Question PH of replacement water higher than tank water, what to do?

chrisexv6

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After getting a cycle going again in our 5 gallon, I noticed that the pH is pretty low....6.2-ish...for our single betta.

Our tap water is 7.0-7.2, which makes me wonder if some of Oliver's issues are pH shock related. He doesnt jump out of the tank during water changes, but he darts around a little. I thought it was because of the incoming water "waves" but now Im thinking otherwise.

In this case, what do you do? Bring down the pH of the incoming water or attempt to bring up the pH of the tank water? I would lean towards bringing up the tank water since 6.2 seems low, but what would be the safest way? Crushed coral or seachem regulator?

Thanks.
 

Truckjohn

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Don't worry about it.

I would worry more about the low pH of the water in the tank throwing off the nitrogen cycle.... I would start thinking about an aquarium pH buffer product and a tablespoon of crushed coral in the tank hidden somewhere it's not real obvious and ugly...

That's one of the items on John's List of ways I crashed my tank nitrogen cycle....
 

coralbandit

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Have you let your source water outgas 24 hours in a bucket and then tested pH ?
My guess is your water is really lower then when it comes out the tap rich with O2..
When the O2 outgasses to equilibrium with the atmoshpere and balances O2 and CO2 the ph is likely lower then 7.0
Last thing I would do is adjust it somehow .. If the difference is just the gases then the fish knows no different as the true hardness of the water never changed one little bit ..This is how planted people with CO2 drop their pH 1 point every day and then let it go back up again at nigh t only to do it again..
DON'T TOUCH YOUR WATER YOU ARE ALL GOOD IMO..
 
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chrisexv6

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Thanks everyone!

I will fill a jug with tap and leave it open to the air overnight and check pH sometime tomorrow. Maybe there is no issue, after all.

I know when we first started this tank, the pH would stay around 7. At some point it dropped to where we see it now and it was around the same time our betta started acting weird. Wouldnt leave the bottom of the tank, etc. He is still acting like that, somewhat....lays on the bottom of the tank with his head aimed up, but at least at this point he will swim around and grab food (before he would only eat if it landed in front of him)

I was worried that the pH crash is what caused it, still am actually, but will try the water test to see.
 
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chrisexv6

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So I left a glass of tap water out overnight. pH when filled was 7.2-ish. pH right now is STILL 7.2-ish.

Tank pH is STILL low (6.2-ish is my guess)

Feel like I need to bring the tank pH up so I dont kill the cycle, but I still dont know why the tank pH is so much lower than the source water.
 

Magicpenny75

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Don't go crazy trying to chase your water to the "ideal" pH.
The best way to get the pH in your tank more in line with the tap water is to do more water changes. Over time in any system, the baseline pH will drop due to decomposing organics in the substrate and filter media. More water changes are your answer. Adding some crushed coral in a piece of (new, clean) pantyhose inside the filter will make it more stable on the "up" side, but please don't go adding baking soda or any of the commercial pH adjusters. They almost always spell disaster in a tank that small. Stable and low is better for your fish than swinging all over the place.
 
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chrisexv6

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Got it, will look for some crushed coral today.

So, if the pH of the incoming water is 7.2 and the pH of the tank water is 6.2, when I change the water does that not cause a pH shock for the fish?

And with pH at 6.2, am I at risk of losing my cycle? The cycle is definitely still working (Im seeing about 5ppm nitrates per day), at least for now.
 

Magicpenny75

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If you're worried about shocking him, you can start out with small water changes like 30% or so, a couple times a week, and then up it to 50%. If you change 30% of the water you are moving the pH 30% of the difference...so if you add 30% of pH 7.2 water to pH 6.2 water, you may change the pH in the tank to 6.5. Then say it drops to 6.3 and three days later you do another 30% water change, you raise it to 6.57, and so on. What you don't want to do is raise it from 6.2 to 7.2 in one day. And having that buffer in your filter will help keep it from dropping off too much. A low pH will inhibit the BB, but I think it has to get around 6 for it to stop altogether.
Honestly, in my 5 gallon betta tank, I do a 50% WC weekly, regardless, and I've never paid a bit of attention to the pH in that tank. In my 75 planted tank I do, but even if it starts to fall off, the first course of action is always a large water change. The solution to pollution is dilution.
 
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