High PH - 8

TC33

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Hi All,

Firstly I know 8 is probably not a rocketing out of control number. However it's suggested it's higher than my fish would like.

I have not really tested PH level much previously so it could of been like this early on, I have recently tested each week and know its now been at 8 for 4 week running.

My tapwater is PH-7
My tank is 125L (Think roughly 30 Gallons)
I have 6 Cory's Julii or False Julii, read they prefer a range of 6-7.5
In the tank I have a fair bit of driftwood with 3 Large Java Fern, 4 medium clumps of Java Moss, 3 Marimo Moss Balls, 2 Anubias.
1 x Hideously bright pink/yellow castle my daughter made me buy (Material note Polyresin, non-toxic fish safe paint)
1x ceramic cave
Black sand substrate
I have used plant feed a few times Fluval Grow +

Any ideas on what could be causing the higher PH as nothing springs to mind that would raise it from it's initial level.
 
Are you using a house water softening system???
 
I’m in the western United States . My local water comes from a river that flows over limestone and the pH is 7.8 to 8.0 all the time . I use a reverse osmosis unit to get rid of some of the minerals and soften the water but the pH never changes . The only way you can alter pH is by having an inert substrate and no rocks for decorations , only driftwood . That takes time to adjust downward and as soon as you do a water change you are right back where you started . It’s a pain in the neck . I stopped worrying about it because the fish don’t seem to be affected that I can see . The best thing is to keep fish that match up with your water and stop fighting a battle you can’t win .
 
A pH of 8.0 is perfectly fine. An RO system is not only unnecessary, it's wasteful. It's best to just ignore all the recommendations you read about pH. It's simply not important unless you're breeding.
 
A pH of 8.0 is perfectly fine. An RO system is not only unnecessary, it's wasteful. It's best to just ignore all the recommendations you read about pH. It's simply not important unless you're breeding.
Just to elaborate on this. It depends on what the GH and KH of your water supply is. If you have water that has a GH of 350ppm, it won't be good for software fishes like Corydoras and tetras. They might survive in it but they won't live as long as if they were kept in softer water. Reverse Osmosis (r/o) units can be useful in this type of situation but don't get one unless you have really hard water.

What is the GH (general hardness) and KH (carbonate hardness) of your water supply?
This information can usually be obtained from your water supply company's website (Water Analysis Report) or by telephoning them. If they can't help you, take a glass full of tap water to the local pet shop and get them to test it for you. Write the results down (in numbers) when they do the tests. And ask them what the results are in (eg: ppm, dGH, or something else).

Get some tap water and put it in a glass. Test the pH of that sample straight away and then test the same sample 24 and 48 hours later.

Take a sample of gravel out of the tank and put it in a glass or plastic container with some tap water. Have a second container with the same tap water but no gravel next to it. Monitor the pH of both containers over a week or two. If the gravel is pushing the pH up, the water in the bucket with gravel will get a higher pH over a week or two.

If there is no change in the pH with the bucket of water and gravel, then take out the various ornaments and put them in a bucket of water for a week and see if they change the pH. Continue doing this with different items from the aquarium until you find whatever is pushing the pH up.
 
Just went down this rabbit hole. Mine was horrible well water and also spiked my KH (leading to my PH problems, but the core issue was this). I basically got brackish water out of the tap. Took a day to show since I have some treatment systems. In my case, I added a RO/DI system and have been seeing a lot better consistency. I know some don't find it necessary, but when my only source is a not so good well, its a valuable additions.
 
Just to elaborate on this. It depends on what the GH and KH of your water supply is. If you have water that has a GH of 350ppm, it won't be good for software fishes like Corydoras and tetras. They might survive in it but they won't live as long as if they were kept in softer water. Reverse Osmosis (r/o) units can be useful in this type of situation but don't get one unless you have really hard water.

What is the GH (general hardness) and KH (carbonate hardness) of your water supply?
This information can usually be obtained from your water supply company's website (Water Analysis Report) or by telephoning them. If they can't help you, take a glass full of tap water to the local pet shop and get them to test it for you. Write the results down (in numbers) when they do the tests. And ask them what the results are in (eg: ppm, dGH, or something else).

Take a sample of gravel out of the tank and put it in a glass or plastic container with some tap water. Have a second container with the same tap water but no gravel next to it. Monitor the pH of both containers over a week or two. If the gravel is pushing the pH up, the water in the bucket with gravel will get a higher pH over a week or two.

Hi Colin,

Many thanks for your response.

So I have tested both KH and GH
KH - 11DKH - 195ppm
GH - 13DGH - 231ppm

Is that considered too high for Cory's?

I will try out the test you suggested with the two containers and see what happens.
 
The KH of 195ppm is certainly high enough to raise the pH and stop it dropping.
The GH of 230ppm is a bit too high for Corydoras and most tetras that prefer water with a GH below 100ppm. However, it isn't extreme. Rainbowfish and common livebearers (guppies, platies, swordtails) would love this water.

If you get a reverse osmosis unit, you could mix 50/50 tap water with r/o water and have a GH around 115ppm, which would be fine for tetras and Corydoras.

Test the gravel and ornaments first and then if that doesn't fix the issue, then talk about r/o units. There's a few things you need to know about them before you buy one.
 
Ok, so the gravel/ornaments are not the issue. Seems the water raises by 1 PH all on its own (Did not think this would happen with tap water) Anyone know why this would be?

Therefore there is little I can do about the water.

Then the question is do I need an r/o unit. Given the expence > Leading to possible divorce.
The Cory's themselves, although relatively new to the tank seem extreamly happy and healthy. (Considerably more so than they did when I bought them)

I assume there are no other ways to lower GH/KH/PH?

If I really do need an R/O unit, what should I be looking for?
 
Have you tested just a glass of water, freshly run and again after 24 hours?

Water authorities do add things to the water supply. Where pH is very low, they often add chemicals to raise the pH to avoid metal pipe corrosion. In very hard water areas, they often add something to prevent limescale deposits in the mains pipes, and this also lowers pH. On standing, both of these revert to their natural pH. Then there's CO2 gas dissolved in the water. This lowers pH and when it gasses out on standing the pH rises, though not by a large amount.
 
Ok, so the gravel/ornaments are not the issue. Seems the water raises by 1 PH all on its own (Did not think this would happen with tap water) Anyone know why this would be?

Therefore there is little I can do about the water.

Then the question is do I need an r/o unit. Given the expence > Leading to possible divorce.
The Cory's themselves, although relatively new to the tank seem https://www.seriouslyfish.com/ happy and healthy. (Considerably more so than they did when I bought them)

I assume there are no other ways to lower GH/KH/PH?

If I really do need an R/O unit, what should I be looking for?
Stick with what you have but choose future fish that are suited to your parameters. https://www.seriouslyfish.com/ is a good source to check requirements of each species, you should aim for fish whose mid range for GH/pH/temperature matches your water.

The only other way is to use rainwater (all or in part) as that is typically neutral or thereabouts. The problem with that is the likelihood of pollution and introduction of contaminants.
 

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