New 63L Tank Set Up


New Member
Jan 8, 2013
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London UK
Hi I'm Thomas
3 months ago I've started to work in a two PetShops in South London - UK
Just couple days ago, did set up my first tank - never though like I will go into Aquatics...

Of course I try to read and learn as much as possible.. but mistakes are done already.

I have problem with Ph in my new tank, is 8.2 right now !!! Nitrate and Ammonia is fine ... got 3 Corydoras Albino inside. I will try to drop that Ph with slow partial water changing from tap to freshwater, but my main concern is about speed and amount - heard something like if I will drop that Ph too fast they can quickly die ...

So my tank is a 63 L with temp inside 25.5 C I have access to filtrated freshwater with a temp aprox 5 C - Need some advice about how to do that properly now, around 5 to 8 L daily should do that safe and quickly enough ?
Hi Thomas.

Do you have anything in your tank that could cause your PH to be so high? ie, sand, rock or anything like that? I know water down your way IS quite high anyway. But 8.2 isn't "danger high". But you would be better around 7.5.

Bogwood in tanks can help keep PH lower but I'm not sure it would make a great deal of difference.

Small daily water changes will help, maybe 10-15%? And if you have access to r/o water then that will help.

But your right in thinking a massive water change, sudden dip in PH could harm your fish.

Hope this helps and good luck :good: I'm sure someone will be able to answer your question a bit better.
Also, just read an other thread there, someone mentioned almond leaves, which can be bought on ebay. They will help lower your PH, so long as there replaced every so often. And they look quite nice too.
pH 8.2 is not out of the question as being the standard tap water pH in the London area, asit is here in Southampton. Sadly not all areas of the UK are blessed with soft acidic water, as that found in parts of Scotland.
Hi Gary, to be honest I don't know... you see I've found opinion here on forum before - that the Bog Wood can low the Ph.. maybe even yours
so I've bought two medium plants on bog wood ( I dont know their names - still looking for ) ... also two `Cacomba` and one Moss Ball - thats it !

I though like i did well with tank cleaning - cause its new I did it twice with salt of course, rinsed like several times and start the filtration, after two days did everything once again, rinsed the sponges inside the filter - just to be sure that will be fine. Then start again I've put a StressCoat and a StressZyme from API to start a cycle, did wait like another two days before my Corydoras landed inside.

It's sad but maybe N0body Of The Goat is right about water quality in UK. I read an article maybe a year ago, that we need to pump the water from Scotland to South England cause up here, is not enough for us. I just know now that for my fish is not enough for sure

I will take a look on Almond Leaves - thanks !
If you set up your tank a few days ago and have fish already, are you aware that you're running a fish-in cycle, which will require massive daily water changes, liquid test kit, etc, and will take several weeks until you have sufficient good bacteria in your filter to process toxic ammonia and nitrite? I know you said levels are fine now, which they will be initially, but every day your fish are producing ammonia, which will not be processed by a brand new filter without bacteria colonies, and will kill them if it not removed via water changes.
Doc is right. This is a fish-in cycle.

Personally, I'd worry less about the pH, and more about the potential issues with the ammonia and nitrite that you will be facing soon enough... That tank isn't really big, which means the ammonia can rise fairly quickly on you. And eventually the nitrite will also... Your pH being so high, is an issue with ammonia. At lower pH, the ammonia converts to ammonium (a far less toxic form). At that high a pH, the ammonia remains ammonia, which can pass through the gills and into the fish's red blood cells.

The bogwood will help, as would almond leaves or peat moss in the filter... But, honestly, it will be tricky trying to get the pH to match fairly closely when refilling, therefore I suggest SLOWLY refilling when you refill the tank. The fish can handle swings in pH, if it is gradual, so rather than trying to fill the tank up as quick as possible during the water change, do it SLOWLY. Take about an hour to fully refill the tank with the water. I do this with my tank all the time... and don't have to worry about temp matching my water either.

My heater is fully submerged, and I run water from my kitchen sink through a pipe to my tank. I let it trickle in slowly and in an hour or sometimes two, the tank is back up to its original level. The temp drops a little (but the fish experience that during cold rain falls, so its not a big deal), and the pH of my tap (6.8) is now significantly higher than my tank (6.2). Doing it slowly enables the fish to acclimate to the change in the water chemistry.
Fallowing your advice I've start to watch all water levs with Api Liquid Master kit...
Like you said Ammonia and Nitrate reads jumped from 0ppm to 0,50 and even more
I decide to increase the daily water changes from 10 to 25% daily, start to driving with two 25l containers of r.o water

19.01 - ph 8.0 / am 0.75 / nits 0.50
21.01 - ph 8.0 / am 0.50 / nits 0.25
27.01 - ph 7.6 / am 0 / nitrite 0 / nitrate 0

I'm vhappy with that results, iknow it doesn't mean that my tank is cycled but its close to that of course I will still watch the levels and keep doin the water changes.. I didn't know before about fish less cycle start, hope that was the first and the last time when I did such a heresy. Did set up my tank 09.01 put the fish in 14.01 .. 27.01 my reads are good, I want to thank u for that its mostly cause of you guys and a Fresh r.o water helps too..

I will stay here learning more from u... And possibly try to upload some pictures today ev.
No worries.  Fishless cycling is fairly new to the scene, and doesn't get much discussion where most people go for fish information (a LFS!).  The LFS makes virtually no money off the person doing a fishless cycle, but can make a LOT of money on people who do a fishin cycle, and don't know how to do it properly (nearly 100%).  The fish die, they buy more fish.  Those fish die, then they buy more fish (and a product to aid the cycle).  Then the fish live and they chalk it up to the product working.  When the reality is that the cycle happened all on its own, it just takes TIME.   But, three stockings of fish, a few extra products here and there and the LFS makes a tidy profit on the deal.  And since the LFS suggested the "needless" product be added during each water change, a product like "Stability" or StressZyme, you will continue to use it unnecessarily and spend even more money.
I buy dechlorinator, food and test kits regularly from the LFS.  I peruse the plants and mull over things like that.  I don't change my filter media like suggested (far too frequently than necessary!) nor do I need to add a product during water changes other than a quality dechlorinator.

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