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 High ph level?

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PostSubject: High ph level?   Tue Jun 02, 2009 12:48 am

Hi all, Please help me...
I've just checked the ph levels of my tropical tank (48 litre) and the colour on the chart looks very much like ph 9.0.
I have 5 mountain minnows in my tank and don't want them to die. I have 2 bubble pumps in the tank which were switched off over night due to noise level but they are back on now. Will the ph level reduce on its own or should I do some thing else to lower it?
Any advice will be appreciated confused
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Rich
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PostSubject: Re: High ph level?   Tue Jun 02, 2009 5:59 am

OK - that does sound high and could actually be your 'normal' pH (although doubtful)

Firstly, which make/brand of pH test kit do you use and is it in date *like food etc, these kits have a shelf life)

The next thing to do is to determine the pH of the water you fill the tank with so test your tap water - but before you run off and test it - you need to make sure the chlorine and other human added extras have left the water your testing, so fill a jar or cup or glass with tap water and leave it for at least 24hr (preferably 48hrs) to stand to allow the chlorine to evaporate as this will affect the readings - you can stir the water every so often to speed things up.

I would also suggest trying things to lessen the noise of the pump - if you have just an airstone on the end of the airline - the bubbles will be bigger and noisier so if you havent already got one, fit a small control valve (like a little tap or clamp) that you ca use to reduce the airflow and thus the noise

If you have real plants - they will do better if the air is on at night (or at least the fish will) as the air line serves several purposes in an aquarium - if you have real plastic plants (all fakes) like me, you dont actually need an airline at all - but a stable system is important and stop starting airlines can make the pH rise n fall dramatically - also the warmer the water, the less dissolved oxygen there is in the water (thats why on real hot days, fish in ponds etc are seen at the surface) - so tropical tanks tend to need air more than regular cold water - as it happens, white cloud minnows are happy(ish) in unheated tanks as long as the room temp is fairly stable.

Anyway, before we get beyond ourselves, your best bet is to test the tap water (I think I remember Liverpool having hard water and a higher ph) another option is getting a fish shop to test the pH and perhaps everything else for you, some shops do it for free, others charge, and some blanket refuse - but they may be a good way of getting a rough guestimate or comparable result with your own water.

Hope this helps - dont be afraid to ask anything Wink
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PostSubject: Re: High ph level?   Tue Jun 02, 2009 7:32 am

You do have a filter in the tank do you? If you make sure that the filter is agitating the surface of the water then air pumps are not essential.

What are your other water stats - ammonia, nitrite and nitrate? When you can, let us know, and dont worry, we will help you with any problems Smile

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PostSubject: Re: High ph level?   Tue Jun 02, 2009 8:34 am

Cheers for the quick answers guys, here are the other details -

Interpet 48 litre fish box
Interpet delta therm heater
Interpet internal power filter
Elite air pump
1 live plant (not sure what its called) rest are fake.
Interpet easy test liquid master test kit (in date)
I have also added some aquarium salt to the water, don't know if thats right? (my brother advised me to)

water readings from thismorning -
Amonia - 0.1 mg/l
ph - 8.5 / 9.0
Nitrite - 0.1mg/l
Nitrate - 12.5mgl

I'll do a test on the tap water as suggested and add on the results, thanks again Smile
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PostSubject: Re: High ph level?   Tue Jun 02, 2009 9:41 am

Well the salt should help with the nitrite (half a teaspoon dissolved in a little warm water before adding it to the tank) but since you're registering both ammonia AND nitrite, I suggest daily testing and water changes of at least 50% until both levels are zero. Wink

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PostSubject: Re: High ph level?   Tue Jun 02, 2009 9:52 am

there lays the problem(s) - nitrite and ammonia

when these reach and stay at the magic zero (which means the tank is cycled ie all the necessary bacteria are in place) your pH will stabilise

Just wondering if you also know what sort of sand/gravel is in the tank and do you have any 'bogwood'

In the meantime - the best thing to do is everyday, change about 15-20liters of water ie take out from the tank and replace with dechlorinated tapwater - whilst your levels are not perfect - weve seen much worse so your not at a stage where its a crisis - also leave the airpump running 24/7 as this will help the fish cope withthe nasty water

Also, please please please do not add more fish to the tank until everything is settled - and settled means the zero reading for ammonia and nitrite are zero all the time for about 2 weeks (also try reducing the amount of food you feed the current stock as well)

fingers and fins crossed, you will be sorted out very soon

PS - I have the 70liter fish box for small speices - quite nice little tanks I think (better design than these new hagen things being pushed by PFK magazine atm)
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