Water pH problems

  1. wsp Initiate Member

    I have a 55 gal tank started it on Dec 29....I am trying to follow the rules...I have had 6 fish for 3 weeks now, they seem happy and healthy. Today I thought lets buy a coulpe more fish..Took a sample of water to P-Smart and they tested it everything was great except the pH was greater than 8.4....Why would the pH be so high? They told me to get Neutral Regulator. I did but the label dosen't say when I should test the pH again. Does it work right away? Did I waste my money? I am glad I found this :D site. Any other suggestions on anything would be helpful. Thanks a million--Wendy
     
  2. Isabella Fishlore VIP Member

    Hi Wendy. A pH of 8.4 is indeed very high as for a freshwater tank. You should test your water supply (the water which you use to make partial water changes). If you're using tap water, maybe your tap water is very high in pH. First of all, where do you take the water from? Wherever it comes from, measure its parameters before adding it to the tank.

    There are commercial products that can lower or increase your pH. But it's not good to use them because once you start using them, you'll have to be using them always. This will result in constant pH swings that will greatly stress your fish. Providing a stable pH is more important than trying to get a pH exactly at the level particular fish naturally have. However 8.4 is indeed high and in this case I wouldn't want to provide some misleading advice. Maybe Gunnie or Butterfly will be able to help you - they know a great deal.

    Besides, you're not using any rocks or substrates that increase the pH, right?
     

  3. Isabella Fishlore VIP Member

    P.S. A natural way to lower pH is putting aquarium-safe driftwood in your tank (that is soaked and boiled well before using it) or filtering the water through peat. But you'll have to be using peat on a regular basis too once you start. So as I said, avoid pH swings.
     
  4. wsp Initiate Member

    Lets see I get my water from the kitchen sink (city water). I just tested it and the pH was almost 7.8. I am not using any rocks or substrates. Would I be smart to buy water at the groc. store rather than use city water? The water also reads as very hard, in the tank and in the tap. Thanks for the info. trust me I need all I can get......thanks again-Wendy
     

  5. newbie101 Well Known Member Member

    just wondering....you dechlor it, right?
     
  6. wsp Initiate Member

    Good Morning--Yes I declor my water and let it set 24 hours before my water change. I did a 25 % water change one week ago on the advice of the pet store.
     
  7. Gunnie Well Known Member Member

    WSP,
    Welcome to FishLore! It's great to have you with us! Isabella has taken you under her wing, so you are in good hands now! We are so glad you decided to join us! ;) That is wierd about your ph going up after adding it to your tank. Can you tell us a little more about your tank? How big is it? What fish do you have in it? What are your ammonia and nitrite readings? What decorations do you have in the tank? Do you understand the cycling process? Also, it is highly recommended that you get your own test kits. My recommendation is an Aquarium Pharmaceuticals Master Test Kit which will contain all the tests you need to keep your tank healthy. Petsmart actually has them on sale online! If you copy the page with the sale price, you may be able to take it in to your local store and purchase it there at that price!

    http://www.petsmart.com/global/prod...<>ast_id=2534374302023693&bmUID=1138541944927
     

  8. wsp Initiate Member

    Its great to be here...there are so many with such good advice. I have a 55 gal tank, 8 artificial grasses some very tall some medium tall and some low. The main center piece is what looks like two broken pots (its cool) I have put an air stone in the bottome of the pot to give more O2 in the water. My filter is a Whisper Advanced Power filter (double), and a Whisper submersible heater. I did buy a test kit yesterday and tested it a few minutes ago nitrate-0, ammonia-0, total hardness-hard-very hard, alkalinity-120, pH-7.8 (better than yesterday). I have 4 tiger barbs and 2 pearl danio's and they look great just hanging around and having fun. Thanks for all the great info. Please advise on good fish to add or anything else you can think of.--Wendy
     
  9. Gunnie Well Known Member Member

    Very good. What about your nitrites? Are they above zero?
     
  10. wsp Initiate Member

    Nitrites are not 0 but not quite 20.
     

  11. Gunnie Well Known Member Member

    I think you tested nitrates. Nitrites above 2 would probably kill all your fish.
     
  12. Isabella Fishlore VIP Member

    Hi Wsp. Gunnie is right - you must have tested for nitrate. Nitrite, even when very low, can kill your fish. Nitrate, however, can go up even to 40 and you fish may be ok. But it's not good if nitrate is this high anyway - so it's best to keep it way below 40, of course zero would be perfect.

    You asked if you should buy bottled water in a grocery store for water changes. Well, when I had only a 10 gallon tank - that's where I was taking my water from. The fish did very well in that water. And pH was neutral all the time. However, we're not talking about 10 gallons but 55 gallons here! If you would have no problem buying so much water, then I don't think there would be anything wrong with it.

    Now I have a total of 40 gallons (2 tanks - one 10 and the other 30) and I simply don't find it convenient to be buying some 20 gallons of water every week. Too much hassle. So I use my tap water and dechlorinate it. However, I am lucky because my tap water is also neutral. So the choice is really up to you - if you'd be willing to buy so many gallons and if it wouldn't be a problem to you.

    If you decide to buy water that has a much lower pH than the water in your tank - you'll have to acclimate your fish to a new and much lower pH very slowly. You don't want them to suffer any shocks. And once you start using bottled water, you'll have to continue to do so in order to provide a STABLE pH (remember?) - unless, of course, you find another source of water that will have the same pH as the bottled water.