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Old 02-16-2004, 01:30 PM   #1
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HIGH PH in 25 gallon tank.

Hi,

I've been running a 25 gallon tank for some time now (over a year) and frankly haven't been maintaining it much apart from topping the water level. Now surprisingly enough a lot of fish have survived through this, but now that I'm hooked on this hobby since I've been reading on this website, here's my problem:

- My PH is over 8.2. Nitrites are OK. I'm getting my other test kits tonight.
- I use well water, the PH level from the tap is 7, Nitrite, 0.
- I have another tank (60 gallons, with 6 giant KOI's, PH, 7.5, Nitirite, 0.3)

I try to lower the PH from tank one lower than 8.2, and can't. I use PH lower, 100 drops a day, I did two 50% water changes by cleaning the bottom (as you can guess, it was really dirty).
What esle can I do?

To add to this I just purchased a 36 gallon corner bow aquarium that will take its place so the fish can swim more (the 25 gallon is vertical).

Can I use the water with the high PH value in the new tank? Will that, in combination with fresh water and new rocks level out the PH level? Should I use new water only? Existing water will retain the cycle, new water won't.

Any info appreciated. Please share your knowledge, I sure need it!

Eric
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Old 02-16-2004, 02:08 PM   #2
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Interesting that your pH is higher than tap water level. Generally over time the pH level of the aquarium drops due to acidic wastes accumulating. What kinds of rocks and substrate do you have in your aquarium??
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Old 02-16-2004, 02:32 PM   #3
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I really have only one rock as the tank is vertical and doesn't have much of a "floor".

No live plants, only the fish I mentioned populate the tank. I'm out of ideas.

Thanks
Eric
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Old 02-16-2004, 03:26 PM   #4
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Well the ph lower will do nothing as your water has a high buffering ability. So stop using that altogether.

The fish in the tank are used to the high ph right now. Doing things that drastically change the tank will be bad and will result in many fish deaths. Do all changes slowly.

As for the new tank, well the water has no bacteria in it. The filter and decorations in the tank contain all the good bacteria and these need to be moved over to the new setup with the fish. If the new water will be drastically different then you need to move it as well so the fish do not freak out and possibly die.

I assume what is happening is that your water has a high KH level. Over time tanks (as was mentioned) generally see a ph drop as the buffer gets used up. But since you have been topping off th etank the buffer has actually been accumulating. Water changes (say 30%) a day for the next while should see a drop down to the same as the tap water. It may just take a bit of time to breach that buffer barrier.

Hopefully this works for you. I would try to get the fish used to the new water prior to moving them since you are dealing with a smaller volumn of water it will just be easier on you.
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Old 02-16-2004, 03:38 PM   #5
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Something in that tank is keeping the ph up. Over a years time the nitrifying process alone should bring the ph down. What's in your filters? Is your substrate part coral?
I'm curious to know what your GH and KH are as well.

I would transfer 50% of the water in the old tank and add 50% new water, then acclimate the fish via the drip method.

HTH
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Old 02-16-2004, 05:59 PM   #6
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Here are the specs:

PH : 8.5
KH: 210
GH: 80
Ammonia: 0
Nitrite: 0

Ideas? I did two 40% water changes in the last 1 1/2 week. Also added air bubbles that break the surface nicely.

I can't just transfer these fish in a new aqarium by using this water.
I have a very big (7.5 inch) red parrot in there, I'd hate to lose him.

Any info appreciated.
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Old 02-16-2004, 06:43 PM   #7
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I have a tank with a pH 8.2 (bad water quality here). Fish are doing fine. I just take extra precaution when adding them to the tank - I had 1/4 cup of water every 10 minutes for 2 hours. Might be excessive but I haven't lost anything. High pH isn't the end of the world.

I, too, tried to lower my pH - it is useless. The buffering capacity of high pH water makes it virtually impossible to lower. You can do all the water changes you want - there won't be any change. The only thing to try is mixing with RO water to lower the buffering capacity and then try the drops. However - this is alot of work to maintain and people generally end up in trouble with pH swings - which is something that will kill fish.

Or do what everyone else with this problem seems to do which is to give up and discover it really didn't matter anyways. High pH won't necessarily kill fish - but a pH swing will everytime.
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Old 02-16-2004, 08:52 PM   #8
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Actually my well water's PH level is at 7, nitrite 0.
I want to move these fish to a new 36 gallon aquarium. I guess what everyone's consensus here is to take the water in the 25 gallon and move it to the 36 gallon. Unfortunately I also have a new filter, the one is the 25 gallon doesn't fit (no room) in the back of the new aquarium (corner bow).

So I'm going from an Aquaclear 200 to a new Fluval 304 canister. Would the product "Cycle" help in the new tank by putting some in the filter?

Eric
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Old 02-17-2004, 09:06 AM   #9
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Don't use cycle but why not run the canister on the old tank for a week or so and get it full of good bacteria before moving eveything over to the new tank?
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Old 02-17-2004, 09:29 AM   #10
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That's a good idea. Also, if I do daily 20% water changes to gradually bring the PH and KH levels down, can I put that water in the new tank?

Would that be sufficient to do this for 2-3 weeks? Would the canister be filled with bacteria by then if it filters this water, combined with new water, in the new tank?
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Old 02-17-2004, 09:45 AM   #11
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I want to reduce PH levels in the old tank before switching the fish in the new, so the impact is minimal. I can't find why my PH is at 8.9 and the KH at 210.

I'm considering removing the gravel a bit at a time, as I suspect they may be the cause. I've already did two 40% water changes in the last week, PH and KH are unaffected. These were done while cleaning out the bottom with a syphon.

Is that a good idea?

Eric
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Old 02-17-2004, 09:51 AM   #12
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You're getting some great feedback here and you're making some good decisions 55ReefGuy. Even if they are all from Canadians (LOL, just teasing, I'm quite fond of my neighbors to the north and TO is one of my favorite places).

I'm gonna suggest you try a product called chemi-pure in your fluval. It runs about $11 US and is essentially a carbon based water softener and I've found it very effective at stabilizing ph.

And running the fluval (which is my favorite cannister), in your current tank for a week or two should do the job. You might also want to consider placing a sponge prefilter over your intake strainer to increase the bio load of good bacteria.

HTH
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Old 02-17-2004, 11:12 AM   #13
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Thanks for the great advice.

Question: How can you add this product in the Fluval cannister is it doesn't come in a bag? Can you just pour it in the basket? That doesn't seem right?

Eric
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Old 02-17-2004, 11:30 AM   #14
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Thanks for the great advice.

Question: How can you add this product in the Fluval cannister is it doesn't come in a bag? Can you just pour it in the basket? That doesn't seem right?

Eric
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Old 02-17-2004, 11:51 AM   #15
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It comes in a nylon mesh bag. Put it in the top media tray. I really hope it works for you Eric.
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Old 02-17-2004, 11:55 AM   #16
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Oh, one more thing.the chemi-pure comes in a small plastic jar. You have to gently shake it out of there without tearing the bag. So go slowly with it.
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Old 02-17-2004, 09:40 PM   #17
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I installed the new filter that will go in the new tank on the old one for now, and will leave it there for 10-14 days. That should be enough to get the bacteria in the filter media.

Tell me, will this be enough when I move the filter to the new tank to get it instantly cycled?
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Old 02-17-2004, 10:05 PM   #18
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The new tank won't be fully cycled as there will br a loss of bacteria from the gravel, decorations and the old tank itself. But you will have plenty of good bacteria to avoid any major spikes in ammonia and nitrite. For the first while do small water changes every few days just to be safe.

Also make sure to move your fish within 24 hours of moving the filter. The good bacteria will start to die off if not fed within that period of time.
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Old 02-21-2004, 02:30 PM   #19
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Update:

All fish have been transfered to new tank.
Filter, some plants, and ornements got transfered too.

I plugged the new Fluval 304 filter in the old tank for 5 days to get a good base of bacteria in it. I also brought along the Aquaclear 200 from the previous tank in the new.

Temperature were identical : 78F
I got the PH down from 8.6 to around 7.8 in the last week by doing 15% water changes everyday.
New tank at 7.8.

I put around 12 gallons of the old tank's water in te new tank. As far as I can tell, this should make cycling almost nn existent, but daily tests will be done.

Any opinions?

Thanks
Eric
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