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carligraceee

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Hello everyone! My tank is finally completely stocked and I have some questions about my p.h. I will be testing it again later tonight but recently it has lived in the 7.2-7.4 range. I need to have it somewhere closer to 7.0-7.2 in order for it to suit most of my inhabitants.

My Stock: 40.3 g
1 African Butterfly Fish
1 Stick Catfish
1 juvenile Blue Phantom Pleco
11 Black Phantom tetras
1 Mystery Snail
1 Volcano Snail
1 Japanese Trapdoor Snail
About a dozen pest snails, I have been removing them as I see them..

(I know it is a bit overstocked right now, I plan on upgrading as soon as DJ grows to about 4 inches.)


My Blue Phantom (Davey Jones, aka DJ) needs a P.H closer to 7.0 in order to thrive and I want the best for him! He is one of my first collector species besides my Butterfly fish and stick catfish so I want to watch him grow and prosper in the best way possible.

Is my p.h okay for him, will it be close enough?
If not, how do I lower it just a tad? (I have driftwood and lots of plants)
 
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Slaphppy7

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A stable ph is much more suitable than one that fluctuates.

Fish can adapt to ph levels that aren't "perfect" for them (to a degree)

Have you purchased the fish from a local seller, who is on the same city water that you use?
 
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carligraceee

carligraceee

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A stable ph is much more suitable than one that fluctuates.

Have you purchased the fish from a local seller, who is on the same city water that you use?
Not so much local, I purchased from an importer in Boulder so DJ came straight from Columbia.
 

Slaphppy7

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I don't see much of an issue with the fish you have, and the ph of your tank.
 
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carligraceee

carligraceee

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I don't see much of an issue with the fish you have, and the ph of your tank.
Okay, thank you. I haven't noticed any problems at all but I don't want to be the person who disregards any part of a fish's needs. Thank you again!
 

Byron

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It may be helpful to provide an explanation of pH as it relates to your thread, to avoid misunderstanding going forward.

First, a pH of 7.0-7.2 and a pH of 7.2-7.4 are so close as to be the same, so fish that are "OK" with a slightly basic pH (in the low to mid 7's) will not have issues.

The main issue when it comes to pH is one of being generally basic (above 7.0) or acidic (below 7.0). While many species need a pH on the basic side, and some species need a pH on the acidic side, there are many species that will be fine with a pH that is slightly on the acid side or slightly on the basic side. The pH range of such fish is often something like "prefers a pH of 6.5 to 7.5" or whatever.

Second issue is that the GH is more important for most species because it involves the level of dissolved hard minerals (primarily calcium and magnesium) in the water, and as this water with these minerals is continually entering the fish via osmosis, the minerals have a direct effect on the functioning of the physiology of the fish. Without going into detail, fish that are soft water in origin will be healthier if they are in softer water, while fish that require harder water must have it.

Third, to comment on your question of lowering pH...this is not always as simple as adding organic matter. The pH is connected to the GH and KH, and the latter especially works as a "buffer" to prevent pH fluctuations. The higher the KH and GH (these usually go together, but not always) the more stable the pH will be and remain at whatever level it is in the source water. The GH/KH must be reduced in such cases in order to allow the pH more flexibility and it will usually lower to some degree on its own. With a very low GH/KH, it is easy (too easy sometimes) to adjust the pH, and one must be careful doing this.

The GH is not mentioned here, and that is more important as I've explained. If the pH is naturally close to 7, it is probable that the GH is soft to moderately hard which is fine for the fish mentioned. But this is only a surmise, since we do not have the GH number.
 
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carligraceee

carligraceee

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It may be helpful to provide an explanation of pH as it relates to your thread, to avoid misunderstanding going forward.

First, a pH of 7.0-7.2 and a pH of 7.2-7.4 are so close as to be the same, so fish that are "OK" with a slightly basic pH (in the low to mid 7's) will not have issues.

The main issue when it comes to pH is one of being generally basic (above 7.0) or acidic (below 7.0). While many species need a pH on the basic side, and some species need a pH on the acidic side, there are many species that will be fine with a pH that is slightly on the acid side or slightly on the basic side. The pH range of such fish is often something like "prefers a pH of 6.5 to 7.5" or whatever.

Second issue is that the GH is more important for most species because it involves the level of dissolved hard minerals (primarily calcium and magnesium) in the water, and as this water with these minerals is continually entering the fish via osmosis, the minerals have a direct effect on the functioning of the physiology of the fish. Without going into detail, fish that are soft water in origin will be healthier if they are in softer water, while fish that require harder water must have it.

Third, to comment on your question of lowering pH...this is not always as simple as adding organic matter. The pH is connected to the GH and KH, and the latter especially works as a "buffer" to prevent pH fluctuations. The higher the KH and GH (these usually go together, but not always) the more stable the pH will be and remain at whatever level it is in the source water. The GH/KH must be reduced in such cases in order to allow the pH more flexibility and it will usually lower to some degree on its own. With a very low GH/KH, it is easy (too easy sometimes) to adjust the pH, and one must be careful doing this.

The GH is not mentioned here, and that is more important as I've explained. If the pH is naturally close to 7, it is probable that the GH is soft to moderately hard which is fine for the fish mentioned. But this is only a surmise, since we do not have the GH number.
Yes, my water's GH is soft-moderately hard in my area. My website says 10g/l or something like that, I just know the number is 10.
 

Essjay

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10 mg/l would be very soft; 10 grains per gallon or 10 dH (they are not quite the same but close) would be middling. Could you copy exactly what they say, number and unit please.
 
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carligraceee

carligraceee

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10 mg/l would be very soft; 10 grains per gallon or 10 dH (they are not quite the same but close) would be middling. Could you copy exactly what they say, number and unit please.
It is 83ppm, 8-10 grains per gallon.
 

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It is 83ppm, 8-10 grains per gallon.

The 83ppm (= 4.6 dH) is "very soft." I don't know if this makes sense with the 8-10 grains per gallon, @Essjay will know (gpg is not part of the calculator on TFF). So that tells us something. The KH/Alkalinity is likely similar, so you can expect the pH will lower as the aquarium becomes biologically established.

The fish mentioned in post #1 are OK here. The snails I cannot say, some can manage in soft water, others less likely to.
 

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Grains per gallon is on the calculator on TFF - that's what "US hardness" is :)

8 to 10 grains per gallon = 7.7 to 9.6 dH
 

Byron

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Thanks @Essjay

This gives us a question now...is it 83ppm or 10 gpg, as they are different levels.
 
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carligraceee

carligraceee

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Thanks @Essjay

This gives us a question now...is it 83ppm or 10 gpg, as they are different levels.
My city website says both which is weird, but I would say it is on the harder side based on the p.H levels I have had in the past before biologically adding things that help soften the water. Forgive me, though, if that is not how this works!
 

Byron

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My city website says both which is weird, but I would say it is on the harder side based on the p.H levels I have had in the past before biologically adding things that help soften the water. Forgive me, though, if that is not how this works!

This is a complicated issue, the pH I mean. There are other reasons for a higher pH in the source water, and some of these can change as the water passes through the pipes, enters your tank, is exposed to air, reacts due to biological processes, etc, etc. My action given what we now know would be to test the GH and KH of the water myself, or take a sample to the store.

Your best course of action is to accept the water as it is, and see how the pH settles out over a few weeks. No problem using organic things like wood, dried leaves (a common substrate material in many habitats), etc, but not aimed at somehow adjusting the pH. It will react and settle on its own. That will be your environment and suited to the fish. Future fish should share these parameters to avoid issues.
 

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