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Old 10-15-2012, 10:46 AM   #1
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Ph balance

We have restarted our aquarium after a couple of years of moving.... And would like to have a better balanced aquarium for our

At the moment our fish seem happy but not soo much the plants... I had the fish store test our water about a month ago and our ph was 7.8 our tap water at home is 7.2 with 25% water changes once to twice a week it is now staying at 7.6

I would like to try 50 % to see if that would help but am wondering if that would be to much shock for my little fish... In our 20 gallon we have 1 male beta (blue) and 5 glow light tetras ( their strip looks orange) they haven't been with us a week yet but within less than 24 hours they were back to full color.

I am not one for technical terms and get lost in some of the advice given. I would prefer to stay away from chemicals as much as possible, I have ph down but would prefer not to use it as I am a mom of a very busy 2 year old and a very active 6 year old, we mark the water changes on the calendar in order to remember lol
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Old 10-15-2012, 11:22 AM   #2
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Hello and welcome!

You are right in wanting to avoid using chemicals. The fish you have chosen are forgiving of the pH levels of your water. You don't want this level to change too fast, but you have nothing to worry about by doing 50% water changes. I do a 50% water change on my quarantine tank everyday. If the fish are new you'll want to do a 50% water change when you start detecting ammonia and nitrite in your water tests.
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Old 10-15-2012, 11:42 AM   #3
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Thanks, maybe I will try 50% on wed. I just did 25% last night my new water is sitting in the bucket now !

I will have to wait until Friday to purchase the test kits for the other levels you mentioned. I would like to be successful this time with the live plants, 3 years ago we ended up with a green slime covering our entire aquarium, we would like to avoid that. At that time I was not paying enough attention to the aquarium and it was tucked away in our sons room. It is now in our main living area.

We are also trying to be patient and only introduce one change at a time.
I would like to get a new filter for Christmas as we only have the original one that came in our kit. A friend asked me if our filter could be the problem with our PH levels, I have not seen anything that would support or dismiss this.
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Old 10-15-2012, 12:25 PM   #4
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Hello there! The filter would not be affecting the ph, unless you have something like peat or crushed coral in there. So long as you keep your ph stable, you should be ok with almost anything, including plants. As far as plants go, stick to low light plants and you should have no problem with being successful. And algae, try to maintain a light schedule of 8-10 hours a day. Also keep up with water changes to keep nitrates an phosphates down. Good luck!
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Old 10-15-2012, 01:00 PM   #5
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Thanks, I will do a little more research on the plants and see what may work and see if our store carries them.

Our filter has nothing but the carbon filter and the poly form.

Our light is one that was labelled fish and plants at the hardware store, we usually turn it on in the morning and turn it off late at night, around 12-15 hours. I could try waiting later in the day to turn it on.
It does not get hit with any direct sunlight the way it did in the past.
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Old 10-19-2012, 08:25 AM   #6
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I have found out the plants were not aquarium plants...

So on Wed I removed 1 and planted it in soil and it is on the coffee table I will need to get some potting soil today as I am out.

We are under construction in our next of the woods and I have been informed that our ph spikes in the fall during construction so I am going to wait this out

Next task upgrade lighting and get actual aquarium plants.
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Old 10-19-2012, 09:06 AM   #7
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As stated by Laser, don't worry about the pH. Stability is the key not any specific value.

If your lighting is a typical T8 fluorescent tube it should be fine for some low light plants. Look for some Anubias, Java Fern, Wisteria, Lemon Bacopa, Bleheri Sword, and Crypts. Those will all do well under very low light. You will need good root tab fertilizers for Swords and Crypts though. I have a fully planted 75 gallon with only one T8 tube over it and those plants grow like mad even though it is considered ultra low lighting. Many people tend to way over light their tanks which can lead to problems. Try with what you have first before you drop the cash on a new fixture. Hit Walmart for a 5$ timer to plug your light into and set it for 8-10 hours a day, save you having to manually turn it on and off.

Small water changes don't really help that much. 50% PWCs per week will do wonders for your water quality and fish/plant health.
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Old 10-21-2012, 12:43 PM   #8
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Thanks for the input, I am going to order some wisteria and some lemon plants from the local store, and try some of those. I checked on the lighting and without removing the cover I can't really upgrade. We discovered this weekend we can't remove the cover with our two year old

I would like to put the lemon plant on the side with the water filter and the wisteria on the opposite side to create a natural hiding area as that is the side all the fish prefer as the water flow is not as high would this work?
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Old 10-21-2012, 12:53 PM   #9
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50% shouldn't be too much, I do that on my tank weekly. MY tap's PH is even a lot higher than my tank's PH and the shift doesn't seem to bother the fish at all. Your plant plan sounds good. I'd be more concerned about other levels, ammonia and nitrite mainly since the tank is still a bit new. Getting a liquid test kit would be a good idea. Here's a link on aquarium care if you haven't seen it: Guide to Starting a Freshwater Aquarium - Aquarium Advice
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Old 10-21-2012, 03:55 PM   #10
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Yeah, I started doing 50% changes now instead of doing 25%.
My water is started in the bucket for Tuesday. I will take the other plant out then as it is in bad shape and is probably doing more harm than good at this time.
I need to pick up the test kits still for the other levels on my next pay. The local store will do it for me, the last time the levels were at zero for ammonia and nitrates, I am not confident now that I had house plants in there.
I am very grateful I found this forum online, everyone is great and helpful.
I like looking at everyone's pictures and seeing their ideas. I love driftwood and spend far to much time looking at it in the store trying to find perfect ones.

The local store will order the plants for me as well so that will be done next pay when I go get the other kits. I will probably get her to test my levels once I do my water change to see where I am at.
Thanks for the link, I had read it awhile ago and I had just finished rereading it when I saw your reply.
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