My Ph Is Ridiculously Low? Help

Discussion in 'pH' started by wibbylynn, Jun 19, 2018.

  1. wibbylynn

    wibbylynn Valued Member Member

    Hey guys, I just tested my water today. I’m concerned. It’s a 50 gallon tank which currently has 11 cories, 6 guppies and 2 snails which all seem relatively content. My pH and ammonia are concerning. I added a double dose of prime, and some pH neutralizing tablets. Any suggestions? IMG_4246.JPG
     
  2. Demeter

    Demeter Fishlore VIP Member

    I’d start with a 5o-75% water change. Don’t worry about the pH right now, just test the tap water before filling the tank back up to make sure they match.

    Did you cycle the tank before adding the fish? Are they behaving ok?
     
  3. OP
    OP
    wibbylynn

    wibbylynn Valued Member Member

    Image1529426184.506272.jpg this is my tap water. How is the tank becoming so acidic?
     




  4. IHaveADogToo

    IHaveADogToo Well Known Member Member

    Agreed with @Demeter - you need to do a large water change - large enough to effect the water chemistry. Change 50% of the water minimum, more if you can.

    As for what is making your water so acidic.... what is in the tank? Do you have anything that releases tannins? Such as driftwood, or leaf litter? What kind of substrate do you use? Can you post a photo of your tank? Maybe something will jump out to one of us as the cause of your pH woes if we see pics.
     
  5. OP
    OP
    wibbylynn

    wibbylynn Valued Member Member

    The tank was cycled, something must’ve crashed- probably the influx of fish I added. :(
    My tap water is reading about 7.0.
    I added some dissolvable pH tabs so I’ll see if that helps at all and I’ll do a water change. No one is behaving odd, they all seem active and normal to me.
     
  6. Demeter

    Demeter Fishlore VIP Member

    I dont know the exact science around it but it is possible the pH changes after the water ages. This is why a lot of people will allow their water to set for at least 24hrs before doing a water change.
     
  7. G

    Gabe1408 New Member Member

    Low ph isn’t a bad thing for some fish like cories who come from low ph waters in Amazon.

    I also have some guppies living in my low ph tank and they are thriving.

    About your ammonia - it’s actually ammonium. A non lethal version that plants love and amazon basin waters chalked fool of.

    At low ph the ammonia fixing bacteria start failing but it’s not a problem because at low phs the ammonia turns to ammonium.

    Be warned- as soon as the ph goes up the ammonium will turn right back into ammonia.


    Go slow with raising and let your bacteria catch up. I think above 6.8 or 7 is when it’s all just ammonia and no ammonium
     
  8. OP
    OP
    wibbylynn

    wibbylynn Valued Member Member

    Image1529426578.099330.jpg
    This is my tank right now. There are no live plants and a gravel substrate.
    The water at the top is rather foamy though. I’ll do a 50% water change today. I just did one on Saturday though so the water isn’t very old or anything. I’m not sure what could be messing with it.

    That might explain why my cories and guppies are fine but my snails seem a bit unhappy :(
    Thanks for the tip though, I didn’t know that.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 19, 2018
  9. IHaveADogToo

    IHaveADogToo Well Known Member Member

    Hey that's a neat looking tank! Is that giant piece of wood real or fake? If it's real, that could be the source of your pH drop.
     
  10. OP
    OP
    wibbylynn

    wibbylynn Valued Member Member

    It’s fake. I’m thinking since my cycle crashed from adding new fish that the new cycling is lowering my pH. I read that the biological filter does that when it’s nitrifying.
     
  11. MikeRad89

    MikeRad89 Well Known Member Member

    Your water has a low KH, which is the level of dissolved carbonates that help buffer the water and prevent pH change. The tap water is full of dissolved CO2, once that gasses off, you're left with your "true" pH - which looks to be around 6 and is not conducive to maintaining enough bacteria to keep a cycle.

    It's a quick fix. Do not use the pH tablets. Go get some crushed coral or cuttlebone (crush it up with a hammer) and put it in a mesh bag and put it in your filter.

    Your KH will rise, your pH will rise, and everything will remain consistent so your BB colony can grow.
     
  12. OP
    OP
    wibbylynn

    wibbylynn Valued Member Member

    Thank you!! I have some cuttle bone already in the tank but I will add some to my filter ASAP.
     
  13. MikeRad89

    MikeRad89 Well Known Member Member

    I'd crush up 2 large cuttlebones into bits and put them in the filter. You want to raise that KH as quick as possible.
     
  14. OP
    OP
    wibbylynn

    wibbylynn Valued Member Member

    I can get to the store tonight and get it all and put it in. I have a little bit here but not much and no extra mesh, is there anything I can do with that until I get to the store tonight?
     
  15. MikeRad89

    MikeRad89 Well Known Member Member

    You've waited this long, a few more hours isn't going to matter.
     




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