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Old 05-30-2012, 02:52 PM   #1 
vaw103
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Question Crazy pH!

So the pH of my tap water is a solid 7.4. But when I tested the pH in all of my tanks, I got the crazy magenta that's in the picture that I attached. I'm wondering why the pH is so high in all of my tanks, when my tap water is only 7.4?

All three (soon to be 4!!!) tanks are well established, if that helps at all. In two of the tanks I use Tetra's BettaSafe water conditioner, and in the third I use Prime (I found out about Prime after I used 1/4 of the bottle of the other stuff, and I wanted to use the rest of it up before I switch the other tanks over to Prime also).

Should I be worried about the pH? I'm worried about all my little babies, especially my week old Platy fry, and I'm wondering if it's somehow related to my Betta's super mild, but persistent fin rot. PetCo tested my water, and told me that it's pushing 9.0.

Should I wait a couple weeks, and see if it comes down on it's own? I'd really like to avoid buying pH down, I really don't want to have to be fighting with the pH trying to keep it balanced using chemicals.

Thanks in advance!
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Old 05-30-2012, 03:25 PM   #2 
iversotl
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What sort of decorations do you use?
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Old 05-30-2012, 03:34 PM   #3 
vaw103
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Live plants and plastic decor. One of them has a ceramic cave, and two of them have a couple silk plants and a large rock.
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Old 05-30-2012, 04:28 PM   #4 
Oldfishlady
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Most likely it is something in the tank that is causing the high pH...what kind of rock is it, any seashells, type of substrate used...etc.....
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Old 05-30-2012, 04:40 PM   #5 
vaw103
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They all have the same gravel substrate from walmart (maybe that's what's causing it?). The rocks are from PetCo, they're the ones that turn different shades of tan/red when you first put them in the water. But the rocks are only in two of the tanks, so I don't think that's it.

Do you think the gravel is the culprit?
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Old 05-30-2012, 04:53 PM   #6 
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Most of the gravel used for aquariums is inert and shouldn't change the chemistry of the water....Not sure about the rock...

One way you can test it-get several containers of your source water-
Test the water with and without the normal additives used-now, in 2h and again in 24h-once the water degases you will get the true pH-
Add a handful of gravel in one container, the rock in another container and any other object in the aquariums that may not be inert.
Test again in 24h
Compare all the numbers

To understand-you are using both high and low pH API brand...correct
You are not injecting CO2, tanks are filtered and cycled
Tap water is 7.4
All the tanks test over 9 pH

What is the source water...city supplied tap and it isn't going through any type of water softening unit on the house-correct....

Have you tested the hardness KH/GH, if so, what are these number as well as all the water pram numbers to give us a bigger pic....

Only additives used is the two different dechlorinators...correct....no pH adjusting products, medications...etc.....
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Old 05-30-2012, 05:33 PM   #7 
vaw103
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I'll start testing everything now, and post when I get results for everything.

Yes, I am using both high and low pH API brand testing kits. It's liquid, too. I am not injecting CO2, and all tanks are filtered and cycled. Tap water is 7.4, and all the tanks are about 9. The water source is well water, from my tap. I dohave a water softening unit on the house, is that bad?

I haven't tested the hardness KH/GH, I only have tests for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, and both high/low pH. Should I go buy a KH/GH test? I'm assuming they're high since I have well water.

My Water Parameters Are:
Tank One-0,0,20
Tank Two-0,0,10
Tank Three-0,0,15ish

And yes, the only additives used are the dechlorinators. Except one tank is quarantining my Betta who is getting an aquarium salt treatment. There's 1TBS of aquarium salt, and it's in 5 gallons of water. Oh, and all tanks are heated to ~79*F.

Thank you so much!
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Old 05-30-2012, 08:26 PM   #8 
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Depending on the type of water softener...if the type that use salt-they can be bad for long term health...can you bypass it for the tanks....

How are the fish.....are they symptomatic or having issues of any kind....

Since you use well water....you may not need dechlorinator...I use well water....with high pH and high KH/GH....I call it liquid rock....lol....and never have any fish issue....I will change it when I spawn soft water species like Neon tetras, but not for any of my Bettas.....to keep or spawn or rear fry...
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Old 05-30-2012, 10:27 PM   #9 
vaw103
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Yeah, it does use salt I don't know anyway to bypass it for the tanks, all of the water in our house runs through it. I wonder if my hose water filters through it?

The fish are all great, super active and eating well. The only issue I'm having now is mild tail rot with my betta, but he's been really prone to it since I got him. I did lose an african dwarf frog though, I had it for about 20 days. The other one that I bought on the same day is healthy though.

I don't think I have chlorine in my water, but I'm 99% sure that I have chloramines in my water. I always get false-positive ammonia readings from a liquid test kit, so I have to use ammonia alert disks that only detect free ammonia.

Do you think that I would be better off switching to bottled water, and adding the vitamins/minerals into it? Because I think that they sell stuff to add to bottled water to supplement it?
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Old 05-31-2012, 11:21 AM   #10 
Oldfishlady
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The problem with water softening unit that use salt-is that it just is an ION exchanger...the water isn't really soft for fish per se.

If it is hooked up in the house and not on the well itself-the outside tap should be fine to use and unless you are adding the chloramine generally that should not be in well water.

I would use an outside tap and re-acclimate the fish to that and use for the aquarium.....buying water can get expensive-especially when you have a lot of tanks that need water changes....
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