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Old 04-29-2011, 10:44 PM   #1 
smellsfishie
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High PH/Alkalinity Problem- Need advice

So, I hadn't tested my water in awhile, and decided I needed to because I am getting a new betta in about a week from AB, and I want her transition to be as smooth as possible- seeing as how she is coming from Thailand, and I do not want to kill her during acclimation.

Problem... The tank I was going to put her in (a 10 gallon) has 5 other small fish who are acting a bit "draggy"... so I got a test strip.

My PH is 8.4 and my Alkalinity is 300 (high). The water is soft at 75. I use treated tap water. I tested plain tap water, and it is the same PH and hardness, so I know this is just the way my tap water is.

Then, I tested bottled water (Poland Spring) and it seems to be within the recommended range for bettas for all the parameters. The PH is neutral 6.8 and the Alkalinity is low 40. The water is very soft at 0.

So, I was thinking of just using bottled water for her. She will be in a 3 gallon tank for now, until I can figure this out.

And my other poor fish are living with high PH, so I need to lower it but PH Down has not worked for me in the past (perhaps due to the high alkalinity) but I could not find how to change the alkalinity on google. It is not due to overfeeding, lack of water changes, or overstocking because it is just how my water naturally is.

Can anyone advise me if you think bottled water is ok for my new female on the way? It is not distilled, so should have some minerals in it, I believe.

Also, can anyone recommend how to safely and slowly change the alkalinity and PH in the water for my current tanks?

Thanks for the help!

Last edited by smellsfishie; 04-29-2011 at 10:49 PM. Reason: typo
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Old 04-29-2011, 10:47 PM   #2 
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Also- I read online that you can use Peat or Aquarium Pharmaceuticals tap water purifier to help adjust PH. Has anyone used either of these?
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Old 04-29-2011, 11:32 PM   #3 
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I am certainly no expert, but when I was researching fishkeeping I came across this article:

http://www.firsttankguide.net/ph.php

It really goes into a lot of detail and is worth the time.

Others I have talked to have echoed this article and advised to not mess with the PH. A tank with a fluctuating PH will do more harm than a high/low PH. What are your other parameters? If your PH has always been high, then I think your fish would be used to that by now and that something else may be going on to cause the sluggishness.

Regarding your new Thai betta, maybe you will just need to take more time to acclimate her. Maybe test the PH of the water she is in before adding any of your tank water to the bag.

Not sure if this would make a difference but I have seen it stated over and over again that test strips are less reliable than the liquid test kits. Before altering the PH maybe you could buy a liquid test to see if the results are any different. I've only used liquid so I have no experience with the strips.
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Old 04-30-2011, 05:43 AM   #4 
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Hmm... ok, I might try the liquid. I also read that it is better to have high PH than fluctuating PH, but my PH is so high that it worries me. If it were just a little high I would ignore it... but I feel negligent leaving it THAT high, yknow?

I agree, my fish may be used to it, because they have seemed fine other than 1 tank, recently... but, the other problem is that the high PH causes uncontrollable brown algae blooms. I read on this site that marimo balls would prevent algae blooms so I have at least 1 in each tank, but that proved to be false because my newest tank started a brown algae bloom yesterday... alllllllover... :( sigh.

Thank you for the article, I will read it over tonight. :)
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Old 04-30-2011, 07:12 AM   #5 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by luluo View Post
A tank with a fluctuating PH will do more harm than a high/low PH.

If your PH has always been high, then I think your fish would be used to that by now and that something else may be going on to cause the sluggishness.

Regarding your new Thai betta, maybe you will just need to take more time to acclimate her. Maybe test the PH of the water she is in before adding any of your tank water to the bag.

Not sure if this would make a difference but I have seen it stated over and over again that test strips are less reliable than the liquid test kits. Before altering the PH maybe you could buy a liquid test to see if the results are any different.
+1

If you start raising or lowering your Ph with chemicals, you'll be stuck doing it for life. My waters Ph is higher than I'd like but since Harley grew up in that water, I was told not to try and adjust it. Like luluo said, just take more time in acclimating your new betta so it can get used to it slowly. Good luck!
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Old 04-30-2011, 12:26 PM   #6 
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Thanks Harley. I guess my current fish I will leave with high ph but the new girl I am really worried about... maybe I will fill her tank with bottled water first so she can just relax when she gets here... then, slowly add my treated tap little by little each day. But if I breed her, all the sites I've read say u have to have perfect parameters.. so I will have to get her back to a neutral ph then, or else just always have her in ph neutral water.
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Old 05-01-2011, 12:01 AM   #7 
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I would second switching to liquid test kits. I used test strips for awhile because it was the only thing I could get at the time. I was cycling my tank and after the nitrites spiked the test strips told me the nitrates shot up almost immediately after. I decided to double check the nitrates with my API nitrate test kit. The test strips said my nitrates were around 80-100 but my liquid test kit told me that they were about 5. I finished up the few strips I had left and have only been using the liquid test kits since then.
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Old 05-01-2011, 10:06 AM   #8 
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Hmm. That's interesting. I wonder why the strips seem to be so inaccurate? :/ I will look into a liquid kit. Still, if my PH is that high, does everyone else who reads this thread agree not to mess with it?
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Old 05-02-2011, 12:49 AM   #9 
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Originally Posted by smellsfishie View Post
Hmm. That's interesting. I wonder why the strips seem to be so inaccurate? :/ I will look into a liquid kit. Still, if my PH is that high, does everyone else who reads this thread agree not to mess with it?
I would wait to see what the treated tap water (not from your aquarium) tests at with a liquid test. It may be better than you think. You may be able to have your water tested by a LFS, at least places like Petsmart will test your water for free.
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Old 05-02-2011, 08:12 AM   #10 
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True. I tested my tap with the strip, but have yet to go get the liquid kit. I probably will have to buy one cause I am anal and would like to test every tank, plus my tap, plus bottled water... :D Do you think Petsmart would mind if I brought in 6 water sources for sampling? :D
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