PH issues.

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Chozon1

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Or should I say Phissues?

Sadly, all of my Danios have died. I wouldn't have thought that possible, but I'm fairly sure it was because of a bacterial infection in their stomach. I didn't realize this, and I could've treated it had I known.

Anyway, my 10 gallon tank is now empty except for several Java ferns, an Anubias Nana and some Wisteria. I want to put some Guppies in it, but I want to change the substrate to sand first, because the crushed coral in there would shred soft bellies to ribbons.

This is where the issues arise. The coral is in there for a reason, because my water source (a well) has extremely acidic, extremely soft, water. It's below a 6.0. I had to put the aragonite in there before it would even cycle. And even with a full bed of aragonite, the PH is at 8.0. With a full load of fish I'd say it's at 7.8. Which is pretty high, still...

So my problem is, if I remove the aragonite, my PH drops to normal. If I move the aragonite into a separate tank and buffer the water there (which is how I've been doing my water changes, so as not to PH shock the fish) I run the risk of the plants and fish making the PH drop before my weekly water change.

Any advice would be helpful. My main option I see is to switch to aragonite sand, which isn't as rough.
 

pepetj

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If it were me, I would go for soft/acidic fish for your tanks. Plants adapt better to soft/acidic conditions than hard/alkaline ones. That is, species from hard water, like Anubias, will do well in soft water, but species from soft water won't do that well in hard water.

I replace the whole substrate and use your source water as it is. Take at least two weeks to cycle that tank fishless and go with Apistogramma, Rams, or Cardinal Tetras.

Pepetj
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Chozon1

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Actually, that's a really good idea. My only problem is that I'm fairly sure my normal PH is well under 6.0. That's just as low as my kit goes. And I've read that under that, the bacteria don't function as well, then die off entirely.
 

catsma_97504

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Fill up a bucket with your well water, and add an airstone. Let it run for about 24-hours to dissipate any dissolved gases. Then, test your pH. This is the only way I know of to determine true pH.

If I test my tap immediately, I get 6.4 pH, but after aeration I get 6.8.

I agree that switching to soft water, low pH fish might be a good option. Most hobbyists dream of soft, low pH water. Too bad your tank isn't bigger. You could have discus fish.

Your profile indicates that your nitrates are "less than 40". Most fish are affected by nitrates this high over time. Usually, the recommendation is to keep nitrates under 20 PPM. It may be possible that your danios were affected by nitrate poisoning.
 
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Chozon1

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Rams are cool. And if I could get them in my area, cardinal tetras would be sweet too. ^_^ But what about the issue of bacteria dying off at that low of a PH? Also, I tried growing some anacharis in the tank with standard non-reactive gravel, and it melted off within a few weeks. Will my other plants be messed up?

Also, my Nitrate/nitrite kit didn't get used often because I couldn't afford to replace it. I tested it if the fish appeared to be moving oddly, and got 20% the day before my water change. I loaded the tank up with plants and did a 15% water change weekly, so that number is off.
 

Aquarist

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Good morning,

have moved your thread to the Aquarium Water/pH section of the forum.

Great suggestion from Catsma. Take it one step more though. Fill the bucket and let it set for 24 hours. Add an air stone for circulation. Do a test. Wait another 24 hours and test again. Check to see if there is any difference from your first test and second test.
At this point you have a true pH reading.



Yes, if your pH is below 7.0 then the cycling process can be stalled. Once your pH starts to drop below 6.0 the good bacteria begins to die off and your cycle may crash.

Ken
 
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