Newbie wondering if my water parameters are ok

JLSwenson

Member
Hi all. I’m very new to the fish keeping hobby....I set up a tank for my kids this April, but find myself the most intrigued about the fish and keeping them healthy! Our guppies are great, and have had several batches of fry since April. But, slowly, the adult guppies have perished (We have 3 adults left of 7), and I’m wondering if the water is the problem? Ive had my local fish store experts test my water each time I go in (about once a month), and it always comes out normal, but with a high pH.
Also, the water is very clear, but is a brownish yellow color, and that started about 2 months ago. I cannot figure out how to clear up the discoloration. Also, my sword plants have died out, and the only thing that thrives right now is my Java Fern (which has a bunch of baby ferns attached, so I have taken a few to stick into the rocks around the aquarium. Recently, I read up on water hardness (GH & KH), and bought the API brand test kit, along with my own pH test kit. Here are the results:

GH = 3
KH = 19 (Do I need to lower this? Test instructions say “Ideal” for guppies is 8-11KH)
pH = 7.6 (could be higher as this is the top of the test grid that was included)

I would love thoughts on what you think could be going on, and I’m happy to give any more details if necessary. Thank you in advance, I appreciate any insight I can get.
 

Islandvic

Member
Welcome to the forum.

Could you post some more info like tank size, model/brand/type of filters, temp, water change size and frequency etc etc.

Hard to tell about your situation without knowing ammonia/ nitrite/ nitrate levels.

As long as pH is stable and doesn't fluctuate, a pH in high 7's is ok for most fish. They adapt just fine most times. Fish really prefer not to have pH fluctuate up or down. This causes more problems versus a pH that's "too high" but stable.
 

Darthmoli

Member
Hello! Your KH is pretty high so I'm gonna actually assume your PH is around 7.8 - 8.0. If your guppies have been breeding already in your water then its probably better to keep it where it is then it is to try and lower it now. Your fish have most likely become accustomed to your water and making a large change such as lower Kh or PH could do more harm then good at this point since its been ~5 months. Adults could've died to old age or maybe they just werent as accustomed to your kh as the young fry will be.

Do you know what your Ammonia, Nitrites and Nitrates are? How often do you do water changes and how big is your tank? Brown can just be diatoms growing which is an algae thats not gonna hurt anything. Did you happen to add any wood to the tank? Could be tannins being released from driftwood. What type of substrate are you using and are you using and fert tabs or fertilizers? Swords need a lot of nutrients from the substrate to grow well and will usually melt back when first introduced to a tank and then will grow new leaves when it becomes accustomed to your water so as long as you have roots dont throw out your sword just yet. Ferns are easier and hardier which is why its doing okay.
 
  • Thread Starter

JLSwenson

Member
Thank you for your responses. It’s helpful to know that the fry will be more resilient to the water parameters than they adults are. And also that my sword plant will die out and have a good chance at returning.

Tank size: 10 gallons
Filters: I’m in the process of switching out filters, so I’m running both of them at the moment, to build up the bacterial load of the new filter. First filter has been used since April, TopFin brand, Silenstream 10. New filter is Aqueon QuietFlow20 and have been running that alongside the TopFin for the past 2-3 weeks.
Tank Temp: 76-80 Degrees consistently
Water change: 25% weekly
Ammonia levels = 0
Driftwood: Yes, permanently within the past month. I added it in May after boiling it a few times, it still turned water brown, so I removed it. I boiled it many more times in August and permanently placed it in the tank then. Not sure if it’s still leaching or not, because the water was clear brown before adding the driftwood.
Substrate: Gravel
Fertilizers: No
 

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SanDiegoRedneck

Member
JLSwenson said:
Hi all. I’m very new to the fish keeping hobby....I set up a tank for my kids this April, but find myself the most intrigued about the fish and keeping them healthy! Our guppies are great, and have had several batches of fry since April. But, slowly, the adult guppies have perished (We have 3 adults left of 7), and I’m wondering if the water is the problem? Ive had my local fish store experts test my water each time I go in (about once a month), and it always comes out normal, but with a high pH.
Also, the water is very clear, but is a brownish yellow color, and that started about 2 months ago. I cannot figure out how to clear up the discoloration. Also, my sword plants have died out, and the only thing that thrives right now is my Java Fern (which has a bunch of baby ferns attached, so I have taken a few to stick into the rocks around the aquarium. Recently, I read up on water hardness (GH & KH), and bought the API brand test kit, along with my own pH test kit. Here are the results:

GH = 3
KH = 19 (Do I need to lower this? Test instructions say “Ideal” for guppies is 8-11KH)
pH = 7.6 (could be higher as this is the top of the test grid that was included)

I would love thoughts on what you think could be going on, and I’m happy to give any more details if necessary. Thank you in advance, I appreciate any insight I can get.
I agree with above, don't mess with ph. That's great ph for guppies. Guppies like hard water. Guppies have short lives so could easily be old age if you only seeing adults die hear and there.

My water with healthy guppies is
425tds
7.8ph
12gh
7kh
 
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