[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: pH hell

At 01:51 AM 2/13/99 -0800, you wrote:
>tap water >190 ppmCa, Mg,130ppm HCO3(straight from the tap), pH 7.6, KH 7-8,
>GH 9.  The plants did not do well in this water.
>The fish are all soft water species: some apistogrammas, gouramis, tetras,
>rasboras, loaches, corydoras.  21/2 years ago I kept them basically in tap
>water.  However, after I started to provide them with 2/3 deionized and 1/3
>tap with the lower pH their colours became vibrant - in fact, the
>photographs in the books don't do them justice.  The fish are spawning -
>(except the loaches).  There are no shells or any sedimentary type rocks in
>the tank.  The substrate is non-reactive to acid.  My fish have NOT come
>down with anything like ick or any other disease.  They are very healthy,
>and even my zebra danio test fish lived for 21/2 years. (damn it.  Who wants
>the test fish to live on, and on, and on.  They were BLIND already! They
>ended up in their own "senior citizens tank").
>I have raised gouramis, and apistogrammas.  The other fish spawn, but I do
>not have the facilities available to help them out.  The sex ratios of the
>apistogramma were very close to 50/50 m/f.  They grow well and quickly
>without the addition of baby brine or any other special food.  They seem to
>find plenty of "bugs" around the plants and the substrate.  The parent fish
>are alive and well, although by Apistogramma standards, they are geriatric -
>especially the female.
>The plants are a variety of stem plants and chain swords, some cryptos,
>vallisneria, water sprite etc.
>The reason I have attempted to alter the type of water I am putting in the
>tank is precisely to stop creating a "chemical soup".
>The pH of deionized water is ???  Once I have reconstituted it, the pH is
>6.6 GH 3 KH 3
>No lfs salesperson has ever tried to get me to buy anything.  However,  I
>think the Mardel Waters of the World, and the Tetra Black Water Extract are
>misleading products.  This is why I am trying to simplify things.  I know
>that the tap water was not the best environment for my fish. They did not
>spawn, and their colours were muted compared to how they look today.
>All I am trying to do is create an environment where the fish are
>comfortable, non-stressed and "happy"- if it is possible for a fish to be
>It just seems that somehow the pH is being influenced by something -
>probably the phosphate, which results in the pH bounce.  Considering the KH
>is only 3 - this alone will not create the bounce.  There has to be
>something else - and it's not the presence of limestone or any shells.
>Right now, after titrating non-phosphate buffered acid into the tank, the pH
>has stabilized at 6.6.  The problem will again arise when I do another water
>change.  I think that until there is sufficient phosphate in the water, it
>will bind up hydrogen ionsand help to drive up the pH. (That's just my
>theory, I'm not sure, that's why I posted the original letter.)  Today I
>added some phosphate absorber to the filter system and hopefully I can
>eliminate the huge excess.  Please bear in mind that the phosphate level was
>far in excess of any test reading.  Through dilution of the test solution I
>was able to extrapolate that the level was above 40ppm.  At this time it is
>under 10ppm. and falling.
>I think the water will be better for the fish if there isn't all that
>phosphate in it.  I also think that once I get rid of the high phosphate
>level, there should not be a pH bounce.  Again, I don't know this for a
>fact.  I am trying to get some info from people on this list who may be able
>to help me out here.  I just wanted to find out from anyone who would
>understand the situation  whether the problem arises through changing
>buffering systems.
>Part of the buffering system is just sodium bicarbonate.  I'm not sure about
>the buffered acid.
>I realize that there are a lot of people who would advocate using the water
>coming out of the tap. If that's fine for them, well and good.  However, I
>do not intend to once again use water straight from the tap.
>When I was a kid I kept guppies and when I had mollies I added salt to the
>water.  The tap was fine.  I don't want to keep rift lake cichlids, although
>that seems to be the fish of choice for most people in this city.  When I
>started with fish again, I wanted to put species together that would not
>kill each other or fight.  I prefer to have a relaxing experience when I
>watch my fish.
>My only other option is to move to the west coast where the water is
>wonderful for keeping soft water fish.  Unfortunately, if I do that, it'll
>have to wait until I'm 65 :)
>This letter is too long, but I hope I have answered all of your questions.
>Insomnia seems to be my friend today.
>This is the apistogramma mailing list, apisto@majordomo.pobox.com.
>For instructions on how to subscribe or unsubscribe or get help,
>email apisto-request@majordomo.pobox.com.
>Search http://altavista.digital.com for "Apistogramma Mailing List Archives"!

Yeah, that's it.   2/3 RO + 1/3 tap.  No Waters of the World or Miracle
Amazon Juice or Pacu Sperm Extract and you should be just fine.   If you
want to touch your water up a bit, try adding about 1 tablespoon Canadian
Sphagnum Peat Moss (from your favorite nursery, the dirt cheap kind) per
gallon.   That will lower the pH a little from your mix of 6.6 to probably
around 6.0 and should drop the hardness by about half.   But I don't think
you need it.   2/3 RO and 1/3 tap.   Or run your RO in "high efficiency"
mode where it generates less waste water, then use straight RO.

Dave Gomberg, San Francisco            mailto:gomberg@wcf.com

This is the apistogramma mailing list, apisto@majordomo.pobox.com.
For instructions on how to subscribe or unsubscribe or get help,
email apisto-request@majordomo.pobox.com.
Search http://altavista.digital.com for "Apistogramma Mailing List Archives"!