High PH Levels- Super noob.
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Old 03-07-2013, 12:17 AM   #1
DC2Haze
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High PH Levels- Super noob.


Hello,

I just took my water sample to LFS and my Ph levels came out 7.6, according to the tester. Everything else is good. He tested ammonia, nitrates, nitrites..


I previously had cichlids so LFS said high ph is okay for them but I recently swapped them out and currently have:

•black neon tetra -5
•red eyed tetra- 5
•otos- 4
•green neon-2
•3 red and 3 yellow shrimp- 1 red of 6 left... could be from high ph?

I have one small piece of driftwood in tank. Would adding a huge piece of driftwood help me lower PH?

It was mentioned to me to replace substrate but that is laaaast on my list. I would like to see if you guys can help me figure out what is causing this.

29 Gal.
Substrate- Caribsea white sand mixed with caribsea gravel.
Lighting- Finnex ray 2
Filtration- Aquatop CF500UV

Just did a 25% water change since guy at LFS said that will help lower Ph.

Appreciate any feedback!
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Old 03-07-2013, 12:23 AM   #2
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What is the PH of your tap water?

That is not a high PH, that is neutral. My PH runs between 7.2-7.8 and ALL of my fish and shrimp breed.
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Old 03-07-2013, 12:29 AM   #3
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+1 Not bad at all
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Old 03-07-2013, 12:33 AM   #4
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Neutral pH is 7.0, so yes 7.6 is more basic and considered 'higher' in some circles. Replacing your substrate, as it is used to keep pH up, will help. Adding a larger piece of driftwood will also help. You could also add peat to reduce the pH naturally. There are chemical acid buffers you could also add if you want to go the 'easy route' but you will continuously need to add that supplement to keep your pH down.
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Old 03-07-2013, 12:38 AM   #5
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It should be fine for what you have currently. Your Ph is higher due to a combination of minerals in your source water. GH, KH, and TDS are very good indicators. I usually advise not toying with water chemistry until you have the test kits and have a firm idea of what you want to achieve. RO water and distilled can bu used to gradually lower your TDS and minerals, thus allowing you to slowly lower your Ph. I have heard driftwood can lower Ph, but I am of the opinion it is so slight that it should be ignored. You will get more tannins for certain. What Ph are you wanting to achieve? Your shrimp are all neos and actually like your Ph exactly where it is. If it is a breeding issue (as in they are not) I would suggest removing your fish as most will prey on shrimplets and provide very dense vegatation for them to hide.
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Old 03-07-2013, 12:51 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ashnic05 View Post
There are chemical acid buffers you could also add if you want to go the 'easy route' but you will continuously need to add that supplement to keep your pH down.
Just to add,

Chemical buffers are very stressful on all of the live stock including plants because you constantly have a fluctuating PH.
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Old 03-07-2013, 03:15 AM   #7
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pH is not a stand alone value. It is based on what minerals, acids and salts are in the water.
Control the other things, and the pH will take care of itself.

Ask about any of these terms until you understand them, then decide whether you really need to monkey around with the pH.

GH is the General Hardness. It is a measure of the calcium and magnesium in the tank. This is the factor that you want to get right for the fish you keep. Your fish are soft water fish, but have been bred in captivity for so long that they will accept a wide range of mineral levels.

KH is Carbonate Hardness. This is one of the most common buffers of pH in the aquarium. High KH generally means high pH. Low KH generally means the pH is free to change, so something else will dictate what the pH might be.

pH is actually a way of telling you if there is an excess of H+ or OH- in the water. Fish can handle a very wide range of pH, and changes in pH as long as their mineral level requirements are met.

Rift Lake Cichlids come from water that has a very high mineral level. GH and KH way up over 10 German degrees of hardness. The high KH makes the pH in the upper 7s to mid 8s.
Soft water fish (most rain forest river fish) come from water that has a very low GH and KH. Lots of leaves fall in the water, too, so there are a lot of organic acids in some of these waters. The low KH allows 'something else' to dictate the pH. The organic acids make the water acidic.

Here is a test you could do:
Run some tap water into a bucket. Maybe a gallon or two.
Add 1-2 handfuls of peat moss.
Stir often, such as several times per day.
Test GH, KH and pH daily for 2-3 days.

If this does what you want, then add some peat moss to the filter. I use a nylon stocking, cut into sections, as a media bag.
When you are getting ready to do a water change, run the water into a bucket the day before, and add peat moss. Usually the peat moss does the job over night, and you would do the water change the next day. I use a nylon stocking and a small fountain pump to circulate the water when I prepare the water this way.
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Old 03-07-2013, 08:17 PM   #8
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Thanks everyone for the information!

Seems that i may have bigger problems then my PH levels.

I have to buy a test kit so i dont have to keep taking my water to LFS. I am going to test for KH and GH.

From what i see my fish are fine its just the LFS worried me when they said PH was sky high. I mentioned to them my shrimp died so they said that is the reason why.

i will be back as soon as i test.

Thanks again.
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Old 03-07-2013, 08:20 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Diana View Post
pH is not a stand alone value. It is based on what minerals, acids and salts are in the water.
Control the other things, and the pH will take care of itself.

Ask about any of these terms until you understand them, then decide whether you really need to monkey around with the pH.

GH is the General Hardness. It is a measure of the calcium and magnesium in the tank. This is the factor that you want to get right for the fish you keep. Your fish are soft water fish, but have been bred in captivity for so long that they will accept a wide range of mineral levels.

KH is Carbonate Hardness. This is one of the most common buffers of pH in the aquarium. High KH generally means high pH. Low KH generally means the pH is free to change, so something else will dictate what the pH might be.

pH is actually a way of telling you if there is an excess of H+ or OH- in the water. Fish can handle a very wide range of pH, and changes in pH as long as their mineral level requirements are met.

Rift Lake Cichlids come from water that has a very high mineral level. GH and KH way up over 10 German degrees of hardness. The high KH makes the pH in the upper 7s to mid 8s.
Soft water fish (most rain forest river fish) come from water that has a very low GH and KH. Lots of leaves fall in the water, too, so there are a lot of organic acids in some of these waters. The low KH allows 'something else' to dictate the pH. The organic acids make the water acidic.

Here is a test you could do:
Run some tap water into a bucket. Maybe a gallon or two.
Add 1-2 handfuls of peat moss.
Stir often, such as several times per day.
Test GH, KH and pH daily for 2-3 days.

If this does what you want, then add some peat moss to the filter. I use a nylon stocking, cut into sections, as a media bag.
When you are getting ready to do a water change, run the water into a bucket the day before, and add peat moss. Usually the peat moss does the job over night, and you would do the water change the next day. I use a nylon stocking and a small fountain pump to circulate the water when I prepare the water this way.

i will try the peat moss. thank you Diana.
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Old 03-08-2013, 10:30 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DC2Haze View Post
Thanks everyone for the information!

Seems that i may have bigger problems then my PH levels.

I have to buy a test kit so i dont have to keep taking my water to LFS. I am going to test for KH and GH.

From what i see my fish are fine its just the LFS worried me when they said PH was sky high. I mentioned to them my shrimp died so they said that is the reason why.

i will be back as soon as i test.

Thanks again.
In addition pick up an API master kit. Tests for Ammonia, PH, Nitite, nitrate
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Old 03-09-2013, 01:43 AM   #11
Diana
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There are some critters that do require a more specific, targeted pH. But I would start by correcting the things that make the pH high before your address the pH itself.
Once you get the mineral levels low enough that the pH ought to be about right for the livestock you want, then test the pH.
If it still is not right, that is when adding just a little bit of some acid reacting material (perhaps CO2) would be a good thing.

However, trying to correct the pH when there is a buffer in there that will fight everything you do is a waste of effort on your part, and a serious problem for the fish as their water chemistry keeps bouncing around.
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