Jump to content
Kokos Goldfish Forum
Rose_97

Problems with PH and tank never fully cycling

Recommended Posts

So I've had my goldfish for coming up to a year now and have done as much research as I can and understand the nitrate cycle. Anyway my first tank was 20 gallon with 2 goldfish and the water chemistry was PERFECT. No amonia, no nitrite, perfect nitrate and ph with regular small water changes. Anyway thought it would be a good idea to upgrade to a 55 gallon and add another fish. As I understood it, if you put an already cycled filter on a new tank it automatically cycles it along with decoration from the established tanks which is what I did. I used the old 30 gallon filter along with my brand new 110 gal filter to help speed things along. Things seemed to be going great until I realized no matter what I always have a tiny bit of ammonia in the water! No nitrites, normal nitrates but still a tiny bit of amonia which has baffled me. Also the ph in this tank is way too high and have no idea what it could possibly be. I test my tap water and it was normal. I even started getting water from a local pet store but that only improved it a little bit. Now I'm getting brown algae because of the bad water chemistry and my nitrates keep sky rocketing! I'm trying to do regular water changes but it doesnt help that much. I really need help with what to do as I'm at a loss for what's going on.

Edited by Rose_97
Left out word

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It still takes time to mature new media even when there is old in there, especially if you increased fish volume or feed volume. 

What is your light cycle?  That’s the main contributor for brown algae.  How high are we talking on pH?

Good for you for doing your research!  We will see if we can’t help you troubleshoot.  What test kit are you using? Could the new tank be leeching anything from a new substrate or rocks?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah I realize that now, just annoyed that I got some bad advice from someone who claimed to be an 'expert' at the time who gave me the go ahead. I do feed the fish very sparingly as to avoid the common complications. My light cycle hasn't been great recently I will admit due to the sheer quantity of stuff going on in my life but I'm getting back into the routine of putting it on every night. I wish I could use a timer but just cant figure out whether or not mine has one which I'm pretty sure it has as its suppose to be smart (I have an app on my phone that adjusts the settings and turns it off and on so if im away from the house I cant turn it on as it wont connect). Ph how is sitting steady at 8.2ppm and haven't been able to lower it. At the beginning of the year I tried adding two large pieces of drift wood and it's been 9 months and still hasn't made a difference. I'm using the API freshwater master kit which I trust, as for anything leaching I dont have a clue. I have very fine gravel that's never been a problem in the past that I vaccum regularly and then I have the driftwood with some java ferns I attached growing out of it, other than that I just have some white pebbles and two crystal skulls none of which appeared to be a problem in the previous tank. I will say I dont know if theres brown alage on the drift wood as the color makes it impossible to see then I know the plants have some brown algae on which is a pain to get off so if any of those could be contributing I would like to know. I want to make it clear that the water chemistry was always like this in the new tank before the brown algae turned up. Thank you for taking the time to answer my question, any theories or advice you may have would be greatly appreciated!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just pop in to Home Depot or Walmart and get a manual light timer you attach at the plug :)  they’re cheap and work extremely well, you just push down the buttons for which hours you want it on, and the little plug does the rest.

Don’t worry about that pH, that’s perfectly fine for your fish so long as it is stable.

The other thing I’d check is how deep your gravel is.  Try to keep it at under an inch, for the best tank chemistry less is definitely more.  

Is your tap water significantly less alkaline than your tank?  Is that the issue?  Because it could be that the change was with the municipal water source or treatment?  It’s happened before.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ive always been super sparing with gravel too and it's definitely no thicker than an inch :/ No, at least I dont think so, I just re tested my tap water and the ph came out at exactly 7.6, does that sound higher than average? I haven't heard of any changes being made to our tap water and as far as I know its stayed the same as when we previously had the first tank. It seemed like as soon as we started the other tank nothing was perfect

Edited by Rose_97

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Also thanks so much for letting me know about the timer from home depot! Will be getting one asap! :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hmmmm.... @shakaho can you think of anything in this setup that could be causing the pH increase in the new tank or filter?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
21 hours ago, Arctic Mama said:

Hmmmm.... @shakaho can you think of anything in this setup that could be causing the pH increase in the new tank or filter?

I would need a completed form to determine the problem.  There are bits and pieces of information in her posts, but they are hard to find.  

A pH of 8.2 is perfect, so she should stop trying to lower it.  7.6 is the lowest pH we recommend for goldfish.  While a pH as low as 7 is fine for goldfish, it is also less stable ans may suddenly drop to a too low pH.

What is a "tiny bit of ammonia?"   What are "skyrocketing nitrate readings"?  How much water gets changed and how often? Three goldfish in a 55 gallon tank calls for larger than average water changes.

Diatoms ("brown algae") feed on on silicon leached from gravel, especially new gravel, and from the glass of a new aquarium.  They do not indicate "bad water"  but function like plants in removing carbon dioxide and ammonia from the water.   They are unsightly but are easy to remove from the glass.  As the tank matures, they will decline in number.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ok so by tiny bit of amonia I mean the lowest level, it is always at 0.25ppm nitrites are always 0 and nitrates are usually at 40 to 80ppm, right after a water change it drops to about 20-10ppm, but regardless if its before or after a water change the amonia always stays the same. I know if i water change every few days the nitrates will get lower but I was under the impression with a bigger tank you shouldn't have to change it that much, especially as I only have 3 goldfish in it! I'm not saying I want to be lazy, I just find it bizarre that I would have to change the water that much considering I have filtration of 140gal as I have two filters and am technically under stocked but maybe I'm mistaken.   I do once a week water changes about 50-60% I've done up to 80% in the past which does clear the nitrates but their back up within days and I dont want to shock my fish too much with such a big water change. I know their not happy in their environment as they flash quite a bit and one of my fish has a little red line in its fin which I've heard is caused by stress of poor water quality. I've heard a mixture of things about brown algae being caused by multiple factors, bad water quality or lack of lighting being the most common and I'm sure the fact I've been inconsistent with the lighting is why, I have no problem cleaning it it's just ugly like you said then I know everywhere else I've read said that goldfish do best with a ph of around 7.5 so I'm not disproving anyone I'm just confused as their seems to be a lot of conflicting info. I'm also just curious as to what's caused my ph to raised seeing as I upped the tank by 35 gallons and only added 1 fish. In my 20 gal with my two fish everything was completely dandy! Also the tank isn't new, it is a nice tank that was well looked after that we found at a goodwill. I cleaned it up with water and vinegar and rinsed it (obviously very well) before setting it up and letting it sit for several weeks.

Edited by Rose_97
Adding word

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Apparently nobody thought to refer you to our guidelines for healthy goldfish when you first posted here.  Please read it.

If you want information that someone copied from someone else who copied it from someone else and so on ad infinitum, then just search for goldfish care. 

If you want information based on experience, advice from breeders, and scientific research, read here.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow, well your certainly not being very helpful. There's a fine line between being knowledgable and arrogant. I've had a so called 'experienced' person who owned and worked with fish all day and guess what they would sometimes get things wrong too. I dont just pick and choose info I go with what seems to work for my fish, this hobby after all is a pretty complex one and anyone EVEN experienced people can sometimes mess up. Nobody can be absolutely sure what's wrong or right but you can choose to respect those who are only trying to do the right thing by their pets.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
40 minutes ago, shakaho said:

Apparently nobody thought to refer you to our guidelines for healthy goldfish when you first posted here.  Please read it.

If you want information that someone copied from someone else who copied it from someone else and so on ad infinitum, then just search for goldfish care. 

If you want information based on experience, advice from breeders, and scientific research, read here.

 

Thank you for the guidelines link, you’re right I didn’t think to post it since the user indicated she had been keeping goldfish for some time.

@Rose_97 what Shakaho means is that it would be easier for us to help you if you first get the same knowledge base we are working from, first :)  Some of your questions on pH, water changes, tank shapes, etc, are addressed in those initial FAQs. 

If you can read through those and fill out some more detailed information on the tank, which would be our diagnostic form I’m going to copy below, we can do some more in depth troubleshooting.  

Test Results for the Following:

* Ammonia Level(Tank)

* Nitrite Level(Tank)

* Nitrate level(Tank)

* Ammonia Level(Tap)

* Nitrite Level(Tap)

* Nitrate level(Tap)

* Ph Level, Tank (If possible, KH, GH and chloramines) 

* Ph Level, Tap (If possible, KH, GH and chloramines)

Other Required Info:

* Brand of test-kit used and whether strips or drops?

* Water temperature?

* Tank size (how many gals.) and how long has it been running?

* What is the name and "size of the filter"(s)?

* How often do you change the water and how much?

* How many days ago was the last water change and how much did you change?

* How many fish in the tank and their size?

* What kind of water additives or conditioners?

* What do you feed your fish and how often?

* Any new fish added to the tank?

* Any medications added to the tank?

* List entire medication/treatment history for fish and tank.Please include salt, Prazi, PP, etc and the approximate time and duration of treatment.

* Any unusual findings on the fish such as "grains of salt," bloody streaks, frayed fins or fungus?

* Any unusual behavior like staying at the bottom, not eating, etc.?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


Photo of the week.


Pic of the week poll #26


×
×
  • Create New...