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Old 11-05-2005, 03:05 PM   #1
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High ph-how serious is it?

I've had my new tank running for the last three days while I've been out of town, and I planned to get a couple of fish to begin cycling it today. I checked the ph, and it was much higher than I expected: about 7.8. I've done some reading on the subject, but the opinions are all over the place. A lot of sources say I should have it very close to neutral, and should definitely add some buffer to the water. A very trusted source said the opposite: unless it is a lot higher, don't add ANY chemicals to the water because fish can deal with less than ideal ph better than they can deal with chemicals, and the fluctuation in ph that is inevitable if you try to artificially manipulate it. That source also said high ph in a new tank is less serious than low ph because fish waste is acidic and will lower the ph gradually. So I'm not sure what to believe. Any thoughts would be appreciated.

Oh, by the way, I have a 55 gal., and plan to keep gouramis and clown loaches. Is 7.8 just too high for these fish?
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Old 11-05-2005, 03:31 PM   #2
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The very trusted source is correct. The gouramis will be fine with 7.8, I've never had clown loaches, but I assume they will be too.

The only thing you should reconsider is if you really want to cycle your tank with live fish! It easily happens that the fish you're using die during the cycle, cuz ammonia and later nitrites spike and kill the fish. A fishless cycle is much better. You can put in some fishfood, some shrimp (unseasoned, deep frozen), or add some pure ammonia. With the pure ammonia your cycle might even go on faster (not sure, always used fishfood).
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Old 11-05-2005, 04:05 PM   #3
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the pH is a little high for loaches. ideal for loaches is 6.0-7.5. How many of each fish will you be having?
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Old 11-05-2005, 04:06 PM   #4
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The chemicals available to alter pH often wreck havoc on a tank. I'd avoid them at all cost. I agree with the opinion that a stable pH is better then a pH that swings all over the place as someone is forever attempting to alter it.

If I absolutely felt I had to lower my pH for a particular fish or if I was trying to breed a certain species I would try adding driftwood and peat moss to the tank. Hope that helps.
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Old 11-05-2005, 04:10 PM   #5
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actually, my experience with a pH decreasor was very good. returned my tank to 7 exactly.

In my opinion. Run your tank empty of fish for about a week, then check the pH, nitrate levels, amonia.

What kind of water have you been using? Is it straight fomr the Tap?

What is in the tank at the present moment?
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Old 11-05-2005, 04:58 PM   #6
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Thanks for all the tips. In response to what is in the tank, right now there is nothing in terms of livestock--just some fake plants, and a big piece of fake driftwood. Frankly, the tank needs a little more decor, so I'm leaning heavily toward adding a medium sized piece of real driftwood if, as I've read, it tends to help lower the ph a bit. The water is straight from the tap (with dechlorinator added, of course), and I plan on doing my water changes straight from the tap, so I suppose altering the ph drastically from what it will be coming in from the tap would cause fluctuations every time I do a pwc, which would not keep my fish happy.

As far as fishless cycling...I really just don't know. Everybody I talk to swears by a different method. Some say fishless is the only way to go. Some say go with the heartiest of the fish you plan stock the tank with, and just keep a close eye on your ammonia levels. Others say add instant bacteria. About the only thing I've read that's been pretty unanimous is don't use feeder goldfish because the potential risk of introducing nasty stuff to your tank vastly outweighs any perceived benefits. I'm so confused...
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Old 11-05-2005, 05:09 PM   #7
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i recommend you just let the filter run through for another 4 days and then add some very good fish, but only like 2 to start with. it is better to start slow becaus if you add a lot at once, your system will fail. just start slow
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Old 11-05-2005, 05:12 PM   #8
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also, what kind of dechlorinator are you using? i recommend using water from the tap with some "AquaSafe" and let it sit out for 5 days. then the water should be perfect
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Old 11-05-2005, 05:34 PM   #9
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Hi bosk1, and welcome to AA!

As mentioned by others, I don't see any problems with your pH and the fish you intend to keep - especially if you buy them locally; they are probably already accustomed to your higher pH. Please stay away from the pH altering chemicals - fish can adapt to many pH values, but one thing they do not tolerate is big pH swings. Driftwood in the tank and peat in the filter will help to gently nudge the pH lower.

It may be worth buying a water hardness test kit. Hard water contains alot of dissolved minerals which act as a buffer, and make it difficult to bring the pH down regardless of what you do. If your tap water is very hard, there still are ways to lower the pH, but it is probably not necessary for you unless you want to induce spawning.

Try to get the hardness test kits and post your results.
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Old 11-05-2005, 05:43 PM   #10
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a stable pH is better then one that fluctuates. I have kept gourami and other fish in higher pH's. The other thing is what pH does your LFS have in its tanks. That will also determine the length of time that you should acclimate your fish. The type of dechlorinator can have some effect to it and if you want the best on the market, you are paying for it (and with that being said, i recommend SeaChem Prime!) Also, if you want to have a neutral pH or lower, then i recommend using an RO or RO/DI filter. With these filters you will not need to use a dechlorinator.

As for your comment about wood. What happens is that the tannins in the wood help to reduce the pH of the water. The wood is fairly minimalistic in terms of pH control. If you want something to really drop it, then i would suggest peat.
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Old 11-05-2005, 05:58 PM   #11
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The Ph is not really that high to keep the said fishes! Don't start fiddling around with it unless you wanna try to breed. The pH will probably change a little in your tank anyway.

@aquarist15: Why risk a fishlife if you can do it without risking anything? I've always done fishless cycle and it always worked just fine. It might just not work for people who don't monitor their water parameters.
Further, if you have a good declorinator, like Prime, you don't have to let your water sit around for days! The chlorine, chloramines etc get detoxified on contact!!

@SerLunchBox: Prime is actually not that expensive, since it's a lot higher concentrated than all other dechlorinators .
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Old 11-05-2005, 07:11 PM   #12
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You don't have to let water sit out for any amount of time period before adding it to the tank. That's the purpose of the dechlorinator, it makes the water instantly safe for fish. Prime is great because it is highly concentrated and lasts a long time. If your local water source uses Chloramines instead of Chlorine, you will need a dechlor that works with Chloramines. Prime does this. It's a great product. I swear by it.

You have gotten great advice so far from your trusted source. They know what they are talking about. It's very refreshing to hear. I also like the fishless method since you won't have to do daily water changes. It is faster than cycling with fish.
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Old 11-05-2005, 09:07 PM   #13
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I always do and did fishless cycling. better safe than sorry as always. i use AquaSafe but still let it sit, just to be safe because thats what has worked for me. Ill have to try some of this Prime stuff. sounds like a good product
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Old 11-05-2005, 11:21 PM   #14
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my 2 cents...i also recommend fishless cycle...just drop 2 raw shrimps(since its a 55gal tank) in there and the only thing you have to do is just test your water to see when your cycle is finished...no need for water changes since theres no fish in there...ive done it myself and its a lot faster and less stressful for you and the fish to go fishless...about PRIME...it works wonders and it lasts for ever...kinda stinky though...but its all good...
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Old 11-05-2005, 11:24 PM   #15
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i forgot about the pH ...if you look at my signature youll see that most of my fish prefer soft acidic water...ive had them all for over 8 months now and i have not had a single casualty...ever...and my pH is the same as yours...HTH
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Old 11-07-2005, 01:34 AM   #16
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Thanks for all the feedback. I won't stress too much about the ph. I did, however, find a very interestingly shaped piece of driftwood that I am adding to the tank. That should naturally lower it somewhat, and I am all in favor of doing things naturally as much as possible.

...and y'all talked me into doing a fishless cycle. I bought some pure ammonia. So, here we go...
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Old 11-07-2005, 01:46 AM   #17
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Another idea is if you like driftwood. I have ph 8.2 out of the tap, and my tank is 7.1. And I add no additives. The driftwood I have (Malaysian) seems to be doing the trick. I don't even add ph down to the tap water during PWC's. I just add a little Prime, and put it in the tank. And no ph fluctuations. Just athought to try if ou like the idea of driftwood.

I will be doing the same with my 55G once I get the filter I ordered. My current tank is a 26G. Will see if the driftwood does the same in a larger aquarium.

Ordered an Emperor 400 today. Should get it sometime this week. With the current tank, will be able to seed the new filter rather quickly for a faster cycle, hopefully.
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Old 11-07-2005, 01:52 AM   #18
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Another thing you can do is get an empty filter sleeve or nylon and put some substrate (rock) from an already cycled tank and set it in the tank near the filter input. That will give a little added seeding for the tank.
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Old 11-07-2005, 02:01 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lonewolfblue
Another idea is if you like driftwood...
Quote:
Originally Posted by bosk1
I did , however, find a very interestingly shaped piece of driftwood that I am adding to the tank.
But thanks, anyway.

As far as seeding from another tank, I had read about that. Seems like a great idea. Unfortunately, this is my first and only tank thus far, so I don't have anything to seed from. Oh well... Still, for my next tank, I think I'll definitely do this.

Thanks for the help!
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