Ph drop

Discussion in 'General Discussions' started by Hooks, Mar 14, 2019.

  1. Hooks

    Hooks

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    Hi
    I like to find out why my ph keeps dropping slowly. Day by day.
    Ph level is 7.10 next day it would drop to 6.40 then raise it to 7.30. After 2 days it back to 6range. If left for 3 days it drops to 5.

    I do 30 to 40% waterchange a week..

    I done 50% waterchange per week for 2 weeks now and same problem. Cleaned out filter and even added extra dose of prime with stability.

    Tap water ph is 10.10

    No substrate in tank or plants.

    Even feeding fish less
     
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  3. Whoknows

    Whoknows

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    Do you have any rocks in the tank?
     
  4. f-fish

    f-fish #unspecified

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    Limited info on what your tank population looks like .. but probably something like

    "
    The Nitrogen Cycle


    The nitrogen cycle is a process where bacteria eat fish waste, keeping the tank inhabitable. This process lowers pH. While this happens most dramatically when the tank is new, the process continues in established aquariums. For this reason, the pH of established aquariums tends to get lower or more acidic. Regular 25 percent water changes -- every two to four weeks -- can counteract this problem. In new aquariums, this can cause dramatic swings, while established aquariums tend to have a slow decline in pH. Test your aquarium regularly for ammonia, nitrite and pH to stay on top of these issues."

    https://pets.thenest.com/freshwater-aquarium-acidic-12302.html

    Later Ferdie
     
  5. eros111

    eros111

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    Try putting oyster shells in to your filter - that will help to stabilize your pH.
     
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  6. pierreschoonraad

    pierreschoonraad

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    Do you use anything to lower or increase your waters ph? What fish do you have in the aquarium?

    Sent from my SM-A720F using Tapatalk
     
  7. SalmonAfrica

    SalmonAfrica Batfish

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    The breakdown of biological material in your tank could be a cause of this - I've seen this a few times with a few people, often comes down to this.

    Sometimes it's food that the fish miss and gets crammed into a corner that you don't see. Other times it's a death or two that went unnoticed, which can drop pH dramatically. This is all made worse when your water has a poor buffering capacity. I believe Cape Town tap water naturally has a poor buffering capacity (though I stand to be corrected), and pH will drop rapidly in the presence of biological breakdown, even in small amounts.

    One last thing I'd like to ask though... how are you checking your pH? What kit or equipment are you using? Has it expired, or have you calibrated it recently? It might do you some good to test pH with a different kit/equipment to see if the fault might lie there. Perhaps not, but always a possibility.
     
  8. BoelderBeestie

    BoelderBeestie

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    Hooks, this is perfectly normal for our water here in the cape. Do what eros said with the shells in the filter. I use white mussel shells I pick up at the beach. Salmonafrica is correct, we have very little buffer capacity in our water.
     
  9. OP
    Hooks

    Hooks

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    Hi solomonafrica.
    I'm using a digital ph pen. I have not calabrated it recently as I have no ph calibration. It's just that other tanks stay stable and never have to buffer them.
    It's just my 1 tank that I'm struggling with.
    Tank is 500L bare bottom with 3 or 4 pieces of driftwood and 2 like rock decorations that made of plastic I think. Bt all decore been in tank for almost 2 years. Fish is 8 red hooks 4 tinfoil barbs 6 tiger silver dollars and 2 spotted deacons.

    I have a small dead spot where waist lays and siphon it up every second day. As I dont like the dirt laying on the bottom.

    Got fx6 filter and boyu 1200 filter a d make turns cleaning them once ever 2 weeks.

    Other than ph there no problems.
    I only use prime and been using full treatment of stability aswel to help bio load.
     
  10. SalmonAfrica

    SalmonAfrica Batfish

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    To eliminate the possibility that the pen is at fault (remembering that some brands struggle to get accurate readings at pH extremes - I've had this problem before, likely the problem was very very poorly buffered water), try taking your water sample to an LFS to get it tested. Usually costs next to nothing and might give you a clue.

    It is bizarre that only your one tank is giving you problems, but bear in mind that the fish there have very high bioloads, especially the tinfoils and the dollars.

    Final thing that is coming to mind is the Prime... a great product and normally safe, but have you checked the expiration date? Many modern dechlorinators do not have an effect on pH, but once they expire those chemical agents that are meant to prevent pH swings with each treatment are not longer effective. Either the expiration date, or the product has been allowed to spoil or has been exposed to the elements.
     
  11. MariaS

    MariaS Moderator

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    @Hooks,

    I have been reading through this thread and although everything that has been said and advice given is true, something is not adding up in my mind....

    Why only one tank out of all your tanks
    Why do you have to add Stability to help with the bio load? Stability, strictly speaking should not be used continuously to keep bio load in check... could this also not be causing an imbalance in the tank?
    Stability should only be used to cycle a tank or a few days to help the filters catch up if suddenly you have added a bit too many fish in one go

    My gut feeling is that this tank is heavily overstocked for the filtration you have
    There are 20 Large, massive bioload producing fish in 500l water...
    When they were small it will work but its never going to work when they get to adults
    Your ammonia and Nitrite readings are probably reading ok due to the constant dosing of Prime and Stability which are masking the true status of your tank as they both neutralize ammonia, but they don't change PH so.. your ammonia and Nitrite readings are 'good' because of the Prime and Stability but because it has no effect on PH, its the only reflection of something wrong.
    Unfortunately the bigger they get, the bigger your problem is going to become.
    To be able to keep those particular 20 fish in that tank long term, unless you seriously look at upgrading your filtration system its not going to work
    If you cant upgrade to a bigger tank, at least invest in the biggest sump you can
    This is just my gut feeling and how I would handle the situation..
    I keep fish that produce huge bio load and this is the only thing I can get around my mind

    If your water was the main problem then all your tanks would have a problem
    You also say its been fine for two years?
    If that is case.. while they were small it was ok but their size is now catching up to you

    Good luck
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2019 at 12:17 PM
  12. OP
    Hooks

    Hooks

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    @MariaS

    The reason I used the stability was due to cleaning the filters fully and scared I removed to much good bacteria. And that I also did 50% waterchanges to see if that helped.

    As normally I just add Prime to new water.

    This tank cabinet not allowing me to use a sump unfortunately.
     
  13. MariaS

    MariaS Moderator

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    If when you clean your filters, you first drain water from tank into a bucket or two
    Rinse media in tank water in first bucket and place in the second bucket of tank water to keep submerged while you clean the filter, you should be fine

    All that gunk you clean from the filter is useless anyway and often the cause of high Nitrates, your good bacteria is all stuck to the media.
    I never bother to add Stability when I clean filters, it should not be needed

    Only use Stability if upgrading a filter/tank and a lot of new media gets added, then ok but as a matter of routine not really
    Unfortunately and Im not being critical or funny.... I think your filtration system has reached its limit fro the fish you have in that tank and unless you upgrade filters /tank its never going to stabilize to normal levels and you going to be doing water changes every second day..

    If not a sump... maybe another FX6 would see you for a while longer?
    Something will have to be done about filtration to keep those fish in there....
     
  14. BoelderBeestie

    BoelderBeestie

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    Jip, overstocking is the problem here. It only leaves 25L per fish. More water volume is the answer.
     
  15. OP
    Hooks

    Hooks

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    @MariaS I do the what's mentiont when cleaning filters.

    Thanks all for the advice. I will start by removing some of my bigger fish like the 4 tinfoils and 2 deacons as my friend has bigger tank to keep them for me.
    I'm looking for another FX6 as it works very well for me and seems to be the biggest filter on the market.

    I really appreciate all the info as it does help me to see the fine detail I over look.
     

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