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Results 1 to 6 of 6
  1. #1

    Join Date
    Feb 2014

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    Default Controlling high pH

    0 Not allowed!
    I'm new here but I've been stalking this forum for resources for a while.

    I have some issues with high pH in my tank, and I worry it may be impacting the health of my fish.
    I have a heavily planted five gallon with a betta, oto cats, and some snails. Over winter break I was gone for a week and my boyfriend was stopping in to take care of my fish and when I returned I noticed a small tear in his anal fin and the lower lobe (double tail betta) of his tail, they have started to regrow but a few days ago I noticed tears in his caudal fin and top lobe of his tail, as well as some curling around the edges of his anal fin, possibly mild fin rot? I have read that high pH can make it worse.

    I just tested (API Freshwater master test kit) the pH today and it is currently at about 8.6, kH of 15 dKH. My containers of tap water, after sitting for several days, have a pH of 8.0 and a kH around 12. I would like to lower the pH of my tank, but avoid chemicals because they don't really do much in the long run. I work in the animal labs on campus and am fish lead there and all of our tanks had a problem of very high kH (>20 at times, highest was probably 26 or so) and pH (>8.6 at all times). We have switched to using a combination of RO and tap water to help control this, but it can still be difficult.
    What would you suggest to help fix this? I can take RO water from my work, or go to the chemistry and biology labs on campus to get RO/DI water, but if there is a way to lower the pH without that, or to make RO/DI water in my room, that would be wonderful.

    Thank you for your help!

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Buffalo, NY

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    1 Not allowed!
    Its tough to adjust pH, because when you do a water change you will cause a pH swing which is worse than consistent high pH

    Few things you can try, make sure you have an inert substrate, try lots of driftwood. You could also use peat moss in the filter... but you need to be careful because again, the effects aren't permanent.

    For pH adjusting options this is what I'm aware of:
    Peat Moss
    Alder Cones
    Indian Almond Leaves
    CO2 controlled with a pH controller

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Elgin, Illinois USA

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    0 Not allowed!
    With a high dKH it might be hard to adjust your pH. I think the mixture of tap and RO/DI water is your best bet. If you want your own unit, you can price them here - You want a unit suitable for aquariums.

    What is your dGH and what pH are you trying to achieve?
    Last edited by gronlaura; 02-24-2014 at 11:13 PM.
    75 gal - Smudge Spot Cories, Silvertip & Pristella Tetras, Scissortail & Red Tail Rasboras, Pearl Gourami, Black Kuhli Loaches, Whiptail Cats, Wild Caught BNP
    Dual 29 gals - Diamond Tetras. Harlequin Rasboras, Bloodfin Tetras
    10 Gal - Mr. Betta's Fishy Paradise

    "Life isn't about waiting for the storm to's about learning to dance in the rain"

  4. #4

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    Mar 2009
    Binghamton NY

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    0 Not allowed!
    To be honest with you I really wouldn't worry too much about it. The fish will adjust to the higher ph as long as it remains somewhat consistent. Triton is spot on. You will end up causing more issues with large jumps in ph trying to control it. Not to mention the wasted money.

    I breed angels and just started with discus which are both stupid sensitive and the fry are even worse. My ph out of the tap is 8.4-8.6 on a good day and it's normally 8-8.2 in my tanks. The caresheets tell me I should be below 7. That's just not going to happen. The only thing I do is I have a fair size piece of driftwood in each of my tanks.

    As far as new fish, take your time acclimating them and use the drip method. Introduce them to the water very slowly (the slower the better) and you should be ok.
    Angel breeder wanna-be

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    A little further from sanity

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    1 Not allowed!
    RO water is your best bet. It is the easiest way to achieve and maintain the pH your fish need. You should be aware that the bacteria needed to keep your tank cycled needs the nutrients in water that the RO process removes, so I recommend a mixture of tap and RO to start. Also make changes very slowly. The change in GH caused by RO water will hurt the fish unless it is done very slowly with small water changes over the course of a couple weeks (or longer depending on how large a change in pH you need).
    When I go fishing I just throw sharp rocks in the water and wait for the dead fish to float to the top... Kingfisher
    Everything happens for a reason. Sometimes that reason is you are stupid and make bad decisions.

    I think my fish is adjusting well to the four gallon, He's laying on his side attempting to go to sleep on the bottom of the gravel.
    Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.
    Dear naps, sorry I hated you so much when I was a child... Love me

  6. #6

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    Feb 2014

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    0 Not allowed!
    Quote Originally Posted by Jaster View Post
    I really wouldn't worry too much about it. The fish will adjust to the higher ph as long as it remains somewhat consistent.*


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