there was nothing you could really do about it, which isn't true because you can always rehome fish.

My advice...do some research on water chemistry as it relates to aquariums, pick a water source and maintenance routine based on what you have available to you and stick to it, and then stock a tank at a responsible level based on the knowledge from your research.

if I knew what I was doing I wouldn't be here asking questions, I would be able to answer them myself.

-I used RO because I came home and found my family bought a fish tank. Everytime they die in a week or so. I thought must be chlorine tap water. I added RO and the fish lived. So I stuck to RO. I never heard of dechlorinators except recently. Note I am not in an area where tap water is safe for drinking.

-No I am not a chemist and I do not understand water chemistry. All I knew is the nitrogen cycled, then I learned there is GH KH PH levels, now I learned there are minerals that should be maintained.

-Yes I do have major overstocking. In fact it was stocked a lot more! I had no idea about overstocking or anything else. I thought if you drop the fish in the water its happy thats it. I think at one time I had like 25 fishes from different species living in a 10 gallon tank...uncycled. Need less to say they died.

-I didn't say i can't do anything about it I said I will consider it. You have to know I do not own the tank. I am more or less just the guy maintaining it.

Many people can achieve the required water by mixing their tap water with RO water in a certain ratio. So mix these two sources in a bucket and start measuring, until you have found the right ratio. And use this ratio with every water change.

I did exactly this. I mixed about 30% tap water with RO water from previous fill.
 
CMT
  • #34
if I knew what I was doing I wouldn't be here asking questions, I would be able to answer them myself.

-I used RO because I came home and found my family bought a fish tank. Everytime they die in a week or so. I thought must be chlorine tap water. I added RO and the fish lived. So I stuck to RO. I never heard of dechlorinators except recently. Note I am not in an area where tap water is safe for drinking.

-No I am not a chemist and I do not understand water chemistry. All I knew is the nitrogen cycled, then I learned there is GH KH PH levels, now I learned there are minerals that should be maintained.

-Yes I do have major overstocking. In fact it was stocked a lot more! I had no idea about overstocking or anything else. I thought if you drop the fish in the water its happy thats it. I think at one time I had like 25 fishes from different species living in a 10 gallon tank...uncycled. Need less to say they died.

-I didn't say i can't do anything about it I said I will consider it. You have to know I do not own the tank. I am more or less just the guy maintaining it.

I did exactly this. I mixed about 30% tap water with RO water from previous fill.
I was simply giving my perspective on your questions. You acted like people were being overly harsh ("treat me like a fish terrorist") and also like you were getting mutually exclusive and contradictory advice on water sources. I gave perspective on why I thought neither of those was necessarily true.

In regards to the water source question, in fact RO water (with the proper elements added back) or tap water can be fine, but it obviously depends on the tap water source. Everyone's tap water can be different. However, what seems to be random choosing and switching is what is problematic. You used RO water "to stop killing fish" and maybe because your water had chlorine (without knowing). Then you switched to 30% tap water, without really having any reason to land on 30% or what impact that might have on overall water chemistry. No one needs to be a chemist to be in this hobby, but it is always helpful to know that small slice of chemistry that relates to how to keep fish, if we are going to keep fish. Moving forward, either of those water source options could potentially work, but you will need to understand them both and preferably figure it out in a way that doesn't put the fish's lives in danger during the process.

Re: the overstocking issue, it's just that this issue makes all this other stuff moot. So the "I'll consider it" part comes off as making further discussion pointless in regards to saving these fish. Major overstocking causes so many issues that trying to fix them 1 by 1 is pointless. Either the overstocking is fixed or the fish most likely won't live long-term. So if the overall point of coming here was to learn enough to keep the fish alive, this point isn't an "I'll consider it" situation, it's the first mandatory step to move forward.

I think overall there is just a lot of trial and error experimentation going on here, and it is costing fish their lives, which people here understandably don't like. Reading and education can be done to certainly reduce the trial and error part of the hobby, and people here just don't like reading about fish deaths as a result of things that likely could have been avoided. Learn first, act second, in other words.

If you are not owning the tank or have the ability to make the changes necessary to keep the fish alive, then I suppose things are out of your control. I commend you for coming here to learn. Hopefully the owners of the tank either make the changes necessary or at least refrain from getting more fish as the ones they have die.
 
Debbie1986
  • #35
Yesterday I found one of the silver dollars laying on its side on the bottom of the tank like its suffocating I thought it was going to die due to the tap water. I poked it around it started swimming around. Looked the internet and it says they like to play dead sometimes.
I have seen them titled ( due to shape, i.e. not directly top to bottom) but never on it's side.

never seen 1 play dead.

Kept them 4+ years and never seen that behavior

are you vacuuming the tank?

that sounds like illness/struggle to live, not water hardness etc.

around 6-8 weeks, if your good bacteria cannot handle the bio-load, you will have problems.

I did 10 gallon water changes 2x a week (36 gallon bow front) on my 4 SDF until last year when they moved to a 55 gallon tank.

The SFD are absolutely gorgeous fish, unreal silver with gold/almost bronze shimmer to them.

I never can capture just how gorgeous the shimmer is on their scales. it's luminescent.

until you figure it out, prime. pristine (fluval has their own cleaner, it works too) re-mineralize
JMO

brands who spends years testing their products aren't just selling you something

most are passionate about the hobby

I started using tetra easy balance when i started keeping guppies. my water is super soft. i wanted happy guppies - the best speciums - it adds minerals, vitamins and and a ph buffer

I have tried crushed coral, not a huge fan of it.

be careful who gives advise ( not here, but elsewhere) I've seen ppl clueless as to why their fish kept injuring themselves ( panic etc)

it's a pet. it has a personality. you have to spend time with them to see why there's an issue or if their behavior is off.

animals have behavior driven by instinct only

'playing dead' is not a behavior a fish exhibits anywhere in the wild. again, jmo.
 
diamonfingers
  • Thread Starter
  • #36
Learn first, act second, in other words.

If you are not owning the tank or have the ability to make the changes necessary to keep the fish alive, then I suppose things are out of your control. I commend you for coming here to learn. Hopefully the owners of the tank either make the changes necessary or at least refrain from getting more fish as the ones they have die.

-I did learn first. I watched many videos by popular fish keepers and read articles and everyone said that tap water + dechlorinator is how they keep their fish. I only used 30% tap water and suddenly I am an idiot. I do not get it? I used 30% because I was doing a water change and thought starting with a mix of tap water + RO , would be better than completely replacing the current RO water with tap water for the fish.

Plus when you think about it people with tanks as big as 40G or 70G tanks, where would they even get that much RO water? Maybe initially but what how about water changes? 30% of 40G in water tank equals about 12G. I monitored my RO filter gpm and it produces about 5G in 2.5 hours. This means I have to wait 6 hours filling water buckets for each 30% water change in a 40G tank. Is this reasonable? you tell me. If there is a better way, teach me.

-As for overstocking please define overstocking. The member here told me to replace my cat fish because the fish will grow big enough to eat the other fish, they can't co exist. Look at this popular youtuber, he has like 30 large fish in there. His tank surely looks a lot more over crowded than mine. While using eyes is not a scientific measurement, I really do not feel my current setup is over stocked. Its sufficient according to the 1cm/liter rule or 2inch/gallon.
I have seen them titled ( due to shape, i.e. not directly top to bottom) but never on it's side.

never seen 1 play dead.

Kept them 4+ years and never seen that behavior

are you vacuuming the tank?

that sounds like illness/struggle to live, not water hardness etc.

around 6-8 weeks, if your good bacteria cannot handle the bio-load, you will have problems.

I did 10 gallon water changes 2x a week (36 gallon bow front) on my 4 SDF until last year when they moved to a 55 gallon tank.

The SFD are absolutely gorgeous fish, unreal silver with gold/almost bronze shimmer to them.

I never can capture just how gorgeous the shimmer is on their scales. it's luminescent.

until you figure it out, prime. pristine (fluval has their own cleaner, it works too) re-mineralize
JMO

brands who spends years testing their products aren't just selling you something

most are passionate about the hobby

I started using tetra easy balance when i started keeping guppies. my water is super soft. i wanted happy guppies - the best speciums - it adds minerals, vitamins and and a ph buffer

I have tried crushed coral, not a huge fan of it.

be careful who gives advise ( not here, but elsewhere) I've seen ppl clueless as to why their fish kept injuring themselves ( panic etc)

it's a pet. it has a personality. you have to spend time with them to see why there's an issue or if their behavior is off.

animals have behavior driven by instinct only

'playing dead' is not a behavior a fish exhibits anywhere in the wild. again, jmo.

-playing dead search results I got when I looked it up.
Link #1
Link #2

its only 1 fish that did this in the whole tank and it only did it for moments until I touch it and never did it again. Its been days and they are swimming and eating as usual. I can not explain what happened.
 

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