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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello there!

I am a new hobbyist, and would appreciate any info about my new tank setup!

I started a new 20L freshwater tank, with a new Aquaclear 30. I am using medium gravel, with some danios and tetras.

My town tap water has been touted as "good for aquariums" by the LFS. pH is 7.4 for fresh tap water.

On day 5 after setup, I checked pH is at 8.2! NH3 is 0.25ppm. NO2 is 0ppm. I use the LFS API kit. I have no clue how to test for water hardness.

It is now day 7, results are still the same.

I am trying to figure out why the pH rose after tank setup. Could this be from NH3 production by fish?

Can the biomax in the aquaclear causing the rise in pH? The gravel is from petsmart, hence, should be inert.

I am planning to keep specific wild caught striped kribensis that prefer ph 6.5 to 7.0. So I am a little perplexed.

Is an increase in pH a phenomenon seen in new tank cycles?

The reason I ask is so that I use different water in future (even buy from store.... :eek: )

Also when is best time to place live plants?

Thanks in advance!

Lisa
 

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Sometimes the tap water pH changes after it sits for 24 hours. Has to do with stuff gassing off, I believe. Try testing some tap after leaving it sit for a day. Check the KH also, see next.

Check the KH of the tap water and tank water. You can get a KH/GH API test kit. If something is increasing carbonate hardness in your tank (KH), then it could also be raising pH. But, there's nothing there on your list that would do that. What type of gravel, and is there anything else in the way of decor that's not on your list? What's in the Aquaclear?

Cycling doesn't raise pH.

Add plants now, but be sure to use a product like Prime or Ammolock that binds up ammonia into ammonium. The plants will take up ammonium, not ammonia, and it's non-toxic to both plants and fish.

By "good for aquariums" the LFS probably just means it's somewhat neutral. Doesn't mean it's necessarily ideal for all fish, and wouldn't need the pH, KH, etc raised or lowered for certain fish.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for your quick reply!

I retested tap water and aquarium water pH. Some tap water is also being left out to be retested tomorrow.

tap water pH 7.4 (fresh off tap)
aquarium water pH 8.0

As you know, previous aquarium water tested pH 8.2. I think the aquarium water pH may have changed due to comparing color chart in daylight, as opposed to at night with a bright lamp (? that possible?) I also added additional fresh 1 gallon tap water to tank yesterday to replace evaporated water.

I took a few pictures of the tank and tried to upload it here, BUT i believe there is no upload feature on this forum.

I use stress-zyme for the tank and according to instructions.

The aquaclear filter has a biomax filter insert, activated carbon insert and a foam insert.

The gravel is TOP FIN quality aquarium gravel from Petsmart store.

I also have a resin (inert) rock cave.

Quite an empty, bare tank otherwise.

Will have to try testing for DH/KH as you suggested, but no kit yet - need to go shopping!

Is distilled water bad to use for aquarium? What about store bought spring water if tap water pH not OK?

Goal is to be able to keep wild caught fish at 6.5 to 7 pH ideal.

Thanks for your input and any other advise!!!!!!!

AAAAARGGGGH........ ok need to let that out. Just a little wee bit of frustration. :D
 

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Some tap water is also being left out to be retested tomorrow.
Let's wait and see what that reveals. KH is kind of important too based on your water parameter goals. If you need to drop pH, KH will fight it if it's high enough and keep bouncing it back up.

I took a few pictures of the tank and tried to upload it here, BUT i believe there is no upload feature on this forum.
I think you have to have a certain number of posts before you can post pics.

I use stress-zyme for the tank and according to instructions.
I'm really not a big fan of stress zyme. I think it's about un-needed as any bottled aquarium product out there and really isn't going to do anything good for your tank. It's used to break down organic solids, and I believe it contains heterotrophic bacteria that does this. In a new tank, totally not needed as you don't have any organic solids. In an established tank, vacuuming substrate and rinsing filter media is a much better way. Beware of additives.

The aquaclear filter has a biomax filter insert, activated carbon insert and a foam insert.

The gravel is TOP FIN quality aquarium gravel from Petsmart store.

I also have a resin (inert) rock cave.

Quite an empty, bare tank otherwise.
Then, nothing there that would raise pH or KH.

Is distilled water bad to use for aquarium?
It's fine when used for either topoffs, as there are no minerals in it, or for mixing with other water to reach certain water parameter goals. It may be what you need, but we don't know yet. You'd never use distilled water on it's own.

What about store bought spring water if tap water pH not OK?
Spring water may have minerals that give it a pH/KH outside of the range that you need. I've never tested it myself to see. But's it's very different from distilled water.

Thanks for your input and any other advise!!!!!!!
You're welcome. Get the KH/GH kit and test the tap and tank tomorrow. In the meantime, you might want to check out a couple of articles in the forum library.

Water hardness and fish health

Practical water chemistry

GH, KH, and pH for the advanced aquarist

Softening aquarium water
 
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