Cichlid Fish Forum banner
1 - 18 of 18 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
18 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone, I am new to this board. I've had a 55 gallon since 98' when I started with my two tiger oscars. They were already two years old when I took them. Now that they have both recently passed in the last 6 months, I have decided to try my hand again at an african cichlid tank. I am having a slight issue though. I realize they need a higher PH level and as of last night my PH is too low. Ammonia is 0 and for hte life of me I cannot recall my nitrite levels. I need to bring the PH up. I heard I could use baking soda to accomplish this and need some confirmation on this. I am thinking about doing a cleaning on the tank tonight and then testing again but wonder if I should go ahead with a little baking soda prior to cleaning or just wait until after. I am just concerned if the water is too acidic, how this will affect my little babies (PH below 7 right now!!).

Also, I use a large fitler appropriate for the tank size but nothing overloaded. Two large under gravel round air stones and 3 foot bar along the back. Do you guys think I need to increase the water flow? Do you think this is enough on the airation? First I don't want to harm the fish, second I don't want to not invest wisely in the set up. Suggestions would be appreciated.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
91 Posts
Yes on the baking soda. It will raise your pH up to 8.2 or so and thats perfect for African cichlids. Add a little at a time tell u get where you want to be. But make the changes slowly. To fast and you will stress the fish. I would do the good cleaning as well, a water change, then add the baking soda. We need more info to help more.

we need to know--
that tank size? still the 55gal?
the filter you have? and GPH it filters?
the kind, size, and quantity of fish you have?
all the readings for your tank. PH, Ammonia, nitrites nitrates, GH, KH, Temp
the water testing kit your using and how old it is? they do go bad.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
18 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The tank is 55 gal. I use a hang on filter for a 60 gallon tank, I have two large under gravel air stones and one 3 foot bar for air. large gravel substrate, 35 lbs Texas holey limestone rock, lava rock, plastic wood textured figures and plastic plants. PH was resting between 6.6 amd 6.8. Ammonia was 0. I can't remember the other readings for GH, KH, nitrites, nitrates but the temp is 79/80. Testing kit could be several years old, got no issue with getting another.

2 clown loaches, 5 red top trewavasae, 2 yellow labs at the moment and two pseudotropheus crabro. I will be adding more fish but need to get this tank under control at the moment.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,998 Posts
Very good thinking on getting things under control before adding more fish. It's so common to see folks show up asking for help after the fact. Much easier to avoid trouble than to fix it! I don't have soft water so little to add there. May I ask what part of the state you are? Maybe the piney woods? I suggest go slow, adjust the water slowly using the recipe in the articles here on the forum and then maybe add more filtering if needed. To me there is no way to set a true standard for filters as well all have different situations with different fish, feeding and cleaning. To avoid spending money needlessly, I go for more filtering if/when I find my water is not being kept as good as I like for my cleaning routines. Most likely the ammonia and nitrite will not suddenly get out of control with the same fish but will gradually creep up more than you want. That is the time when I look for more filtering. Once the tank is stable, if you begin to see ammonia or nitrite, you can knock it down temporary until you get more filter.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
18 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
In North Central Texas. I will get a new testing kit. Not a fan of the strips myself. I just got the tank cleaned and rearranged to add lots of hiding spaces. Will post a pic directly. Going to test the water again in the morning.

Thanks for any and all tips and advice! THe filter is a top fin brand. Could be better but I have too many irons in the fire besides the fish! LOL.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
18 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
OK so How can I upload a pic to this forum?[/img]
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
18 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·


Not sure if this works or not?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
18 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·


May have a little much?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
18 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I am worried it might be too much for the tank but I can take away or move things around. I worry it may be too much for hiding places? Thoughts?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,942 Posts
No such thing as too many hiding places with rock fish, in my opinion! Big open water fish may need room to swim, but your fish will love it!

I only have airstones to power the undergravel filter on my utility tank. They will help move the water across the top, which may help since you only have one filter. You could remove them if you put a second power filter on, which is what I would do with your setup. You can't really over filter the water, and most fish don't mind all the water movement.

Do you mean you have an undergravel filter? If so, lose it on this setup. You won't be able to clean it. If any of the wood is real driftwood, lose that too because it will drive down the PH. My tap water is 8.0, can't help you there, but I wouldn't try to drive the PH more than .1 at a time.

Good luck!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,998 Posts
For me, it might be a bit on the crowded side but not much. What does it do for you? The fish are pretty open to whatever they get! Before worries about the wood driving PH down, consider what the water has. If it has good buffering (GH/KH) it may not change much. Do some checking by testing for a while after it is set and stable and then you may or may not want to remove wood. I find a lot of good explanation of water at this site:

http://www.freshwater-aquarium-fish.com/water_chemistry.htm

Seems to make much more sense than I ever could. I'm not sure I would worry too much over the PH until I tried it. I find the fish often go with what they have far easier than trying to adjust to a changing situation. I have several friends up in OK that do very little to change their water and it works fine with lower than stated PH. If I had trouble breeding, etc. then I would look at changing things but it might work fine as is. Right now you have limestone pulling it one way and wood trying to pull it another and over time it is hard to say how it will settle out. Might work, might not.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,942 Posts
PH below 7 is super low, it can change easily and quickly and really bother the fish if you do anything drastic like add a large amount of baking soda. Having PH under 7 indicates that KH is low, high KH will stabilize the PH to over 8, and make it resistant to change.

What is your ph out of the tap?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
18 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
All wood is actually plastic replicas of wood. Just the limestone working to help with PH balance. The fish are juvenile still and of course the arrangements may need to be adjusted as they grow. Sent the bumble bee cichlids back to the store and replace with Acei.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,942 Posts
I used to have a couple of p. crabro that turned into enormous, ugly, angry fish, no offense if anyone loves them, just not for me. Acei are much more pleasant.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
18 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
got some PH 8.2 powder but it remarks about adding salt? Anyone familiar with this?
 
1 - 18 of 18 Posts
Top