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High Ph-what Do I Do?


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  • Regular Member

Hi all,

I'm realizing that when I inherited my tank two weeks ago (I originally left the gravel, the filter in for a week before changing the carbon, and one quarter of the water and it was housing tropicals with goldfish, now it is housing two goldfish) that it probably wasn't cycled properly. I've done three rather large water changes and removed most of the gravel and aquarium salt and have added Epsom salts instead because the Pearlscale is showing signs of dropsy.

I just had my water tested today (after a 75% water change and the gravel removal yeserday) and I was at zero nitrites and ammonia because of the water change. But my PH is high 7.8. The guy at the store sold me PH down. My question is with the health of my fish in question and my tank possibly cycling should I just leave well enough alone and return this or just add driftwood?

Also, the pet store told me to put the gravel back in (it has been washed and siting in a bucket) and to not touch the tank for a month. Obviously, that is crazy. My plan was to get river rock and test the water daily watching for the tank to cycle and make very small water changes when needed. Does that sound right? I'm going to post this in 911 as well.

Also, I got talked into Jungle Antibacterial Food (Rick at Goldfish Connection didn't think she could wait for the Metro Meds to arrive on Monday). Is this safe to feed both fish while the tank is cycling? Thanks!

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  • Regular Member

Yes its safe.

Just wondering why you are worried about the pH? The thing with goldies is they like stability. So no sudden changes. The trouble with commercial pH fixes IME is they have an expiry point that is unpredictable and a sudden drop may occur when their capacity to buff is exhausted. Its really better to acclimate your fish to the pH of your tap, whatever that may be- (as long as its over 7).

Goldfish are very adaptable to a pH as high as 8 or so as long as it is stable. My tanks' pH are all around 8. A more alkaline pH is good for the production of de-nitrifying bacteria that help cycle the tank and keep the water safe.

The ideal pH may be set at 7.4 as a number but the importance of pH stabiltyat any level between 7 and 8.5 is a healthier longterm goal.

So, I think your pH is just fine :)

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Whew...thanks! I am so glad that I went with my gut and didn't add the PH Down. My water tested at 7.5 out of the tap. And when I tested it with my kit I finally got (and will hopefully learn how to read better) it came close to the 8, so 7.8 or so was probably a right guess.

He made it sound like that is what was causing the dropsy/SWB issues, so I panicked. But then I researched a bit before doing anything.

I'm leaning towards thinking that this is a cycling issue and just testing every day and doing water changes to keep the amonia spike down.

I'm thinking of returning the antibacterial food as well. I'm just not sure I want to overtreat until I get a better sense of what is happening. What do you think?

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It really doesn't sound like you need it. Perfect water for a few weeks does wonders. It's simply the best medicine.

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Thanks. I think I'm going to give it a few days, but keep the food on hand just in case. I will also wait and see what you think about that grey area. It might be normal. I just wish I knew :(

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  • Regular Member

Good :) (the rumble not the tease!!)

And I think a grey area in young calicos can often be a sign of color coming through below the skin BUT we'd need to see a pic to confirm that really.

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Thanks:) I will try to get a photo tonight after checking my water again. I'm getting a nitrate kit. In my mind she isn't Calico, but really she does have some black streaking on her tail and one of her eyes has black scales, so that may be it.

This is a silly thought, but I noticed the difficulty swimming after putting in the airstone (it is a four inch or so bar). She loved to ride the current and still does, but I wonder if it is too strong for her and if that has caused her problems?

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