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  1. Hi everyone, after having my first guppies die on me, I’m trying to figure out my water. I’m showing a pretty big difference between the Coop strips and API test kit. The test kit did expire in January, but even before then it was showing my PH to be much higher than the aquarium coop test strips do (the difference didn’t matter until I tried to keep guppies!) Thanks!
  2. Hi All! I just checked my pH in my very heavily planted 5g ramshorn and bladder snail tank and I was shocked at how low it is -- 6.4. Do I need to take action or just monitor it for a bit? Admittedly, I don't check pH very often. It's always so consistent -- 7.6 -- in my other tank that I didn't worry about it. Ammonia: .25 Nitrite: 0 Nitrates: 20 Weekly ~30 percent water change Feed shrimp food a few times a week. Wonder shell added. I have had some ramshorn die off recently. Tap pH is 8.2
  3. I recently setup a 40 gallon for my 7 Multies. My PH is 7.6 I know Multies will do better in above 8 ph. I am trying to breed them so I have added “Seachem African Cichlid Mix” to the sand and to the HOB filter. I haven’t seen any change in ph after two weeks of adding to substrate and HOB. Anyone have other ideas for buffing my ph? Will Multies breed in a ph of 7.6? Thanks for any help anyone can provide!
  4. Hello, I am testing my water and I was wondering if ammonium being present in my water would contribute to the readings of the ammonia test in the API water parameter testing kit? My tank is fully cycled (tank has been set up for probably 2 or 3 months at this point) and I am working on getting it heavily planted. I would say that roughly a third of the canopy is covered in water lettuce and frogbit, About half or a bit more of the floor is covered in amz sword, moneywort, val, and dwarf sag. I have small tetras that I am feeding regularly to get them grown out. I know that the amount of food is the likely culprit for my increased ammonia levels. I am just wondering if the plant life is converting ammonia into ammonium in a way that is throwing my test readings off? date pH Ammonia Nitrites Nitrates temp Ferts? 09/21 6.4 2.0 ppm .25 ppm 5.0 ppm 74 F dosed 09/20/21 09/22 6.4 3.0 ppm .25 ppm 0 ppm 74 F dosed 09/20/21 bonus question if anyone cares to venture a guess/soluition: I recently started dosing with CO2 and my pH use to sit at around 6.9 to 7.0, its now sitting around 6.4; while i welcome my drop in pH i dont want it to bottom out on me while I am dosing the plants. The tank has tetra in it and they dont seem to mind. My kuhli loach is a bit of a recluse so i dont know how he/she feels about the drop. I am wondering if i should add some bone rock to the tank to try and organically bring the pH back up while still dosing CO2 for the plants. For reference my drop checker is still showing blue/green (i.e. still not sufficient levels for the amount being consumed by the plants in the tank) As always thank yall for lookin.
  5. I have a very basic working understanding of pH, KH and GH. However there's something I don't understand so either I've misunderstood something or there's a gap in my knowledge. So as I understand: pH is the measure of how acidic or alkaline the water is. GH is the measure of how much dissolved minerals there are. KH is the measure of how much calcium there is specifically. As KH goes up so does pH and vice versa right? And as biological processes happen (bacteria and plant growth etc) calcium gets used up and therefore the pH and KH goes down right? So here is my confusion, it's often recommended to add sources of calcium such as crushed coral, aragonite sand, wonder shells etc to either the substrate or the filter or wherever. My understanding is this is to act as a buffer to stop the pH/KH getting too low and to make sure the plants and creatures that need calcium have it right? But what then stops this just making the pH too high? As far as I can tell people just add it in without worrying about dosing amounts etc, they just use for example crushed coral as the substrate right? Not weighing it out or anything. I have really hard tap water (like 8.4ish) but it seems to lower fairly rapidly in my tank (lots of plants, wood, algae, aquarium soil) and seems to settle to around 7.2 which I like as it's fairly neutral and most fish seem to do alright in this. I try and do small water changes to keep it stable but say I go away for a few weeks and I want to stop the pH crashing I would need to add a buffer right? But then wouldn't this just make my water too high a pH, at least until the plants etc bring it down again? Or is it like the calcium only dissolves into the water when the pH starts to drop thus keeping it from getting too high? Feel like there's a piece of the puzzle I'm missing here.
  6. Posted previously with a more septic question, this omission just more generalized. I’ve seen online that ph ranges of 6.8-8.0 is safe for fish. My tap water is coming about 8.0. I know it depends on the species of fish, but in general is that range fairly accurate? My tank appears to be doing okay but I’m just worried I’m slowly killing my fish without knowing it
  7. I'm having problems. Brief history: This 10g used to home a betta at 75 F, pH 7.2, KH 40. The water always came from the tap. After he died, I tore down the tank. Bleached. Rinsed. Sun dried. Now I'm putting in a new substrate of baked clay (safe t sorb), with a little bit of laterite. Two small dragon stones. Water came from the garden hose. After a few days of getting rid of the finer particles of the clay, I added prime and a few hours later, I tested the water. 70 F. KH 0, pH 6, and there was about 0.5ppm ammonia, 5-10ppm nitrates. I did a water change, removing water down to the substrate level. Replaced with tap water. Ammonia is just a fraction above 0 (small tint of green that is lighter than the chart). Nitrates 5-10ppm. pH 7.2. KH 40. A couple of hours later, pH dropping. An hour after that, pH still dropping, now around 6.5. KH is still 40. What could be altering the pH? pH out of the tap is 7.2, but I haven't done a test after a few hours of sitting. The substrate shouldn't do this. The stones shouldn't. I wouldn't think laterite would. Could the water supply have changed that much? The nitrates are present in the tap as well at the same levels. That wasn't the case back in February when I was setting up the tank for the betta. I was getting 0 nitrates at the beginning. Why would KH be 0 in one test and back to 40 the next? Faulty test, or can KH be altered? Any suggestions? I'm not sure I can cycle the tank with the pH that low.
  8. So I have decided to upgrade my betta Mr Darcy's tank (plus his tank mates, neo shrimp, mystery snail & nerite), from a 5gal to a 10 rimless (with clear lid). I need some advice before the change over ... My tap water runs at a Ph of 8.0 and Mr Darcy and the snails seem to have done fine, though the plants and the neos I think don't like that ph. So, for the new tank, I've decided to go with the Fluval Stratum, capped with a pea gravel, for a substrate. I read that the Fluval Stratum lowers ph quite a bit, like possibly into the 6's, which might be good for the neos. One of my questions is ... will the Ph lower gradually or fairly quick? I am trying to plan this out. Can I stick the fish/etc in right after scaping? (I have established sponge filters running almost a year in current tank). Or do I need to let the tank sit for a bit without critters then drip acclimate them? I've never used this substrate so I am just a little anxious, as I don't want to harm the critters or the plants. Thanks for your patience in reading this and any advice! ~Jennifer pic of current 5gal for tax
  9. I recently noticed in my 29 gal planted tank the PH was dropping from 7 to 6.4 and my KH was dropping from 80 to 40 in 7-10 days. The prior month it had been fairly stable with PH of 7.2-7.0 and KH of 80 (climbed to 120 when I was on vacation & no water change). NO2 is 0, NO3 is 25-50, GH is 300. Tap water is 300 GH, 7.2 PH and 80 KH. The fish don't seem to be in stress but I was confused as to why all of a sudden this was happening. I have been keeping a spreadsheet of various aquarium activities by date since I started the tank in May. Looking back it seems my PH and KH have been dropping since I started feeding a home made 'snello' for my snails and shrimp. I generally feed the "snello" once a week after a water change with the exception of last week where I made a mistake and feed twice (PH hit 6.4, KH 40). This jello mixture has quite a bit of Calcium Carbonate in it which I am assuming is lowering the KH. I am thinking I will change the feeding schedule to be two days before the gravel vacume/water change to limit the time the remnants are in the tank. That make sense or am I still missing the culprit?
  10. I tested the ph of my 40 breeder twice and both results came back as 8.0. I tested my tap water and it came out to 7.4. I am not running any crushed coral, it’s fairly well planted with a bunch of pogostemon stellatus octopus and duckweed (that I can’t get rid of). It’s stocked with 15 blue cochu tetras, 8 cheery barbs, 8 glowlight danios, 2 red lizard tails cats, 1 honey gourami, 1 peacock gudgeon, 6 bronze corys. I am not running any crushed coral, I have some driftwood in there too. My substrate is innate. The tank has been running for a year already. I would assume that it would get more acidic. Can anyone think of a possible cause? The only other thing I can think of is the rocks I am using. They were rocks I picked up from a Home Depot. I tested them with vinegar but I didn’t see any bubbles. Other than the rocks is there any other explanation for the ph increase?
  11. I'm scratching my head trying to understand how ph works. I've attached a pic of what I'm seeing in my water testing. Number 1 is a ph test straight from my tap. It's high, looks like 8.4. My 2nd and 3rd test are from my aquarium. The high ph test seems off the charts low, while the regular ph test seems off the charts high. What does this mean exactly? I figured the tests showed that my ph in the tank is somewhere between 7.4 and 7.6. But since they're at both ends of their respective testing spectrum I'm unsure. I also tested water that's been sitting for 24 hours and got the exact same readings as #'s 2 and 3. I've tested gh (8-10 degrees) and kh (5-6 degrees) in the past and they always show hard, but not crazy hard, water. Any insights you might have are greatly appreciated. It's been like this for some time, finally got around to fully testing my AQ and sitting water at the same time.
  12. Hello everyone I am in need of some help I’m really confused right now hopefully I can get some answers! I have 3 planted tanks 2 5g and 1 15g all with no co2, fluval stratom and tropica aquarium soil powder mixed for the substrate in all the tanks 2 of the 3 have dragonstone and spider wood the other has seiryu stone. They have all been running for over a year. The ph in those tanks is about 7.6 and the kh3 gh16. About a month ago I set up a new 29g aquarium with the same two substrates and about 40lbs of dragonstone. The tank has been running for a month with no light on and it’s fully cycled. I haven’t added plants yet because I purchased a co2 system and am now waiting for certain plants to be in stock. Here’s the problem I tested the ph in this tank and it’s about 6.4, I then tested the kh which was 0 and the gh10. I use the same tap water for every aquarium so I’m unsure why the new tank is so different! Like I said I am adding co2 and I know that drops ph and then having a kh of 0 can’t be good either! Any help is appreciated I’ll post a pic of my ph in the 3 established tanks and then the ph in the new tank. I’m afraid to spend the money on plants at this point and get it going!
  13. I've been researching how to lower pH, I really don't like the look of tannins and also don't want to use and chemicals to do it. I saw a video from lrb aquatics on using spaghnum moss to lower pH naturally with no tannins. I was wondering if anyone had tried it, and it you have, what did you think of it and did it work?
  14. 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. ♥️
  15. 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!
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. 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
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
  22. 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
  23. 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!
  24. 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?
  25. 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?
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