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pH 8.2, bad?

Discussion in 'Freshwater Newbie Forum' started by bleong, Mar 31, 2010.

  1. bleong

    bleong Registered Member

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    Hi All-
    New to the site, still figuring out how to keep fish. Everyone seems pretty nice. Here's what I have:

    10 Gallon Freshwater Tank
    - 5 Neon Tetras
    - 3 Harlequin Rasboras
    - 1 Male Guppy
    - 1 Spotted Plecostomus (2" long or so)
    - 2 small plants

    I have had the tank for about a year now. About 2 months with the current setup. I read some of the thread about not doing water changes. For a long time I was doing weekly 15% changes. Just recently, I just went about a month without doing a water change and the Ammonia/Nitrate/Nitrite levels are all close to nothing. I don't think I'll go a lot longer than that without doing a change though.

    One thing that is a little troubling is my pH is a little high: 8.2

    Should I be worried about this?

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Lexi_D

    Lexi_D is *Magic*

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    First of all- :welcome: to AC!

    Don't use any type of chemical to lower your pH, although I do think that it should be a bit lower because of the neon tetras, which tend to like more acidic water. Are there any decorations in the tank that could be increasing the pH, like shells?
     
  3. Lowryder

    Lowryder AC Members

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    You have great ph for an African setup lol. Like Lexi said, it is alittle high for the tetras. If its steady and the fish are acting ok then I wouldnt sweat it too much. Playing with ph is not the easiest thing.

    If you simply add a product such as “pH Down” this will not work. Your buffering system will simply very quickly raise the pH back to its original state. You must remove the buffering ions from your tap water so that you may lower the pH. The best way to accomplish this is to purchase a Tap Water Purifier unit. These units filter the water from your faucet using an ion exchange resin. The resulting water is free of the salts and minerals which buffer your water. Aquarium Pharmaceuticals makes a nice compact Tap Water Purifier specifically designed for aquarium use. This is the only reliable method I know of to reduce the buffering ability of your aquarium water and to lower pH. Without purified water, you may be able to lower your pH for a day or two, but without first removing the buffering ions your pH will climb again to natural levels. This fluctuation in pH is much worse than having the wrong pH to begin with.
     
    #3 Lowryder, Mar 31, 2010
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2010
  4. xVitox

    xVitox Daphnia Wrangler

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    you could use some peat in your filter in a filter bag. Itll soften and lower pH. you might wanna test your hardness though before you do any of this
     
  5. Lowryder

    Lowryder AC Members

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    This technique can work well, but is more complicated, less predictable, and probably best avoided by the inexperienced hobbyist.
     
  6. jpappy789

    jpappy789 Plants need meat too

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    Do you have anything to measure GH and KH?
     
  7. Aphotic Phoenix

    Aphotic Phoenix Graver Girl

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    Unless you notice issues that cannot be linked to anything else aside from your water chemistry, altering it is not something you want to start doing on a whim. The pH matters a whole lot less than how "hard" your water is, so before you start messing with things figure out what your KH and GH are. If your dGH is 12 or more, then you might want to consider slowly lowering the hardness, but otherwise they should be fine.

    I cut my tap, and I can honestly say that it is not something I would recommend to people without a certain level of dedication. Not only can it be expensive (RO/DI unit or purchasing water), but space consuming because you always need to store enough to do a massive water change in case of emergency.

    As for not doing water changes, just remember that there are all sorts of chemicals that can get into your tank that may not be consumed by plants, and those chemicals will build up over time. The solution to pollution is dilution. ~_^
     
  8. Earl-G

    Earl-G AC Members

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    maybe its just me but I dont like to fix whats not broken. If your fish have all lived for over a year and all seem healthy I wouldnt worry about it. What kind of test did you use? somtimes you can use 3 different test strips and get 3 different results if you just used a cheaper test strip I would reccomend bringing your water to your LFS and asking them to test it or buy a good liquid test kit.
     
  9. miss jess

    miss jess AC Members

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    re:peat it will also make your water dark brown with tannins. purigen will remove it however.

    if it's only 10g, you could buy demineralised water to do your water changes with. of course it depends on your water hardness (i'm assuming that because the ph is high, the water is hard) but to lower ph slowly i'd just use 2/3 demineralised water to 1/3 tap water when doing water changes.
    after you've got your hardness down you could cautiously start using 'ph down' products or lower the ph naturally. ways i know to naturally lower ph:
    -peat.
    -more live plants will help lower the ph.
    -rotting plants in the water, while bad for nitrate levels and possibly releasing phosphorus, will also lower your ph.
    -if you're up for rescaping your tank, products like ADA aqua soil will lower ph.
    -indian almond leaves, ketapang leaves etc will lower ph.

    if you want more info on any of these methods, just ask. don't mess around with your water chemistry unless you're absolutely sure you know what you're doing. usually i say just to leave ph as it is but 8.2 is very high for most fish. if it were me i'd try to lower it to 7.6-7.8 at least. in any case i'd give up on the neon tetras and get yourself more guppies!

    you shouldn't ever have any ammonia or nitrites at all in an established aquarium. with my 10g tanks (which are not as heavily stocked as yours), i do 35% water changes every two weeks. if your tank was mine i'd aim for 25% every week.

    good luck, i know how annoying it is to have high ph!
     
  10. gmh

    gmh AC Members

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    I am surprised your nitrate level in so low (less than 10?) with your stocking level. If you don't use a liquid test kit your numbers may be suspect.
    At any rate, I would go back to weekly water changes, say 25%. That will keep the water conditons stable over time and the fish should appreciate it.
    I would never use chemical products to lower PH. I do mix some RO to my tap water to lower the total hardness, but if your neons are doing OK I would say leave well enough alone.
     

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