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Re: plumeting pH and bicarbonate of soda

Posted By: Iris <Iris6@aol.com>
Date: Wednesday, 26 April 2000, at 5:17 p.m.

In Response To: plumeting pH and bicarbonate of soda (craig)

First, do what Fran says, above. You have too much breakdown of something in your tank - fish wastes, excess food, poor quality driftwood, something. This will cause high nitrates and low pH. Given the number of fish you have in your tank, and the amount of waste they are surely producing, and the fact that your clowns and pleco (and maybe the gourami) are going to grow, increased water changes and gravel-siphoning are surely going to help. Warning - do ONLY these two things in addition to your normal maintenance. Do not have a "cleaning attack" and scrub everything, or you'll eliminate all the valuable nitrifying bacteria in your tank - the fact that you have NO ammonia and NO nitrites and high nitrates indicates that you have a lot of nitrifying bacteria in your tank doing their job, and you don't want to eliminate these by scrubbing surfaces. Anytime you do need to clean a surface (such as the front glass) go ahead, just don't do them all at once.

Having said that, I'd like to state that a pH of 6.0 is absolutely lovely for the fish you are keeping (except maybe the danios). There is no danger as long as it goes down SLOWLY and as long as it stays above 5.0 - below 5.0 will kill your nitrifying bacteria. Sudden changes and bounces are far more harmful. In the natural environments these fish come from, the pH is somewhere between 5.0 and 6.5, typically.

Iris
 

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