View Full Version : Balancing PH

07-09-2006, 04:50 PM
Good morning, forum newbie.
I have had tanks in the past however this is a much larger tank so some of the things I am facing I didnt deal with in the past.
150 gal tank,Tetra PF500 filter 500gph.
Setup the tank about 2 weeks ago with well water and fine media.
Ran the filter on and off for about 90-100 hrs total before adding a few tetras and guppies as tester fish.Also added a few plants.
When I added the fish the ph was at 7.2, ammonia was not measureable,
nor were nitrites. water temp is @ 76.
After 5 days I am battling a excessivly high ph at one point 8.2 now @7.6-7.4. ammonia is still low @.25 however if I use the toxic chart I am still at a level of ammonia that is a stressor @1.2-1.4.
To this point I have used only Neutral regulator to lower the PH, but I know this will lengthen the conditiopning process and I am at a loss as to procede.
I know if I lower the temp I will lower the toxic ammonia level and my tank will stay at 70 without the heater.
Any other suggestions on getting the PH down?
I am going to change some of the water next but as our well water is high in ph I know this is going to cause further elevation in PH readings.
Am I missing somethingG
Thanks in advance for your help,

The Swimmer

07-09-2006, 07:27 PM
the first thing i would try to do is figure out why the pH is up. MY first guess would be something you used to decorate your tank. What are you using.

07-10-2006, 12:40 AM
Hi W,
Other than a few plants I havn't added anything to the tank.
After changing water today , about 20% I still have a PH of 7.6.
I had a stable PH of 7.2 before we added any plant or fish and I am monitoring PH on a 4 times a day basis.
Until this afternoon I was having to add Regulator once a day to keep the ph down.

Thanks for your reply W.

The Swimmer

07-10-2006, 07:40 PM
Ok. what type of gravel do you use?

07-10-2006, 11:47 PM
what is the ph of your tap water?

07-11-2006, 11:12 PM
William ,
The gravel is a RMC product called Coarse aquarium mix which is really fine gravel. I have used this product in the past with out problems and I always screen and disinfect it before use.
My PH is @7.4 with no clorine or any other trace elements that we can test for.
Last nite I did a 25% water change. Ater 2 hours Test results were:
Ph 7.2 same as before the change.
Na2 .25
Na3 no reading
water temp @ 77 deg.

I guess what threw me for a loop was the big ph change that I could not stablize.
This morning the readings were all the same.
I think that despite my cycling the tank in advance and having test results in the acceptable range, we were not finished with the ammonia/nitrate/nitrite cycle .
I have had smaller tanks in the past and never had that kind of PH swing or anything even close.
I lost two tetras, poor little guys and that is what ticked me off the most.

Thanks again for your further input.


The Swimmer

07-11-2006, 11:42 PM
Im sorry but I really don't know what could be the cause of the pH change if you don't have any decoration or gravel that can cause it.

was the tank new or second hand?

07-12-2006, 02:51 AM
The tank was new when purchased and used for a iguana habitat , but our Iggy grew to be way too large for the tank. He has since been placed in a 100'x 60' habitat with 2 females and is MUCH happier.
Before using it for fish I sanitized it and flushed with clean water many times.
I, like you William am at a loss to explain what happened.
My education is bio-chem based so I am very careful about process and function and am very much at a lost to explain what happened.
Like I stated , the loss of the Tetras is the part that galls me.
Thanks for your input and I will post pics of the tank when it is presentable.

The Swimmer

07-12-2006, 03:07 AM
Do you have any shells like a clam shell or coral to your tank? That can raise your pH drasticly and many people do it because they think it looks beautiful.

Some other ways of lowering your pH is filtering your water through some peat moss but this might take awhile because you have a 150 gallon tank. Or put some aged peat moss in your filter that will work too. Check your peat moss though to be sure that it is aged because drastically change your pH in a short period and threaten your fish's health and happiness.

Another way is to add rain or distilled water but this might take an awful lot because you have a 150 gallon tank.