N00B with massive Ph fluctuations. - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-04-2010, 03:21 AM Thread Starter
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N00B with massive Ph fluctuations.

Hey, I just joined this forum recently. I have a 10gal tank set up that I'm using as an experiment with plants. I just started it only a month or so ago. The tank is cycled, housing one rummynose, some amazon sword and some type of grass (horrible with names). The substrate is fine sand and I use flourish excel once a weekish.

Problem...
Okay so I bought four rummynose about a week ago and had 3 die within 2 days. Went back got three more, this time I checked the params in both the store water and mine to make sure they matched before I added the fish. Same thing happened. PH of my tap is 6.4 so I did a 50% water change to make the PH in the tank match that of the store water (6.6). The thing is, the PH will rise dramatically over the course of just a day or so (going above 7.3 into 7.6). I just tested it and it's at 7.6 from 6.4 after I changed the water two days ago.

I don't know what could be causing it aside from the fertilizer as I don't add any other chemicals to the water....
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-04-2010, 03:49 AM
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Run some water into a cup and check the PH. Let the cup sit for 24 hrs and test it again.

Is the sand "silica" sand?

Is the water soft or hard? Do you have a KH test kit? If so test the KH in the cup and in the tank.

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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-04-2010, 04:05 AM Thread Starter
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I'm not sure if it's silica but I was having the PH problems when I had regular graval in the tank (I just added the sand a few days ago).

We have well water and no I don't have a KH test kit...I'm going to the LFS tomorrow tho so maybe I can get one there.

I'll do the 24 hr ph test and post it.
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-04-2010, 05:04 AM
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I suspect with well water your KH is high, and thus your pH is rising dramatically after KH rises as solids resolve. I think I got that right...

pH changes are not significant in themselves. KH and GH changes are. Honestly, I think most hobbyists should throw out their pH test kits.
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-04-2010, 05:14 AM
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I suspect it may be "hard".

I used to have well water that was "Rock" hard.

I had the same problem with rising PH. The KH was over 450ppm (25 DKH) and PH would go from 7.1 to 8.2. Since then, water supply has changed and now it's 33ppm (1.8 DKH) and PH is now 7.2 and goes to 6.8 (I'm running CO2 and have raised the KH to 4.2 using baking soda.)

I do NOT miss hard water.

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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-04-2010, 05:21 AM Thread Starter
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well honestly the main reason I'm worried about the PH levels fluctuating so much is because when I added the first batch of rummy nose they went from a 6.6 to what I'm guessing was around a 7.5 increase. Which is what I blame their deaths on. The second few deaths I'm still a little puzzled on.
I'm just concerned the rapid increase/decrease in PH is going to kill my fish...
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-04-2010, 05:26 AM Thread Starter
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I'd really like to get some more fish but with the luck I've been having so far with the RN I'm thinking about just getting cardinals. What could have killed them I wonder...
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-04-2010, 06:15 AM
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Have you considered a storage container of sorts to let your water stabilize before using it & then & least you will have base point to work with.
If you are not dosing EI you prob will not have to do major water changes regularly & if in the event you buy fish from a store that has a a lot lower PH just put the fish in a container in the water they came in from the store and very slowly add your higher PH water to acclimate them before putting them in your tank.
Sometimes no matter what measures you take even with stable conditions some fish just don't make it ...Just stick with it, you will figure it out !

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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-04-2010, 06:42 AM Thread Starter
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Yeah I've thought about getting a bucket to have my tap sit for a day or so to let the excess fume out. I might do that since it seems somewhat necessary.
I'm sorry what is EI?
And the RN have been the most sensitive fish I've had yet...ugh it's incredible how sensitive they are to tank params.

Thanks guys.
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-04-2010, 08:18 AM
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Quote:
I'm sorry what is EI?
EI is a dosing strategy whereas a certain amount of micro & Macro nutrients are dosed , qty usually dependant on the size of the tank & the plant load & a number of other contributing factors over a period of usually 1 wk. @ the end of the week large % water changes are carried out to flush out excess nutrients & then you start again this way you don't have to use test kits ..you start off with a proven base strategy then make adj depending on what you see going on with your tank, like fine tuning. It all sounds complicated & overwhelming @ first but the strategy is very easy to adopt & has extremely good results.
. If you want the facts on EI "straight from the horses mouth" click Here http://www.barrreport.com/

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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-04-2010, 10:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by devadair View Post
Hey, I just joined this forum recently. I have a 10gal tank set up that I'm using as an experiment with plants. I just started it only a month or so ago. The tank is cycled, housing one rummynose, some amazon sword and some type of grass (horrible with names). The substrate is fine sand and I use flourish excel once a weekish.

Problem...
Okay so I bought four rummynose about a week ago and had 3 die within 2 days. Went back got three more, this time I checked the params in both the store water and mine to make sure they matched before I added the fish. Same thing happened. PH of my tap is 6.4 so I did a 50% water change to make the PH in the tank match that of the store water (6.6). The thing is, the PH will rise dramatically over the course of just a day or so (going above 7.3 into 7.6). I just tested it and it's at 7.6 from 6.4 after I changed the water two days ago.

I don't know what could be causing it aside from the fertilizer as I don't add any other chemicals to the water....
You say the tank is only been running for a month and it's cycled. How did you cycle it? How many fish were/are in it when you added the four rummy nose? Rummy nose tetras have a reputation for being fairly sensitive fish-perhaps you had an ammonia/nitrite spike.


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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-04-2010, 04:33 PM
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The question about whether the tank is fully cycled is a good one.

I think your problem may be a failure to properly drip acclimate the rummies before adding them to your tank. Did you drip acclimate your fish before you added them to the tank? You want to give new livestock time to slowly get used to your tank water before you add them to the tank. Trying to match your tank parameters to the tank in the LFS is not the way to go, the fish will be living in your tank not the one at the LFS.

When you bring home new fish take some of the excess water out of the bag and float it in your tank. I use a small clip to attach the bag to the frame so it doesn't sink and fill with tank water. Add small amounts of tank water to the bag every ten minutes or so, the longer you take and the slower you go the better. I never take less than an hour to do this and sometimes drip acclimate the more sensitive species for up to three hours or more depending on how large the pH mismatch is to start. Over time the water in the bag will equalize and be a much closer match to your tank water, the fish will also have time to adjust to any differences in water chemistry. For the most sensitive species check the pH in the bag to make sure it is the same as the tank before moving the fish into the tank. Sensitive species of fish like rummies and cardinals stand a much better chance of surviving the move if they have been drip acclimated.
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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-04-2010, 04:57 PM
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Almost every fish I buy locally will have problems if I don't take time to acclimate them to my tank water. pH at most LFS is 7.5 or higher and dkh is often at least 3 times higher than my tanks.

I don't drip but instead open the bag and clip it to the top of the tank and pour tank water into the bag over a period of 1-2 hours.

If I don't do this even the healthiest/hardiest of fish more than likely won't make it a day.

On shipped fish I do my best to match temp, pH, GH and dkh and get them out of water that might be high in NH3.

SteveU
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