How much, and how quickly, should I change the pH, beginner with new tank needs help. - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 04-22-2013, 01:58 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Florida
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How much, and how quickly, should I change the pH, beginner with new tank needs help.

Good Day!

My grandma gave me one of her freshwater tanks, fish and all. I've never had one before and am in need of some good advice.

Here is some history and specs/parameters...

1 angel fish
3 gourami
5 redeye tetras

Some plants, not sure what they are, so I uploaded video footage of it all on YouTube...

My grandma ran it without any pumps, letting the plants handle all the conversions. She fed the fish quite often and vacuumed the gravel once a week. Not sure how often she did 1/3rd water changes.

The guy delivering the tank ran and got me some pumps/filter to add.
He installed the MarineLand Pro Series Bio-Wheel Power Filter Emperor 280 GPH, "for up to 50 gallon aquariums" (not sure how they come up with that number), which seems like major overkill, if you ask me, especially when you consider that it's cycling my entire tank's volume (about 38 gallons), over 7.3 times per hour, but I'm running it as such for now.

There's an APp4 AirPod pump and an airstone...

Hexagon shaped, 11.5" side pane width X 24" bottom to top of water, with 2.5" of gravel displacement, I figured around 37 or 38 gallons.

Temp appears to be 80 - 82 F.
pH appears to be between 8.2 - 8.4.
Nitrite is at the bottom of the scale.
Nitrate is between 20 - 40 ppm.
Ammonia is .25 ppm.

2.5 gallons of spring bottled water were added around 36 hours before I took the waterchem tests.

My main concern at this point is the pH. I should try to bring it down, right? How much how fast?
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 04-22-2013, 12:11 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Louisville, KY
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pH will settle at a certain point and remain there if you take good care of the tank. Don't try altering it with chemicals.

Your main concern should not be pH - it should be the Ammonia and Nitrite. Since those are present, your tank has not properly cycled.

Take a look at the posts throughout the forum for beginners so you can get a handle on cycling a tank. Once you've got that down, you'll be much more capable of handling the tank.
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 04-22-2013, 03:30 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Puget Sound, WA
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I remember starting out years and years ago, being all concerned about pH - then I learned most things just need it warm and wet.
I haven't taken a pH reading on either a freshwater or marine tank in 27 years. Of course I'm not a discus breeder....
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 04-22-2013, 03:45 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Texas
Posts: 1,510
Trying to lower pH is more trouble than it is worth. Leave it be. You don't need the airstone unless it's doing something aesthetic that you like. The filter is probably the minimum I would run on that tank. Column/tall hex tanks can easily have trouble with circulation.

Looks like your tank is cycling so you need to start putting in Prime ASAP.

pH is the very least of your issues. Ammonia and nitrites showing up is the first.

Also, watch out with the gourami. Angelfish and gouramis can be aggressive towards eachother. With a column tank like that, you have a terrific Angel tank. I would focus on keeping Angels and smaller fish instead of the gourami. Red Eye tetras, or almost any tetra for the matter, will nip fins and can quickly shred your Angel.
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