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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi guys,

My tank is still cycling so I don't have any fish in there just plants.

When i first started my tank (4/2/16) my pH was about 7.2-7.4, GH took 11 drops, and KH took 6 drops according to API's tests.
Fast forward to this weekend.
GH took 12 drops, KH 6 drops, pH is 7.4-7.8 (hard to tell with just colors)

My tank is open top so i just add more dechlorinated tap water to fill it up. I guess the mineral concentration is being concentrated as the water evaporates. I'm not dosing anything right now but I just ordered some Seachem's Flourish (the all in one). The tank is miracle grow with a sand cap.

Should I be topping off my tank with distilled water?

I wanted to have harlequin rasboras, cory cats, and some shrimp in here but with my pH being this high now that might not work.

Should I buy something to lower the pH and GH or should I just do a water change and use distilled to top off from now on?

Thanks!
 

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I would focus on the cycle. Once cycled you are going to do a big water change from what I remember. Lowering PH too much will slow the cycle.
Also, I have rasbora, cory and shrimp with a higher PH than yours and they are doing great.
Distilled top offs may be a good idea IMHO but I would save it for now. Just my 2 cents.
 

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I've found my Cory's stress more over hardness changes then pH... That's only mine. Your pH should be fine as well as other numbers. Those tests aren't always 100% and the slight difference in the gh isn't anything to worry over. When you drop the gh/kh tests make sure your looking down into the tube from the top for color comparison. It changes slightly and it's done there. Yes, as you thought evaporation does increase hardness slightly. You don't have to use distilled or r.o for topoffs with those fish. The pH jump may be from your water naturally adjusting to its true pH... Out of the pipes sometimes our water has more or less co2/o2 content and it takes time to gas out and settle... Try by leaving a bucket of water out for a few days. Then test pH. That's your true pH.... Adjusting gh/kh down is tricky. playing the pH game has never been successful for me without rodi water anyway. pH swings are brutal on the fish. Better to just work with what you have. The fish will adjust. Their from someone's living room or a fish farm, not Peru so no worries. Get through that cycle. Tetra safe start has gotten me over the hump quickly in a pinch before. Good luck with the tank, and keep us posted.
 

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subscribing to this thread, wanna know of the outcome :smile2:
 

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I've got shrimp (neos, no cards), harlequin rasboras, and a variety of cories in my tanks, and they run ph: 8.2-8.3, gh: 10, kh: 19. :) Like he said, fluctuations are much harder on most fish than having water that isn't quite ideal.

Once you've finished cycling though, using distilled or RO water for top offs is always a good idea. Since the minerals don't evaporate like the water does, adding more tap adds more minerals and can raise your readings. But while you're cycling, just keep using tap.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks everyone. I did a test on just my tap water and the ph is 7.0 - 7.2 range. This is right from the tap. I also filled a small vial with water and left it sitting for about 1.5 hours. Tested that and i got my pH to be between 7.2 and 7.4 (Cant tell with those colors lol).

I'll keep topping off with tap water and then with DI water when I introduce fish. I got some flourish comprehensive but i'm worried about dosing that right now. I was going to do a half dose maybe once a month?
 
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