Just noticed PH problem

Chris1212

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Almost four weeks into a fish-in cycle with my 20g - 2 Platies, 1 swordtail. Only fake plants. Temp is 77-79. KH is 120ish, maybe a tad higher using the test strips. Water is hard to very hard. Not sure if something changed in the last week or so with my tap but I feel like the last time I checked ph it wasn't this high.

API master kit reading 8.2(ish).

I eventually want to more fully stock my tank with a bolivian ram, a school of danio or tetras, and maybe some bottom friends or shrimp.

Any idea what I should do with this pH? I'd rather not use something like peat moss that will discolor the water.

Thanks for all of the help
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Jan Cavalieri

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Seachem makes a product that I use every week called Seachem Neutral Regulator - This solution is intended to bring the water PH to 7.0 regardless of whether the water was above or below 7. I'm guessing a PH of 7 is what you are after. Our city water is 9.14 with a few exceptions all my fish require a 7 or lower. I started using it and it takes it to 7.0 everytime. What I don't like about it is that it tends to drift during the week clear down into the 5.5 region. It's so gradual and usually I am going to do a water change anyway so I just ignore it and correct it at the next water change until I have it back at 7 but again, I think people make a big fuss about PH and makes sure it stays on 7 all the time. API makes a products called PHup or PHdown you pick what you need - as far as amount to add - I just got pretty well at guessing. Now I don't mess with the PH much other than the Neutral Regulator because I just felt all these constant ph changes weren't very good for my fish. I do think you should use it, then forget about the PH unttil the next water change and see how far off it is. You can call and ask your water department and see what they think about PH going over 8 this week and if that is the new normal.
 
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Chris1212

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Thanks for the detailed response. That seems like a drastic change from my current (maybe standard) ph and from what I've read it is drastic changes that negatively affect fish more than a higher or lower ph. I'll definitely keep that product on my short list though and also good advice on contacting my water department. I'll see how to actually do that.
 

Ch4rlie

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We do encourage folks not to alter their water to suit livestock.

It’s actually pretty complex and not worth it in the end as generally it leads to fluctuations to the water chemistry of pH,gH and kH, almost impossible to alter one element without affecting the other two.

And it’s these fluctuations that do the most damage to livestock and inevitably leads to diseases and death.

Unless you are pretty experienced and know much more about chemistry then would not recommend going down this route.

Steady pH, gH and kH is the best one can hope for and find suitable stocking to enable them to likely to thrive rather than just survive in these circumstances.
 

seangee

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Most fish are fine in a fairly wide range of pH - as long as it is stable. You don't mention GH other than to say your water is hard. Platies and swordtails need hard water. The other fish you mentioned need soft water.

Do you know, or can you find out what you GH is? Hard water means different things to different people so its best to get a number (and unit) for the GH so we can advise better.
 

essjay

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It is much easier to stock fish which suit your water rather than try to alter the water.
 
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Chris1212

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Thanks all. Yeah I don't think it is a good idea for me to start messing too much with my water chemistry. Our tap (Potomac river) is considered hard (120-130 mg/l).

Hmmm I was hoping for the bolivian ram. Any other suggestions for a single or pair? I thought some sort of gourami but they all seem to be highly prone to some disease.
 

seangee

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Thanks all. Yeah I don't think it is a good idea for me to start messing too much with my water chemistry. Our tap (Potomac river) is considered hard (120-130 mg/l).

Hmmm I was hoping for the bolivian ram. Any other suggestions for a single or pair? I thought some sort of gourami but they all seem to be highly prone to some disease.
If that is ppm (or mg/l) GH it is not hard in fishkeeping terms. In fact its too soft for platies or swordtails but will be just fine for the other fish you mentioned and many shrimp - including red cherry shrimp. I would not recommend keeping livebearers as they will almost certainly have health issues and reduced lifespans.
 
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Chris1212

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That's mg/l according to the water company's website. However, when testing with the 6 in 1 strips (I know not the most accurate) it comes out between hard and very hard
 
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seangee

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That's mg/l according to the water company's website. However, when testing with the 6 in 1 strips (I know not the most accurate) it comes out between hard and very hard
That's why numbers are so important. In words mollies and swordtails need hard to very hard water. In numbers 120 mg/l means help my mollies and swordtails are dying
 
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Chris1212

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Thanks. My swordtail and 2 platies are doing great. The website says 120-130 mg/l but the test strip comes out very hard. I think the water hardness is good for my swordtail but maybe I should get a better test.
 
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Chris1212

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That's why numbers are so important. In words mollies and swordtails need hard to very hard water. In numbers 120 mg/l means help my mollies and swordtails are dying
Thanks again. Finally got the API liquid test kit for GH and KH. GH test was 10 drops, 179ppm so good environment for livebearers.
 

essjay

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Not really. Platies, guppies and swordtails do best at over 200 ppm while mollies need over 250 ppm.
 
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