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Aquarium chemistry - pH crash

Posted By: Amanda <amandaruth2001@yahoo.com>
Date: Thursday, 26 August 2004, at 3:20 p.m.

Hey all. I'm a former loach keeper (sadly) after having lost almost an entire tank of fish after what seems to have been a pH crash. (the few survivors were offed a couple of weeks ago when my husband did a water change and forgot to use water conditioner.)

I've been having trouble getting this tank back in shape, and I know that this board has some of the best chemists around. Your suggestions are VERY welcome here.

Background:

Tank is a 135 with gravel and live plants that had been running for at least five years. I had some driftwood with java fern growing on it that I've removed in the last week.

Our tap water is of medium hardness and generally runs at about 8.0 pH. Since the pH crash the tank has been at about .0 pH or below (since my test kits don't measure below 6.0.)

Water changes, even at 50% don't impact the pH. I'm showing fairly high nitrAtes but ammonia and nitrites are low. I've removed the driftwood in case it was decomposing and affecting pH, but the tank is still measuring around 6.0. I've also added extra activated carbon, but after five days not much seems to be happening.

I have a few tetras and a few rasboras in there now to try to restablish my biofiltration - they seem to tolerate the lower pH well - but I'd like to get everything back into shape and get some loaches in there again. I've been surprised at how much I miss them.
 

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