Ph Help Fish Are Dying

BobbyGregg

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Im having a hard time dealing with ph in my 2 tanks. My tap is 7.5ph.
My 60g was down to 6 or lower, i use API test kit my A/N2/N3 are where they are supposed to be.
I did a 75% wc a big one cause its what i do every week, this has been a problem for past cppl months I've tried API Ph Up with the proper recommend dose. When I did my wc last night my Ph was above 7.5 than when I checked this morning it was back down to 6 or lower. I usually run 1x air stone 2x smaller air stones in deco,
At first I had 4x Angles 3x Dojo Wearher Loach 1x Common Pleco 4x Swordtails.
Last 2 months I lost 4x Swordtails 2xLoaches
On a cppl deaths my ammonia was .25ppm but Ph was 6 or lower. Id dose with Ph up and things would look good for a day and than Id find a fish floating. Do a check all is normal but Ph 6.0 or lower.

I would do a water change 50% (some times i did a wc 3-4 times a week 50%) between the wc and ph levels thats whats killing my fish.

My second tank is a 20g that has 4x red eye tetras 1x Siames algea eater 3x dojo weather loaches 1x hillstream loach. (NOTE: the 3 loaches are temp, I got another 50g to set up, I bought them to go there, they were gonna go in my 60g temp but im loosing fish in that one.)
In my second tank no fish are dieing. A/N2/N3 are good parameters but ph is 6.0 or lower.

After the wc last night the ph was 7.6 or higher and when i woke up this am it was back to 6.0 or lower, I dosed it with API Ph up and 5 hrs later its still 6.0 or lower how often can use Ph up?

What am I doing wrong here I have sand substrate, some plastic plants and some real plants i use a Aqua Clear 110
 

JayH

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If your pH is 6 then ammonia wasn't a contributor to the death of your fish. At that pH you'd need off the charts ammonia readings to have enough free ammonia to harm the fish.

My guess is the wild swings in pH are doing far more harm to the fish than the steady low pH is. Many fish prefer a particular somewhat narrow pH range but can tolerate a much larger range without harm. I'd stop the chemical attacks on pH.

Get some crushed coral and put a bag of that in your filter. It should slowly raise the pH and stabilize it by increasing the KH. Since this seems to be a problem for you, I'd also get a KH test kit and keep an eye on it.

You should also read this thread on pH, KH, and GH.
 

aae0130

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......or replace your gravel with aragonite gravel. That will slowly release carbonates in your water which will raise your hardness and prevent ph swings.

Is your tank planted? Plants can use up the minerals very fast.
 

jdhef

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At a pH below 7.0, ammonia starts turning into ammonium, and by the time your pH gets to 6.0 all ammonia is ammonium. Ammonium is far less toxic than ammonia (some claim it is nontoxic).

So you ammonium levels can get pretty high and your fish will be fine. But then you do a water change with water with a higher pH. Now suddenly your pH get closer to 7.0 and all that not so toxic ammo is has turned into highly toxic ammonia and your fish are now exposed to it.

One additional think about ammonium is that it is a terri Lee food source for the ammonia converting bacteria. This can cause your ammonia converting bacteria to go dormant or starve off. This can then cause your nitrite converting bacteria to also starve off, since no ammonia is being converted into nitrites.

I would recommend against using chemicals to alter your pH, they can lead to severe pH swings that can kill your fish. You problem is most likely due to havi g a low KH (KH makes pH more resistant to change).

Instead I would recommend adding some crushed coral. About 1 cup per 30 gallons. This will naturally increase your pH and KH and you won't have to worry about dangerous pH swings.

You can put the crushed coral in a media bag and stuff it into your filter if it will fit. If not you can put media bag directly into the tank. And if you don't like the look of the bag in the tank, you can sprinkle it in with your substrate
 

Momgoose56

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how long would i keep the coral in my filter, until proper ph or for good?
In the filter, you'd add 1 cup per 30 gallons of tank water. That will raise your pH and KH slowly and keep it from dropping after your water changes. I recommend adding crushed coral or aragonite to the filter overflow chamber rather than directly to the tank. It works better that way and is removable and replaceable there-plus you don't need as much. In the tank as substrate you would need 1 pound per 10 gallons of tank water for the same effect.
 

JayH

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At a pH below 7.0, ammonia starts turning into ammonium, and by the time your pH gets to 6.0 all ammonia is ammonium. Ammonium is far less toxic than ammonia (some claim it is nontoxic).

So you ammonium levels can get pretty high and your fish will be fine. But then you do a water change with water with a higher pH. Now suddenly your pH get closer to 7.0 and all that not so toxic ammo is has turned into highly toxic ammonia and your fish are now exposed to it.
At a pH of 7.0, only 0.39% of the Total Ammonia Nitrate (TAN) is toxic free ammonia. The danger TAN reading at that pH is 4.0-5.0ppm (depending on temperature). As the pH rises to 8.0 the percentage shifts to where ammonia is much more likely to be an issue. Above 8.0 virtually ANY detectable TAN is going to result in a level of free ammonia that can harm the livestock. At a pH of 6.0 you'd need a TAN reading of 50ppm before it would become an issue.

Given the OP's TAN reading of 0.25ppm, I think it's safe to rule out ammonia as a contributor in the deaths of the fish.
 

Islandvic

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@BobbyGregg welcome to the forum.

Here are some good videos regarding pH and water hardness from Jason with Prime Time Aquatics. It's one of the few YouTube channels regarding our hobby I trust.



 
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