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Old 03-08-2011, 05:44 PM   #1 
TaylorW
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pH and Hard Water?

Sorry that this is long! :(

So my school has really bad water, and my fish's fins have been curling/getting tiny pinholes in them for at least a month or so. I change the water 100% once every 2-3 days in my 2.5, so the water should be clean.

I'm guessing there's something in the tap since our school constantly is on the verge of boil water advisory and we just have bad water in general. I assumed it was ammonia, but now I think it's something else...

I've recently picked up some API Ammo Lock to add to the Stress Coat that I use with regular water changes. I've been using it for two days now and will continue to use it for the rest of the week to see if it makes a difference...

I was just wondering, can hard water be damaging his fins? I read that tropical fish like soft water, so maybe that's the issue... Or is it the pH? Can high or low pH cause this kind of fin damage? Also, any recommendations on what I should do? Thanks in advance!
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Old 03-08-2011, 05:47 PM   #2 
PeggyJ
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try getting a test kit to see what is going on with it. we have really hard water in Florida and I dont have any problems with it.
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Old 03-08-2011, 06:27 PM   #3 
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Well, I live in Florida and the water here in my neck of the woods is pretty hard and nasty. We installed a RO system and I was using the water from a faucet after it goes through the filter but before the salt treatment to finish it off. Although it checks out great, it is really hard and the pH is high. If I take it from the faucet then it is really soft. Someone suggested I 50/50 it and that is the route I have taken this last water change. Polo's fins started to curl on the non-RO water so that is what forced my hand.
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Old 03-08-2011, 06:42 PM   #4 
TaylorW
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I am thinking about getting a pH test kit, and it looks like I might have to... How do you test for water hardness though?
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Old 03-08-2011, 10:08 PM   #5 
baylee767
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I believe they sell tests for that. Also, I think if you have a really hight PH you have hard water, not sure... but still.
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Old 03-08-2011, 10:21 PM   #6 
TaylorW
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Hmm, I googled it and I thought it said pH and hardness/softness were different things, but I'm so confused!

If it is the pH or hard water (or both) could I just add pH down and water softener with each water change? Is it ok for long term use?
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Old 03-09-2011, 10:54 AM   #7 
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if you buy an API master test kit, there is a pH test for low and high. Two separate tests are part of the kit. Testing for softness is a different matter. I knew I had hard water when the water co. came and tested it so I had a second verifiable source. I think you can take a sample to places like PetSmart and they can stick the sample and give you an idea.
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Old 03-09-2011, 01:11 PM   #8 
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I just looked into Petsmart/Petco locations to see if I could take some sample water to the store to get tested. Apparently the closest one is 71 miles away from my house -__- I've been to all the local fish stores close to my home, but I don't think they test water :/

And I know there are no pet stores within an hour's drive of my college :/

How expensive is the API Master test kit? Are there no water hardness/softness test kits I can pick up at the store when I go home?
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Old 03-09-2011, 02:20 PM   #9 
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The test you want for hardness is KH and GH...API sells them separate...mine cost $6.50 I think or about that much....right now Dr Foster and Smith has the API freshwater master test kit on sale for $19.19..but you also have the $8.99 S/H

I have really hard well water and high pH and I don't have any issues with fins curling or pin holes, although, some fin may have problems with hard water, I don't think that is the only reason...I think some of it is related to genetic, conditions it was kept in before the hobbyist bought it, current water quality like ammonia, nitrite and high nitrates, nutrition, filtration or generally things/items in its environment, age of the Betta and general overall health can all be factors......

By adding chemicals to altar the pH without proper buffers you could have pH swings that can be stressful on the fish, you also have to change the pH of the replacement water for water changes and IMO-this could cause more problems than its worth especially with small tank that need frequent water changes......
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Old 03-09-2011, 03:35 PM   #10 
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Thanks for the input Oldfishlady, I guess I'm just worried that I'm doing something wrong since his fins are in such rough shape... It just drives me nuts that I can't figure out how to fix it! :(

So would it be more dangerous to mess with the pH or water hardness/softness than to just let his fins be all... icky? I'm afraid the fin damage might get infected or something...
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