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pH Raises Naturally Over 48 Hour Period

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I have soft tap water with a pH of between 6.8 and 7.0 that rises naturally by .6-.8 points over a 24-48 hour period, which makes large water changes extremely stressful for this fish.  I already add 5/8 tsp to every 5 gallons to bring the kH up to 9 drops, which also pushes the initial pH up to 7.6, but that doesn't really help, because it also pushes the eventual pH up to 8.2-8.4.

 

So, for an example:

Fish are in the tank with a pH of 8.2-8.4.  I move the fish plus some tank water to a large casserole dish, empty the tank, add water, baking soda, and Prime (and PraziPro on applicable days), which brings the pH to around 7.6.  It takes 4-6 hours with aerators on full blast to raise the new water to 8.0 so that I can re-add the fish, who have now been in that casserole dish a VERY long time.

 

What can I do differently to make large water changes less stressful for the fish?

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If it takes the pH 4-6 hours to rise from 7.6 to 8, they can handle that no problem.  Any instant shift over 0.5 is stressful, especially when going from a higher pH to a lower pH.   Going from 7.6 to 8 over several hours (lower to higher and just 0.4) shouldn't stress them.  :D

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I have a similar problem except that the pH on my tap water is extremely low.  We have a neutralizing tank on it that brings the water up to about 7.8 but if we run a lot of water like I do on a large water change the pH slowly decreases.  Like you if I let the water sit for 24 - 48 hours it will be back up at 7.8.  I have two different set ups that I have been using to solve this problem. 

 

On my 38 gallon tank I have a 20 gallon plastic tub that I fill up with tap water the day before and use this for my water change.  I vacuum out my tank as I usually do and then transfer the "aged" water from the tub using a cheap pump that I bought from Harbor Freight.

 

I have a 100 gallon stock tank that over winter my outside fish in.  For this tank I do daily 10% water changes.  It's only 10 gallons and so far it has worked.

 

Good luck.

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If it takes the pH 4-6 hours to rise from 7.6 to 8, they can handle that no problem.  Any instant shift over 0.5 is stressful, especially when going from a higher pH to a lower pH.   Going from 7.6 to 8 over several hours (lower to higher and just 0.4) shouldn't stress them.  :D

 

I think I may not have explained adequately, sorry!  I'm worried that the fish are in the casserole bowl too long while I'm waiting 4-6 hours for the new water's pH to rise to 8.  They're used to a pH of 8.2-8.4, and new water with baking soda is 7.6, which is more than a .5 difference, and in the "wrong" direction as well.  I have read elsewhere on these forums that we should try not to go more than .3 all at once when going from a higher pH to a lower one...

 

On my 38 gallon tank I have a 20 gallon plastic tub that I fill up with tap water the day before and use this for my water change.  I vacuum out my tank as I usually do and then transfer the "aged" water from the tub using a cheap pump that I bought from Harbor Freight.

 

I have a 100 gallon stock tank that over winter my outside fish in.  For this tank I do daily 10% water changes.  It's only 10 gallons and so far it has worked.

 

Thank you for both ideas!  I can definitely do the small daily water changes once the fish make it through their rounds of Prazi, but my prescribed Prazi schedule calls for occasional 100% water changes.  The water-aging tub would do the trick, but I don't have room for one.   :(  Two adults, four children, one 75 lb lap dog and three single-tailed goldfish in 1350 square feet might not have been our best idea!

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When you say "empty the tank", does this mean 100% change? Can you just do 50% changes?

 

Sorry I just noticed that smaller changes was already suggested.

Edited by DieselPlower

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When you say "empty the tank", does this mean 100% change? Can you just do 50% changes?

 

I don't think I can while doing the Prazi schedule I linked to above; I think Lisa set it that way with 100% changes because my tank is uncycled.

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How much water are you changing at once? Is it possible to age some of the water overnight so that, say 50% of the water you change is already matched and the other 50% is at 7.6 and rising slowly?

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That is a great idea!  There is a space under the desk that, if I turn it sideways, I can fit a 12 gallon tote; that's not quite half, but it's better than a casserole dish for 4 - 6 hours!

 

:9

 

Kokonuts rock...just sayin'...

 

:Dancing:

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The easiest, safest, and least stressful solution is to do small daily water changes.  I use continuous water change in all my ponds and any aquarium that I set up.  This consists of a container 5-15% of the volume of the tank that drips fresh water into the tank and an overflow to remove excess.  I do this to provide the fish with the steady state conditions they love and also to save on labor.  I don't have a pH problem, but his past summer, continuous water change saved most of my fish from unsafe city water.   I finally realized that all of the fish that died "for no reason" had received a full or large water change just before.  By this time I had lost several times as many fish in a few months as I had in the previous four years.

 

When I do prazi treatments while replacing ~ 10% of the water daily, I add prazi to the replacement water on the "prazi treatment" days and use no prazi in the replacement water for the "no treatment" days.  I believe the reason for doing a full changes when switching between prazi and no-prazi stages is because most prazi treatments are done in quarantine or hospital tanks that are often uncycled, and are needing the water replaced.  

 

If you must do 100% water changes, please go out and get a 15-20 gallon plastic tote to put your fish in while you are waiting for the pH to stabilize.

 

 

 

 

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