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Old 08-26-2010, 03:57 AM   #1 
UrsMyrick
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Question PH problems and Bettas turning white

Hi I have a question for some more experienced members regarding PH. I have a 3 1/2 gal tank that I have my male betta in. Its a planted aquarium and the substrate that I used Aqua Soil Amazonia lowers PH and makes your water softer. The substrate also (from what I've read) has ammonia in it for the plants so that what might be making my ammonia so high. My problem is that my current PH is registering at 6.0 and the tap water that I will be using is a 7.6. I need to do an 100% water change because my ammonia is at a 2.0ppm (did a 50% water change on Tuesday) and I am afraid that the PH spike will hurt Jasper.
My tank is still in the process of fully cycling its only been about four weeks (one week since we put the fish in)

What do suggest I do? Should I change the water and ph down the crap out of it to make it as close as possible to the current PH or should I just put the water into the tank (let it sit for 24 hours) and see if the substrate will automatically lower it?

Also my Betta has a white patch it almost looks like his scales are comming off under his chin and it looks like it is spreading toward hi eye. I think that it may have been from the fish store (they were kept in less than favorable conditions.) I will try to get a good picture of it and post it asap. He seems like he is feeling pretty good.

I have a bubble wand, a DIY C02 fermenter, and a corner filter turned on super low flow.

Water Parameters
PH 6.0
Ammonia 2
Nitrite 0
Nitrate 0

My water temp fluctuates between 80.1-82.9 without a heater (I do have a heater but it hasn't dropped below 78 degrees) Sometimes I have to put ice packs in it to keep it cooler)

Any help or suggestions would be appreciated.
Thanks
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Old 08-26-2010, 06:16 AM   #2 
karlhague
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It could be that the ammonia in the soil is poisoning your fish, its toxic to fish,
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Old 08-26-2010, 06:47 AM   #3 
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Making the ph go up and down a little is not going to hurt your fish. But you should never mess with your ph because the fish has to adjust his blood to the ph every little change which can cause problems later on.
Ammonia is bad for fish, it starts shutting down organ's on you fish untill he passes away. You need to get some good bacteria and add it to your tank wait 24 hours and test it again everything should start going down.
But the ph, don't mess with. When people use a ph up or down all your doing is making your test kit say there soft water, it just buffers the water. Real soft low ph water have to be filtered like RO water that's real soft water not regular water with ph down or sand that has ph down..
You have no nitrite or nitrate levels so it looks like you don't have a good bacteria colony going yet.
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Old 08-26-2010, 08:27 AM   #4 
UrsMyrick
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I've been using stress zyme and stress coat to condition the water and add beneficial bacteria. I have the water sitting out so I can do my water change first thing in the morning. I just wasn't sure how much that drastic change in PH was going to do to him. I know the ammonia is the worst thing but I didn't want to add to his problems. Everytime I do a water change I do at least 50% but it will only lower my ammonia a point or two. I also only feed him about three pellets a day and he always gobbles them up.

Thanks
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Old 08-26-2010, 10:09 AM   #5 
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With the low pH your ammonia is ammonium and is fish safe unless the pH goes up, the CO2 will also lower the pH and if the fish seems fine I wouldn't worry about it and only make small water changes in the 10-15% area.
What kind of plants do you have and do you have any floating plants?
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Old 08-26-2010, 10:29 AM   #6 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oldfishlady View Post
With the low pH your ammonia is ammonium and is fish safe unless the pH goes up, the CO2 will also lower the pH and if the fish seems fine I wouldn't worry about it and only make small water changes in the 10-15% area.
What kind of plants do you have and do you have any floating plants?
Well I jumped the gun and did a 100% water change and then I got back on this forum and saw this, dang it! Well that makes me feel better. Thanks I was really stressing out. Jasper seems fine except for the whitish discoloration on the face and around the eye.

As for plants I have Anubias on driftwood, a sword plant, some plant I have no idea what the name is. It sort of looks like a spider plant. And a ceratophyllum plant which Jasper likes to hide in a lot. I have been keeping my eyes open for some Water Sprite but I have yet to see it at the fish store. In Japan we have a language barrier that can be difficult to overcome- it usually ends with the Japanese locals laughing at your pronunciation.

Well I really appreciate your input. I was VERY worried about the high ammonia levels in the tank. I've probably messed up the whole cycling process haven't I?
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Old 08-26-2010, 10:37 AM   #7 
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The white patch almost sounds like a wound. Kilo got sucked into a siphon tube once and the patch where his scales were missing was white. A picture would definitely help though. It's hard to say without seeing. :)
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Old 08-26-2010, 11:04 AM   #8 
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ceratophyllum do you know which one..is it hornwort? if so you don't want to plant it or it will rot, it is a great floater and will use the ammonium for food.

If you removed everything and scrubbed everything in the tank...then most likely the cycle will have to start over-did you leave the filter media dirty, if so that may have enough good bacteria to keep it going, but no big deal IMO-your plants are your saving grace so to speak.....and low pH and CO2-however-with the plants you have you really don't need CO2 IMO-they should all do fine without it....

Post a pic of the plant and maybe we can ID it for you, also would love to see your set-up and Betta anyway......

To check you source water pH-draw a clean glass of your source water and let it sit with an air stone for 24h and recheck the pH and then check your tank water pH and compare the two number...this will tell you your true source water pH and tell you how much the CO2 and substrate are changing the pH.
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Old 08-26-2010, 08:29 PM   #9 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oldfishlady View Post
ceratophyllum do you know which one..is it hornwort? if so you don't want to plant it or it will rot, it is a great floater and will use the ammonium for food.

If you removed everything and scrubbed everything in the tank...then most likely the cycle will have to start over-did you leave the filter media dirty, if so that may have enough good bacteria to keep it going, but no big deal IMO-your plants are your saving grace so to speak.....and low pH and CO2-however-with the plants you have you really don't need CO2 IMO-they should all do fine without it....

Post a pic of the plant and maybe we can ID it for you, also would love to see your set-up and Betta anyway......

To check you source water pH-draw a clean glass of your source water and let it sit with an air stone for 24h and recheck the pH and then check your tank water pH and compare the two number...this will tell you your true source water pH and tell you how much the CO2 and substrate are changing the pH.
Well I didn't do a true 100% water change. I removed all of the water, stirred up the substrate and vacuumed the water out, cleaned all ornaments and fake plantsi n hot water and rinsed my other plants, cleaned their leaves of any dirt or residue and then replaced everything in the tank and filled it with water that had been sitting out at room temp and treated. I did have to rinse off my filter (it was the same one I've had in there from the beginning) in tank water because it was so clogged) but I put that back in. Then I took some readings and my pH was 6.4 my ammonia (ammonium) was between .25 and .50 and nitrates and nitrites were still reading zero and the temp was a toasty 80.1 degrees. I am sure that is too close to the water change to get accurate numbers, but I didn't want to put Jasper back in tha tank until I had those readings.

I think that the plant is called hornwart. I have pictures posted under my aquarium log. I'm glad that you told me not to plant it. I was wondering why it looked like it was dying.

Jaspers face doesn't look so white this morning, so hopefully its healing up. If not have you ever tried a medicine called Bettafix?

I have a second 3 1/2 gallon tank that I am setting up with gravel substrate. I'm planning on doing a planted tank there as well. As soon as I have that set up I will post pictures too.

Thanks everyone for your help. Its really nice to have a place to get answers!
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Old 01-12-2012, 04:21 AM   #10 
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Exactly the same thing is happening to my fish - also a red veil tail! Due to a case of ich he's just had a week of 100% water changes with added aquarium salt. Like your little fish, mine seems quite happy with no loss of appetite, just some serious discoloration. I haven't gotten an ammonia test kit yet, but nitrite levels are zero. In fact, apart from the plant and the constant water changes, I seem to have an identical setup to you. What did you find helped?
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