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  1. Hi, first time poster here. Up until now I have just been doing relentless research and watching the YouTube channel but now I don’t know what to do. I have a new tank. 75 gallon tank with 3 small goldfish and 1 plecto that was set up on Saturday and fish added on Sunday. I checked my tank Thursday and had an ammonia reading of 3.0 ppm, oh was 7.8-8.0, and nitrite and nitrates were both at a 0. Due to the high ammonia we did a 50% water change Thursday. Friday we checked levels again, everything was the same but ammonia was still just below 3.0 ppm. Did another 50-75% water change. I noticed that night my smallest goldfish was sitting at the bottom and was until Saturday morning. He is back to normal self. Friday we dosed prime and stability by seachem and have been light feeding once a day to try and keep ammonia levels down. Left tank alone all day Saturday to not stress fish. Today it’s Sunday and I just checked levels which I will upload now. PH is highest it’s ever been and ammonia is not zero but lower. What should I do now is my question. I don’t want to stress my fish but I don’t want to hurt them further. Fish show no signs of distress or burnings, spots, marks ect. Aside from the one sitting at bottom for the night they have not showed any changes aside from hunger due to limited feeding now. I have prime, I have stability, I have another tetra water conditioner. I don’t have anything else and couldn’t get anything else until Tuesday, payday. Please help me I appreciate any advice. I understand now my tank is not cycled and I’m dealing with new tank syndrome. I just need some help to get me through it. I don’t want my fish harmed. Thank you for your time. ♥️
  2. We have a 40g planted tank that has been up for a month. Currently, it has 1 mystery snail, 1 amano shrimp, and 4 neocaridina shrimp. We also have a rice sized pea puffer who is in the quarantine tank, since I wanted to dose it for parasites. Puffer is going in his own tank (that has yet to be set up). The water parameters are as follows: pH: 7.5 gH: 300ish? (co op test strip) kH: 40ppm (2.25~dkH) (both coop strip and API kH test) nitrates: 5ppm (might be due to fertilizer) nitrites: 0 ammonia: 0 According to the water company: gH: 289 TDS: 410 pH: 7.8 We have cast iron pipes and get water mostly from surface water and ground water (from what I can research, but Ohio makes it REALLY hard to find information about your specific water source when you live in an apartment). I noticed over the past several weeks, that the pH drops an entire point with nothing in the tank but plants over the course of a week and from my research, it seems all fish but especially inverts are sensitive to pH fluctuations, but many also need higher kH than I have. I read mixed reporting about using baking soda to raise kH (as it is claimed it doesn't raise pH). I attempted to raise the kH of my tank (before adding the shrimp) to 6dkH, but it most certainly rose the pH of my tank to 7.8. I did a 75% water change to get the parameters back to normal. The stock we have has been here for 8 days. From the initial stocking we have lost 1 amano shrimp and a bamboo shrimp. After the 1st amano died, we haven't seen the second, however I haven't had any ammonia spikes so I have chosen to closely monitor the water rather than stress out the shrimp looking for the amano. Should I be concerned about the lack of kH? Is there something I can do to help stabilize my kH and pH without making it higher than it already is? I have been doing water changes every few days because the pH drops. What pH stabilizer would you recommend? To note, the pea puffer in quarantine has no live plants, substrate. etc in order to facilitate cleaning and making sure not to complicate things further (for me, the new fish keeper). This pH flux doesn't happen, nor does the kH deplete quickly. Any and all help is greatly appreciated!
  3. Dear community, I have a fluval flex 123 litre tank which has been running for around 18 months now. It is fully planted with a fairly large piece of mopani. All the fish are happy in a soft acidic environment so i was not too concerned with PH of 6.4 a few weeks back. This tank is beautifully over filtered as standard & i have a seperate internal UV filter with venturi running as well The tank gets a 25% water change fortnightly, the gravel is vacuumed as best as possible. all the fish are healthy & happy. I was running 50/50 RO/Tap but on noticing low KH started leaving the RO out & just using tap. Here in Norfolk UK the tap water is liquid rock, super hard. I thought that maybe the trumpet snails were stripping carbonates out? I am having real problems with KH & PH. The KH is 0 & the PH is around 6.0. I have tried adding seachem equilibrium to get the KH up but i think i could add tubs full & get nowhere. I did a tap only 50% water chage which brought the KH & PH up to nicer levels but within a few days both were back to low levels with KH at 0. I am concerned with no KH the PH can swing wildly but thankfully all fish are healthy & not stressed. At this point i am considering the only solution being to strip the tank down, throw away the substrate which is 2.5 inches of aquasoil topped with a half inch of gravel. Thus getting rid of the snails. I can’t think of another way but am reluctant due to the beautiful mature swords & lotus. So here i am reaching out to you guys for help, all suggestions will be gratefully received. I’m sure i have left out some technical details that may be required for a reasoned response so please ask anything. I would rather avoid having to add vast quantities of chemical. Many thanks for reading this post.
  4. Alright so I recently picked up some test strips from the Coop. I tested on of my seasoned tanks and got a reading of 6.4 ph. (Tank has crushed coral mixed in with gravel). After testing with the strips I tested with my api liquid test kit because the 6.4 reading seemed way off what I usually keep my tanks at. The api kit gave a reading of 7.2 ph. I repeated these tests several times on multiple tanks all with the same result of my ph reading low on all my tanks according to the test strip and around 7.2 with api kit. My question is could there be somthing in my water affecting the ph reading on the strips? All other measurements on the strips match up (within reason) with the api kit. I love the strips im just lost on why I keep getting a reading of 6.4. If anyone has any inside ide appreciate it.
  5. I would like to use them because my bristlenose are spawning and shrimp like them. I also have guppies. I do not want to put them in and cause ph shock to anything or cause shock doing water changes. I have 7.4-7.6 ph liquid rock hard water extremely high kh. how fast will it alter my ph it binds to calcium is the calcium still usable for mystery snails and guppies? I’ve read studies that they are beneficial to guppies but I know they fall apart in me in softer water. thanks for your help in advance
  6. My tap water is soft. 30 TDS. 1st photo Tap that sat overnight. 2nd My regular tanks that have Driftwood and/or catappa leaves 3rd My Shrimp tank after adding Baking soda to raise Kh back up. Wood and catappa I was given 2 nerite snails. I'd like to add a few snails and leaf litter to a couple tanks. In my shrimp tank I also use Aqueon Shrimp Essentials for minerals and have success w/molt and babies . I'm concerned that about Ph craziness and how I can at least maintain a Ph of 6.8. Is Seachem Equilibrium something I should consider or other additives ? I know its not good to chase parameters but these are rather low. It's been great for breeding my cory metae and bristlenose but w/wood and leaves I worry it will get too low.
  7. I have been setting up my first tank in about 10-12 years. I have a question or three about water hardness. These are the numbers in question. PH=7.4 not very concerned about that. GH= 3 or 3 drops with ATI test. KH= 3or 3 drops on same ATI test. I would consider this fairly soft. My main concern is the buffering ability of KH. That and a lot of fish/shrimp say they need harder water. I have 2 questions. 1. should I try to raise the hardness of my water? I have read that crushed coral can raise it nice and slow. I like slow. 2. if I do raise it, how do I go about keeping it from crashing when I do water changes? Thanks in advance for any advice, and yes I tried the search function. I am terrible at searching.
  8. OK - My friendly local fish store guy is a bit on the 'unorthodox' side. He has some notions that seem weird to me: 1- Water in my area is on hard side ( 6 degrees +/-) and acidic - 7.5 +/-. Guy says he doesn't believe ph adjusters. All tropical fish need neutral ph so I need a dedicated water supply. [He doesn't sell them.] He has one for his 50 some odd tanks in the store... 2 - Use only digital thermometers - all others are inaccurate. 3 - Severum are peaceful and good with plants. ( I've kept severum, and they never seemed that way to me...) 4 - Endlers are ugly ( a matter of taste obviously - I like them) 5 - All tropicals need/thrive in neutral ph except cichlids, which are tolerant of everything from 6.5 to 8.5 6 - All fish die from bad conditions and overcrowding. 7 - No hospital tank ('if you get from a reliable breeder, you shouldn't have sick fish. If you do, it means there is something wrong with the whole tank - hospital tank won't fix that...) 8 Fish don't grow dependent on tank size. If a fish doesn't grow to its full size (he claims a dempsy can get to 18 inches...) and then dies after a good few years, it's because of bad water conditions. ( A big and disputed topic, I realize) I know that each one of these questions requires a separate discussion, but overall, what do you guys think about such things? Is this guy crazy? Some kind super duper fish guru? An idiot? I can only say that I have kept fish seriously twice for a number of years, and never used a digital thermometer (they didn't have them) , always used ph adjusters for tap water, and always had a hospital tank.
  9. I need to buffer my water for some fish I am getting from an aquarium shop local. I was told to use crushed coral or aragonite sand. But I only have african cichlid sand on hand. I assume it does the same thing, caribsea african cichlid mix white sand. It buffers KH and Ph. But I also have to buffer the Gh. Hmm
  10. Hi so i am on day 6 of tank cycling and I have Nitrites and nitrates present and my ammonia levels are starting to drop but my ph just keeps rising and rising and I have heard that sieryu stone can cause that along with substrate so i do have that stone in my tank and i have the eco complete planted substrate Ive heard that the levels dont have to be exact as long as their stable but mine arent so is there anythhing I can do to help with this? or evena key reason? feel free to pm me if theres some sort of image of my tank you need or anything thankyou!
  11. Yesterday I did a 25% WC on my 20 gallons - community tank, planted, temp about 75, kh 0, gh between 150 and 300, 0/0/10, 0 chlorine. (using aquarium co-op strip) Population : 1 honey gourami, 10 chili rasbora, 8 false julii cory, 4 nerita snails. A lot of plants had black beard algea so I removed them for a double seachem dose bath in a separate container. I also cleaned my HOB filter + my sponge filter (in aquarium water). I did however leave some hides and plants in. My water is a bit milky today so I tought I crashed my cycle. Plus my fish are swimming a bit more toward the surface (but could be of boredom as the tank is more empty then usual). I retested my water and my pH, which is usually 7.4 / 7.6 is now about 6.4/6.6. I admit I don’t test it as often as the result are not working on the aquarium co op strip so the last readings of my pH was couple of weeks ago. However my other tank, which I did not do a WC this week but last week, has its pH at 7/7.2 today (when it’s also usually around 7.4/7.6). so I tested my tap water and it’s about 7 (when it’s usually 7.4 or 7.6). Should I do something about it? I know a lot of people say not to chase parameters but a pH drop of 1 is pretty significant. Will it harm my fish? Should I do another WC? Add baking soda?
  12. My tap water has a really high ph around 9.. I keep my tank around 7. How should I do water changes to keep the pH from changing to much in the tank?
  13. I know that crushed coral raises Ph over time. However, I was wondering how much does it ultimately raise the Ph? I know that different water conditions will effect this, but what might be a ballpark figure? For example if I need to raise a Ph of 6.5 to 7, about how long would that take? Would it get to 7? Would it stop at 7 when it got there?
  14. So, my tap water has a PH of 8.0. My betta and snails seem ok, but the neo shimp that have been in for many months (since Dec 2020) have gone from 11-13 to just 2 in the last 2 weeks. No bodies except 1 I found behind the tank (I assumed the mystery snail is eating them before I see a body, until I found the dried up shrimpie behind the tank). Now, I don't know if they are crawling out and dieing or dieing and being eaten. I thought I should try to address the PH in case that is why they are dieing or crawling out (ammonia, nitrates, nitrites all 0, tank has been cycled for almost a year). I bought some Seachem Acid Buffer, but I am nervous of using it. I have a planted tank btw, plants are all alive and ok, but not thriving, and growing extremely slowly. Any suggestions on how to safely use the buffer and get my 5gal back to a safer ph. Looking to get the ph closer to 7.2-7.4
  15. Hi everyone, I’ve setup a temporary tank in a Streilite tote (5 gallons) for Platy fry and my PH keeps dropping to 6.0 and below. I keep doing 50% water changes to bring it back up but it goes right back down. LFS told be to put base rock to neutralize the ph and that worked for my 20 gallon tank. I have Java Moss that I just got from the Co-Op and Water Wisteria from my 20 gallon.. My Ammonia, Nitrites and Nitrates are all 0. There is a seasoned sponge filter that I had in my 20 gallon aquarium. Currently I have 5 fry inside the tank because a bunch have died that think due to the ph. I’m pretty sure I’ve removed any dead fry.
  16. I’m having trouble determining the high range PH. To me it appears to be 7.4, but could also be 7.8. Can someone please help?
  17. So, I'm new to fishkeeping -- I started in February and cycled for a few weeks before adding 6 neon tetras (which are all doing great) to my 10 gallon tank. It has a few plants (anubias, a few stems, and some dwarf sagg that is starting to carpet) and gravel substrate (no driftwood). I attached the anubias to a small rock I found (and boiled). I think it is quartz or an agate and it didn't seem to change the water parameters for the first two months. However, in the last few weeks I've developed some weird problems: 1) I have low PH (6.3-6.6) even though my tap water is 7.0. I can't raise it above 6.6, which is frustrating because I'd like to add guppies or other fish that might need a neutral PH. 2) My tank has developed very high GH (the very purple square on the aquarium co-op test strips) even though my tap water is VERY soft (nothing registers on the test strips). I've confirmed these parameters with 3 brands of test strips, and have confirmed the PH readings with the strips and liquid test kit. Also, GH is very high while KH is low (it barely shows up on the test strips) The only things I add to the water are Seachem Prime, a variety of fish foods, Easy Green (per instructions), and a few Aquarium Co-op root tabs (when I started). I added 0.7 pounds of crushed coral to the substrate when I began and ran a small bag of it in my filter for a week several weeks ago -- still, the PH stayed at 6.6. I'll admit there are reasons for acids in there -- I let the tank get dirty for the first 1-2 months thinking it would fertilize the plants (not realizing that 4-5 small plants don't need all that fertilizer). That said, I've changed my ways and after some major (60-80%) water changes and cleaning I'm gravel-vacing now. I've always done a ton of water changes on this tank to keep the nitrates down to 20-40 (sometimes 3 or more 30% water changes a week). I'm so confused because it seems like low PH is usually associated with low hardness. My PH is low but GH has been very high for a few weeks now and KH is relatively low (barely registers on the test strips). What could be going on? How can lower the GH and raise the PH? Thanks!
  18. 29 gal that has been set up for 10 months, ph has started drop and is currently at 6.4 My tap ph is 6.8 and basically non-existant KH and GH. I didn't realize when I set up my tank, that I would need a ph buffer. I add Seachem Equilibrium with water changes and wondershells every few months along with easy green and my plants are pretty happy. Just worried about the fish if ph continues to drop. I should have started with crushed coral mixed with my substrate. I also have 2 large pieces of mopani wood that probably contribute to the ph dropping. I really don't want to just dump crushed coral in with my brown gravel. Are there other rocks that will buffer ph?
  19. Hello everyone, I’m getting some new guppies and cherry shrimp in. The tank I’m planning on putting them in is a 29g which has been up and running for over 2 years and seems to be cycled. I tested the water today, PH was 8.2 ,no ammonia or nitrite, and 10ppm nitrate with a GH of over 215.8ppm and a KH of 196.9ppm. I tested the KH and GH straight out of the tap and had the same readings. Is this too much hardness and too high of a ph in the water that would be harmful to the guppies and cherry shrimp???
  20. I have a 55 gal tank with 5 black phantom, 2 red eye and 4 serpae tetras. My test kit as well as the fish store's results show my pH consistently around 7.5. I also have well water which has a hard mineral content (unsure of the number). My tetras are doing well but I wanted to add some scavenger, bottom feeders. I heard corydoras are fairly hardy and a good choice for a beginner. I had 6 (spotted, green and albino), none of which survived. What would you choose for my tank? The pH was the only number out of whack. I've treated it a number of times, but I concluded it's going to stay on the high side. The hard water is my guess for killing the corys. Please help. Thank you.
  21. I added coral to ALL my tanks! I added a bit at a time not to over do it all at once. 10G got 1 pound , 20 gallon 1 pound, 40G 2 pounds and the 5G has a little less than half a pound.. I added it after water changes. the 5 G has some in the filter and a bit in the tank. I am thinking he needs more in his tank. The PH is still dropping to around 6.6 - 6.8 ish... I have hard water. 280... Should I add more? Wait??? ugh.. I do water changes every 2 weeks sometimes every 3 weeks if all is good chemistry and looks wise.
  22. Hey everyone, I am working on a project that uses a ph probe. I know they need to be calibrated once and a while, but is it true the probe needs to be replaced often?
  23. I've been researching and planning a 10 gallon shell dweller tank. I know they prefer water with higher pH, GH, and KH. I finally got some test strip to check the latter 2. I checked my betta tank and tap water. pH is about 7-7.2 KH is 40 GH is probably 60 (I'm not good with color shade matching) All 3 of these values are not ideal for African cichlids. I've researched methods such as crushed coral to raise these values. But it doesn't last. Then I read about CaribSea African cichlid sand that supposedly keeps the values where they need to be for the life of the aquarium. Then I read about aragonite. Then I read about oolite Aragonite. I think I'm just confused and overwhelmed by this. Can someone share some wisdom here? Either experience with shell dwellers, any of these products, and whether or not it really does maintain levels for the life of the tank.
  24. I see many guides for plants have the top of the PH range at 7.5 or 8.0. The water I have at work is at about a Ph of 8.2, gh=14, kh=7. I have been struggling a little with plants so far. Me/my coworkers/and my amano shrimp have just about successfully murdered 4 plants so far. I had a water sprite that was doing great but now it is looking sadder with patches kind of like a phosphate deficiency. (I was advised earlier to not use root tabs with my eco-complete, but I may pop one in to see if it perks the water sprite up some.) The guppy grass that I got for free with my shrimp is growing like crazy though. I have fairly simple reasonings as to why my previous plants have died, but does having a ph of 8.2 put more stress on a plant that will contribute strongly to its demise?
  25. I hate creating these posts. I have a 20 gal tank that had a diatom algae overload. I got two Otos to help manage it and maintain a clean tank. 2 weeks ago one Oto died unexpectantly and I just found my other one dead this morning. My water levels have stayed pretty consistent and I try to check their stomachs to see if they are nice and full but after the first one died, I noticed that the remaining Oto was hiding a lot more which made sense. But it made it difficult to see if he's been eating. I'm trying to look for factors that could affect this. Lack of food could be one of them. It's possible they weren't eating (even though there is algae in the tank but maybe not what they liked). This worries me because I have a Siamese Algae Eater as well and I really dont want anything to happen to it. The only other thing I am noticing is my ph is a little high (7.6 on "low ph test and 7.4 on high ph test). My water from the sink is at around 6.8 so something in the tank is causing it to rise, I think. Everything else for my water is really good. Which is frustrating because I do my best to keep my water great for the fish. I just don't know what else could have caused them to die all of the sudden. Thanks for the help/advice.
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