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Old 03-31-2014, 03:04 PM   #1
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PH questions

I have a 46 gallon bowfront tank with lake Malawi cichlids. My PH was between 7 and 7.5. I put crushed oyster shells in a mesh bag in the back of my filter. I waited over a week and my PH was the same. I took some tank water and and put 4 tsp. of baking soda in it. I slowly poured some in the tank slowly. After I poured about half the mixture I checked PH again it was between 7.5 and 8, so I stopped adding the baking soda. I tested again the next day it's still between 7.5 and 8. Here comes the questions. My tap water has a PH of 7 , will the oyster shells buffer my PH and keep it up or should I keep using baking soda. It said to use 1 tsp. per 5 gallons. I only used about 2 tsp for 46 gallons and it made it go up. Should it be higher? Fish look happier. Just want some good advice maybe from someone who's had the same problems. Thanks
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Old 03-31-2014, 04:24 PM   #2
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What is your KH? If it's low, then having a stable pH will be more difficult. What pH test kit are you using as well? 7.5 to 8 is a big margin, should be able to tell the difference clearly if it was an API Master Test Kit. If you don't know the pH increase specifically, I wouldn't add anymore baking soda since you're risking a big swing in pH and would be harmful for the fish (for example, going from 7.5 to 7.9 in one day).
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Old 03-31-2014, 05:07 PM   #3
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Quick question which way are you trying to get your PH to go as baking soda is an alkali, so if you wanting the PH to come down ie more acidic. There is no point adding baking soda as its going in the wrong direction!
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Old 03-31-2014, 05:10 PM   #4
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He has cichlids from Lake Malawi, which favors the higher pH.
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Old 03-31-2014, 05:12 PM   #5
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PH questions

Yeah they do but i had them for almost two years and they did just fine in 7.5. One of the only clear reasons to have a higher PH is people believe you get a better colour.
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Old 03-31-2014, 05:18 PM   #6
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7.5 is somewhat fine as long as it's stable. People aim for a pH between 7.8-8.2 (some higher if keeping wilds) since it's the amount the fish thrives in, which in turn makes them more active/happy and results in more vibrant colors. As long as the water parameters are stable, most fish can live with it.
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Old 03-31-2014, 05:19 PM   #7
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I'm using a nutrafin wide range ph test ,to be exact the pH was 7.2 now it's 7.6 . I guess I better get a test for kh next. I guess without the kh reading I'm missing a big part of the puzzle.
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Old 03-31-2014, 05:24 PM   #8
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That's what I want happy fish with bright colour
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Old 03-31-2014, 05:25 PM   #9
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It could also be that you don't have enough crushed coral to make a big difference, you could try putting some into your substrate if you want to go with the natural buffer method. I use baking soda though since I can always control my parameters, but both methods are good. I'd also suggest holding off on increasing the pH for a week or two, a 0.4 pH difference is a pretty big impact in 1 day, increasing 0.1-0.2 per week during your water changes would make it an easier transition on your fish .
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Old 03-31-2014, 05:36 PM   #10
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When I do a water change should I increase the the pH in my tap water to match the tank water? If I use baking soda in my water change ( I use buckets ) and my water in my buckets reads the same as my tank am I good, or can it increase more when poured in the tank? P.s. I'm gonna leave it alone for a bit.
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