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bubbles22

pH can't be tamed

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I have a feeling my cycle has been ruined. The water in my 29G is extremely cloudy. It was apparently so bad my fish were gasping for air when I got home about an hour ago. Due to these circumstances, I have graciously allowed them to wreak havoc in my temporary planted tank with pristine water conditions. My water parameters (in the 29G):

pH: 6.0

ammonia: .25

nitrites: 0

nitrates: 5

alkalinity: 40-80

I've been having a really hard time keeping the pH stable this past week. As of now, I've only tried using baking soda as a buffer as that's all I have on hand atm. Example: This morning it was 6.2 so I added some baking soda and it went up to 7.2. Three hours later, it was back down to 6.6. It fluctuates on a daily basis. I don't know how to fix this ): :help:

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Do you know what your kH and gH is?

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What test kit are you using and what's the pH of your tap? The bicarbonate soda will raise the KH without raising the GH, so it should be holding much stabler. Also, how much are you adding?

I don't think you have a cycle issue. It would be good to test your GH and KH (both tank and tap)

pH fluctuations are quiet stressful and dangerous for the fish, which is probably the cause of the surface gasping. Cloudy water can be caused by numerous things, such as a dirty filter, bacterial bloom due to a cycle bump, or caused by food. See how it goes in terms of cleanliness, but make sure to test the readings I've mentioned above :)

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Do you know what your kH and gH is?

What test kit are you using and what's the pH of your tap? The bicarbonate soda will raise the KH without raising the GH, so it should be holding much stabler. Also, how much are you adding?

I don't think you have a cycle issue. It would be good to test your GH and KH (both tank and tap)

pH fluctuations are quiet stressful and dangerous for the fish, which is probably the cause of the surface gasping. Cloudy water can be caused by numerous things, such as a dirty filter, bacterial bloom due to a cycle bump, or caused by food. See how it goes in terms of cleanliness, but make sure to test the readings I've mentioned above :)

I use the api test kit. The KH was tested at a LFS, but that was only my tank water. As for bicarbonate soda, I'm adding half a teaspoon per 10 gallons. So all I have to do now is clean out the filter and do a major water change?

edit: my tap water readings:

pH - 7.6

Ammonia - 0.50

Nitrite - 0

Nitrate - 5.0

Edited by bubbles22

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Only do a water change if the pH and temp match from tap and tank (:

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* Or if you can match them with products.

What KH reading did you get?

For the bicarb, I dose 1 tsp per 10 gallons, and you can do that as well. You can alternatively use seachem gold buffer, which will raise the GH, KH, and maintain a stable pH of around 7.6-8.2 depending on the dosage you use. I personally dose bicarb the same as the gold buffer, which is 1 tsp per 40L. You could also used crushed coral. Whichever is your choice.

Try the bicarb and see how it goes. It really shouldn't drop within a few hours since bicarbonate soda will hold the pH

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* Or if you can match them with products.

What KH reading did you get?

For the bicarb, I dose 1 tsp per 10 gallons, and you can do that as well. You can alternatively use seachem gold buffer, which will raise the GH, KH, and maintain a stable pH of around 7.6-8.2 depending on the dosage you use. I personally dose bicarb the same as the gold buffer, which is 1 tsp per 40L. You could also used crushed coral. Whichever is your choice.

Try the bicarb and see how it goes. It really shouldn't drop within a few hours since bicarbonate soda will hold the pH

KH was 40-80. I'll try the higher dose, but I've been adding the 1/2 tsp per 10 gallons every time the pH drops dramatically and that's pretty much every 3/4 hours. Without fish in the tank it'll be easier to pinpoint the cause and find a solution so I guess I'll start experimenting with different buffers. I just hope for my plants' sakes, I figure this out soon -____- Thank you for your input.!

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KH of 40-80 is very low, which is why you are having pH crashes. KH needs to be round 120.

Either one you use, bicarbonate soda, gold buffer, or coral will increase the KH.

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what sort of areation do you have in the tank? sometimes, little water movement, little aeration in the water can cause PH issues too. you can also try to put crushed coral in the filters. this should keep your PH stable at a minimum 7.4 and then all you need to do is treat the new incomming water with either bicarb or buffer. using crushed coral in the filter will also increase the KH.. increasing the KH to 100, 200 or more is the ideal, if that's strong, a PH of 7 or 6.8 is not an issue ;)

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The only thing you have to keep in mind with crushed coral is that you will have to replace it about every six months. That is not an issue though, because crushed coral at Petsmart for example, comes in a 10lb bag or bigger even, and costs less than $ 15.

For a 29g you will probably need 1/2 cup of coral to start - so the 10lb bag will last you a few years. I store mine in an (empty, of course) cat litter jug to keep dust etc out. :D

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what sort of areation do you have in the tank? sometimes, little water movement, little aeration in the water can cause PH issues too. you can also try to put crushed coral in the filters. this should keep your PH stable at a minimum 7.4 and then all you need to do is treat the new incomming water with either bicarb or buffer. using crushed coral in the filter will also increase the KH.. increasing the KH to 100, 200 or more is the ideal, if that's strong, a PH of 7 or 6.8 is not an issue ;)

The only thing you have to keep in mind with crushed coral is that you will have to replace it about every six months. That is not an issue though, because crushed coral at Petsmart for example, comes in a 10lb bag or bigger even, and costs less than $ 15.

For a 29g you will probably need 1/2 cup of coral to start - so the 10lb bag will last you a few years. I store mine in an (empty, of course) cat litter jug to keep dust etc out. :D

Thank you, I will definitely give the crushed coral a try. After seeing them having trouble getting oxygen I set up an air stone attached to a pump I had laying around and lowered the water level to add movement as a result of water cascading from the filter (not sure if it does anything but it sounds like there's a waterfall in my house -__-). I lost one of my goldfish today T~T He was my favorite... I don't think I'll find another one as cute as he was =/ I am now watching the other two like a hawk. They all haven't been acting the same ever since the pH fluctuations started. The stress must be getting to them D: Hopefully things will get better with the coral.

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Oh no, I am so sorry :(

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Update: turns out the pH fluctuations were from overdosing Amquel plus D: Lesson learned! I shall be more careful reading instructions on from now on.

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