Ph Level's In Freshwater Tank

Susan McGarry
  • #1
Help my ph level seems to be dropping. I did a 10% water change last night but it seems to have dropped a little for today. I have 3 filters on the tank and I have cleaned biggest one last night. I thought this would raise the ph level. All other levels are good.
 
NavyChief20
  • #2
What is your tank size. What are your other chemistry levels. What filters.
 
Susan McGarry
  • Thread Starter
  • #3
36 gal tank with Ammonia and nitrites are 0 and a trace of nitrates I have a snail and a gold fish.
I have a aqua 70 and 30 and a sponge filter for a 75 gal tank
 
NavyChief20
  • #4
whats your pH of your tap water and tank water? Have you done a scale (hardness) test?
That's a lot of filtration but not unheard of considering a goldfish.
 
Susan McGarry
  • Thread Starter
  • #5
no I don't have a hardness test. I have had the tank since Feb 8 before that a 10 gal tank. I never had a ph problem Wow I just took it again and where it was 6.4 now the tank water is 6.0 and tap water is 7.6
 
Fashooga
  • #6
If you want to raise it you can buy a bag of crushed coral. 1 cup to 40 gallons usually is the standard rate. So on a 10 gallon you use about a quarter cup.

You can put it into a bag or use it as substrate. I put mine in a bag in the filter.
 
Susan McGarry
  • Thread Starter
  • #7
just took out another paper cup of water and it looks between 6.4 and 6.6 again Why would it change like this ?
 
NavyChief20
  • #8
you have a airstone on the sponge filter right? Any weird substrate or medications or that prime garbage? Do you test for CO2?

You can try a larger water change and see what happens. 6.0 is lightly acidic. 7.5-8.5 is most drinking water
 
Susan McGarry
  • Thread Starter
  • #9
I have a 36 gallon now I would have to get it tomorrow. Do I put it in the filter or just in with the stones? Do you think it will be ok for the night?
 
NavyChief20
  • #10
put it in with the stones. also a waxed paper cup is not good for testing as the wax or paper can give a false reading due to leaching into your test medium
 
Susan McGarry
  • Thread Starter
  • #11
oh maybe it's the cup because I am getting different readings for different cups of water. I will try a different cup and yes I use prime in the water just because I worry about ammonia I had a very bad problem with ammonia in the 10 gallon tank. I only had the goldfish in that tank. I am going to try a plastic cup thank you
 
NavyChief20
  • #12
you had problems with ammonia in the 10 gallon cause of the size and the goldfish. They are messy messy fish! 10 gallon tanks are always a struggle to maintain chemistry, the higher the volume the easier (relatively) it is to maintain your overall chemistry plan.
 
Susan McGarry
  • Thread Starter
  • #13
Well I have like 8 ph tests lol they are all a little different but a very light green (just different shades) Would putting too much prime cause the ph to be dropping? I won't put any in tonight . I have stability would putting some in help any?
 
NavyChief20
  • #14
the prime isn't necessarily affecting pH. It can give false positives based on the liquid tester you are using and the bond it forms which will release an ammonia ion into solution. Thus false positive. Higher pH conditions will convert ammonium into ammonia very quickly. Higher temp is directly proportional to pH. I am not a fan of prime or bacterial starters. I just don't trust em. Test your water in the morning and see what you get.
 
Susan McGarry
  • Thread Starter
  • #15
ok thank you I did add maybe a little too much prime last night. I don't have the air stone hooked up because the sponge filter makes bubbles and both the filters. If that is necessary I will hook it up in this tank too. Yes I am going to bed thank you I will deal with it in the morning.
 
NavyChief20
  • #16
ahhhh yes connect the airstone. That will oxygenate more and help off gas the CO2 build up you mightbe having. Incidentally high CO2 causes a lowering pH
 
Susan McGarry
  • Thread Starter
  • #17
ok will do first thing in the morning
 
NavyChief20
  • #18
yeah I have to go pass out I'm up in 4 hours
 
Susan McGarry
  • Thread Starter
  • #19
I put the air stone in at midnight last night. Today it is still 6.4. The girl at petsmart suggested I either take off one of the filters or take out the carbine from one of them? They sold me neutral regulator but after reading reviews I don't think I should use it.
 
NavyChief20
  • #20
I put the air stone in at midnight last night. Today it is still 6.4. The girl at petsmart suggested I either take off one of the filters or take out the carbine from one of them? They sold me neutral regulator but after reading reviews I don't think I should use it.
Adding the neutral regulator is just another addition to the chemistry issue. She is saying to remove the carbon for one of two reasons:
1. She doesn't know what the carbon actually does (filters out dissolved organic compounds and scrubs the tannins and phenols).
2. She knows there is a very minute chance that phosphates could be released into the water from the carbon which could lead to an acidic build up...lowering pH.

#2 is a very low probability.

Securing the filtration on two filters will have an effect on your chemistry but not necessarily a change in pH in the direction you want. When I leave base tonight I will do the math on your circulation ratio. If the tank did not have fish in it I would recommend a bicarbonate soda add to raise pH. Let the pumps and air stone run then do a 20% waterchange. Do a chemical test prior to and then 1 hour after. I'll get back to you with a chemistry plan.
 
Susan McGarry
  • Thread Starter
  • #21
Ok I will continue to check the ph level and return the neutral regulator. I will pick up a bag of the crush coral and a small bag to put some in. I guess I should give it 24 hours to see if it gets higher after adding the air stone. It was between 6.4. I am also getting a piece of filter sponge to put int he intake tube this is the second time the snail has been on it. thank you
 
NavyChief20
  • #22
Just a helpful supplies note....most materials i.e. sponge material and media material is cheaper at the hardware store because it doesn't say "aquarium" on it
 
Susan McGarry
  • Thread Starter
  • #23
I worked this morning 3 am to 7 am so I am going to bed soon. The ph level is still 6.4. I will do the water change tomorrow afternoon or evening. I did buy a bag of crushed coral but I am nervous about adding it. I don't want to add to much. I also bought a couple of mesh bags to put the coral in if or when I add it. thank for all your help.
 
CraniumRex
  • #24
Not a pH expert but I do think the coral will stabilize your pH. Even if you don't know your KH (which I suspect is low), it will help to keep it the same. KH is what "buffers" your pH and unless it is a CO2 buildup (possible) having it in the coral will keep the pH from crashing like it seems to be.

Just a suggestion, if you are changing water out, do a couple of smaller water changes rather than a big one. Changing from 7.0 to 7.6 is one thing (neutral to basic) but crossing over from acidic to basic might be tough on the fish. They will probably be fine, pH shock isn't all it's made out to be, but if they were my fish, I would gradually change the pH.
 
Susan McGarry
  • Thread Starter
  • #25
ok the beginning of the week I did a water change. I have a 36 gal tank and took out 4 gallons. It didn't seem to change the ph level. Before the water change the ph was 6.6 and kh was 1 The ph was lower after the water change. If I add the coral in the mesh bag how much should I start with?
 
Susan McGarry
  • Thread Starter
  • #26
the tank has been running since Feb 8 and I never had a ph problem or KH problem. reading ph 7.0 kh 2 before that ph 7.6 kh 4. The only thing I have done is buy plants and a snail.
 
CraniumRex
  • #27
KH of 1 is pretty low. Weird that it would go down after a water change if your source water is 7.6 -- have I understood that correctly? Talk about a head scratcher. Have you tested your tap water recently? Maybe something in it has changed? Grasping at straws here. You said you don't have a hardness test - do you mean GH or KH?

I think Fashooga said 1 cup per 40 gallons so 1/4 cup for your 10G.

Adding plants should lessen a CO2 problem, not increase it.
 
Susan McGarry
  • Thread Starter
  • #28
I brought the water on April 14th, to eddies Aquarium to have it tested. I try to go there every week or 10 days to buy a couple plants and have the water test. Than when I get home I test it either every night or every other night. I only have the API master kit at home. The 1 in under the KH I have all the test from Eddies the time I started the 36 gal tank. I have some water that has sat in a gallon water container I think I will test it along with my tap water. I normally let the water sit over night so it is at room temp before adding it. I did stop adding stability but I still add prime. Sometimes more than called for. Actually I did by accident (sort of ) over feed. I was trying to drop from flakes to the snail. I tried my best to get as much as I could out of the tank. So that was right around the same time as the ph change. before the snail it was 7.o
 
TexasGuppy
  • #29
4 gallons isn't much of a change. You have probably been dropping all along. I would do a few back to back 10 gallon changes.
 
Susan McGarry
  • Thread Starter
  • #30
ok yes sort of it started out at this is how it went 7.4 ph 5 kh 7.6 ph 4 kh that was for a couple weeks that 7.0 2 kh that for a couple weeks. So yes the kh has steadily been going down. I just tested my tap water and water from jug both are the same 7.6
 
Susan McGarry
  • Thread Starter
  • #31
Ok 10 gallon seems like a lot. Should I leave the filters on? Should I vacuum or just take out water? Will it hurt my good bacteria? I am going to let you go I need to get some sleep. I have been up since 2 am and it's almost 11 pm Thank you
 
TexasGuppy
  • #32
Water changes don't hurt bacteria. I do 50% frequently in 10 gallon and 54g. Yes, probably need to turn filter off during change. No need to vac, just need to get KH up and remove acids lowering pH.
 
Susan McGarry
  • Thread Starter
  • #33
ok I will do it tomorrow. Do you put your water in jugs over night or straight from the tap? For some reason I thought I had to use cold water and let it get to room temperature.
 
TexasGuppy
  • #34
I use it straight from tap after using instant thermometer to get exact match temp. Dose conditioner for full tank volume into tank first.
 
Susan McGarry
  • Thread Starter
  • #35
ok so the water I am actually added has not been treated yet. Thank you
Good Night
 
Susan McGarry
  • Thread Starter
  • #36
Wow this not good I changed the water at 12:30. I did the 10 gal water change. At 1:30 I took a reading and the PH level was 6.6 at 12:30 and 7.6 at 1:30. and now at 9:30 it back to 6.6 I don't know why? Some of my plants still have the clips because I attach them to the artificial plants. I don't know what to do?
 
TexasGuppy
  • #37
Did you add the crushed coral? Love plants will consume KH, so water changes can help bring it back up, but your source is already low so it's not going up much with your WC. Add the crushed coral and monitor. You want a level of 4 or higher.
using baking soda to increase kH
A small amount to raise it 2ppm is what I would do right now.
 
Susan McGarry
  • Thread Starter
  • #38
ok How much crushed coral should I add? I have a 36 gallon tank. I just cleaned the sponge filter hoping that would help. I am trying to get the ph to 7 right?
I am going to put the crushed coral in a mesh bag, I think I read to rise it off so I would use treated work I would think.
 
TexasGuppy
  • #39
You don't need a target pH necessarily, you need KH of 4 or more to keep it stable. Swings are bad for fish.
You can rinse bag in a little tank water to remove dust, then check KH levels daily.. you can reduce amount once you learn how fast it raises level vs plants.
 
Susan McGarry
  • Thread Starter
  • #40
I think I should get a kh test kit tomorrow so I know where I am starting than I will add a 1/4 cup of crushed coral to start out with. I might just ride up to Eddies Aquarium and have them check it and get the kit there. I just don't want to add anything that might bring it up to high to fast.
 
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