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Trinket

Removing Fish From Established Tank

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I have a little concern that one of you chemist geniuses I hope may have an answer for.

Recently removed 2 fish from an/my overstocked 3o gallon tank (5 fish)to their own tank. Am concerned now that the sudden drop in fish waste etc in the 30 gallon will cause a PH plunge- or other trouble...what do you think? The readings in the 30 gallon by the way are ammonia 0, nitrite 0 and nitrates between 10 and 20.Ph 7.8.and have been stable for 6 months.

Thankyou in advance. :)

Edited by Trinket

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Trinket, I'm no chemistry genius by a long shot but lowering the biological load will not cause the pH to plunge.

A pH drop brought on by the nitrification process could occur if more fish were added, not less.

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Thanks. So it wouldn't start to go up -the pH then? And is a pH rise as dangerous as a PH plunge? Sorry for all the questions. A quick answer is fine.. :unsure:

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Fishmerised is correct, lowering the biological load will not cause the pH to plunge.

A PH plunge is much more stressful to a fish than a PH rise. One thing the drop in fish waste will cause is the biological bacteria will die back if they don't have anything to feed on. If you don't plan on adding fish to that tank in the next week or so you can keep the biological bacteria alive by adding a little pure ammonia to the tank.

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Your pH will not rise unless you add some form of buffer or unless you do large water changes and the pH out of your tap is higher than 7.8.

Any gradual increases in pH due to water changes will not harm your fish, so long as they are gradual.

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I understand that. However my pH has risen to an alarming 9.0. I have been religously testing all (3) tanks for nitrites/nitrates and ammonia because of moving the fish around and I had neglected checking the pH from the tap water.

My tap water has risen from a stable 7.2 to 8 in a week. So w/c's have been steadily rasing the pH.I now have 2 tanks registering 8 and 8.5 and one at 9. What should I do..is this a dangerous alkalinity?Please answer soon!!!

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I always thought your tap water stayed approx the same pH. Obviously I was wrong.

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Well, pH of 9 is getting a bit high, I would be concerned about it. As I said, I'm not a chemistry genius, the only thing I can think of is a commercial pH down product. I would only use as much as is necessary to keep the pH at 8.5.

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Hi Imogen,

You need to test your GH and KH which are your general hardness and carbonate hardness. It is difficult to fight against the pH of the source water because everytime you add or change water, you are causing the pH to change which is not nice to the fish.

I'm surprised that your source water pH is changing so much. Is it city water or well water?

On way to stablise the water is to increase KH by adding baking soda. The pH of baking soda is about 8.3 so if you add the right quantity of the stuff, your water will stablise at about 8.3, 8.4 which is fine for goldies. :)

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OBTW, if you have any fish left in the tank, DO NOT add ammonia to the tank. The amount of nitrifying bacteria will drop as the amount of ammonia is reduced because of the lower fish load but it will settle down at a new equalibrium. It won't stop working, it just need less bacteria to get the job done. :)

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Thanks very much for that capt (is that kirk by chance?). I have to get the kH and gH kits. I've never done that on the tap water- it's city water. It's just strange that its the tank that I took the fish out of that has risen to 9. I'm a little anxoius and can't do anything till tomorrow now. Also don't have bicarb in the house... :( but many thanks for the advice.

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Yes, I would be interested to see your KH reading. Most metabolic processes in the tank tends to reduce pH so a sudden rise in pH is rare in comparison.

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Also haven't added anything to the tank except water as in water changes. I was

so surprised when I checked the tank and the pH test kit went immediately dark blue almost purple. I have never seen it so high. then I went and tested the tap water (which was always between 7.2 and 7.5) and it was an immediate 8. and above maybe.

This is all very strange...

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What is the range of your pH test kit. Some are board range, others are spit between low and high range. You have to be careful that you are reading the right chart for the kit. ;) If ever in doubt, do a baseline test of some distilled water which should be 7 and a solution of baking soda which should be 8.3.

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It's a tetra test pH from 5. to 10. with .5 divisions -from yellow at 5. to greens to blues graded in color intensity and the 10.0 is purple. 9.0 is a very dark blue. the kit is about 5 months old maybe 6. Do they last forever- could I have a false reading I wonder. The fish seem okay... :blink:

BTW What would be symptoms in the fish of too alkaline water? So I can watch out... :unsure:

Edited by Trinket

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The test kit should be good for a year or two. Don't know if you got a false reading as you have tested several different sets of water. Like I said, do a baseline test with something of known pH value should give you a good idea if the kit is at fault.

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Thanks for all the help. :)

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No worries. :) Glad to help. Just post your KH result when you have them and I'll see what we can do.

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I'm wondering if that 9 reading was a false reading. Tanks back down at 7.5 and 8 respectively. Relief.. will get kH and gH kits as soon as I can, maybe next week now..and post back. :) Thanks.

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