Opinion on high pH: To treat chemically or not?

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Liz-Louise created the topic: Opinion on high pH: To treat chemically or not?

At the moment the pH in my Oscar aquarium has hit 8.4. Our tap water is 7.6 and pH in my aquariums normally settles at consistent 7.8.

I am a little concerned at how high the pH is in the oscar tank though, especially as the nitrate from our tap falls between 30 and 40ppm, so even frequent WC aren't reducing the nitrates to a decent level. The tank is still cycling with very minor levels of ammonia, so I am performing daily 25% - 50% WC which are keeping these in check. I know elevated pH exacerbates deficiencies in water quality, so what's causing my pH to be so high and should i consider artificial methods to reduce it? I really don't like the combination of high nitrates and pH.
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OFL replied the topic: Opinion on high pH: To treat chemically or not?

What test kit are you using to test for pH? I wouldn't be too concerned about nitrates at the moment. If you're pH is indeed that hi, you would need to be so careful with your ammonia because even small amounts of ammonia will be very toxic with a high pH. If you haven't already got some, you might be advised to get some "Prime"As this will detoxify any ammonia.

I don't know why your pH is suddenly changing that dramatically after coming out of the tap, I've never seen that happen before. This is why I have asked about what tests you to use. I'm sure one of the other guys will have some good advice for you regarding this matter.

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Liz-Louise replied the topic: Opinion on high pH: To treat chemically or not?

I'm using the regular API Master kit. And I am already using plenty of Seachem Prime. Out of interest, will the API test still pick up the Ammonia after the Prime has been dosed? I'm performing the WC to keep the ammonia in check and using Prime (whole tank volume) at each change.

Our tap water is 7.6 fresh out of the tap, so maybe once it's settled it's hitting the 8 mark. PH results previously have been from well established aquariums, so maybe that's affecting the pH as this is a new tank? I also have a pH monitor on the glass, and that's off the scale atm (8.2 being the highest it registers).
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Suprd71 replied the topic: Opinion on high pH: To treat chemically or not?

Prime doesnt make ammonia disappear, rather it binds into less harmful ammonium for up to 48hrs. Its virtually impossible to have absolute 0 ammonia in an established tank, as it is constantly produced from fish breathing and their waste. But as you are already aware, your naturally high ph dictates you keep ammonia and nitrite as low as you can possibly manage. There are members here that have ph in the range of yours, and they have no problems with their Oscars. I would actually be more concerned with the nitrate level of your tap water.


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Liz-Louise replied the topic: Opinion on high pH: To treat chemically or not?

Suprd71 wrote: ....There are members here that have ph in the range of yours, and they have no problems with their Oscars. I would actually be more concerned with the nitrate level of your tap water.


Oh absolutely agree. The nitrate issue is being tackled. It's a real bane around here for aquarists.
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Rocksor replied the topic: Opinion on high pH: To treat chemically or not?

What substrate do you have in the oscar tank? What type of decor? Rather unusual that the oscar tank has a higher ph than your other aquariums. What are in your other aquariums?
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Liz-Louise replied the topic: Opinion on high pH: To treat chemically or not?

The oscar tank has minimal substrate; about 1/4 in pea gravel. No decor. Fluval U4 internal filter with sponges and bio media tray. Have canister filter and inline heater. Difference between this tank and the other is the age that tank has been set up (4 years) and that the other tank is fully cycled and very well planted with a wide variety of plants in a plant substrate.
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Darth Nandopsis replied the topic: Opinion on high pH: To treat chemically or not?

There has to be something in that aquarium, (decor,etc) that's causing the PH to rise.....any pieces of natural coral, crushed coral,etc?

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Rocksor replied the topic: Opinion on high pH: To treat chemically or not?

Are you injecting CO2 in the planted tank? I would remove everything from the Oscar tank like substrate and decor, and then do 2 75% water changes in one day to drop the PH. That should rule out any décor issues. Test the PH tomorrow.
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Liz-Louise replied the topic: Opinion on high pH: To treat chemically or not?

No, tank isn't planted. Nothing's been in the tank before which would increase pH. I have a Fluval u4 with the standard filter pads and the bio-media cartridge running in the tank and two resin logs for decs. Nothing sinister. Our water here is very hard and I know I've had problems in the past getting the pH low enough for some of my other tanks. Adding artificial pH lowering products just doesn't work. It just bounced right back up again. My other tanks are very well planted with large drift woods, which may help stabilise the pH at a lower level.

I could chuck in a bit of my old driftwood, but all the bits I have are ancient! Will they still have the tannins after 15 years!
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