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Wild Caught C. Habrosus and high pH


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Hi all - I just ordered some wild caught habrosus and I'm not sure if I need to do anything special to acclimate them for my pH, which is around 7.8-8.0. I am not sure what my water hardness is - I only have test strips for that and those results seem unreliable (it shows all the way high on GH and KH, but it also says my pH is 6.5). I looked up my city's water report and it said the hardness was between 80-130 mg/l. The little cories will have a tank to themselves, so I thought about using something like Seachem Neutral Regulator to lower the pH initially, and then phasing that out/raising the pH back to my "normal" through small water changes. Do I need to do that or will they be ok? 

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On 2/10/2024 at 8:48 PM, purpledantastic said:

Hi all - I just ordered some wild caught habrosus and I'm not sure if I need to do anything special to acclimate them for my pH, which is around 7.8-8.0. I am not sure what my water hardness is - I only have test strips for that and those results seem unreliable (it shows all the way high on GH and KH, but it also says my pH is 6.5). I looked up my city's water report and it said the hardness was between 80-130 mg/l. The little cories will have a tank to themselves, so I thought about using something like Seachem Neutral Regulator to lower the pH initially, and then phasing that out/raising the pH back to my "normal" through small water changes. Do I need to do that or will they be ok? 

@purpledantastic I personally would drip acclimate. 

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Ph is less important than water hardness; though if they have always been kept in acidic water there might be bacteria in higher ph water they have no resistance. 

I would not use products like sachem regulator. It just isn't the right  long term solution to this problem. What you really need is not the ph but the kh and gh. In most cases the ph is useless and misleading. There are many reasons why the ph will change frequently during the day.

 

 

 

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On 2/11/2024 at 6:19 PM, anewbie said:

What you really need is not the ph but the kh and gh. In most cases the ph is useless and misleading. 

 

 

 

Thanks for your response. It looks like I need to get a reliable test kit for gh and kh then. I did just measure it with the test strips again (3 times) and got 180 for GH and 120 for KH. I compared that to my city's current water report which had things a bit lower at GH of 125 and KH of 103. I just reread the ACO post about ph, gh, and kh and it looks like I'm in a good hardness range for the most part, but I'm not sure why ph wouldn't matter? I know it's more important to have stable parameters than chase ph so my goal would be to try to slowly acclimate them to my higher ph, not to try to maintain a lower ph for the long haul. I've been looking into peat moss or sphagnum moss or mixing in RODI water as a more natural option. But if ph really isn't important then even better - I'd just like to understand it a bit more.

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Your water should be just fine. You’re on the right side of the gh kh balance. It’s easier to acclimate soft water fish into hard water than hard water fish into soft water. Osmosis wants to even out the kh gh. Kh and gh going out of a fish creates pressure easier and can damage your fish. So they’ll actually adapt relatively easily for you. Honestly, your water is not really that high. Mostly average. Mine is 260 gh 160 kh. 85% of US waters ranges from your water to mine. Only 15% of water in US is softer than yours. Via USDA hydrology maps. The ph range should be fine. But yes, you could temporarily lower ph. But you’d want it consistent. I’m not sure I’d worry about it. But check with your seller. 

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Yea

On 2/12/2024 at 4:02 PM, purpledantastic said:

, I just wasn't sure if mine was hard

Yeah. Your water is mostly good, middle of the road. I see people advocating for gh down to 100 and kh of 0, ph of 5.5. That’s not really sustainable for the average person. Unless you’re east or west coast. You can raise almost all fish. There are a few, like discus, German rams, and apistogramma that are going to be a problem. You can raise African fish very easily. Shell dwellers and kribensis. And all of the African cichlids. Most good community fish are going to be no problem. Live bearers will love you 

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On 2/11/2024 at 8:14 PM, purpledantastic said:

Thanks for your response. It looks like I need to get a reliable test kit for gh and kh then. I did just measure it with the test strips again (3 times) and got 180 for GH and 120 for KH. I compared that to my city's current water report which had things a bit lower at GH of 125 and KH of 103. I just reread the ACO post about ph, gh, and kh and it looks like I'm in a good hardness range for the most part, but I'm not sure why ph wouldn't matter? I know it's more important to have stable parameters than chase ph so my goal would be to try to slowly acclimate them to my higher ph, not to try to maintain a lower ph for the long haul. I've been looking into peat moss or sphagnum moss or mixing in RODI water as a more natural option. But if ph really isn't important then even better - I'd just like to understand it a bit more.

No matter what you do ph will flucutate during the day from co2 gas exchange esp if you have plants. This is normal. The fuctuation itself isn't a problem though as i mention at suffiicently low and high level the type of bacteria will change which can be an issue depending on species. However kh/gh doesn't fluctuate much in a 24 hour period (unless something leaches); they do change longer term but much slower in general.

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On 2/11/2024 at 6:14 PM, purpledantastic said:

Thanks for your response. It looks like I need to get a reliable test kit for gh and kh then. I did just measure it with the test strips again (3 times) and got 180 for GH and 120 for KH. I compared that to my city's current water report which had things a bit lower at GH of 125 and KH of 103. I just reread the ACO post about ph, gh, and kh and it looks like I'm in a good hardness range for the most part, but I'm not sure why ph wouldn't matter? I know it's more important to have stable parameters than chase ph so my goal would be to try to slowly acclimate them to my higher ph, not to try to maintain a lower ph for the long haul. I've been looking into peat moss or sphagnum moss or mixing in RODI water as a more natural option. But if ph really isn't important then even better - I'd just like to understand it a bit more.

My tap is ~40-50 KH, 100-120 GH.  My PH is ~6.8-7.

There are charts out there that give you PH vs KH ratios used to determine CO2 levels in your tank.  It's not a hard and fast rule, but....  When you're talking wild caught corydoras the max can be around 7.4 or 7.6 for other species.  Your best resource is going to be textbooks, studies on the species in question, or a source like planet catfish.  Yes, asking the seller is a great idea.  Yes the point about bacteria and things at different PH levels is a very valuable one, but also keep in mind what the fish tend to want.  Normally you're talking 7.5ish or below for PH, meaning KH of ~80-100 or below (based on my experience with adjusting KH up in my water).  That being said, everyone's water is different.

I'm going to suggest running something like fine active substrate in that tank (fine controsoil is good and comes in extra fine) or you can use standard size substrate with a feeding dish.  That being mentioned, wood, botanicals, peat balls, and using RODI water is a good way to lower your minerals over time.  I cannot say if it is required, but from what I have seen with my fish, when they had PH issues they had rapid breathing issues and turned reddish (not their normal bronzey-orange color).  This was something I experienced with my pandas when the PH shifted due to KH shifting too high on me for several weeks.  They may have been able to adapt long term, but it was definitely stressful for them.

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Yeah, you probably need a good kh gh test kit. Strips are unreliable. Sera makes the best kit. Water drop tests. The problem with trying to adjust your ph, gh, kh is consistency. For most keepers it really is not the way to go. That requires constant testing, constant adjustments, constant adding amendments. I have breeding cories in slighting harder water than you. They will adapt. I have 4 species. Panda is one, Habrosus is not. According to one of the online places I buy them, ph on cories goes from 5 to 8. With hardnes following. You really should have no problem 

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I finally got my GH/KH test kit. KH was good at 5 degrees but GH was super high12 degrees. Does that seem like a problem? The results seemed odd but I tested it twice and tested some other tanks too and it was consistent. The seller said their current tank is around 7.5pH, but I didn't ask them any questions about water hardness.

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On 2/15/2024 at 2:18 PM, purpledantastic said:

I finally got my GH/KH test kit. KH was good at 5 degrees but GH was super high12 degrees. Does that seem like a problem? The results seemed odd but I tested it twice and tested some other tanks too and it was consistent. The seller said their current tank is around 7.5pH, but I didn't ask them any questions about water hardness.

parameters should be good.  The best thing to do is an off-gas test now.  Your KH is pretty similar to mine, 3-4 vs. 5, which means pH should be pretty low depending on things like oxygenation.  It'll be interesting to see what the pH is after 24 hours.  Your GH is close to 2x your KH, which is great for plants as well.  The Corydoras don't mind GH values being high at all.

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On 2/15/2024 at 5:36 PM, nabokovfan87 said:

parameters should be good.  The best thing to do is an off-gas test now.  Your KH is pretty similar to mine, 3-4 vs. 5, which means pH should be pretty low depending on things like oxygenation.  It'll be interesting to see what the pH is after 24 hours.  Your GH is close to 2x your KH, which is great for plants as well.  The Corydoras don't mind GH values being high at all.

With a kh of 5 his ph won't be low - i'd presume it will be mid 7's; i tend to think of low as 5ish.

 

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On 2/16/2024 at 5:23 PM, purpledantastic said:

I'm not sure what an off gas test is but

My apologies.

Basically, take a sample of water from your tap, not the tank, and then you test it immediately. Aerate it for 24 hours with an air stone and then repeat the test. You can run it for longer to see what the pH stabilizes to.

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Have you tried seachem acid buffer to try to tune your ph and kh? For most fish I think you'll be fine acclimating them to that ph, but if you're nervous about it, acid buffer and alkaline buffer would be worth looking into. 

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