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I thought tannins would lower pH


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I don't know the situation, so we need a few details.

Can you please test your water out of the tap for KH, GH, and PH and report back.  (usually KH and GH is only available on a test strip or if you have the other kit)

Then, with that same water sample, Aerate the water for 24 hours with an airstone and repeat those tests.

This blog post will give you an idea of how it's related.  https://www.aquariumcoop.com/blogs/aquarium/ph-gh-kh
 

Let's say your tap has a PH of 7.5-7.6.  After 24 hours some parts of the water are unstable and your PH may change naturally.  This is where some people will "condition" there water to avoid pH swings.  Then you're adding the wood, and then you're seeing that lower PH. 

I wouldn't expect the wood itself to dramatically affect the water until 24-72 hours after you have it soaking. You're going to see a lot of color at first, but eventually that will fade away.  Usually, you'd soak the wood, replace the water every day or every other day until it runs clear a bit longer.  At that point, you would soak the wood for 3-5 days and test your water to see where it's at.

There's a lot going on, especially if you're just testing water out of a bucket, with/without aeration, how long the wood has been sitting.

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It take some time. You can add organic peat moss in a canister filter depending one the one you own. I have peat in a couple HOB. That tends to work faster.you don’t want to change the ph quickly if there are fish in the tank. A lot of fish can live fine in lower or higher ph than is stated. You should Do it slowly.@nabokovfan87 is right about it taking  some time to really effect the water. I think it take longer but it’s nice and slow. Me personally would start with the peat and then once you put the wood in cut back on the peat until its where you want it. What are you trying to do? Are up wanting to just add the drift wood or get the ph down to a certain number. There are others ways to lower ph. I have done the natural and also chemicals to lower ph. When I had discus from Wattley they keep their’s at slow ph. And depending on the water you start with it can be impossible to get it that low with only natural means 

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Posted (edited)

Our tap h2o is part desalinated ocean water and part freshwater, so its high ph and kh naturally. I need to get the API high ph test kit. Ive always used tap and around five gallons of distilled when i water change, but its a 135 gallon, so the five gallons, doesnt mean much. Sometimes I do wonder if the fish and plants would feel a little better if I lowered the pH so every once in awhile I think about it. As a little experiment, last time I changed the water I added a couple of tablespoons of Seachem Acid Buffer over 12 hours. Then for the next three days I added a tablespoon a day again spread out over many hours. It didnt change a thing! Lol! So I thought I would test out that drift wood.  I do have some Peat balls I could add to my canisters. There was a point where I lowered the water all the way down till they only had about 40 gallons and I added quite a bit of distilled water just to see. Obviously I did it over a while so they would not be shocked. I did notice that my two largest fish seemed quite amorous during this lower pH clean water time frame. Of course they do always seem a little perkier after a water change and my big male always eats more  when the water is nice and clean. Anyway I'll probably add a little peat in my filter just for the heck of it . i don't know that it will make much difference and my fish are 12 years old so it is not like they aren't doing well.IMG_20220406_182545393.jpg.ea2e060661f688786878e2328e7a0e6f.jpg

Edited by SandSea
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Posted (edited)

The tank has two synodontis, about 9  denison barbs , about 12 cherry barbs , 2 green corys, 1 blue Acara , one OLD bushy nose pleco and two bettas. Around 76 degrees Fahrenheit. The only ones who don't seem comfortable or very healthy all the time are the bettas and one of the corydoras has some kind of a fungal growth on his side, if I could ever catch him I could treat him 

Edited by SandSea
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This is  how I lower my ph. in the video both muratic acid and phosphoric acid are talked about. I use phosphoric acid. Don’t let the word acid scare. The only way to lower base is with acid. You have to prepare this about two days before three is better I think. It will be explained. Never add either other of these 2  acids directly to the tank. You can easily change how high or low you want the water. Start slow and then go down if it’s not where you want it. Of course only if you chose to use this.

 

https://youtu.be/DMaw3lFx4Lg

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On 5/26/2022 at 4:04 PM, SandSea said:

Our tap h2o is part desalinated ocean water and part freshwater, so its high ph and kh naturally. I need to get the API high ph test kit. Ive always used tap and around five gallons of distilled when i water change, but its a 135 gallon, so the five gallons, doesnt mean much. Sometimes I do wonder if the fish and plants would feel a little better if I lowered the pH so every once in awhile I think about it. As a little experiment, last time I changed the water I added a couple of tablespoons of Seachem Acid Buffer over 12 hours. Then for the next three days I added a tablespoon a day again spread out over many hours. It didnt change a thing! Lol! So I thought I would test out that drift wood.  I do have some Peat balls I could add to my canisters. There was a point where I lowered the water all the way down till they only had about 40 gallons and I added quite a bit of distilled water just to see. Obviously I did it over a while so they would not be shocked. I did notice that my two largest fish seemed quite amorous during this lower pH clean water time frame. Of course they do always seem a little perkier after a water change and my big male always eats more  when the water is nice and clean. Anyway I'll probably add a little peat in my filter just for the heck of it . i don't know that it will make much difference and my fish are 12 years old so it is not like they aren't doing well.IMG_20220406_182545393.jpg.ea2e060661f688786878e2328e7a0e6f.jpg

I'm not big into chasing water parameters, so if everyone is healthy and you have 2 bettas living in a tank together, I would say you are doing a better than average job... especially with fish that are 12 years old!

 

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Posted (edited)

+1 to Torrey's comment. My tap pH is between 8.0 and 8.6 with a kH of 7 (for some reason it's been fluctuating a lot), and when I do my water changes I usually have to cut it with some RO water. When my water settles after the water changes, it consistently 7.6-7.8 with a kH of 3-4. After my last pH debacle where I tried Acid buffer, I basically threw up my hands and finally accepted the fact that I'd rather live with a stable, higher pH and happy fish than trying to chase the chemistry. I just keep a closer eye on ammonia since it supposed to be more toxic at higher pH levels. 

Edited by Cbass
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@Cbassit depends on the size of the tank. Smaller tanks 40g and less it can be difficult to control ph. People should start with larger tanks because they are much easier to balance than smaller tanks. How big is your tank? There are buffers that I hate because they change the ph to fast and you have pay very close attention. I would be worried about ph that high but that’s because I have wild fish. In most tanks I just like to keep them at around 6.8-7.2. 

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Posted (edited)

I have a 20 gal and 3 gal. The 20gal has a good amount of plants, driftwood and ADA aquasoil and I tried buffering my tap (5 gal container) with Seachem Acid Regulator. The tank is about 5 months old. When I did a 20 percent water change, the next day my pH shot to 8.6 and ammonia spiked to 1 ppm but I have a feeling it was something else. I test my tank almost everyday so I was able to catch it. I'd love to raise my kH a little and thought about crushed coral, but I'm hesitant as the fish and shrimp seem happy for now. 

It's strange because when the tank finished cycling (2.5 months, fishless) the pH was between 6.8-7.0 with a kH of 2. But my tap pH at that time was 7.6-7.8. A part of me thinks that my substrate has lost some of its buffering capacity, but I thought it would last longer. 

Edited by Cbass
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On 5/26/2022 at 6:04 PM, SandSea said:

Our tap h2o is part desalinated ocean water and part freshwater, so its high ph and kh naturally. I need to get the API high ph test kit. Ive always used tap and around five gallons of distilled when i water change, but its a 135 gallon, so the five gallons, doesnt mean much. Sometimes I do wonder if the fish and plants would feel a little better if I lowered the pH so every once in awhile I think about it. As a little experiment, last time I changed the water I added a couple of tablespoons of Seachem Acid Buffer over 12 hours. Then for the next three days I added a tablespoon a day again spread out over many hours. It didnt change a thing! Lol! So I thought I would test out that drift wood.  I do have some Peat balls I could add to my canisters. There was a point where I lowered the water all the way down till they only had about 40 gallons and I added quite a bit of distilled water just to see. Obviously I did it over a while so they would not be shocked. I did notice that my two largest fish seemed quite amorous during this lower pH clean water time frame. Of course they do always seem a little perkier after a water change and my big male always eats more  when the water is nice and clean. Anyway I'll probably add a little peat in my filter just for the heck of it . i don't know that it will make much difference and my fish are 12 years old so it is not like they aren't doing well.IMG_20220406_182545393.jpg.ea2e060661f688786878e2328e7a0e6f.jpg

Agree 100% with @Torrey on what you've accomplished! If you haven't seen their channel before, it's worth a look at Prime Time Aquatics. Their tap water is around 8.2 I believe, and they are happily keeping all kinds of fish, including many I was told not to even attempt in the 90s when I was a newbie wanting tetras in my 7.8, super hard water. 

I'm on the verge of 9 tanks here, and if I had to chase parameters I'd likely hit burnout. If I learn certain types of fish just don't so well for us, I'll opt to keep ones that will - or at least try and source the fish from places with similar water to ours. I recently took a chance on a seller in AZ for some congo tetras I was having a hard time finding. They came in great and their water was virtually identical to mine, just slightly lower GH. If you've never kept them, I enthusiastically suggest them - they would love your water and are amazing to watch!

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On 5/27/2022 at 10:21 AM, Cbass said:

I'd rather live with a stable, higher pH and happy fish than trying to chase the chemistry. I just keep a closer eye on ammonia since it supposed to be more toxic at higher pH levels. 

Exactly, although with dechloraminators ( which can be used to lock ammonia) plants, water changes I try not to worry too much about ammonia. But ya never know, like if you ever have to treat with meds, or if sometimes you lack in your water change schedule . After having some of the same fish for so long, I am attached to them, especially my syno boy, so I contemplate his life and surroundings, just trying to do a good job for him. Don’t have a water softener right now, but years ago when we did, I actually did half of a water change with the softened water , then I would bypass it and do half with tap, every time I did a water change. I mean that must’ve added salt to his water. Poor kid. He’s even lived in a couple of different houses with us and he had to spend about three days living in a Storage tote with an air stone , then when his glass tank leaked they all lived in a kiddie pool on the screened in porch with a noisey  pond pump/waterfall and heater, when I commissioned his acrylic tank and it was getting cold outside, they lived in our sunken bathtub for a dang month! At least the tub was raised so I was able to use one of the canister filters lol. 

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On 5/27/2022 at 2:30 AM, Torrey said:

I'm not big into chasing water parameters, so if everyone is healthy and you have 2 bettas living in a tank together, I would say you are doing a better than average job... especially with fish that are 12 years old!

 

I used to have 1 male betta and 3 females, now it’s just 2 girls. About a week ago our male disappeared,  I mean I tore that tank apart and even looked inside of both canister filters. Throughout the years fish have died in that tank and no one has bothered to even try to eat them so I doubt that from the time I fed him,  and then he was gone in the morning, I doubt that he was eaten. EXCEPT, The evening that he disappeared I had left the lid propped open for a while while I did some thing and instead of closing the lid right away, I walked out of the room and did not come back for a few hours. We have two birds and a cat, I have a feeling that one of them is a kidnapper, which is why I always close the lid , I don’t know maybe my phone rang and I forgot to close the lid right away 😕

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On 5/27/2022 at 11:55 AM, Cbass said:

I have a 20 gal and 3 gal. The 20gal has a good amount of plants, driftwood and ADA aquasoil and I tried buffering my tap (5 gal container) with Seachem Acid Regulator. The tank is about 5 months old. When I did a 20 percent water change, the next day my pH shot to 8.6 and ammonia spiked to 1 ppm but I have a feeling it was something else. I test my tank almost everyday so I was able to catch it. I'd love to raise my kH a little and thought about crushed coral, but I'm hesitant as the fish and shrimp seem happy for now. 

It's strange because when the tank finished cycling (2.5 months, fishless) the pH was between 6.8-7.0 with a kH of 2. But my tap pH at that time was 7.6-7.8. A part of me thinks that my substrate has lost some of its buffering capacity, but I thought it would last longer. 

Wow ya sounds complicated. Well if you do add crushed coral, yes do be careful I would never put more than a few tablespoons in at a time for a 20 gallon and maybe 1 tablespoon or less in the 3 gallon. I have a small handful of aragonite in all of my tanks for the snails and shrimp and just for buffering and for calcium etc, but once I added a big handful to my five gallon planted amano tank, within an hour they were all acting really weird and way up at the top of the tank.  I took them all out promptly and put them in a bowl with water from my big fish tank. I took all that extra aragonite  out and did a huge water change and vacuum. After several hours I put them back in but one of them had passed away. So even though I always still have a tad of aragonite  in each tank it’s never more than a sprinkling 

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On 5/27/2022 at 12:15 PM, Jawjagrrl said:

Agree 100% with @Torrey on what you've accomplished! If you haven't seen their channel before, it's worth a look at Prime Time Aquatics. Their tap water is around 8.2 I believe, and they are happily keeping all kinds of fish, including many I was told not to even attempt in the 90s when I was a newbie wanting tetras in my 7.8, super hard water. 

I'm on the verge of 9 tanks here, and if I had to chase parameters I'd likely hit burnout. If I learn certain types of fish just don't so well for us, I'll opt to keep ones that will - or at least try and source the fish from places with similar water to ours. I recently took a chance on a seller in AZ for some congo tetras I was having a hard time finding. They came in great and their water was virtually identical to mine, just slightly lower GH. If you've never kept them, I enthusiastically suggest them - they would love your water and are amazing to watch!

Thanks for all the info. Omg 9 tanks, lol, when do you eat and sleep? Congo tetras are beautiful, I have thought of them! But I might loose my spouse, if I gain anymore pets! 😁😆

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On 5/27/2022 at 11:55 AM, Cbass said:

I have a 20 gal and 3 gal. The 20gal has a good amount of plants, driftwood and ADA aquasoil and I tried buffering my tap (5 gal container) with Seachem Acid Regulator. The tank is about 5 months old. When I did a 20 percent water change, the next day my pH shot to 8.6 and ammonia spiked to 1 ppm but I have a feeling it was something else. I test my tank almost everyday so I was able to catch it. I'd love to raise my kH a little and thought about crushed coral, but I'm hesitant as the fish and shrimp seem happy for now. 

It's strange because when the tank finished cycling (2.5 months, fishless) the pH was between 6.8-7.0 with a kH of 2. But my tap pH at that time was 7.6-7.8. A part of me thinks that my substrate has lost some of its buffering capacity, but I thought it would last longer. 

It’s still a young tank but I don’t think that’s the problem. I have a well but I’m in south west Florida and from October to mid June there is very little rain. The rest of the year the it rains almost every afternoon at about 4:00. In the dry season the ph is high and rock hard. During that time I have have to full several of the large grey trashes that hold 35-40 gallons. Then let them sit for 3 days. Then I have one that I add very little Phosphoric acid very little, and let also sit for for 3 days. I had some wild discus and keep 6.3 -6.4 ph. I don’t think that it’s right for Everyone but it has been the best and most stray and controlable. I have some tanks that have been up 15 years. My 75g right now is at 6.3 ph. But the rest are 6.8 -7 . I use peat in the filters or cypress wood. I feel the same way when things are good I hate to change anything. Oh by the way the buffer you used is one I do not like. 

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On 5/27/2022 at 11:20 AM, SandSea said:

Thanks for all the info. Omg 9 tanks, lol, when do you eat and sleep? Congo tetras are beautiful, I have thought of them! But I might loose my spouse, if I gain anymore pets! 😁😆

This is why Patient Spouse™ has been trademarked in the forum, right @Jawjagrrl😉

I have 13 tanks, a porch pond, and a 4' that is waiting to be finished in the dining room. Why waiting?

Because I did a test build which has become my Patient Spouse's™ tank in their private room. It's definitely helpful to do a slow build that eventually gets buy in from the [not yet a Nerm] spouse. Then everyone is happy, and as the Patient Spouse picks out fish and plants, the hobby is completely reinvigorated!!! 

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@Torreyi have you beat I have 19 and I hope to have the 150g Stand finished. I just drained it the day I had my heart attack in March and just haven’t gotten back to it. I have 3small ponds I’m still young but have been a disability for a few years. Here there are lots cheap used tanks. I started breeding and have breed quick a few but have gone back to angels, guppies and corys(panda). I have brittlenose  plecos. And done a few others but I have been growing out six  L333 and they are ready to breed. So those will be nice to sell those, but I am not sure every thing is right. Guppies are my best sellers. 
 

to everyone: I agree about most fish being able to handle all different ph’s a lot of what we buy are farmed raised or hobbyist, the only time I really worry about is wild caught fish. Even discus can stand higher ph’s depending on where you get them. 
 

@Jawjagrrlit sounds like you recently got your congos, I want to ask if you think they would do well in a big school with silver dollars.

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On 5/27/2022 at 6:35 PM, Brandon p said:

@Jawjagrrlit sounds like you recently got your congos, I want to ask if you think they would do well in a big school with silver dollars.

They are new for me, had them a couple of weeks and they settled in immediately! I got 6 and have 4 more on order to make a nice school in a 75 with geos and angels. I think they would look fantastic with silver dollars actually.

They are food aggressive, so you do need to be aware of any more timid feeders in the tank getting their share of food. Mine are with roseline sharks of similar size ATM as a temporary measure until the 75 for them is ready, and they don't let much food get down to the bottom 1/3 of the tank. 

I had silver dollars with an oscar years ago and loved them - they always managed to get enough to eat, so I doubt there would be an issue. I'd love to have them again but keep hearing how hard they are on plants and want to do a really lush planted tank on the side I would want them in. Is that your experience as well, or are they getting a bad rap?

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Posted (edited)
On 5/27/2022 at 5:31 PM, Torrey said:

This is why Patient Spouse™ has been trademarked in the forum, right @Jawjagrrl😉

I have 13 tanks, a porch pond, and a 4' that is waiting to be finished in the dining room. Why waiting?

Because I did a test build which has become my Patient Spouse's™ tank in their private room. It's definitely helpful to do a slow build that eventually gets buy in from the [not yet a Nerm] spouse. Then everyone is happy, and as the Patient Spouse picks out fish and plants, the hobby is completely reinvigorated!!! 

It's a great process, isn't it? My  Patient Spouse™ was kind enough to take on the morning rounds of feeding all our animals so I could relax a few extra minutes today. I came down to coffee and my favorite time to watch his little tank, which sits in a room with east and south facing windows. The lights don't come on until 1pm, but around 8am the morning light pours into the room at just the right angle that you see all these shafts of light filtering through all the jungle val, etc. It's gorgeous and he never sees it during the week, so I brought him in to watch. He was mesmerized - the tank is overflowing with life atm. 10 or so adult chili endlers, tons of babies, lots of berried shrimp and juvies of all sizes - everyone but the kuhlis were out and about. He took video to show his friends at work 🤩 Fish came up in conversation recently and everyone in the meeting had kept fish in the past - one had big cichlids (production floor manager), another bred fancy guppies (the vp of operations) while the IT guy keeps natives he collects on weekend kayaking outings all over the area. I think the bug is official! I got called into the kitchen last night because one of the clown killies was trying to hunt a scud in the shrimp tank that that they moved into 2 days ago 🙂 They are sooooo tiny, about the size of large endler fry, but sure enough, one is hanging in the moss patch looking for small ones. What a hobby!

Edited by Jawjagrrl
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What is a nerm? Also I absolutely love watching the sun come through my vals too! Of course the plants in that tank do the best and I’m sure all the little creatures in there just love the sunshine . it’s a 20 gallon long it’s always been one of my favorite sized tanks, A perfect size to put anywhere in the house and not too deep so that any aquarium lamp will send light to the bottom plants

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On 5/28/2022 at 12:01 PM, SandSea said:

What is a nerm? Also I absolutely love watching the sun come through my vals too! Of course the plants in that tank do the best and I’m sure all the little creatures in there just love the sunshine . it’s a 20 gallon long it’s always been one of my favorite sized tanks, A perfect size to put anywhere in the house and not too deep so that any aquarium lamp will send light to the bottom plants

That's a size I've never tried but would like to - also a 30 long as it does the same thing. Just a lowrider 55 basically.

I'm setting up side by side 75s right now, and one end will also face the same east windows. I plan to plant a line of jungle vals across that end to hopefully grow up and across the top of that tank which will have my big fish - Angels, geos and a school of congo tetras. I wish I could FF to the day I add the fish! (Some assembly required)

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NERM grew out of a livestream on the Coop YT channel when Cory used it to describe people that seem totally normal... until someone brings up the hobby. And they geek out over all things aquaria! I didn't see it first hand, but I think it was meant to be a cross between "norm" (as in normal) and "nerd" (as is obsessive regarding a particular topic). 

If you encounter Nerm outside of the channel and this forum, you know you've met a member of the Coop family. Almost like a secret handshake! I take it as a badge of aquaria honor...

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