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  2. Softer, mineral depleted water needs a little bit more attention than our harder water friends. IME, generic crushed coral did very little to buffer my water to bring up my KH levels. Think of your water as a solvent, so certain materials will react differently at different pH levels. A goldfish breeder taught me that "generic" crushed coral or oyster shells are mostly Calcium Calcites, not very water soluable and will only begin to dissolve (adding to KH) at pH of 7.2 or less. Florida Crushed Coral and the Aragonite substrates sold by Caribsea are actually Aragonite/Oolitic Gravel/sand (sold in different sizes from sugar sand to crushed 2-5 mm pieces) and begins to dissolve at pH levels of 8.2 or less. Baking soda will bring up your pH to about 8.2 - I prefer using baking soda because I do larger water changes, up to 100% so the fish aren't subject to pH swings and the baking soda adjusts the pH very rapidly as I fill up their tank. I do throw in some aragonite sand just as another layer of insurance and the fish enjoy sifting through it. If you do smaller partial water changes, I think the Aragonite sand may be all you need for buffering. Either used on it's own or several pounds mixed in with your sand of choice - my tub is 50 gallons. Or if you're going bare bottom or don't like the look of Aragonite sand, the Caribsea Florida Crushed Coral would work fine in your filter. With the new water, the Aragonite sand will start working right away, but I would experiment to see how it reacts to your water supply. I gave up chasing pH years ago. Adjust the level of KH you need/like and let the pH adjust to that level of KH. As long as the pH doesn't drift between water changes, that should be fine.
  3. Oooh bummer! I make my own due to allergies these days, but there is something to be said for gel food being fairly idiot proof for handling. I only have to worry when the main dry jar is open that I’ll knock it over on accident 😆
  4. This is truth! Give me a higher pH and harder water any day for aquarium stability, even with an Amazon River delta tank. It’s a lot easier to manage and has so many less swings.
  5. @Cavalier the GH should go up but the pH will as well. The coral sacrifices itself as it dissolved into the water, very slowly generally. I do find it is somewhat better for raising KH than GH, whereas something like Wonder Shells or Equilibrium seems to affect GH more. So much is dependent on local water source too. Soft water that still has decent dissolved mineral content is going to need different buffering and augmentation than higher pH reverse osmosis or distilled water.
  6. You keep reading the same "information" on various sites because the people posting them got their "information" from other similar sites, which got their information from other sites ad infinitum. You will not find information on these sites about the qualifications of of the author.
  7. Thank you dahling8 and shakaho for the lesson on PH levels and KH needed to keep the water stable! This is why I decided to start a thread and ask the experts rather than go by what I read on the internet. There is so much information lacking or hard to find out there when it come to goldfish keeping. Everything I have read says to keep the PH between 7.2 and 7.6. Thanks to all of you I now know that maintaining a proper KH to stabilize the water is more important than the PH itself. Most of what I read online is about the PH, ammonia, nitrite and nitrate levels. The pet stores sell the so called "master test kits" and that's all they test for. When I learned that the GH and KH levels were also important I ran to the pet store and they didn't even sell test kits for these. I could go on and on but I think you get the idea but i think you understand my point that all the generic information out there isn't enough. Thanks again for the help the three of you have given me. A couple of last things. I'm going to raise the KH level up to the recommended level in my water supply and I'm sure it's going to raise the PH up to around 8. I'll keep up with changing 2 - 3 gallons every other day. This will gradually raise the PH in the tank and I hope it will be slow enough to prevent shocking the fish with a PH change. Thoughts? Arctic Mama, will the crushed coral increase the GH and add minerals back into the water?
  8. Happy Easter! To celebrate, here are some egg-like goldfish from East Coast Ranchu!
  9. Yesterday
  10. A pH lower than 7.5 may crash. Goldfish thrive in any stable pH from somewhat below 7.0 to over 9.0. Since a low pH can cost you your cycle, life is a lot easier if you maintain a higher pH. A natural pH in the 8s is very difficult to change.
  11. Nothing magical; it's just a number I shoot for. Goldfish thrive in a PH between 7.2 and 7.6. As you pointed out adding baking soda does raise the PH so I try to stay closer to the 7.6 to find a balance between the idea PH level and KH. If the water is a couple of points below or above 7.5 I don't worry about it too much as long as the water is stable.
  12. Curious - is there something magical about a 7.5 pH? Our water supply is similar - 0dKH and not much GH either, but it is very clean and a pH of 7.0 out of the tap. The same readings if aged overnight. For my tropical fish tanks, I use Seachem Alkaline Buffer and Equilibrium (plants/shrimp) to keep the values stable between water changes. For goldfish, I use enough baking soda to bring up KH to 6dKH and Repenish for GH. The baking soda raises pH to 8.2, but it's rock solid stable and doesn't move at all between water changes or if I've been on vacation for several weeks. I've sprinkled their tub with some Aragonite sand, that would also be a natural buffer but it doesn't affect the pH.
  13. I spilled my fish food and now I need to get more fish food. Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
  14. Wow that really does look like salon packaging! Very slick. It definitely makes it easy to tell at a glance which product you grabbed though, and that’s a big plus.
  15. Happy Easter to everyone who celebrate it. Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
  16. The reason I'm using the Equilibrium is to increase the GH back up to an acceptable level and add back in the needed minerals to the reverse osmosis water. Right now it takes about one teaspoon of it per 7 gallons. When I was doing my research it seemed like this was the easiest way to do it for now. When I switched over to reverse osmosis water I was more interested in getting it right starting off rather than experimenting and guessing with alternatives that I haven't fully researched yet. When I mentioned that I was having wild PH swings with my tap water I mean it was crazy wild. When I filled the bucket it would start off around 6.6 - 6.8. Later in the day it would jump up to around 7.6 and then settle back down to around 6.8 the following day. This couldn't have been good for the fish when I was using the tap water to do a 20% water change.
  17. I have quite pinpointed how much baking soda I need for a 7 gallon container yet. Sometimes I overshoot it and have to dilute it with more water to bring it back down to 7.5, sometimes I have to sprinkle little bits of baking soda at a time to inch it back up to 7.5. Right now it's somewhere close to 1/2 teaspoon for 7 gallons. I'm going to have to get some measuring spoons to narrow it down(my wife won't let me use hers). I'll let you know what I come up with.
  18. On the ECR website, is there a way to view ONLY the fish that are available? I don't really want to see the mixed in fish that have already sold.
  19. Last week
  20. Koko already mentioned this but Thank You.
  21. And say a prayer for me tonight - my husband is sanding our living room drywall after skim coating the whole thing and, after a YEAR, it will be painted and I will have use of it and flooring down within the next week. Excited doesn’t begin to cover how I feel about this 🥳
  22. I throw no shade on the algae - my tank looked atrocious for months! Some seasons of life are better for pretty tanks and higher aesthetic maintenance than others. Personally if the water quality is good, the rest gets a shrug from me 👍
  23. Definitely be careful with the water changes and buffering, smaller changes are better. I like Equilibrium as a product but it is expensive, baking soda and crushed coral/aragonite sand are much cheaper ways of buffering and pretty gentle. Wonder shells are good too but I’m afraid they’d exhaust too quickly in your tank to be cost effective.
  24. For daily water changes, I recommend 10% of the tank volume per day. Double that for every other day changes. It won't change the temperature enough to bother the fish. Experiment with known volumes of water to determine how much baking soda it takes to get the pH to 7.5. Then determine how much you have to add to get and maintain a pH of 7.5. Once you have this information, share it with us for further advice. If your small town has a farm store, you might get some crushed oyster shell (intended for chickens) which can help stabilize the pH over a long period of time.
  25. Please read our guidelines for healthy goldfish. Pay attention to stocking levels.
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