The ph in my fresh water tank went down to 6.0. I have done ...

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5 years ago #1
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The ph in my fresh water tank went down to 6.0. I have done 50 percent water changes as my tap water is 8.2. It still will not go up. I tried using chemicals to help me but even that did not work. The ph as of today is 6.4.Help!

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johnarthur avatar
5 years ago #2
johnarthur
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If you're using either, be aware that reverse osmosis and distilled water lack the chemicals needed to buffer pH. In addition, activated charcoal filter elements can capture ions and thus affect pH.

Rapid swings in pH are dangerous to fish. Thus the pH reducing or increasing chemicals should be used veeeeery carefully. Most aquarium fish can adapt to a range of pH values; pH does not need to be perfect.

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southern creature avatar
5 years ago #3
southern creature
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I often had similar issues until I started using various gravels, shells and limestone to buffer my pH.

Where does your tap water come from, is it town water, well water or (like mine) tank water?
Unless it is town water then it will not have pH buffers in it. Water companies buffer the pH so water users don't get acid damaged skin, it also reduces the corrosive effect on metal pipes.

Like johnarthur points out chemical additives are best used sparingly (if at all). You will be able to buffer your pH naturally by using coral sand (crushed coral), shells or limestone in your tank. I often place broken shells in my canister filter and this has a beneficial affect for a long period of time, however this does break down over time and needs replacing. Coral sand as a substrate or limestone as a decoration in your tank will have a longer term effect.

If you end up with a pH higher than you desire then I'd use the small amount of shell in the filter as a way of striking a balance, just monitor this situation as (like I already mentioned) the shells will dissolve away.

There are a few varying opinions on whether these are the best ways to buffer your pH and there is a product called pH buffer, but the cost of this really adds up over time.
I'd suggest you google some info. about all this, however it works for me.


BTW What pH are you aiming for and what fish do you have?


As an after thought, I'm wondering what kind of filtration you have. If you have a canister filter and you don't clean it every 3 months, then it is possble you'll have a lot of waste in there. This waste will be acidic and this will make it near impossible to have your pH anything but acid. The same will go for any waste under an undergravel, however I've not had an undergravel for so long that I can not advise you on how often to clean these. This will be the case even if you have limestone etc in your tank.

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radar avatar
5 years ago #4
radar
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Do you have any driftwood in the tank certain driftwoods will drop the PH of the water.

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Gary avatar
5 years ago #5
Gary
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Hi I have replaced the water in the tank with tap water. Which is out of the tap at 8.2. I have a canister filter and a hanging filter. They get cleaned out every third week. I use flourite as subtrate for my plants. I have gouramis and a placo. I removed the ammonia bag from the canister and left the carbon filters in place. I just replaced the water in my tank by using a plastic hose and kept up the level bye replacing the water as needed to the tune of 40 gallons. My tank is a 37 gallon tank! The ph as of today is 6.4. Thank you all for your time!
Gary

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southern creature avatar
5 years ago #6
southern creature
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Hi there gary, Great to see you've joined our forum.

1stly fish can often adapt to a wide range of pH, just not highs or lows or swings, avoid extermes. Stability is most important thing, but also specific fish do have particular requirements too!
Your conditions are not too bad for a pleco and most gouramies.

Also that is over 100% water change and you should never do that, it can be very bad for the fish and the tank's cycle (the beneficial bacteria).

Something does seem to be wrong and there has to be an underlying cause.

I think you could remove the carbon and just have ceramic rings and sponge/padding in your filters. Like Johnarthur said, carbon can afect pH, by capturing ions.

You may also be over stocked and your filter could be struggling to clean the tank. Your filters may also be struggling to clean your tank as you are cleaning them too well and too often.

I only clean my canister filters once every three months and this is ideal. That is because this type of filter requires large colonies of bacteria to grow, these bacteria digest the waste as it gets caught in the filter sponge/padding. The bacteria live on the entire set-up but primarily colonise the ceramic rings (and other surfaces, like bio-balls) that are in this type of filter.
If you clean too often or too thouroughly you will damage the entire cycle and may cause the filter to not work effectivly.

NEVER clean you filter in tap water as this WILL kill your beneficial bacteria. Only ever lightly swish/rinse the filter media in a bucket of water from the same fish tank.

Also with your overflow filter (the one on the side) never change all the cartriges/media at once, same rules apply. but these are cleaned more often than a canister filter.

Also what type of pleco do you have, is it a bristlenose or something bigger?
What type of gouramies do you have and how many?
I'm asking as we should check to see if you have too many fish. That is to say, we need to check if your filtration has the biological capacity to keep your water stable?

I hope this is of help mate. You really should avaoid doing such large water changes and to do this we need to get to the bottom of what is wrong?

Steven

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Fry Daddy avatar
5 years ago #7
Fry Daddy
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I'm curious - do you have a water softener for your tap water? If so that could be the problem as it removes any calcium from the water. The resulting soft water will still measure high PH out of the tap but without any calcium to buffer it the PH can drop quickly. Use water from an outside tap as these are usually split off before the water softener or as Southern Creature suggested you can use crushed coral or limestone as a substrate or in your filter to buffer the PH.

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Gary avatar
5 years ago #8
Gary
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Hi to everyone!
I want to thank everyone of you for your thoughtful insight into my tank problems. You are quite right about the complete water changes. Bad idea on my part! I dont use water softeners. I have 5 gouramis and one four inch placo. Black! I also have two power filter type filters in the corners of my tank. I do alternate on the cleaning process for the tank. I will remove all the carbon out of the tank and see where the chips fall after that! Maybe that will help. I will not be using any type of chemicals in the tank.After the carbon idea i will get some crushed shells, coral and give that a try.
Thank you once again.
Gary

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Gary avatar
5 years ago #9
Gary
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Hi Everyone!
I removed the carbon from all my filters and replaced it with crushed coral. My PH has gone up to 6.9. I want to thank everyone for all the help!
Gary

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southern creature avatar
5 years ago #10
southern creature
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That's very good to hear mate.

1stly keep an eye on how high the pH goes, it could continue to climb!!

Also this method works because the acids are breaking down the alkalies. This means that acid is eating your crushed coral, albeit slowly.

There will come a time when your coral needs replacing. ie it has largely been eaten away. Be sure to continually monitor the pH as there could be a pH drop at this time.

Good luck with all this.

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4 years ago #11
Terilyn
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I have 2 Oranda goldfish and one feeder that are medium size. I just bought a 205 Fluval canister filter to replace my 204. I have a 40 gal oceanic cube tank self contained. My ph is very high 6.0. I have never had it so high. I have just purchased crushed coral and put 2 hand fulls in the canister. I vaccum every 7 days for goldfish can be very dirt. I rinse out the filter about every two weeks, they get fed blood worms and a pellet food. My one Oranda had gotten ich cured thank God. I am assuming that the ph being off could cause the ich???. Also could the water conditioner cause the ph to be off if you use to much??? Help!!

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ChaosReborn avatar
4 years ago #12
ChaosReborn
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Having a pH of 6.0 is actually considered quite Acidic, or low. A neutral pH to aim for is around 7.0 and anything higher than that is good for African Cichlid species.

The goldfish are pretty resiliant when it comes to pH levels, but I would aim for anything around 7.0

The crushed coral should raise the pH some, then hopefully act as a buffer to maintain a constant reading. Fluctuations are often harmful or fatal to fish, so its best to maintain a solid number. Also, the Crushed coral will dissolve over time, so you will need to keep adding more and more to the tank.

What temperature is the tank?

As far as the water conditioner being the reason for a low pH, I don't think thats the case. You should probably test the water source that your adding to the tank, that may shed some light on your question.

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terilyng avatar
4 years ago #13
terilyng
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the tempature in the tank ranges from 75 to 78 degrees give or take a degree. I do have a tendence to over feed so what do you suggest for feeding amounts and frequency. I usually give them blood worms in the morning and pellets in the afternoon.

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johnarthur avatar
4 years ago #14
johnarthur
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In the morning, fish usually have a good appetite so that's the best time to feed a staple food like flakes or pellets. If you are feeding freeze dried food, it may be a good idea to soak it in aquarium water first. Sometimes freeze dried food can expand in a fish's tummy and cause quite a bit of distress.

With the exception of some bottom dwellers, try to feed the fish no more than they actually eat in a couple of minutes. Over feeding is behind lots of water quality issues.

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