PH Questions

pinksprklmonkey

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Hi All,

So first off I am so excited! My 10 gallon tank has been cycled for a couple of days now and it is ready for some fish! I am going to be using this tank to properly quarantine before they go into my 55 gallon tank, which is still cycling. In the meantime I want to get some cherry barbs for the ten (sometime this weekend), and once the 55 is cycled, they will go in there. Anyway, I tested my PH tonight since it's cycled, and it topped out at 7.6 on my API testing kit, so I think it could possibly be higher. I have no idea how hard my water is. Eventually I want to have cherry barbs, cardinal tetras, an angel fish, electric blue rams, corys, and maybe some endlers or another live bearer like a guppy. From my research that tells me I need PH between 7 and 7.5. How do I lower my PH? Also, how do I know how high it really is? Is there another kit I have to get to test it?

I've read about chemical adjusters and something about peat moss? Do I have to set my water for a week before the water change with this moss? One link said I did. I don't have room for that in my apartment, especially for changes in the 55 gallon.

Any help would be appreciated. x
 

midthought

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There is a high range pH test kit that you can get that will read for ranges as high as 8.8. See

I'd first check to see if your water really is at 7.6. If it is, I wouldn't worry about peat moss or anything else. If your research points to 7-7.5, any fish that would do well in that range will acclimate just be fine to 7.6. I don't think you should jump through hoops to take off just .1 or even .5.

You didn't mention them specifically, but just to put it out there: products like pH down/up are bad. At best, they work temporarily and stress out your fish, and at worst they mess up your bacteria and send you into a minicycle. Peat moss is a more stable solution, but I wouldn't resort to peat moss unless you confirm your water's pH is crazy high (like 8.8) and water changes wouldn't help with it (i.e. your tap water is also really high pH).

I'm not 100% sure about the peat moss treatment. I've read that you put peat moss in your filter to lower the pH (driftwood in the tank also does this) but then that doesn't prevent a pH crash when you introduce high pH water during your water change. So it makes sense to me that you'd treat water for a week with peat moss before even doing the water change. Still, not sure really.
 

ryanr

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midthought has pretty much got you covered. good advice

Your info states you have the API master kit, that should have a high range pH test kit in it

Definitely agree on the not using pH adjusters, they are a temporary fix.

Just a thought on your tap water, if it is naturally high pH, I would look for species that prefer those conditions, rather than trying to constantly adjust your tap water.

Stability in pH is more important than the actual reading itself, as most fish can acclimate to slightly higher/lower pH levels than is desired. That said, pH can become an important factor if you're planning on breeding (for some species).

Cheers.
 

ryanr

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Not sure exactly what you mean ken, but the high range reagent is different to the low range one.

The high range is shades of yellow/red, low range is green/blue.
 

Aquarist

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Thanks ryanr,

I deleted my post once I started looking at the color charts. Low range ends with blue at 7.6 and the high range starts with light brown at 7.4. So I kind of figured it wouldn't work.
Thanks again!
Ken
 
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pinksprklmonkey

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I'm not interested in breeding so that shouldn't matter too much. I was mostly concerned about the rams, as I have read they are quite delicate and won't tolerate a lot.

And I don't know why I miss the high range pH test but lookie! There it is! HAHA. I tested it, and it looks like I have 7.4. That's in the range any way so I guess I'm good! Thanks!
 

brokenwing

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Hey pinks i was worried about your stocking list, what exactly are you going to put in the ten gallon.
 
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pinksprklmonkey

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LOL. Not trying to worry anyone. All the fish listed above are going to eventually go into my 55 gallon. However I'm using my ten as the quarantine tank. So this weekend I'm getting about 5 cherry barbs, that will go into my 10 temporarily, then into my 55. Once my 55 is stocked I may put something in my 10, but I'm not sure. I would like a betta but I'm considering leaving it as a hospital tank too.
 

ryanr

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Cool cool pinks.
With your high range and low range (aka 'normal'), you'll get to a point where you can tell 7.4 on your low range test. I have the same situation with my water, and I can pretty much tell. Once the tank stabilises, for me, as long as the colour of the test looks the same week in week out, I'm happy (i.e. your pH is constant and stable, which is more important than the actual value)

As for your fish acclimating to pH ranges, if you follow the Fishlore acclimation guides you should be right. For the more sensitive fish, the drip method is probably the best method.

[edit ninja'd by OP ]I'm also with brokenwing on this one, what exactly are you planning on stocking in which tanks?
Rams will get too big for 10G IMO, not to mention territory issues.
 
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pinksprklmonkey

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Sorry ryan, and brokenwing... I thought I was clear. I will probably be putting all of those fish in my 10 gallon, but one group at a time. I want to add to my 55 slowly so as not to cause a mini cycle or stress my fish out. None of these fish will stay in my 10 for very long. Also, I have quite a few plants in my 10 so there should be stuff breaking the sight line for temporary problems. Hope that's more clear, just to be more clear though...

55 gallon

2 electric blue rams
5 cherry barbs
8 cardinal tetras
1 angel fish
5 pygmy corys
and maybe a few endlers or guppies... not both.

10 gallon

currently a quarantine or "transition" tank.

Maybe a betta much further down the line once the 55 is stocked... but this is still a maybe. It may stay a hospital tank.

x
 

claudicles

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Hey Pinks, you will still need to keep it stocked to keep the filter cycled to use it as a hospital tank. Unless you move the filter onto the 55 when not needed on the 10 of course.
If your tank is just cycled the pH may well change with time anyway.
 
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