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Old 07-14-2019, 09:40 PM   #1
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New tank, ph keeps rising, need advice

Hello all, first post in this forum. Recently decided to start up a freshwater biocube 16 to decorate my home office. Itís been about 20 years since I set up an aquarium so Iím definitely rusty.

Iím holding off on adding any fish to my newly started tank until I confirm whether things are ready.

Hereís the situation:

1. Tank is crystal clear, no ammonia or nitrites.
2. Ph from my tap is 7 on the nose and is well water that passes through a water treatment system.
3. Standard gravel from the fish store, spiderwood, plastic and silk plants, small air stone are the only things in the tank.
4. Standard filter that is included with the biocube and Aqueon heater.
5. I added TLC aquarium optimizer per recommendation at the fish store.

The tank has been running about 5 days now and every morning the ph is back at around 7.6 tested with TLC master kit. If I use ph down to lower it, its back up the next morning.

I tried removing the wood, filter cartridge, lowering the aeration to almost off, but ph still rises back up.

I tried separately testing a glass of water with, and without gravel and the ph stays the same, so it doesnít appear to be the gravel or the water itself.

The only thing left to test is removing the air stone and the plastic and silk plants, but they seem like unlikely candidates.

Is it just normal for the ph to rise like this for a period of time or am I missing something?? I donít want to add any fish and then have the ph rise .6 overnight.

Thanks for any suggestions!!
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Old 07-14-2019, 09:50 PM   #2
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Leave it be, ph will naturally fluctuate and isnít real important imo. Fish will adapt and chasing a perfect number is more trouble than its worth
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Old 07-14-2019, 10:34 PM   #3
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Yes, it's not a good idea to use any pH altering chemicals.

What I think is happening is you aren't getting an accurate pH reading from the tap. Once the C02 has left the water you will be left with your true pH reading, which is why your aquarium water pH appears to be rising.
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Old 07-14-2019, 11:33 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Laser View Post
Yes, it's not a good idea to use any pH altering chemicals.



What I think is happening is you aren't getting an accurate pH reading from the tap. Once the C02 has left the water you will be left with your true pH reading, which is why your aquarium water pH appears to be rising.


What doesnít make sense is that when I tested a glass of water straight from the tap it did not change at all after several hours, whereas the fish tank did rise about.4 in the same time period. I even tested the tap water after sitting overnight and no change, but the fish tank rose .6 overnight.

The other odd thing is that even after repeatedly adding the ph down it just comes right back up.
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Old 07-15-2019, 01:21 AM   #5
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What doesn’t make sense is that when I tested a glass of water straight from the tap it did not change at all after several hours, whereas the fish tank did rise about.4 in the same time period. I even tested the tap water after sitting overnight and no change, but the fish tank rose .6 overnight.

The other odd thing is that even after repeatedly adding the ph down it just comes right back up.
I'm just guessing here, but maybe the tank has better aeration than the glass of water. If you can, I would try leaving water to sit in a bucket or glass for a full day with an air stone in it and then test the ph.

Hopefully someone who knows more about it will chime in. My tap water tests 7.4, but if I test my aquariums they read as 8.2. If your ph comes right back up after adding the ph down it's likely that your water is too stable to be affected strongly by ph down.
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Old 07-15-2019, 03:48 AM   #6
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If your tank isn't cycled the pH can fluctuate until it's cycled and the water chemistry is more stable.

If your KH is really low it can cause your pH to swing more easily as well.
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Old 07-15-2019, 08:19 AM   #7
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Thanks for all the info so far on this. So what do you think I should do next? Has adding several rounds of ph down degraded the water quality? Should I drain and start over with new water? This tank is now at 6 days since I added the bacteria stuff.

Also, if the water is very stable at 7.6 is it safe to add fish from the store that are in 7.0 water? Or will the ph come down eventually on its own after some period of time? Obviously Iím looking forward to adding some fish but I want to make sure things are ready before I do. Thanks!
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Old 07-15-2019, 11:38 AM   #8
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No need to use pH reducing products. It causes swings in pH and can kill your fish. Fish adapt to pH and 7.6 isn't a high pH.
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Old 07-15-2019, 11:48 AM   #9
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Okay so then just to confirm, itís ok to put fish in a 7.6 ph tank that were in a 7.0 tank at the store?

This is important because it does appear after additional testing that my water wants to stay at 7.4-7.6. Even a simple glass of water returns to this ph if i lower it and let it sit overnight.
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Old 07-15-2019, 11:52 AM   #10
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Yes. You can drip acclimate or you can drop them in after temperature acclimation. I personally don't drip acclimate. My pH runs higher than yours. 8.2-8.4
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