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Low ph


pride
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Hi all,

I'm not usually too fussed on checking my water quality as I do regular water changes to a routine 30% pw and all has been well.....until now.

I've notice in my 6fter alot of the fish have a few shredder fins...so went an got a test kit and found my ph is 6 or less as the chart doesn't go down any further on the kit.

GH - 30

KH - 0

pH - 6

NO2 - 0

NO3 - 20

I've tested my tap water and its much harder and alkaline?

I have some large pieces of driftwood which I have had in the tank for many years. Would these be the culprit if starting to break down and rot?

Also by the way I have jewels and kribensis in the tank who don't seem bothered by it as they are breeding and with fry but its the other fish being spilurus and some giant danios that are being affected.

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Hi all,

I'm not usually too fussed on checking my water quality as I do regular water changes to a routine 30% pw and all has been well.....until now.

I've notice in my 6fter alot of the fish have a few shredder fins...so went an got a test kit and found my ph is 6 or less as the chart doesn't go down any further on the kit.

GH - 30

KH - 0

pH - 6

NO2 - 0

NO3 - 20

I've tested my tap water and its much harder and alkaline?

I have some large pieces of driftwood which I have had in the tank for many years. Would these be the culprit if starting to break down and rot?

Also by the way I have jewels and kribensis in the tank who don't seem bothered by it as they are breeding and with fry but its the other fish being spilurus and some giant danios that are being affected.

Take note of your KH level. O= zero water buffering capacity. CO2 expelled by fish and bacteria will actively lower pH unless there is KH in the water, then the CO2 has to get through the KH until it has a zero reading, after which the pH will drop.

Yes the wood will drop pH also, but I expect it is you KH reading that has allowed the pH to fall so low.

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Thanks Craig,

I just tested my tap water again and its 40ppm for KH which I think might be low.

Would this explain low KH in the tank even though I do regular water changes each week of around 30%?

Would increasing the size of the water changes assist enough to bring it up or am I going to need something else like bicarb soda to do the job.

I use pool sand as substrate so maybe a little crushed coral mixed in?

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Yes crushed coral, shell grit (clean and need to be carefull what you buy) will buffer your KH. You can buy powdered buffers also but can be costly. I always had shell grit in my substrate for this purpose. Without KH, water parameters can crash literally over night.

I also found that with any sand you need to pump a heap of air in the water (I think this is due to increased silica content in water, silica absorbs oxygen). I think oxygen is often over looked when looking at problems with water parameters. When farming barramundi, oxygen affected growth rates and fish health enormously.

Ant

PS: Feel free to tell me i'm wrong about the silica i know it removes/absorbs oxygen and moisture in dry conditions but not 100% sure how it acts in an aquatic environment.

Edited by Ant
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You can try adding some limestone or coral sand to the filter to see if that helps, if it doesn't it's easy to whip out again.

Otherwise, KH generator is better than sodium bicarbonate, but you can try the latter as you are not keeping Africans.

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Prior to this problem it had been a very long time since I tested my water for pH and hardness and it was always fairly alkaline so wondering if this change could maybe be attributed to our taps being fed via the desalination plant which my area (Canada Bay) is supposedly falls in?

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Desal would affect GH but not KH. From my testing of local water in Hornsby I have found pH of 7.6 and KH of 3 degrees which is low. Basically that means the pH will swing down once the KH has been eaten by the acid. Your water maybe alkaline but it is also susceptible to pH swings down once that KH is gone.

I am interested in Craig's opinions on Sodium Bicarbonate and Africans. Baking Soda strikes me as the cheapest way of maintaining some KH but am interested to know the issues.

Prior to this problem it had been a very long time since I tested my water for pH and hardness and it was always fairly alkaline so wondering if this change could maybe be attributed to our taps being fed via the desalination plant which my area (Canada Bay) is supposedly falls in?

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