pH and KH in 10 gal QT tank

Discussion in 'pH' started by muelleh, Jan 3, 2013.

  1. muelleh

    muellehValued MemberMember

    I have a QT tank with 2 corys and 5 serpae tetras who are in week 6 of their QT and ready to go into the main tank. I tested the water in both tanks (as I do on a weekly basis) before transferring them and was shocked to see that the pH in the QT tank, which had been at least 7.8, had dropped to 6.0!! Needless to say, I did not transfer the fish but am now in a panic about that low pH. All the tanks in my house have pHs of at least 7.8, as did the QT tank the last time I checked it. Ammonia 0, nitrIte 0, nitrAte 10. The fish in the QT tank do not appear to be stressed...they are eating and acting normal despite that low pH.

    So then I tested my tap water (I am on a well) and the KH took 3 drops to change color, the GH 7 drops, and the pH straight from the tap is between 6.2-6.4. I set up a bucket with an air stone this morning so I can test it tomorrow.

    When I tested the water in my main tank and the QT tank for KH, the water NEVER turned blue (as it did from the tap before turning yellow)...just turned yellow after 2 drops. From what I understand from reading everything on this site that I could, this means I have no buffering capacity in my water, though it it "better" straight out of the tap than after it has been in the tank.

    I have forced myself not to add baking soda to the QT tank to raise the pH as the fish seem fine, but I feel like I need to do something! I did do an extra water change on the QT tank this week as I had been gone for a week and although my husband changed the water, I think he overfed, because the nitrAtes were really high (40) when I got home. Normally I change 25% of the water every week and treat with Prime just to be on the safe side.

    Every time of I have tested the pH via the bucket and air stone method, it has tested very high. I just don't understand what would have caused it to drop so in the QT tank. BTW, I am fishless cycling another tank and have nitrItes now, and the pH in it is also 6.0...? But the pH in all my established tanks (plants, gravel, sand, driftwood) is 7.8+.

    Any specific suggestions? If I need to add crushed coral, how much? Baking soda, how much? Do I need to worry about the kH in the main tank if the pH is consistent?

    Thanks in advance...
  2. 3aquariums

    3aquariumsValued MemberMember

  3. JoannaB

    JoannaBWell Known MemberMember

    Have you read about drip acclimation method to slowly acclimate fish to different conditions? If I were you, since you have large difference in water between QT tank and destination tank, I would use drip acclimation. If there does not appear to be anything wrong with the fish, I don't think a difference in pH is a reason to postpone moving them, as long as you are careful to slowly acclimate them.

    EDIT: In the future, consider using water from your main tank in the QT tank during water changes to equalize conditions in the two tanks, but this is advice for the future, since at this point the pH is too different in the two tanks and your fish are ready to move, so I really think drip acclimation is the way to go.

    I would suggest that you do not try to mess with the pH in the QT tank while these fish are still in there. It is really easy to make mistakes when messing with pH, and that would stress these fish unnecessarily.
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2013
  4. OP

    muellehValued MemberMember

    Just checked the bucket with the air stone at lunch: pH has risen to 7.6 in 6 hours.
  5. OP

    muellehValued MemberMember

    Thanks for the responses! Yes, I normally drip acclimate anyway, but was worried that the huge difference might be insurmountable. I guess it will take several hours and am concerned about keeping the water warm enough but not too warm. I drip acclimated them to get them into the QT tank (when it's pH was 7.8) and it took all afternoon.
  6. Aquarist

    AquaristFishlore LegendMember

    Good morning Alan Martin and Welcome to Fish Lore,

    I am moving your post to create a thread of its own. It will help you to receive more responses and prevent hijacking another members thread.

    I'll post the link to your new thread here in just a moment and I'll send a link to your Visitor Messages also.

    Thanks! I hope you enjoy the forum.



    Edit: Here is the link to your new thread: