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Help - I panicked and brought Ph up too fast - Patches bottom sitting


IsabellaG

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I am such an idiot. I did a major clean of my tank today. I changed the water about 95% and cleaned the Eheim filter. I thought I'd test the water and I get 6.8 Ph (in retrospect could be 7.0 the green-blues of 6.8, 7.0 and 7.2 are hard to differentiate). Tap water was exactly the same colour. My jaw hit the floor because in the time that we've had the fish tank the Ph has never dropped below 7.6 and the last 6 months has been steady at 7.8. I panicked, grabbed the bi-carb soda and ran into the study do a search for bi-carb soda. I read somewhere 1 teaspoon per 100 litres. I've mixed it up and put 1.5 teaspoon in Patches tank. I never stopped to think that this brings the Ph up too fast. Ph is now 7.8.

Patches is bottom resting/sitting but stirs and swims when I stand close to the tank. Should I do a quick water change? I can't believe I did this, I feel horrible.

I'll fill out the form in the second post.

just wanted to post this quickly

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I would do a 50% water change to bring the pH down between the 6.8 and the 7.8

Also, usually fish cope much better with a sudden RISE in pH than a drop, so he is probably just upset. I have added neon tetras to my 7.8ph tank when the water in their bag from the LFS was 6.8, and they dealt with the increase of an entire 1.0 without much problem :)

EDIT: In addition, as I see your tap water has gone to a rather low pH, you might want to get a buffer for the future. :)

Edited by Oerba Yun Fang
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Test Results:

Ammonia Level 0

Nitrite level 0

Nitrate level 0

Ph Level, Tank (If possible, KH, GH and chloramines) 7.8

Ph Level, Tap (If possible, KH, GH and chloramines) 6.8

Other Required Info:

Water temperature? 20 C

What is the name and size of the filter(s)? Eheim 2215 canister with outlet wand and internal Eheim 2012 with air diffuser.

How often do you change the water and how much? weekly 50-70%

How many days ago was the last water change and how much did you change? today 95%

How many fish in the tank and their size? One, Patches 5 cm (w.o. tail) - Ruby is in Quarantine still was going to put her back in today

What kind of water additives or conditioners? Prime

What do you feed your fish and how often? medicated gel food with Metro (finished last piece yesterday)

Any new fish added to the tank? No

List previous issues experienced (dropsy, SBD, etc.) Flukes

List entire medication/treatment history for fish and tank. Please include salt, Prazi, PP, etc and the approximate time and duration of treatment. Extensive fluke treatments - maybe 3 months ago then on 6 July started Prazi and again early August

Any unusual findings on the fish such as grains of salt; bloody streaks, frayed fins or fungus? Nope

Any unusual behavior like staying at the bottom, not eating, etc.? Patches did not eat for about 10 days so I started syringe feeding. First normal gel food followed by medicated gel food (Metrodinazole)

Edited by Isabella
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Forgot to say ... Thanks for your quick response Fang!

I've just taken out two buckets and put one back in . Ph already shifted down to 7.6. I'll leave this for a bit before I put the next bucket in. Patches seems livelier (even before the bucket change).

I just found a Kh buff (AquaRealm, Carbonate Hardness Generator) in my box of fish goodies - forgot I bought this. I've never had to use it. Dosage: 5 gr per 200 litres to increase Kh by about 1 Kh.

Should I use this to keep the Ph where it is now? Or will the Ph go up again if I use it?

I'll go and check my Kh now

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Kh - first drop turned water blue, fourth drop turned water very light yellow, medium yellow at drop no 5 and bright yellow at drop 6.

So I think that means my Kh is either at 100 (if first drop is included in the count) - and 100 is okay for goldfish. Or if the first drop isn't counted, my level is under 100 which is just below the level required for goldfish. I'm wondering if the first drop is counted because the leaflet says: the test is completed if the water turns from blue to yellow. And since the first drop turns the water blue maybe it shouldn't be counted??

I know that raising the Ph with bi-carb soda is only temporary, but how long does it last. Will adding my Kh buffer keep the Ph at its current level (for how long?) and should I add it straight away?

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Can do, I'm uploading a video. He's not bottom sitting anymore :-)

I'm still worried about his eating. It's difficult to gauge how much food he is actually ingesting from the syringe feeding. the last time I tried (day before yesterday) he was still spitting out food.

I've run out of medicated gel food. Should I make some more? If yes, what should the proportion metro / gel food be?

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Here is the video

I've redecorated and Patches' is still getting used to the new currents in the tank.

BTW spray wand still sounds loud because I haven't yet put in the second bucket. I don't want the Ph to go down more. will ageing the water help with getting the Ph up??

BTW 2 In my earlier post where I say "last time I tried, he was still spitting out food." I meant last time I tried ordinary food. I have been syringe feeding every day. Didn't want you to think he hadn't been fed yesterday :-) Edited by Isabella
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If you are looking for a buffer in the future, a mild one you can keep in your filter that should help for months is crushed coral. Stakos suggested it to me after a ph drop and it has really helped my tank. It's really cheap. You might need something more intensive than that but I just thought I'd share. Can't hurt! It won't raise your ph either, just help keep it neutral :)

Good luck with Patches, glad things are going better.

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Thanks guys for all your responses, really appreciate it. I was sure I'd killed my fish again :-)

I put 1 dose of KH buffer in yesterday and the Ph level remained steady at 7.6. I'm still hoping the Ph drop in the tap water was a random occurrence. It's been so stable (at 7.8) in the last 9 months that the big tank has been set up (i went back through my notes to make sure). I'll keep monitoring and will get some crushed coral next time I'm at the LFS.

I'm gonna test my tank and tap water now. Be back shortly.

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Something is really off with the tap water:

Tap:

Kh: 0-50ppm (turned the faintest yellow after just one drop!!!)

Ph: 6.6

Tank:

Kh: 50-100ppm (turned yellow after 4 drops)

Ph: 7.8 (high range, last test I did yesterday was with low range because my high range is almost finished)

What's up with the water supply!! I'll see if I can find any info online.

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I just spoke with a lady from the water corporation. She was lovely and trying to help, and I did get an answer in the end, but I'm still not sure if the Ph levels will go back to previous values

"My son is really into fish - did you age your water??? Me: I use a water conditioner instead of ageing the water"

"What fish do you have and how big is your tank? Me: goldfish in a 205 litre tank (she sounded surprised at that :-)"

"I've never heard of a 95% water change, that could be your problem! Me: I have done big water changes like this before without a problem"

"You can go to your LFS and they can test your water and give you something to fix it. Me: I have fixed the problem using bi-carb Soda and a Kh buffer. I have a water testing kit and the problem is that the values (Kh/Ph) have changed dramatically.

I could hear someone else in the background say: 'there has been a system change in that area'. Apparently our suburb has been changed over to another water supply. This happened on Tuesday of this week which probably explains the difference in Ph/Kh values.

Lesson learned. When doing big water changes always test Ph levels in the tap first!

Edited by Isabella
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Hi Isabella,

When people age water, there are several reasons, and some of these are:

1. To let noxious/dangerous gasses, such as chlorine and sulfides, evaporate. When you use Prime, chlorine/chloramine is nearly instantly destroyed, making the water safe for your fish.

2. To let pH altering gasses, such as carbon dioxide, escape, allowing the pH to be more stabilized.

It's point #2 that we have to worry about, which adding Prime cannot help. Your new tap water is lower in pH, and that might be because the water company is injecting CO2 gas into the water, or the tap is coming from a source that has a lot of CO2. Once the water comes out of tap is open to air, some of this CO2 will escape, allow the pH to rise.

Shall we do a mini-experiment? Let's fill up some tap water, put it in a container (QT is possible) with aeration. Let it sit for 24 hours, and then check the pH. I bet the pH is going to be closer to 7.4-7.6.

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