Water Diagnostic for Tap Water and 29 Gallon Tank. Help!

The friendliest place on the web for anyone with an interest in aquariums or fish keeping!
If you have answers, please help by responding to the unanswered posts.


Aquarium Advice Newbie
Aug 5, 2020
Hi! I have a 29 gallon freshwater tank and a 5 gallon fresh water tank. I just recently moved back home and my water source is on a well. The water source from the well is very soft water with Very high PH.

I had the 5 gallon tank setup with one male guppy and 1 cherry shrimp that I had purchased back in February. They were doing fine with water changes through Tapwater with Prime seachem.

Long story short I’ve upgraded to a 29 gallon and they’re both now in the same room using the same water source. There’s no copper from my water source as I’ve tested with a kit.

My main concern of this post is my water parameters from my tapwater and what I’ve been using in my tanks for decor etc.

I use both a liquid test kit and the 6 in 1 tetra strips that measures closely to the liquid test kit. They were recommended by Aquarium Co-op.

I’m not sure how to attach a picture of the tests. I don’t see any attach or link button on the Reddit app through IOS.

Water source parameters with testing from Tap Water:

PPM Tap Water? Ammonia: 0 Nitrate: 0 Nitrite: 0 GH: 0 Chlorine:0 Alkalinity(KH): 40-80 range. Looks more like 80 PH: 8.4

So my well water is extremely soft with very high PH.

In my tanks, I get different parameters:

29 Gallon Parameters and Fish stocking and Plant lineup:

Ammonia: 0 Nitrite: 0 Nitrate: 10-20 very light pink. GH: 300ish very hard Chlorine: 0 Kh: 0-40 Ph: 7.8-8.4 pinkish

Fish: Powder blue gourami, 2 female guppies, 15+ Neocaridina shrimp. I know the gourami shouldn’t been with shrimp but the shrimp are very active and he hasn’t eaten them. They either use the cholla wood or rocks to move around/ scavenge. They often times are out and about.

Decor: Ohko Dragonstone, 3 6 inch cholla wood, 3 medium sized Indian Almond Leaves, 1 2/5 Wonder Shell(Calcium/Magnesium and GH increase)

5 java Ferns, 4 Flame moss pads, 5 Java moss pads, 10 Marimo Moss Balls. My Marimo moss balls look good, but my Java ferns have browning at tips. I’ve been leaving light on for 10 hours but I’ve got algae on glass and rocks. I’m trying to get light to go for 6-7 hours now. I have a light timer as well.

My shrimp have been molting as I see their molts and they’ve been feeding well. I have had deaths since I’ve got them though.

The deaths happen at night time, I think my Ph swings at night time. My fish are fine. I’ll actually just post the information for my 29 gallon as this post is long already.

Tl;dr. My shrimp were bought a week ago from Aquatic Arts, they’re cherry shrimp but Neo Yellows. They sometimes die at night time. I think it’s from a Ph swing because my KH is really low. The plants release Co2 at night time and causes PH to swing from what I understand. What can I do to improve my extremely soft water with very high PH? I already add Wondershells and Indians almond leaves with cholla wood.
Here is some hopefully helpful information.

Not a chemist, and sometimes these ideas are complicated there is always a reason for the numbers.

As you say, there is a decent amount of calcium which would raise the pH.

I am wondering about the options of using a shrimp substrate which causes the pH to come down. Amazonia is one - there a large number of options. Some will release ammonia for awhile so initially starting with them takes a routine changing of the water to keep the ammonia down to be safe.

The other thing with these substrates are that some are little soil balls and will crush and can get mucky. Others are more like a fired clay bead. Just so you can know what you are getting.

If you use a lot of rooting plants in the tanks the soil like balls could be very useful. If you use more Java Fern moss, and Anubias or Bucephlandra which do not necessarily get directly planted, you may be happy with the much less messy fired ball types.

The other alternative is to get a RO unit low flow small units can be around $60. And use a remineralizer like Salty Shrimp (there are 2 kinds) or https://www.seachem.com/equilibrium.php
Top Bottom