Moved serpaes to lower ph tank and now very pale - help!

LalaLand

Hi everyone, with the new arrival of baby guppys we moved the serpaes to a separate/new/cycled tank. It was a good chance to give them better water parameters as well, from what I understand (and we're fairly new to fishkeeping but loving it), in contrast to the mollys and guppys who like a higher ph and harder water (which they have, ph 7.5, Gh and Kh around the 8-10 degrees) and we moved the serpas to ph 6.8 and Gh around 5-6. I drip acclimatized them over an hour before moving to the new tank. They are now so pale and have been for 4 days! And fairly quiet, sort of hovering, until they occasionally swim a round, play with each other and then go quiet again near the bottom of the tank.

Similar tank set up, live plants, gravel, lots of places to hide. Ammonia still a little high (0.25-0.5) but adding prime and watching it every day. Nitrite zero, nitrates just above zero. Used established medium from other tank. It's a smaller tank (10 gallon for the 3 serpaes), that's about all. Any ideas how to make them better? Should I harden the water for a while? It took a while to get them out of the other tank, they were so fast, and we had to chase them for about 10 minutes to get them out, maybe they are recovering? Thanks!
 

Tristen

Hi everyone, with the new arrival of baby guppys we moved the serpaes to a separate/new/cycled tank. It was a good chance to give them better water parameters as well, from what I understand (and we're fairly new to fishkeeping but loving it), in contrast to the mollys and guppys who like a higher ph and harder water (which they have, ph 7.5, Gh and Kh around the 8-10 degrees) and we moved the serpas to ph 6.8 and Gh around 5-6. I drip acclimatized them over an hour before moving to the new tank. They are now so pale and have been for 4 days! And fairly quiet, sort of hovering, until they occasionally swim a round, play with each other and then go quiet again near the bottom of the tank.

Similar tank set up, live plants, gravel, lots of places to hide. Ammonia still a little high (0.25-0.5) but adding prime and watching it every day. Nitrite zero, nitrates just above zero. Used established medium from other tank. It's a smaller tank (10 gallon for the 3 serpaes), that's about all. Any ideas how to make them better? Should I harden the water for a while? It took a while to get them out of the other tank, they were so fast, and we had to chase them for about 10 minutes to get them out, maybe they are recovering? Thanks!
Sounds like they are just stressed. They have just been moved to another tank. Also the tank is not completely cycled so now they have ammonia in their water. Have you been adding anything to the water to adjust the pH or hardness? If so I would stop.
 
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ProudPapa

Like Tristen I'm curious about your source water. Have you added something to bring pH down for this tank, or added something to raise it in the tank the serpaes came from.
 
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LalaLand

Like Tristen I'm curious about your source water. Have you added something to bring pH down for this tank, or added something to raise it in the tank the serpaes came from.
Nothing to lower ph in current tank, that’s our tap water (plus prime). Previous tank added salts to raise gh and kh. With the difference I was advised to slowly drip acclimatise over an hour which is what I did. Should I change the ph slightly? Thanks
 
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Tristen

Nothing to lower ph in current tank, that’s our tap water (plus prime). Previous tank added salts to raise gh and kh. With the difference I was advised to slowly drip acclimatise over an hour which is what I did. Should I change the ph slightly? Thanks
Do not change the ph. That will only stress them out more. Why did you change the gh and kh of the other tank?
 
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LalaLand

Sounds like they are just stressed. They have just been moved to another tank. Also the tank is not completely cycled so now they have ammonia in their water. Have you been adding anything to the water to adjust the pH or hardness? If so I would stop.
I was hoping the tank was cycled - I added food to introduce ammonia and let it cycle for a couple of weeks with established media. Water was perfect when I introduced them. I added something to previous tank to adjust hardness but current serpae tank is tap water plus prime and we have quite low ph and soft water here. Thanks.
 
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Tristen

I was hoping the tank was cycled - I added food to introduce ammonia and let it cycle for a couple of weeks with established media. Water was perfect when I introduced them. I added something to previous tank to adjust hardness but current serpae tank is tap water plus prime and we have quite low ph and soft water here. Thanks.
From what I know, Serpae tetras can tolerate as low as 5ph. I don’t believe your tap water could be that low. I believe it is just stress. If they are only pale and are acting normal you should be fine. Just give them more cover with plants and things to hide behind. Do lots of water changes to keep the ammonia down. Don’t alter the water anymore. You should never really change the parameters of you water such as the ph because it only cause mores stress. Feed them quality food and they should color up soon enough.
 
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LalaLand

Do not change the ph. That will only stress them out more. Why did you change the gh and kh of the other tank?
I was told, to keep most of the fish happy (mix of serpaes and Molly’s, guppys) to raise hardness a bit as our water contains almost none of the salts to raise gh and kh.
 
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