Fully cycled tank (with currently a 0 for ammonia, nitrite and nitrate).
Planted tank with 1 betta and 1 assassin snail.
About a week ago I got a very nice new plant that is very bushy ( can't recall the name) to go along with the 6 red cherry shrimp I was purchasing that day as well.
Since I have planted the tank, I have not done a water change and the following things have happened:
I only see 2 RCS, and I have only found 1 floating dead in the water. There is a good chance at least another one is hiding, but I am not sure. My betta doesn't look any larger at all. And I mean I look very closely to check and see if she may have eaten some RCH as a snack.
My plants have been thriving. That new plant I brought just grew two new stems so it is doing very well. Both my swords are thriving now as well.
My pH has risen from a 7.5 to an 8.5. I have no idea why. Maybe that is what killed my RCS? Should I do a water change? I've never had a pH problem before.. Is there something I did wrong? Obviously I threw off some kind of balance..
Help! Thank you in advance!
First things that come to mind:
1. How long has the tank been set up?
2. What are you using as a substrate?
Sorry I forgot that I did make one last change - Since I had my aquaclear20 filter running with the same filter cartridge for the past 5 months, I took out the carbon out of the filter ( just cut open a hole and dug it out). Could that have caused something?
I'm going to let my tap water sit out for 24 hours so I can check the pH agian but last time I checked it sat at a 7.
And again, how do I fix it before I kill everything in there?
They're few plants that would 'thrive' in a pH so high so it couldn't have been so high for long. You're already one step ahead by testing your water after aging. Depending on your result, whether it be the normal or still high, either do a 100% water change with dechlorinated water or contact your local water company to see if they added anything recently. It's common practice to add/remove certain chemicals seasonly.
Post back your results after the aged pH test, make sure to aerate to release whatever carbon dioxide is trapped in your water.
+1 to the advice above. Please answer funkmans questions also.
Just a heads up also: You do not have an aqua clear filter, They do not take cartridges.
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You changed the filter's charcoal change after Five! months? Not good at all since charcoal stores stuff and after it gets full, leaches the stuff back into the water. So, either replace it every three to four weeks or (far, far better) just don't use it at all. Rather, stuff fiber fill into that cartridge instead of charcoal and you will increase the area for good bacteria growth.
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A 75 gal with eight Discus, fake plants, and a lot of wood also with sand substrate. Clean up crew is fifteen Sterba's Corys. Filters: canister w/UV, in-tank algae scrubber that removes phosphates and nitrates! Also, a highly dangerous commercial nitrate removal unit from hell
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Just to clarify, activated carbon does not leach anything back into the water (well, they can but under extreme conditions and nowhere near where we keep our tanks). It may leach phosphates, but that has to do with the quality of the carbon and how well it was rinsed off by the manufacturer. Carbon should be replaced every few weeks if used for it's adsorbent properties, or it can simply be left in the tank to be used as biofilter media.
If the tap water is 7 pH and the tank is 8, then the pH change is occurring in the tank. Check on those decorations, stones, etc, that may be in the tank. Are you sure you have no ammonia levels because ammonia can skew with the pH, as well.
I would change the water daily for about 4-5 days in a row rather than all at once. Dropping the pH too fast will not leave good results and it needs to be adjusted a small amount at a time.
A "bushy" plant is not always a good thing for a Betta tank as they can get those flowing fins caught up in it. Are you sure the shrimp you saw floating was not the shell of a shrimp? When they shed, the outer layer is shaped like a shrimp but is white and clear.
The shrimp are probably hiding in the plant although I would not be surprised if a Betta ate them. They are food. I would also not expect to see a Betta has grown in a week. They don't grow THAT fast even if they ate a couple shrimp. Forget the charcoal. You don't need it.
Ok this is what I have:
To answer the aforementioned questions:
- It seems to be a mixture of black lava rock and standard black gravel. (it was given to me by my brother and he got it from an aquarium enthusiast).
- The tank has been fully cycled since october. I just tested the water again - 0 ammonia, 0 nitriate and 0 nitrate.
- Tap water pH: between 7 and 7.5.
- The shrimp I saw floating was absolutely a shrimp. Before disposing of it, I took a close look at it.
- I have not added any new decorations. Other than the plants all I have is 2 rocks that came from an aquarium enthusiast and did well in two tanks as well as a log that was boiled and soaked so the tanins would not darken my water. All three have been there since the begining.
I did a 30% water change last night and my pH dropped to 7.5. Lady Hobbs, I like your idea of changing water daily for 4-5 days in a row to gradually lower it. Thank you for that, it makes a lot of sense. The pH will probably drop to 7.5 after I do my second change.
When I checked the betta, I looked for a buldging belly, not a grown betta. I looked to see if it had a belly full of shrimp.
I dropped a slice of blanched zuccini into the tank and witnessed one RCS come out of nowhere to inspect it as well as my one tiger shrimp. The tiger shrimp then bullied another RCS out of its hiding place.
Two min later the RCS went back to its hiding place - behind a hole in my log where I placed my moss. The dang thing has a nest. Maybe there are two in there. My point: hurray, my RCH are big scaredy cats, but at least they are alive and well.
So I am still uncertain as to why my pH went up. The reason for which it worries me is because I wanted to add 6 neon tetras to my tank, but my understanding is that even 7.5 is too high for them so I want to make sure I have a good several weeks of a pH of 7 in before I even consider neon tetras.
"I wanted to add 6 neon tetras to my tank, but my understanding is that even 7.5 is too high for them so I want to make sure I have a good several weeks of a pH of 7 in before I even consider neon tetras."
Neons are hardier than you think, unless you plan on spawning them the pH should be fine. Just acclimate them slowly.
It still would not hurt to wait for your pH to stabalize a little more.
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