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Old 07-06-2012, 03:51 PM   #1
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Safely increasing pH

I have african cichlids and am just upgrading to an fx5 filter. I thought when I set it up I will use one basket for crushed coral to raise the pH. I have zero experience with raising pH so I have a bunch of questions.

Will this be enough to increase the pH in a 90 gallon tank? Will it gradually increase pH or be dramatic? Do I have to periodically change out the crushed coral, does it "expire" or "go bad"?

Anything else I need to know or any advice?

Thanks!!
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Old 07-06-2012, 04:53 PM   #2
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I don't have and have never had cichlids, but my initial question would be... what's your pH now? What is the pH of the tapwater?

It's possible you don't need to alter the pH at all.

A stable pH even if outside the range a particular fish prefers is often better than a pH that fluctuates.

Good luck!
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Old 07-06-2012, 04:56 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RussellC
I don't have and have never had cichlids, but my initial question would be... what's your pH now? What is the pH of the tapwater?

It's possible you don't need to alter the pH at all.

A stable pH even if outside the range a particular fish prefers is often better than a pH that fluctuates.

Good luck!
+1 unless dealing with wild caughts or young from wild caught then more then likely they have been kept in a lower PH then there native lakes from birth so keeping it stable is the most important thing
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Old 07-06-2012, 05:19 PM   #4
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That's my debate. My ph is stable, at 7.4. So, they are ok and would be ok keeping it there. However, if I could safely raise it and keep it stable then I'd like to keep it more where it should be for African cichlids. That's why I want to ask a lot of questions first. If I add crushed coral to my filter, will it raise it and keep it steady or will it raise but then gradually lower until coral is replaced?

Just researching for now, I may end up keeping it as is.
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Old 07-06-2012, 05:22 PM   #5
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The crushed coral will never 'go bad' but use it at your main substrate and let it cycle if its a new tank. That should be enough to naturally raise
The ph. API makes a supplement called 'proper ph' and 'ph up' to chemically raise it and it works well its just a preferance because some people disagree with chemically altering water parameters.
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Old 07-06-2012, 05:41 PM   #6
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Id rather not use chemicals, I'm scared of them!! And I already have the tank established with sand substrate. If I just added crushed coral to one of the media baskets in my fx5 would that be enough to raise the ph, or would it require a lot more coral?
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Old 07-06-2012, 06:24 PM   #7
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What do your fish have to say?? Do they eat well, are they active, are their colors nice & bright? Do they appear stressed, are their fins clamped, do they appear to be gasping?? If they look & act like healthy fish, then I wouldn't worry about attempting to artificially alter the environment.... You can create far more problems by trying to fix something that ain't broke.
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Old 07-06-2012, 06:51 PM   #8
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My fish are perfectly healthy, my only gripe is their colors aren't the most vibrant. I just switched their food to NLS so I'm hoping that will help. The only other thing I could think to do is increase the ph. Again, I'm not sold I the idea, just weighing the pluses and minuses. I know a lot of folks I here with African cichlids use crushed coral to increase the ph do weighing the idea.
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Old 07-06-2012, 11:17 PM   #9
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i use aragonite sand in my tanks except for my baby tank. My ph stays about 8.2 8.4
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Old 07-06-2012, 11:44 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CraigMac
My fish are perfectly healthy, my only gripe is their colors aren't the most vibrant. I just switched their food to NLS so I'm hoping that will help. The only other thing I could think to do is increase the ph. Again, I'm not sold I the idea, just weighing the pluses and minuses. I know a lot of folks I here with African cichlids use crushed coral to increase the ph do weighing the idea.
Any calcuim based substrate will work perfectly fine. I use a sand substrate its black and white sand. The black is just regular sand and the white part of the sand is crushed up seashells and coral. U can place in media basket if you have the room in your filter, and/or use it as your main substrate. Some people buy full coral skelatons as a display item, if its a genuine skelaton than it will also work. Sea shells are also calcium based and will work as well. But coral seems to work a bit more efficently in my opinion.
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