Raising a tanks PH???

jaylach

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I have a tank that is still cycling but when that is done I want to raise the PH before adding dwarf Cichlids. The current PH shows, at closest match, 6.0... Mayhaps between 6.0 and 6.4 using an API Master kit. For the cichlids I'd want to get up to low to mid 70's.

Years ago, using strictly under gravel filtration, I used such material as lime stone to raise the PH naturally. Is this still valid or would I be better off in today's aquatics to do the same through chemical additions?
 

AmyKieran

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I have a tank that is still cycling but when that is done I want to raise the PH before adding dwarf Cichlids. The current PH shows, at closest match, 6.0... Mayhaps between 6.0 and 6.4 using an API Master kit. For the cichlids I'd want to get up to low to mid 70's.

Years ago, using strictly under gravel filtration, I used such material as lime stone to raise the PH naturally. Is this still valid or would I be better off in today's aquatics to do the same through chemical additions?

Limestone is great as a substrate, also try things like ocean rock or crushed coral in the filter, that’ll raise kh, which then raises ph
 

Essjay

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adding dwarf Cichlids
Do you mean dwarf cichlids from south America? (That's what's usually meant by dwarf cichlids) Or small central American/African Rift Lake cichlids?

I ask because south American cichlids need a pH under 7.
 
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jaylach

jaylach

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Thanks for both responses. :)

To be honest I don't know what cichlids I will go with but will probably need to get above a PH of the current... call it 6.2.
 

AmyKieran

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Thanks for both responses. :)

To be honest I don't know what cichlids I will go with but will probably need to get above a PH of the current... call it 6.2.

Well that’ll depend then, the product will depend on what you want to keep. You don’t want to raise ph too much
 
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jaylach

jaylach

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When adding PH raising substrate I always went with small amounts at a time until it stabilized at where I wanted.

Yes I've been doing fairly large water changes to help control ammonia which, currently wants to be around 4 PPM. This tank is small at only 20 gallons and is still cycling. I have to try to keep down the ammonia due to 4 live fish being in the tank while it cycles.
 

Wills

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Nooooooo dont do it!

Low ph is perfect for the dwarfs we have been talking about! Its even low enough for things like Rams or Checkerboards.

Wills
 

Byron

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There is a real misunderstanding in the hobby and a fixation on pH. The GH is the important parameter, and the pH will depend upon the GH and KH. What is the GH of your source water? And the pH of the source water? When testing tap water, let a glass of water sit for 24 hours before testing; there is often dissolved CO2 which will lower the pH but diffuses out of the water so the pH returns to normal (in respect of the GH/KH). And find out if your water authority is adding something to alter the pH; this is common in areas with naturally low pH.

Second point is what cichlids, as others noted. If you are going to maintain any of the South American dwarf species, you will be best with very soft water with an acidic pH, 6 or below is ideal.
 

Valkyrie_Lips

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Honestly I would just stock it with cichlids that prefer a lower pH so you don't have to mess with your water chemistry.
 

itiwhetu

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There is a real misunderstanding in the hobby and a fixation on pH. The GH is the important parameter, and the pH will depend upon the GH and KH. What is the GH of your source water? And the pH of the source water? When testing tap water, let a glass of water sit for 24 hours before testing; there is often dissolved CO2 which will lower the pH but diffuses out of the water so the pH returns to normal (in respect of the GH/KH). And find out if your water authority is adding something to alter the pH; this is common in areas with naturally low pH.

Second point is what cichlids, as others noted. If you are going to maintain any of the South American dwarf species, you will be best with very soft water with an acidic pH, 6 or below is ideal.
The fixation on pH is because pH is easy to understand. So, I test for pH and let the GH and KH look after themselves.
 

Byron

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The fixation on pH is because pH is easy to understand. So, I test for pH and let the GH and KH look after themselves.

This works for you but only because you have soft water and the pH will be acidic, and I suspect your water authority is not adding something to raise pH. Where I am, the latter problem (water authority adding soda ash raising the pH to 8.4) is a concern.

The pH test has been around a long time, but GH/KH is a more recent issue. Back in the 1980's when I had soft water fish and hard water fish in different tanks, the pH was the issue and I knew nothing about GH. Now I know better.
 

Byron

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I actually had to look up GH/KH. ;)

You should be able to ascertain the GH (general hardness) and KH (carbonate hardness, also called Alkalinity) from your water authority. Check their website. The GH/KH of the source water is not likely to change in the aquarium, unless you do something to target it. For example, putting calcareous rock, gravel or sand in the tank will raise the GH/KH.
 

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