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Old 06-27-2008, 08:41 PM   #1
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Unhappy pH Level Too High!

I have Dolomite gravel in the bottom of my tank, and recently found out the pebble bottom may be buffering my pH at a high than normal level. Is this true?

The tank utilizes tap water. Out of the wall with dechlor, it registers at a happy pH of 7.4.

But in my tank the pH is steady at 8.0!!

i took the last reading at 3pm, so the temperature would go down as the sun sets, and also did a Partial Water Change. I think users refer to this as a PWC. right? n-e-ways. the PwC was done twice, and the pH went down to 8.0 FROM 8.2.

i have a small piece of drift wood in my tank and understand that this may help, but i just established the sucker and would hate to replace the gravel and go through it all over again.

so far i have 3 happy fish (2 tetras and 1 Noname) and 3 frogs.

please help with any suggestions because i do not want to stress out any new commers, and i am eager to get new fish.

btw: Nitrate 0, Ammonia 0. Nitrite 0, pH 8.0 <---not cool

v

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Old 06-27-2008, 08:51 PM   #2
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As long as your pH is steady your fish will be fine. Only in rare instances of keeping very specific fish (discus) or trying to breed some fish, is it necessary to adjust the pH.

If you really want to get your pH back down to the 7.4 that it comes out of the tap, then your best bet is to simply swap out your substrate with one that won't affect the pH.
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Old 06-27-2008, 08:55 PM   #3
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Substrate = gravel?

you DEFINITELY think that is the source....?

will live plants photosynthetic activity make it better/worse?
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Old 06-27-2008, 08:59 PM   #4
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Substrate is what ever is on the bottom of your aquarium be it gravel, sand, a specially plant product, etc.

I misread your post. I thought that you had determined that your gravel was the cause. To test it, fill a bucket with water and let it sit for 24 hours. Test for pH. Add a handful of your gravel to the bucket. After a few days test the pH again. If you find your pH going up then you've found the cause.

Live plants won't make a difference to the pH.
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Old 06-27-2008, 10:22 PM   #5
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I had a similar case where my tap water was 7.4PH and my tank is 8.0-8.2PH. I tested water that sat out and tap+dechlor that sit out, ect..


Seems my tap water after outgasing rises to ~8.0PH, no big deal I just wanted to find out why it was different.

For a quick test, take tap water and boil it, on mine after boiling for 10-15min, then I let it cool and checked the PH and it agreed w/ the tank of ~8.0PH.
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Old 06-28-2008, 11:58 AM   #6
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is that where YOU keep your pH at? around 8.0? do you use any buffers to bring it lower? i guess it relies on what kind of fish you have. right?

what are some reasons someone would try to control their pH with chemical aid?
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Old 06-28-2008, 12:37 PM   #7
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Changing PH is usually done for delicate fish, wild caught ones or for breeding and egg hatching. Only chemicals I would use are baking soda to raise PH and distilled water mixed with tap to lower PH. Driftwood, various tree leaves and peat can be used to lower PH as well. Coral sand, or some rocks can be employed to raise PH. By the way I am saying PH but it is really the KH that matters.
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Old 06-28-2008, 12:40 PM   #8
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is that where YOU keep your pH at? around 8.0? do you use any buffers to bring it lower? i guess it relies on what kind of fish you have. right?

what are some reasons someone would try to control their pH with chemical aid?
Yes my PH is 8.0, I do not alter it, all the LFS's around here have the same 8.0PH as I asked them. They do not alter the PH unless its a rare picky fish as rich described. I would not use any chemicals to adjust PH, use more natural things if you absolutely must.
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Old 06-28-2008, 01:12 PM   #9
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If your fish are thriving, don't worry about the pH level. Adjusting it with chemicals will only harm the tank. The only thing I'd ever use to adjust the pH would be distilled water to lower and crushed coral to raise. It's natural and doesn't require any kind of dosing.
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Old 06-28-2008, 08:10 PM   #10
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wow

thanks. this site is awesome. I'm really impressed with all the knowledge . got driftwood, but now i need the correct type of lighting for my tank because right now i'm using my old turtle light, and it has a bulb specific for reptiles...

i know i need more plants for hiding spots, but i now have a German Ram. As i understand these fish enjoy dominating a "territory" ,but i don't have any other fish that it would compete with, so he just swims around. any suggestions?

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Old 06-29-2008, 11:14 AM   #11
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Your Dolomite gravel is buffering the water keeping the pH high.
Dolomite = Calcium chloride = Marble, limestone, Coral, crushed seashells...

Use regular inert pea stone gravel instead.

btw: Nitrate 0, Ammonia 0. Nitrite 0, pH 8.0 <---not cool

You don't want your nitrAtes at 0.0. Keep them at 10 - 20 ppm. Anything lower just asks for a major algae outbreak. Nitrite, ammonia should be at 0.0.
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Old 06-29-2008, 01:37 PM   #12
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inert pea stone gravel... should i change the substrate out?

my clown loach seems happy swimming around, but the pebbles are to big for him to sift through and i wonder if he'll be ok...

to keep my nitrates between 10-20 i should just let the bacteria flourish until it gets too high?
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Old 06-29-2008, 01:58 PM   #13
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normally nitrates are controlled by PWC's, unless you tank is heavily planted then the plants will use the nitrates,
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Old 06-29-2008, 06:39 PM   #14
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You can replace all, most, some, none of your gravel if you want. It all depends on what pH level you want to stay at and what pH your tap water normally is. Like if you replace 80-90% of the dolomite gravel with inert gravel and you tap water is a stable 7.4 (after standing for 24 hrs to let all the gasses out), your tank should stay pretty close to 7.4. That little 10% dolomite will help buffer the water.
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