How to lower the Ph in a stubborn tank

  • ebramble
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ebramble created the topic: How to lower the Ph in a stubborn tank

I have recently (three months ago) set up a 55 gal corner aquarium. I have a treasure chest (not sure what its made of) and fake plants for deco. I am using an aquatech 30-60 filter, an unknown brand under gravel filter, and an unknown brand water heater. The tank temp stays around 80-82. The problem is, the Ph will not leave its firm resting on 8.4 and I've tried everything. I've heard the gravel can be an issue if it is made from a certain material, but my gravel is from riverbeds, so it says on the package. I've tried chemically reducing it, even dumped the whole bottle in (i have no fish yet, don't worry) but alas, it went down to 7.6 then by the next morning was 8.4 again. I know something has to be buffering the ph, but I like my tank the way it is. How can you provide a stable lower ph on a stubborn tank like mine? (If I knew how to post pictures I'd show the tank)

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tehmole replied the topic: How to lower the Ph in a stubborn tank

first test your tap water to see what PH it's coming out. secondly you'll want to boost that filter or add a secondary canister filter.

If you are trying to lower the PH, add drift wood - almond leaves .... but again....test your tap water first
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  • Firestorm8215
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Firestorm8215 replied the topic: How to lower the Ph in a stubborn tank

Have you tested the pH coming out of your tap ?
And what fish do you plan on putting in that tank ?
We generally suggest letting the fish adjust to the pH rather then having to adjust it constantly.
And different fish are able to tolerate higher/lower pH levels quite well.

Just to be on the safe side...how are you testing the level ? Test strip or liquid test kit ?
Also make sure the test kit is not out of date.

What about all your other levels ? Ammonia , Nitrites and Nitrates ? Those are far more important than pH.
And please stop " dumping " stuff into your tank... ;)
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ebramble replied the topic: How to lower the Ph in a stubborn tank

I am planning on keeping a single Oscar. The ammonia levels are coming back 0 ppm according to my liquid test kit. All my test kits are liquid, and include API pH test kit; API high range pH test kit, and API Ammonia NH3/NH4+ (if there's anything in particular I don't that you guys recommend please let me know) I have no more room for another waterfall filter so I'll have to look into something else. The pH of my tap water is 7.4-7.6.
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Suprd71 replied the topic: How to lower the Ph in a stubborn tank

Hello and welcome.. you will also need to test for nitrite and nitrate, and again the API liquid is best. What do you have for substrate? Is it crushed coral? This will raise your ph. Also, as you are intending on keeping an Oscar, you will need a filter that has significant bio capabilities. I suggest a medium sized canister, and get rid of the gravel filter. The Filstar xpl (formerly Rena xp3) would be an excellent choice, with 3 trays available for bio media. The Aquatech is a decent mechanical filter, but doesnt offer much for bio filtration. If you are able, I would add the canister asap, as it takes a good 2+ months to cultivate a viable bacteria colony.


I may not be the Boss, but I'm ALWAYS right!
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Firestorm8215 replied the topic: How to lower the Ph in a stubborn tank

Can you tell us exactly the type and brand of substrate you put in there ?

And how are you keeping the cycle going in that tank without any fish ? Do you have any levels for Nitrates ?
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tehmole replied the topic: How to lower the Ph in a stubborn tank

from what OP said 'but my gravel is from riverbeds' seems like it's small pebbles ...

i think it might be from filtration ... or somethings stuck in the gravel filter. take out the chest and plants .. do a WC and don't forget to add prime .. test the water after 2 hrs...
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ebramble replied the topic: How to lower the Ph in a stubborn tank

I will admit, this is my first attempt at keeping a tank of this nature. I will buy the nitrite and nitrate test kits. What do you mean "cycle"? I am simply running an empty tank waiting for the pH to stabilize at an acceptable level. I will look into getting a canister, though I've ever used one before. I'm not sure what the brand of substrate is that I'm using but the man in the store assured me it was river rocks, not crushed coral or dolomite or whatever. Out of curiosity, why remove the under gravel filter? Wouldn't simply adding another filtration system be more logical and result in a cleaner environment? As for the aquatech, should I get a larger one or remove it as well?
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ebramble replied the topic: How to lower the Ph in a stubborn tank

Oh, and I'm assuming WC means water change and by add prime you mean a product like start right? Or is there something else I should do?
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tehmole replied the topic: How to lower the Ph in a stubborn tank

Prime = water conditioner - removes chlorine, chloramine and ammonia
WC = Water change

Cycyle --> read this: www.oscarfishlover.com/helpful-articles/cycling-an-aquarium
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