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Ph staying low


Moz
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Hi Everyone! 

I'm having trouble getting the pH levels up in my 10gal. It reads in the 6.0s. Although the fish seem to be doing alright, I did a 10% to 25% water change. Had a couple tetras, shrimp die after the water change. I read crushed coral helps raise the pH levels. Can egg shells be an alternative? May require a couple dozen eggs 😉.

Thank you!

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On 3/2/2024 at 10:57 PM, Galabar said:

The first step might be to test your tap water and tank water for KH and GH.  You can do this with, for example, the ACO test strips or API test kit.

 

I used a test strips for my tap water and everything seems to be ideal water conditions.

On 3/2/2024 at 11:05 PM, AllFishNoBrakes said:

Are you using a dechlorinator?

Yes I am. API Aqua Essential

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On 3/2/2024 at 8:14 PM, Moz said:

I used a test strips for my tap water and everything seems to be ideal water conditions.

Yes I am. API Aqua Essential

What are those readings?

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Aquarium water test strips reading.

Nitrate, Nitrite - Safe

Hardness - 75ppm

Alkaline - 40ppm

pH - 5.5 - 6.5

I'll be honest, I don't always get the right reading so I don't really trust the strips.

 

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Honestly, if this is the water that comes out of your tap, go with it. Neocaradina might not like it that soft, but you could switch to caradina. Most South American cichlids are very comfortable in this water. Assuming your dgh /dkh also show you have softer water. Which it should ,given your ph. The best advice we could give you is to use what you have. Because what you want is stability. You could even do some fish I wouldn’t dream of like German rams, apistos, discus. But you’d have to make sure and test you dgh/dkh to confirm you have very soft water 

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But, to answer your question, crushed eggshells, cuttlebone, crushed oyster shell, chicken grit, arragonite can all be used to adjust your ph, gh, kh. I just wouldn’t go there. It’s too much of a pain and introduces too many inconsistencies.

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I think those water parameters are fine. The GH and KH seem like the can handle a wide variety of fish.  You could consider adding crushed coral or oolite sand to your tank.

The nice think about oolite sand is that it will sink through your gravel and you won't see it (after a while).

 

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On 3/2/2024 at 8:38 PM, Moz said:

Hi Everyone! 

I'm having trouble getting the pH levels up in my 10gal. It reads in the 6.0s. Although the fish seem to be doing alright, I did a 10% to 25% water change. Had a couple tetras, shrimp die after the water change. I read crushed coral helps raise the pH levels. Can egg shells be an alternative? May require a couple dozen eggs 😉.

Thank you!

The first thing why worry if the fish seem fine?  I think it coop that said not to chase pH numbers if the other parameters were ok and the fish are happy. Unless you're after inducing spawn or something.

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Got the cuttlebone idea from guppysnail. Seems to be great, just plop it in and watch it disappear. When it’s gone, add another. Would work really great for a hob. Put it behind the cartridge and it’s completely out of the way 

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I'm just afraid that ever time I do water change even if it's a 10% water change, I kill a fish. An I'm wondering if the pH has anything to do with it.

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On 3/3/2024 at 7:39 AM, johnnyxxl said:

The first thing why worry if the fish seem fine?  I think it coop that said not to chase pH numbers if the other parameters were ok and the fish are happy. Unless you're after inducing spawn or something.

I'm just afraid that ever time I do water change even if it's a 10% water change, I kill a fish. An I'm wondering if the pH has anything to do with it.

 

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On 3/3/2024 at 8:33 AM, Tony s said:

Got the cuttlebone idea from guppysnail. Seems to be great, just plop it in and watch it disappear. When it’s gone, add another. Would work really great for a hob. Put it behind the cartridge and it’s completely out of the way 

Is that the same cuttlebone birds eat or you add to a birdcage?

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On 3/3/2024 at 8:40 AM, Moz said:

Is that the same cuttlebone birds eat or you add to a birdcage?

I believe so. But let’s ask the expert @Guppysnail

It should be animal safe of course. Since it’s made for the birds, as it were 

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On 3/3/2024 at 8:35 AM, Moz said:

I'm just afraid that ever time I do water change even if it's a 10% water change, I kill a fish

Yeah, I saw that. Doesn’t actually make a lot of sense as to why. I assumed you were using a dechlorinator and are temperature matching your water. But definitely some kind of shock going through. Unless it’s just a coincidence. Or perhaps the water is changing temperature when running. What kind of tetras are you losing. 

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On 3/3/2024 at 8:53 AM, Tony s said:

Yeah, I saw that. Doesn’t actually make a lot of sense as to why. I assumed you were using a dechlorinator and are temperature matching your water. But definitely some kind of shock going through. Unless it’s just a coincidence. Or perhaps the water is changing temperature when running. What kind of tetras are you losing. 

Neon tetras.

I do the best that I can to match the fresh water temperature when changing. I have an extra aquarium thermometer, I'll use that next time. I wasn't adding just cold or hotter than the tank water. Maybe I was shocking them. Any recommendations on how to match the fresh water temperature as close as possible?

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I can’t keep neons alive for anything. Usually lose half or more. If you can get them past the first month or two, they’re usually pretty good. Jason has recommended buying double or more to start with and then expecting losses. They’re mostly farm raised and have become a bit brittle. Maybe some place like dans fish have better strains. 
 

I keep trying them, and guppies from big box pet. And usually fail after a while. Think about the numbers of neons you would need in a week, has to be in the millions. 
 

so, yeah, this is not on you.

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On 3/3/2024 at 9:03 AM, Tony s said:

I almost guessed neons. Not sure it’s anything you’re doing at all 

 

Yeah, I say that video. What fish do you recommend?

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From big box. Harlequin rasboras, lambchop rasboras. Black skirts, and white skirts. Their Cory’s are fine. Cherry barbs should be good. Haven’t done them yet. 
 

with shrimp, probably the lambchop rasboras are small enough. Different from the harlequin in that the front of the black patch angles slightly backwards towards the tail. Harlequin’s black spot is straight down to slightly forward towards the head. My petsmart has them together in the same thank. Calling them trigonostigma rasboras. Which is basically calling them rasbora rasboras 
 

Mostly it’s the guppies and neons which have been the hardest to keep growing. And the bettas have also become brittle. But I keep buying them when I can just to get them out of the jars. 
 

 

Edited by Tony s
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