Should I perform a water change?

emmaewhite

I'm in the process of cycling my new 10 gal, and am doing daily water testing. My nitrites and nitrates are increasing, so I know the BB are doing their job. However, the pH has been gradually dropping. I tested the water and it was at 6.6 yesterday. Today it's reading 6.0. Should I do a water change to increase the pH?
 

StarGirl

What is the pH of your tap water? You can test it out of the tap and 2 let it gas out overnight and see what that reading is. That low of pH will slow your cycle so if your tap is more do a water change.
 
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emmaewhite

What is the pH of your tap water? You can test it out of the tap and 2 let it gas out overnight and see what that reading is. That low of pH will slow your cycle so if your tap is more do a water change.
I'll go test the pH of the tap now, but I'm guessing it's around neutral. I've been cycling for about a week and it was steady for awhile around 6.8.
 
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StarGirl

I'll go test the pH of the tap now, but I'm guessing it's around neutral. I've been cycling for about a week and it was steady for awhile around 6.8.
The overnight reading is the one we are looking for mostly. I would change the water only if it starts dipping really low. If your water gasses out low you may need to add some crushed coral or something to stabilize it. We won't know until you leave some tap out overnight and see what it reads tomorrow night.
 
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emmaewhite

What is the pH of your tap water? You can test it out of the tap and 2 let it gas out overnight and see what that reading is. That low of pH will slow your cycle so if your tap is more do a water change.
Yes, tap water is 6.8
 
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emmaewhite

The overnight reading is the one we are looking for mostly. I would change the water only if it starts dipping really low. If your water gasses out low you may need to add some crushed coral or something to stabilize it. We won't know until you leave some tap out overnight and see what it reads tomorrow night.
So I should let some tap water stay out over night then read it tomorrow? I think the pH may have dropped because I added a piece of driftwood I bought from the pet store a few days ago to help add bacteria since it was in another tank.
 
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StarGirl

So I should let some tap water stay out over night then read it tomorrow? I think the pH may have dropped because I added a piece of driftwood I bought from the pet store a few days ago to help add bacteria since it was in another tank.
Yes let a glass sit overnight and read it tomorrow night. I really don't think driftwood will lower pH 8 points to be honest.
 
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emmaewhite

Yes let a glass sit overnight and read it tomorrow night. I really don't think driftwood will lower pH 8 points to be honest.
Ok, I'm not sure what it is since it was a steady 6.8 for a while. Do you think adding live plants could've lowered it? I haven't done much to the tank besides add in plants and a piece of driftwood. Also, what does letting the water sit for 24 hours do? I'm a little new to the water testing thing, and I haven't heard of that yet.
 
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StarGirl

Letting it sit will tell you what the pH will be in your tank. You don't change water every day so it will be different from your tap because cities add chlorine and stuff to make it safe to drink. When all that stuff gases off it will tell you the true pH of your water. My pH is the opposite of yours. Out of the tap it is 7.6 in my tanks it is 8.2 because we have hard water here in Michigan. You may need to add a natural buffer to boost yours up because it seems you have softer water.
 
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emmaewhite

Letting it sit will tell you what the pH will be in your tank. You don't change water every day so it will be different from your tap because cities add chlorine and stuff to make it safe to drink. When all that stuff gases off it will tell you the true pH of your water. My pH is the opposite of yours. Out of the tap it is 7.6 in my tanks it is 8.2 because we have hard water here in Michigan. You may need to add a natural buffer to boost yours up because it seems you have softer water.
That makes sense. Should I test the pH of my conditioned water, or does that not make a difference? I've been using Stresscoat. Also, I read you mentioned crushed coral to raise the pH. Do you think I should try that, or get something like pH up? Also, do you buffer the water before you add it to your tank?
 
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StarGirl

That makes sense. Should I test the pH of my conditioned water, or does that not make a difference? I've been using Stresscoat. Also, I read you mentioned crushed coral to raise the pH. Do you think I should try that, or get something like pH up? Also, do you buffer the water before you add it to your tank?
I wouldnt use ph anything ever. Too much of a chance of making mistakes. pH fluctuations will kill fish faster than anything else. Crushed coral will raise your KH therefore stabilizing your pH. Lets see what your pH is tomorrow after you gas it off.
 
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emmaewhite

I wouldnt use ph anything ever. Too much of a chance of making mistakes. pH fluctuations will kill fish faster than anything else. Crushed coral will raise your KH therefore stabilizing your pH. Lets see what your pH is tomorrow after you gas it off.
Sounds good. Thanks so much for helping me!
 
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StarGirl

Just do your straight tap water no conditioner.
 
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emmaewhite

Sounds good. Thanks so much for helping me!
Hey! I just tested the pH of my water after letting it sit for 24 hours and it reads 6.6, so I assume I have naturally soft tap water. I haven't done the rest of my water testing on the tank, but do you think I'll need to buffer my water?
 
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StarGirl

I would think yes. mattgirl is the soft water guru. I would look into some crushed coral (not sand) to put in your filter. Do you have room?
 
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emmaewhite

I would think yes. mattgirl is the soft water guru. I would look into some crushed coral (not sand) to put in your filter. Do you have room?
Currently, I have a marineland filter with carbon and then a fluval sponge as a modifier to fill the surface area. If I ditch the fluval sponge or the carbon cartridge filter than I would have space for the coral. How do you put it in? A mesh bag?
 
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StarGirl

Yes I would do it in a bag. rinse it good because the dust will cause a sudden spike. Put a little at a time in the bag so it doesn't rise too quickly. Hopefully Mattgirl will find us!
 
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emmaewhite

Yes I would do it in a bag. rinse it good because the dust will cause a sudden spike. Put a little at a time in the bag so it doesn't rise too quickly. Hopefully Mattgirl will find us!
Thank you! I tested the pH of my tank water and it is still reading 6 like yesterday. Do you think I should do a water change, or should I keep the water and add coral to my filter to raise the pH?
 
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StarGirl

Do you have the coral and bag? Is there any way to turn the sponge sideways or something to fit the coral? Like I said this is where my knowledge gets thin. lol You really don't want to take out any bb you have established so far, know what I mean?
 
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emmaewhite

Do you have the coral and bag? Is there any way to turn the sponge sideways or something to fit the coral? Like I said this is where my knowledge gets thin. lol You really don't want to take out any bb you have established so far, know what I mean?
I don't have the coral and bag yet because I didn't know if I needed it. I could always cut a piece off of the fluval sponge and it would fit. My nitrites have been very low the past couple of days, so I think that the low pH may be hindering their development.
 
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StarGirl

It can definitely slow the cycle for sure. Im not sure how much coral you will need either. The coral is the most stable way to raise your pH because it melts slowly. It only raises it to a certain point also. You will need to replace it when it starts going down again.
 
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emmaewhite

It can definitely slow the cycle for sure. Im not sure how much coral you will need either. The coral is the most stable way to raise your pH because it melts slowly. It only raises it to a certain point also. You will need to replace it when it starts going down again.
I'm looking for places to buy some, but it's mostly sold in bulk. I only need a little for my 10 gal.
 
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StarGirl

I'm looking for places to buy some, but it's mostly sold in bulk. I only need a little for my 10 gal.
I guess you will have a 10 year supply? hilarious Sorry not funny. That sucks. I have no idea where you get it. Like I said mine is high so I never needed anything like that. I guess changing water won't help much because it will just be 6 tomorrow too. I guess just keep adding your ammonia and hope for the best for now. Until you get some coral. Maybe mattgirl will have a solution I can't think of off hand.ead:
 
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UnknownUser

The answer is always yes.
 
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emmaewhite

I guess you will have a 10 year supply? hilarious Sorry not funny. That sucks. I have no idea where you get it. Like I said mine is high so I never needed anything like that. I guess changing water won't help much because it will just be 6 tomorrow too. I guess just keep adding your ammonia and hope for the best for now. Until you get some coral. Maybe mattgirl will have a solution I can't think of off hand.ead:
I can see what she says, but I think what you told me will work. Thanks so much for the advice! I just don't feel like paying for a big bag of coral
 
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mattgirl

StarGirl has given you some very good suggestions for raising and stabilizing your pH. Check out ebay for your crushed coral. I was able to buy just under a pound of it the first time I bought some. If you can, try to get coral chunks instead of some that has been finely ground into almost the size of sand.

The good thing about CC is it is basically set it and forget it. Don't be concerned about adding too much. It is just going to raise your pH up to a certain number and no farther. I can't tell you what that number is going to be because it depends on the chemistry of your water. If you rinse it before putting it in the filter your pH will not instantly go up so give it a few days for it to start raising the pH.

If you have to remove anything to make room for the CC remove the carbon. It is not as useful as your sponges.
 
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emmaewhite

StarGirl has given you some very good suggestions for raising and stabilizing your pH. Check out ebay for your crushed coral. I was able to buy just under a pound of it the first time I bought some. If you can, try to get coral chunks instead of some that has been finely ground into almost the size of sand.

The good thing about CC is it is basically set it and forget it. Don't be concerned about adding too much. It is just going to raise your pH up to a certain number and no farther. I can't tell you what that number is going to be because it depends on the chemistry of your water. If you rinse it before putting it in the filter your pH will not instantly go up so give it a few days for it to start raising the pH.

If you have to remove anything to make room for the CC remove the carbon. It is not as useful as your sponges.
Thank you so much! I will post an update once I get the coral and let you guys know if I have any questions. I seriously appreciate the help and advice
 
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emmaewhite

StarGirl has given you some very good suggestions for raising and stabilizing your pH. Check out ebay for your crushed coral. I was able to buy just under a pound of it the first time I bought some. If you can, try to get coral chunks instead of some that has been finely ground into almost the size of sand.

The good thing about CC is it is basically set it and forget it. Don't be concerned about adding too much. It is just going to raise your pH up to a certain number and no farther. I can't tell you what that number is going to be because it depends on the chemistry of your water. If you rinse it before putting it in the filter your pH will not instantly go up so give it a few days for it to start raising the pH.

If you have to remove anything to make room for the CC remove the carbon. It is not as useful as your sponges.
I finally got my crushed coral and put it in my filter last night. Since then, the pH has risen from 6.0 to 6.6. I rinsed the coral before putting it in the filter, so do you think it will take a few more days to raise pH to its max? Thank you so much again. My cycle completely stopped once the pH dropped so low, so hopefully things will be up and running soon
 
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mattgirl

I finally got my crushed coral and put it in my filter last night. Since then, the pH has risen from 6.0 to 6.6. I rinsed the coral before putting it in the filter, so do you think it will take a few more days to raise pH to its max? Thank you so much again. My cycle completely stopped once the pH dropped so low, so hopefully things will be up and running soon
You are so very welcome. I would give it a few more days to get as high as it is going to get.
 
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Subhro

I'm in the process of cycling my new 10 gal, and am doing daily water testing. My nitrites and nitrates are increasing, so I know the BB are doing their job. However, the pH has been gradually dropping. I tested the water and it was at 6.6 yesterday. Today it's reading 6.0. Should I do a water change to increase the pH?
I would like to add something to this discussion. When we do water changes, we not only remove the nitrates but we also add minerals to the water such as calcium, magnesium etc. These minerals tend to settle over time in the aquarium. Now, as the nitrates keep increasing it makes the water acidic by forming nitric acid which is balanced by the minerals in the water (also known as buffering). If you don't change the water for too long, the minerals have now settled in the tank and your ph will fall down suddenly (ph crash), killing the fishes as well as the bacterial colonies. That is why even in heavily planted tanks where the nitrates are usually low, it is advisable to keep up with water changes because it does more than just removing the nitrates. Hope it helps.
 
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