low ph - suggestions?

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etspam

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Feb 11, 2007
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Hi all-

I have a 20g tank, which has had guppies and RCS for years. I unfortunately got an infestation of snails, and their #'s have climbed over the last 2 years. Also, my guppies have bred a lot recently (within last month), so the tank is currently overloaded. I've seen die off of RCS recently, and checked my tank parameters, and the ph is 6.0 (lowest testing will go). I suspect that it's the tank params, especially the ph. I'm in the process of getting a bigger tank, but am afraid I'll lose the rest of the RCS before then. So I'm looking for advice - should I buy those ph+ treatment/conditioner stuff? Are they good/worthwhile? Is there something else I should do?

Also, I've been using Amquel Plus for ages to treat tapwater and detoxify ammonia. I've read online that this can also lower the ph. Should I be using something else? Anyone have suggestions of what product to use? There's a lot.

ET
 

dudley

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Feb 9, 2005
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What's the pH of your tap water? If it's closer to neutral, just do daily small water changes to bring the pH back up. My suggestion assumes your tap water pH doesn't naturally drop after it off gasses.
 

etspam

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Feb 11, 2007
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I tested the water straight from the tap, and it was about 7-7.4. I've put some out to off gas and will test tomorrow. My tank pH actually went up, it's now 6.4 or so. Maybe it was due to a water change I had done a day or two previous? It was somewhat large (25-33%). I've still had a large # of shrimp die in the past month, though maybe it's just due to tank params slowly going bad due to it being overloaded. Need to get that new tank set up.
 

tanker

Josh Holloway--Be mine!!!
Sep 1, 2003
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Jessica
What is your KH and GH readings. This affects the PH too.
 

etspam

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Feb 11, 2007
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Unfortunately, I don't have kh/gh testers, only standard ammonia/nitrite/nitrate/ph/high ph tests.
 

dudley

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Feb 9, 2005
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What were the pH results after the 24 hour rest period?

You could buy the GH and KH kits separately.
 

FreshyFresh

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Jan 11, 2013
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Frequency and amount of water changed?

A tank overloaded with guppies and the feeding required for fry are going to require lots of water changes.
 

fishorama

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Many lfs will test your water for free. They may call them hardness (GH) & alkalinity (KH), you want an actual range, not just "ok".

If you have city water you can usually look up the latest water tests online. Your exact numbers may differ but you can get a "feel" for your area.

My water is very soft, low GH & KH (2-4 gdh of both) & snails have a hard time surviving well for long...but some always do. I have added crushed coral to my filters at times but not lately. In some ways, dissolving dead snail shells add to GH
 

etspam

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Feb 11, 2007
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pH after off-gassing was still in the 7+ range, so it should be good in that respect. I think the drop was due to the Amquel water changes I had been doing to keep the tank params somewhat normal.
 

fishorama

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Jun 28, 2006
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Joel probably has it right, high fish load can = high nitrate. It has a tendency to creep up after years even if you're always up on water changing. & that can lower pH, sometimes by a lot. See "old tank syndrome", yours is not nearly as bad as it can get if that's what the pH drop is from.
 
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