PH spike from nowhere?!?!?!

  1. fallemnier Initiate Member

    I set up my 7.5 gallon about 2 weeks ago and all has been ok. Minor battling with ammonia but Prime has won that battle for me. Now i have a PH battle on my hands.:;swls
    It has been right around 7.5 up until 3 days ago. it had jumped up to 8 Then tonight when i got home from fishing i noticed my serpaes were REALLY pale. PH had spiked up to 8.6!!! I dosed with API PH Down. I know thats not a permanet solution but i had to act quick. I also had a nice piece of driftwood i found and had boiled and soaked for 2 days. i read that driftwood could lower my ph so i tossed that in ahead of schedual. what else can i do? better yet why did my ph spike?! my tap water is a solid 7.5.... im really clueless :confused:
     
  2. Aquarist Fishlore Legend Member

    Good morning,

    :animal0068:I have moved your thread from Freshwater Beginners to Aquarium Water/pH section of the forum.

    According to your Aquarium Profile Information, your aquarium is not cycled. When your aquarium is not cycled, your pH can bounce around. Another good reason for cycling without fish. :)

    Please do not use chemicals to alter your pH levels. They are unstable and can lead to a pH crash resulting in fish loss. There are natural methods to alter your pH in the link below, but until your aquarium has completed the nitrogen cycle, I wouldn't worry about it too much. The link below will also tell you how to find your true pH value.
    http://www.ratemyfishtank.com/articles/107

    Driftwood can lower your pH over time, but it usually takes a good quantity of wood to do it.

    Since your aquarium isn't cycled, you should be doing daily water changes with Prime to detox your levels for 24 hours until it's time for the next water change. Keep up with the daily water changes until you have readings of 0 Ammonia, 0 Nitrites and under 20 Nitrates. At this point your tank has cycled.

    Once you add the Prime, wait 24 hours to test for more accurate results.

    It is more important to maintain a pH level than it is to pinpoint a certain level. Too, it will be much easier on you and your fish. The pH can be maintained via frequent water changes.

    Best wishes for your tank and fish.

    Ken
     

  3. fallemnier Initiate Member

    yea i know i shouldnt be fussing on keeping it at a certian level. but 8.6 was waaay to high.My fish were pale and could hardly swim.. im gonna try the peatmoss trick. I have a aquaclear20 HOB filter. where should i put the peatmoss?
     
  4. iZaO Jnr Well Known Member Member

    Do not worry about pH until you ahve cycled. Until then, its almost assured that your pH will stabilize.

    Good luck
     

  5. e_watson09 Well Known Member Member

    Your fish may be white and stressed out for other reasons than your pH. Being in an uncycled tank can stress ANY fish out. Then also having fish in improper schools can stress fish out. Having fish in too small of a tank can stress fish out.

    I wouldn't use any pH chemicals in your tank. I hate them, it makes your pH more unstable than it originally was. Using natural ways can help but I agree I wouldn't mess with it until your cycle is finished.
     
  6. fallemnier Initiate Member

    well i know im not very expirienced but my ph was suddenly way high and my fish looked like they were on deaths door step. i dropped the ph and now they have thier color back and everything is fine.. thier max ph is supposed to be 7.8 soooo. but yes i understand that chemicals are not a long term solution. it was either add the ph down or watch them die...

    I got a big piece of driftwood in there so that should help a little bit. ill prolly get some peat moss too for the filter. but i wont add it till the cycle is done. i do understand stability is very important to the little guys.
     
  7. iZaO Jnr Well Known Member Member

    dont buy anything for pH... dont even worry about attempting to change the pH as it has the possibility of disturbing your cycle. Besides the toxicity of ammonia and nitrite, pH swing is another reason why cycling woth fish is so bad.

    Chemicals arent ANY kind of solution. 90% of pH down products contain phosphates, which are a terrible thing in the aquarium:

    1. Algae thrive off of it.
    2. Increases your water hardness (which in turn raises pH eventually)
    3. Studies have shown evidence of it slowing a cycle (because of algae using nutrients before biofilter)

    I can guarantee that tomorrow or the next day your pH will be up again. I urge you not to use any chemicals!! Trust all of us here, it doesnt work, and will only make things worse.

    As for the fish, the pH spike probably is affecting them, but they have to deal with ammonia and nitrite too, which is why they were in such a bad condition. Dont worry about the fish with pH as they are more adaptable to pH changes than they are tolerant of toxins of the cycle.

    Take our advice and leave the pH alone. Once you have completed you cycle i can almost assure you your pH will stabilize and come right.

    PS: Ammonia has a natural pH of 11.0. This could easily be the reason for a pH spike.