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Badmans Tropical Fish Message Center:
Beginner freshwater : Ph questions
January 25, 2002 - 01:42 am
Ok, I have settled down quite a bit about my water quality.
I have used straight (not filtered) tap water with
dechlorinator for my last two 20% water changes. I have
purchased the Aquarium Pharmiceuticals master test kit and
now I have just a couple of concerns. My test results have
come up as 0 mitrites, 0 ammonia, and 7.8 on high ph test.
With the knowledge of high ph being a concern for ammonia
poisoning, I have the following questions:
1) From a previous post, Joyce said to contact water
company, test tapwater, and test tank water. Although I
have not called the water company, the tapwater test and
the tank test both came out around 7.8ph (using 3 different
testkits). Living in a highly humid and hot area, I
am guessing that my tap water is probably made this way
at the treatment facility. As I understand from previous
posts and research, bacteria grows best in low ph water.
With 3 fish totalling 12" of length, could my tank be
understocked to create the nitrogen cycle? I am not using
anything but water changes and UGF for filtration. My tank
has been running for about 4-5 months now (with these
three fish). My water is still crystal clear and has
never had any discoloration. The ph and ammonia has never
changed since I started the tank. I added "stress-zyme"
to be sure of bacteria colonization, but I don't know
if it is working because nothing has changed. Also, I boiled
a large chunk of driftwood and added it about a week ago,
and it has also not affected any tests. I am going to buy
the nitrate test for a final analysis, but I expect it to
read 0 as well. Also, my tank does not lose any water. It
stays the same level from water change to water change.
I don't know if that makes a difference, but I thought
I would mention it, because in Nebraska, it evaporated fairly
2) I figured I would just go with plastic plants for
this aquarium tank, but I am planning a new tank with live
plants. Is this high ph gonna affect the plant growth?
3) Would a biowheel accelerate a nitrogen cycle in a
new tank? I plan on introducing an Eheim canister filter
to my aquarium tank in the near future. Will this type of
filter affect my system negatively? Or, beings everything
is reading good (except for the ph), should I just
leave it alone?
As I mentioned in an earlier post, I lost half my starter
fish after about 2 months (in a
January 25, 2002 - 08:09 am
There is abolutely nothing wrong with ph of 7.8. I kept
my fish fine at a ph of 7.6-7.8 for over two years. Just
suggest you stay away from Discus otherwise most fish will
not have any problems. Angelfish,barbs, livebearers and
rainbows should be perfectly fine at that ph and tetras
can probably cope although it is not ideal for them. A biowheel
is definately great filtration, but if you start changing
out your existing filtration you will pull a lot of good
bacteria out of the tank and possibly start the cycle all
over again! I think for now you are best just leaving the
tank alone, if it's not broke why fix it?
January 25, 2002 - 11:24 pm
I think I will just leave it alone for now, and just do
what I have been doing. Switching from filtered water to
plain tapwater has not had any affect on the tank, so I
am going to stick with the tapwater. Is there a way that
I can tell if the nitrogen cycle has actually been done?
It seems a general rule of about 6-8 weeks, but how can
you tell for sure? When I do add the canister filter, I
do not plan on pulling out my UGF, so I don't think
it will unbalance anything.
January 26, 2002 - 08:04 am
You can add filters any time you want. Just make sure the
current isn't too strong for the fish and that the gph
rates aren't too high.Gallons per hour for most community
setups (exception being African R lake and possibly
a few other fish) I believe are about 5x. In other words
as long as the gph is about 5x your gallon you should be
fine(no need to be precise). If you get really powerful
filters beside the strong current you could possibly get
too much oxygen in the tank. Every filter I've seen
lists the suggested tank capacity so that's also a good
indication. If you read Genesis you should know that the
nitrate (not nitrite) indication should let you
know whether or not a tank has cycled. That's really
the only positive way although I fell six weeks is safe
January 27, 2002 - 11:16 pm
Ok, I didn't lnow there was a limit. Are ther any more
tips on canisters that you may have?
January 28, 2002 - 07:07 am
Yes it's called oxygen saturation and if you stick your
hand in the tank and lots of bubbles get on it or also if
your decor has lots of bubbles sitting on it could signal
this problem. It's really not that common as most people
go with the mfg directions on their filters. The cannisters
are expensive, excellent filtration, a little tricky to
setup. Cannisters are most often used on large tanks.