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Re: [SPAM] [AGA-Member] pH shock - how to support recovery?

My understanding is that the osmotic shock damages their gills. They may be more subject to other illnesses for awhile than normal. If your tank sucks up N without a problem, it's not as critical, but with the change in CO2 supply and pH I'd test for that too, the plants may not be pulling it as rapidly. If your tank normally runs high on N (what, over 10 ppm N?) then I'd do more water changes to keep the water cleaner, less buildup of any wastes, which the fish won't tolerate very well for awhile. The low-tech way would be to water change and let your tap pH stay as is for a couple weeks to let them recover, gradually ramp up the CO2 again.. Higher tech, you could bubble CO2 into your tapwater in a bucket to bring it down in pH if you want to match what you've already got, which requires good consistent testing for a couple of weeks, or a pH probe/monitor.
I ran into this problem myself when first dealing with a weird import CO2 pressure regulator, and I'm trying not to do it again this weekend replacing it!

Kirsten Klinghammer wrote:

I was kind of thinking that, but I wasn't sure.  I will leave the pH alone
for now - ixnay on further water changes, CO2 use, or anything else for
today.  I appreciate you sharing your experience, Troy.

The update: It's now almost two hours since my second water change, and the
angelfish are behaving normally now, the corys are almost fully back to
normal, the SAE's are a bit subdued still, but coming along, and some of the
otos are behaving normally, some are missing and presumed hiding, and one of
them still looks to be in shock (although s/he's breathing still).  Sigh.
We've been lucky, but I wish I could make my oto feel better - and he's one
of the ones I've had the longest.  I'm a LOT less worried that I was an hour
ago, though.

Thank you for your time,


: -----Original Message-----
: From: aga-member-bounces@thekrib.com [mailto:aga-member-
: bounces@thekrib.com] On Behalf Of GG Info
: Sent: Saturday, February 19, 2005 1:16 PM
: To: Aquatic Gardeners Association Member Chat
: Subject: Re: [SPAM] [AGA-Member] pH shock - how to support recovery?
: : In my experience, if the pH is within the range tolerated by the fish,
: more
: so if in the optimum range, it would be better to leave the pH alone.
: Fish
: can thrive in less than ideal conditions as long as those conditions are
: stable. Subjecting to them to an upswing in pH would most likely result
: in
: further stress, again more so if we're talking about raising the pH back
: to
: the orginal levels and those weren't the optimum to begin with.
: : Troy
: : ----- Original Message -----
: From: "Kirsten Klinghammer" <klingham@pacbell.net>
: To: "'Aquatic Gardeners Association Member Chat'" <aga-
: member@thekrib.com>
: Sent: Saturday, February 19, 2005 2:54 PM
: Subject: [SPAM] [AGA-Member] pH shock - how to support recovery?
: : : Sorry to bother everyone, but I made a BIG MISTAKE this morning. I just
: got
: a CO2 tank for the first time, and have been careful to use it only when
: I
: can monitor it (since I'm not quite used to how set it the way I want it
: yet). I've been setting the level low the past couple of days and have
: been
: building up to what I want, but this morning I mistakenly set the bubble
: rate way too high, and I had a massive pH drop over three hours time - pH
: 8
: to pH 6.5. I should have double-checked myself sooner, but I didn't, and
: as
: a result my fish have suffered. Luckily they're all still alive, and I
: hope
: and pray they stay that way. I did some quick and dirty checking online
: about pH shock, and all I can find it that fish can die from it, and how
: to
: avoid it (these parts I know). How does one help fish get over it?
: : : : If anyone can guide me on my next steps I'd appreciate that. I have done
: two 25% water changes so far - one immediately, one about 20 or so
: minutes
: later. The first brought the pH from 6.5 to 6.8, and the second brought
: it
: to about 7.2 (my tap water - well water - pH is about 7.4 - 7.5). The
: fish
: (Corydoras sterbai, angelfish, Siamese algae eaters, and otocinclus) were
: all basically immobile when I walked into the room to check the tank and
: found the low pH, and most weren't even visibly breathing. After the
: first
: water change the fish all looked a little happier, and some of them moved
: about again. After the second water change the fish have all started
: breathing relatively normally, although the SAE's and some of the otos
: still
: look pretty out of it. The angels and the corys aren't back to normal
: activity, but I think they'll survive; not so sure about the otos or the
: SAE's.
: : : : My O2 level was 5 ppm, btw, when the pH was 6.5, and has normally been
: around 6 ppm, at least in the pre-CO2 days. I checked the info on all of
: the fish, and they supposedly can all handle (or thrive) at low pH
: levels.
: Obviously the sudden change is wrong, but at least I caught the problem
: before the pH dropped even lower than it did.
: : : : Question 1: Should I try to bring my pH any higher at this time (to
: approach pre-precipitous-drop levels), or should I just leave everything
: alone for now (the CO2 is off, of course).
: : : : Question 2: Should I turn feed any of the fish later on today? What is
: the
: least physiologically taxing for them, to feed them or not? They had a
: small Tetramin flake and Spectrum pellet breakfast, and I found them
: before
: they were going to get their live blackworms for lunch (I usually feed 4-
: 5
: small feedings per day, at least two live feedings, the rest frozen or
: dried).
: : : : Question 3: If a fish has survived pH shock, is it more prone to
: illness,
: or should previously healthy fish (which these are) return to full health
: quickly?
: : : : I feel appalled at my error this morning, and I want to do anything I can
: to
: help keep my fish alive.
: : : : Thank you,
: : : : Kirsten
: : : : : : Kirsten Klinghammer
: : _______________________________________________
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