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Old 06-10-2006, 08:38 AM   #1
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need to know how to reduce pH

The pH in my tank is 8.2. Its high because I added some buffers to it 2 months ago when I thought I was going to have African cichlids rather than a peaceful tropical community.

My tap water tests at 7.6. I'd like to get the tank pH to this level. I think the high pH may have contributed to the death of 4 of the 5 fish I added to tank on Wednesday - at least I HOPE its the pH and not a disease ! (post of the entire story in unhealthy fish
http://www.aquariumadvice.com/viewto...t=30786#663652)

I want to add some RO / distilled water to the tank to help neutralize the 8.2 pH and bring it to my tap water level of 7.6. I believe I'll need to add about 12 gallons to get there (I did some complicated algebra formula to figure it out - I have no idea if I'm right LOL). I was thinking of adding 2 gallons a day, so that the pH would be reduced at the end of 6 days. I would add one gallon in the morning and one gallon at night. With each addition the pH should drop by .05 (again, if my calcs are correct).

Does this sound appropriate ? Is the rate of the drop too quick ?
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2.5G - Spot (beautiful betta - Soft pink with red spots on his fins. Java Moss.
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Old 06-10-2006, 08:54 AM   #2
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What did you add to the tank to increase the pH?
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Old 06-10-2006, 09:01 AM   #3
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sodium bicarb - you'd think that after all the water changes I did that it would be diluted by now, but the pH just won't come down.
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2.5G - Spot (beautiful betta - Soft pink with red spots on his fins. Java Moss.
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Old 06-10-2006, 09:03 AM   #4
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Have you tested any of your other tanks? The sodium effect should be gone by now. Do you have anything in the tank that would naturally increase the level?
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Old 06-10-2006, 09:17 AM   #5
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Is there anything in the tank to increase the pH?

Have you tried testing your tap water's pH after it's sat in an unopened container for 24 hours? (This is the true pH level of your tap.)

8.2 is not that high for the vast majority of community tropicals. In fact, much of the stock available to us in stores is bred in Florida, with similar pH levels! Moreso, I've breed rams in the same type of water.

I'm a big fan of having a stable pH, rather than the "correct" one, so unless you're breeding South Americans or have wild caught stock that need water similar to where they came from, I'd look into other causes for your fish death and use your tap water, "as is". Altering the water's chemistry is lots of work and the slightest little miscalculation could wipe out an entire tank.
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Old 06-10-2006, 09:47 AM   #6
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oh DUH to me !! thank you so much - you just saved me from a MAJOR disaster. I hadn't thought of the obvious - testing the betta's tanks. Guess what - they are ALL the same pH, which means this IS probably the true pH of my water.


THANK YOU SO MUCH

Of course the bad news is that now I need to figure out why 4 of the 5 new fish died and I'll be back to worrying about the rest of the tank occupants. I've not gotten alot of response in the unhealthy fish forum, so I'm at a loss right now. I've looked at all the websites on diseases and can't find anything that looks like what happened to my guppies.

From now on ALL new fish get quarantined. Since I only have a 2.5G to use for that purpose how long do you think I should QT for ? I'm going to add some extra filter floss to my current filter so that I can remove it when I need the QT tank - I would think that it would still end up overcrowded regardless of how many fish I put in there (unless I did something like 2 neons at a time) so I know I'll end up doing daily PWCs while they are in QT.

Again, thank you so much ! you saved me from disaster !!!
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2.5G - Spot (beautiful betta - Soft pink with red spots on his fins. Java Moss.
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Old 06-10-2006, 01:23 PM   #7
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You should QT the fish for 2 weeks before introducing into the main tank. Another thing that you can do is run the filter for the QT on the main tank until you need the QT.
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Old 06-10-2006, 01:35 PM   #8
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Fishy - yep, that's pretty much my intent. Since the 2.5 will only have a sponge filter by putting the filter floss in the big tank I can do an instant transfer of that floss for the sponge filter.

I KNOW I said no new fish w/out QT ...... but ..... well, I found another pet shop with a nice fish area. VERY clean (immaculate actually) and when I saw the baby panda cories I let my heart lead my head. I"m acclimating the two babies right now - and I'll take a good LONG time to do it (2 - 2.5 hrs). I tested the stores pH and it was 7.2 vs my 8.2 - do you think 2 hrs is long enough ? I'm adding drops (literally - 3 or 4 dribbles) at a time every 10 - 15 minutes. I feel bad that they'll be in the bag that long but its for their good
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Old 06-10-2006, 01:41 PM   #9
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I think an hour is fine. You could do the drip method since the pH is so different.
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Old 06-10-2006, 01:53 PM   #10
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thanks again - I picked some some airline tube for the new 10G but since I wont be setting it up until monday it has now become my "official" drip acclimation tube. Its dripping as we speak - I got the knot "just right", a little slower than recommended, maybe 1 -2 drops per second. These guys are NOT going to die from anything I've done !
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2.5G - Spot (beautiful betta - Soft pink with red spots on his fins. Java Moss.
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