Low pH wanting to increase

PeterFishKeepin

Hi all,

I have a 20gal tank tall/high setup for almost 1 yr. it has some tetras (rummynose, neons), platies/swordtails, albino corys, bristlenose pleco. Mid range planted tank (not heavily planted but not bare), some driftwood and sandstone rocks, also used playsand for substrate.

I tested the water last night and results are:
pH:6.0-6.2
ammonia:0-0.25ppm
nitrite:0ppm
nitrate:10-20ppm

My tap water pH is around 7-7.2 i think, and this is the pH of my other tanks, my 5 gal for example has gravel live plants and a deco no sand, or sandstone, driftwood, im thinking that the sand, driftwood or sandstone rock might be causing the pH to lower???

When i was setting up tank the pH was around 7.1, then i added driftwood and sandstone and now the pH is 6.0-6.2 im not sure why, the fish have been healthy for months I just want to get the pH to netural, 7.0 for a good balance of acid and alkiline.


1656398866164.png

Im not sure why or how this occured months ago but the fish and tank cycle are fine. Just wanting to boost it back up to 7.0 or there about.

This morning I added some pH up, the dose was 1 teaspoon for every 70litres but i added around 1/2-3/4 of a teaspoon to be on the safe side so pH didnt increase too quickly. I just went to a LFS and bought 500 grams of crushed coral for $5. I know you can buy stuff like API perfect pH at like 7.0 pH but i wanted to try the stuff i already have. So added a little bit of pH up powder and also going to added crushed coral to filter and maybe in a bag in the back of tank.

Do you think this is ok to try getting pH, will crushed coral be able to constitly keep pH around about 7 or will it not even do the job??

Not sure if what im doing is ok.

Sorry for long read thanks for all replies in advanced! :)

Peter
 

OnlyNobody

I think the coral is good and should keep ph up. I wouldnt recommend artificial stuff cuz they may make the ph fluctuate.
Also sandstone and driftwood lowers ph lol id take them out.
 

PseudotropheusKenobi

I wouldn’t be changing anything if the fish are happy in what you’re keeping them. Don’t go chasing pH.

The extent to which your driftwood may have caused a drop in pH is all relative to the level of your KH. The higher it is, the more buffering capacity you have, i.e. less swings in ph.

If you must get your pH to 7, your best bet is likely crushed coral or aragonite sand.
 

PeterFishKeepin

Thanks for your replies, I've only done a half dose of powdered ph up, I will not do any more dosing.

I will add the crushed coral tomorrow and do another test to see I found the pH up made any difference, thanks for your help and quick replies.
 

Flyfisha

Put the bottle of PH up in your lounge somewhere you can see it and remind yourself to never buy it again.
image.jpgMany of us have products like that we should not have brought.

My water runs a little high on PH if left for time without water changes.

Crushed coral is what you need.
If indeed you need anything at all?
 

PeterFishKeepin

Thanks flyfisha some products are total garbage

I'm lucky, this was from ph up down and tester kit that was brand new un open I found down the road from e on a council clean up day (a day where residents can put any "rubbish" or un wanted goods out on the street and garbage truck drivers collected it and take to dumps)

I searched the kit up and found out it was worth 20$ so even if the up and down ph powder is useless the ph tester isn't so still a good find! :)
 

MacZ

Classic community tank problem. If it wasn't for the livebearers there would be no need for any changes.

The other fish could easily go down to GH and KH zero with a pH down to 5.

Edit: Sand and rocks will never lower pH or hardness, because via mineral means it can only be raised.

My advice: Move the livebearers to another tank or rehome them and you don't have to do anything else.

Edit#2: What is your waterchange schedule?
 

PeterFishKeepin

Hi MacZ,

To answer your questions

I can rehome and or move them to another tank, but I feel if they have been fine for months I would rather have low pH then changing and having to lose fish.

So perhaps leave it at low 6 or boosts to high 6 low 7 which IMO is still safe for all the fish I have?

Water changes, I do 50% wc every 2 weeks

Edit, if I move them to a different tank the only places I can put them is a 5gal tank which has 3 male guppies, or in my spare 5 gal tanks.

Also have a 850gal goldfish pond they could go in but we are in winter now and temps can get 10-15 degrees Celsius
 

MacZ

So perhaps leave it at low 6 or boosts to high 6 low 7 which IMO is still safe for all the fish I have?

Water changes, I do 50% wc every 2 weeks
Hardwater fish can show no problems in soft and acidic water for a while but usually start to deteriorate quickly at one point. Keep an eye on them.

Up the waterchanges to 50% weekly before you do anything else. Check the readings again after 4 weeks. Then re-evaluate the situation.
And check your KH. Every search for reasons for pH levels should start there. Only if you know the KH you can really do anything without risking making a big mistake.
 

PeterFishKeepin

Thanks for your reply, what are your thoughts on keeping Tetra and livebearers in 7.0 ph, not too high not to low?

Also because I'm at school, parents think it's a waste of time doing waterchanges and should study instead can I do 75% we every 2 weeks rather then 50% weekly?

Does the ammonia and other waste from the fish make pH lower? Which is why you said do more frequent wc ?

Also I don't have a kH test kit I'll see if my LFS can test for me otherwise I'll see if I can buy the kit soon, I just had to buy a new API master test kit, costs around $80 in Aus and bought more hikari fish food, 20$ cash is been spent a bit this week but I'm trying not to buy to much as I'm saving for a 55 gal tank
 

MacZ

Thanks for your reply, what are your thoughts on keeping Tetra and livebearers in 7.0 ph, not too high not to low?
Honestly: To me a foul compromise. I'd keep the tetras (at least the species you have) below 6 with a GH/KH below 2, the livebearers (if I liked livebearers) at over 7.5 with GH over 15 and KH at 10.

Also because I'm at school, parents think it's a waste of time doing waterchanges and should study instead can I do 75% we every 2 weeks rather then 50% weekly?
I won't tell you what I think you should tell your parents. The problem is not just the percentage but also the time between waterchanges in which KH is used up and NO3 build up.

Does the ammonia and other waste from the fish make pH lower? Which is why you said do more frequent wc ?
Ammonia is a base and raises it, NO3 is dissolved as nitric acid, though and hence can lower pH if KH is low. This is also the only reason for real pH-crashes. If you have low KH to begin with, no humic substances to substitute for the buffer capacity and rarely do waterchanges NO3 build-up can occur unnoticed and at one point - pH-crash.

Also I don't have a kH test kit I'll see if my LFS can test for me
Most will do so. Ask for GH as well. And get your numbers written down. And ignore what they say whether it's good or bad. Just get the numbers. Interpretation is open for debate and always depending on the situation.
 

PeterFishKeepin

I think i would love to hear your opinion on parent situation, I promise I won't take it harshly in fact it might be beneficial so next time they tell me go study I can have a better reason???

Sometimes I study till late then when everyone's is gone to bed at like 10PM I spend 30mins and do a wc if I'm behind the routine.

I'll do my best to go to my lfs for gh kH tests but I've been to like 3 different stores in the past 2 days, I think my mum is a bit annoyed with my wants to always go to fish stores, she is supportive and often helps if I can't do something for my tank due to school and overall she is quite helpful. Thanks for the help, I think I'll just add maybe 100-200grams of crushed coral just to slightly increase my pH to mid/high 6 rather then the low 6
 

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