That's it, I give up regarding PH

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Snagrio

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Dec 15, 2020
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For the past few weeks I've been doing a wild goose chase regarding my tank's PH. Initially though some backyard rocks were messing up the PH and raising it higher than what the source was (7.5 to 8.0-8.2), but then I tested my QT tank last night and it ALSO read around 8.0, which didn't make sense as there was nothing in there that could possibly raise the PH.

Apparently this entire time the water was lying to me. Decided to do a test with a cup of water from the exact pipe source I use for water changes. When tested last night it read 7.5, but this afternoon I did it again and it was up to around that same 8.0 or so. So clearly there's some chemistry shenanigans going on when the bubbles from freshly applied water dissipates.

In the end, I give up worrying about it. I'm keeping a close eye on the more important parameters (ammonia/nitrite/nitrate and temperature) and all the fish I get will be from a local store and used to the same water anyway and I don't have any plans to breed anything. I've had enough of this headache. 😑
 

FreshyFresh

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Jan 11, 2013
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I think you're making the right call unless you've proven that pH is causing problems for you.

FWIW, It's been years since I've even checked the pH in any of my tanks. I've mail-orderd fish from ~1200 miles away and put them directly in the tank.
 

Wyomingite

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Oct 16, 2008
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You know, Snagrio, I'm on a well and my water comes out of the tap with a pH of 8.0 to 8.5 and hardness and alkalinity between 25 to 40 dGH and 9 to 14 dKH, respectively. I don't do anything to it, and I've had angels, oscars, BNs, Badis Badis, Dario dario, several species of rasboras, zebra and pearl danios, six species of livebearers (including the "big four"), bettas, and peacock gudgeons spawn and I did nothing but put males and females in the same tank. These are in addition to the dozens of Rift Valley and CA cichlids that I've had spawn (which I did actually target for spawning). Beyond those, I've kept neons, black neons, glowlights, gold, black skirt, head-and-taillight, dawn, peppermint ornate, pristellas, silvertip, and serpae tetras; Corydoras aeneus, C. sterbai, C. melanistius, C. trilineatus, and C. paleatus; banjo cats, bumblebee cats, Synodontis eupterus, Pimelodus blochii, and several species of loricarids; and kribs, festivums, and keyhole cichlids, all without any issues. All the named species in the second set of fish didn't spawn, true, but they have all lived (or are living for the longer-lived species) perfectly healthy normal lives. Almost all of these with exception to the cichlids I've encouraged to spawn and the livebearers come from far softer, more acidic water than mine.

I'm to the point that as long as the fish aren't wild caught, I don't worry about water chemistry too much.

WYite
 

IceH2O

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Nov 26, 2005
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You don’t get true pH till the water gasses off.
As you see after 24 hrs your pH is higher. That is your true pH
Mines comes out of the tap at 6 and raises to 7.6 after 24 hrs.
but with my co2 I knock it down to 6.6ish
 

Lalo J.

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Mar 8, 2020
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Snagrio, I had a similar pH problem a few months ago, I used drinking water in my tank and the water I had a pH above 8, and my wild scalare angelfish suffered the consequences. However, all I did was find a water supplier that handled a pH below 7, so I found water between 6.8-7.4. I removed a couple of rocks that raised the level, and made two weekly water changes of 30% with the new water, so that little by little the pH stabilized to the range that the fish needed, currently I have my pH at 7 and sometimes it rises to 7.2. It's possibly what you need to do, just my experience.
As I mentioned before, my wild angelfish did not have good luck, although it spent several months with a pH above 8. I also agree with WYite, if your fish are not caught in the wild I'm sure they can adapt to the conditions that you use, and I think they are adaptable to different conditions, as long as it is in the acceptable range, of course.
 
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dougall

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Mar 29, 2005
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IMO the hardness is far more important than the pH.

But as long as things are constant, you acclimate fish correctly, and you keep up on frequent water changes you will be fine.

Breeding or wild caught fish may pose an issue though.. so don't get too exotic for now.
 
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FishAddict74

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Dec 8, 2020
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For the past few weeks I've been doing a wild goose chase regarding my tank's PH. Initially though some backyard rocks were messing up the PH and raising it higher than what the source was (7.5 to 8.0-8.2), but then I tested my QT tank last night and it ALSO read around 8.0, which didn't make sense as there was nothing in there that could possibly raise the PH.

Apparently this entire time the water was lying to me. Decided to do a test with a cup of water from the exact pipe source I use for water changes. When tested last night it read 7.5, but this afternoon I did it again and it was up to around that same 8.0 or so. So clearly there's some chemistry shenanigans going on when the bubbles from freshly applied water dissipates.

In the end, I give up worrying about it. I'm keeping a close eye on the more important parameters (ammonia/nitrite/nitrate and temperature) and all the fish I get will be from a local store and used to the same water anyway and I don't have any plans to breed anything. I've had enough of this headache. 😑
Good call, IMO messing with PH causes way more problems than it solves and your time is better spent elsewhere.
 

Snagrio

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Dec 15, 2020
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Sigh... So, I went to the LFS today thinking I was finally about to actually get some fish after months of meticulous planning and seemingly endless delays.

...I left with a box of MetroPlex (just to have it in my supplies), peat granules, some filter media bags and a soul full of disappointment. Not only were the black neon tetras I was about to get already infested with ich and undergoing treatment, but I found out the cardinal tetras and more than likely the dwarf cichlids I was looking at are wild caught, so in the end I have no choice but to get the PH down in my tanks while hoping it doesn't go too acidic and cause problems for my snails.

I even went to another generic pet store to see if they had any of the species I was looking for just so the trip wasn't a total waste of my time and gas, and there was nothing so once again I came home empty handed and have to wait yet another week to see if the peat does anything.

I'm tired... I am so tired of this perpetual cycle of problems, financial costs and delays...
 

FishAddict74

AC Members
Dec 8, 2020
361
215
46
46
Sigh... So, I went to the LFS today thinking I was finally about to actually get some fish after months of meticulous planning and seemingly endless delays.

...I left with a box of MetroPlex (just to have it in my supplies), peat granules, some filter media bags and a soul full of disappointment. Not only were the black neon tetras I was about to get already infested with ich and undergoing treatment, but I found out the cardinal tetras and more than likely the dwarf cichlids I was looking at are wild caught, so in the end I have no choice but to get the PH down in my tanks while hoping it doesn't go too acidic and cause problems for my snails.

I even went to another generic pet store to see if they had any of the species I was looking for just so the trip wasn't a total waste of my time and gas, and there was nothing so once again I came home empty handed and have to wait yet another week to see if the peat does anything.

I'm tired... I am so tired of this perpetual cycle of problems, financial costs and delays...
IMO you’re messing with parameters too much and over thinking this. If your tank is cycled i would do a 50-70% water change to get your tanks chemistry close to what it is from the tap, then get your fish from a good retailer or local breeder and just keep up with your WCs and keep the quality good. I’d be willing to bet if you do this with compatible stock and not over stock, you will see most of your problems disappear. I think people new to the hobby over research sometimes and then stress unnecessarily. There are instances where PH is important but after 35 years in the hobby, my experience is that keeping your tank clean and stable through good maintenance will be successful 99% of the time. Stable PH is much more important than what the PH is. This is supposed to be enjoyable, not stress you out. I never mess with my PH and the only fish I’ve lost in the last few years has been from jumping out or an ich outbreak from my heater going out and not catching it .
 

Snagrio

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Dec 15, 2020
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So in short I basically got, I don't want to say swindled but, talked into spending more money than I needed to. I didn't open anything yet so I might be able to return it but, I'm still just so downtrodden...

I'm trying so hard to do everything by the books, to the letter, and that's leading me to trying to follow advice from 50 different sources all telling me completely different opinions about the right or wrong way to do everything. It's so overwhelming, so frustrating, I just feel lost...
 
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