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Thread: Beginner water help needed

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    Default Beginner water help needed

    Hey all,

    I have a 38 gallon marineland bow front tank with a hang on type filter. Iíve been wanting discuss for a while and my local store here (barrier reef) in south Florida has told me Iíd need lower ph and so for the past 2 months Iíve been lowering it with the api proper ph 6.5. It finally went from a high 7 to roughly about a 6.6 now (very light green).
    The store associate told me I can now start to add discus and they had a juvenile for sale which I purchased.
    Itís been doing well from what I can tell. Active and is eating.

    What my main concern has to do with is matching the tanks now low ph. I read some people do 50% water changes per day. Thatís just not realistic for me. My tap water shows up blue on my ph test kit so I know itís high. What Iíve been doing thus far is buying RO from the store I purchased the discus (3 days ago).
    I need a solution so that I donít have to keep spending money on RO water. I live in an apartment and I have some 5 gallon buckets that I can store water, but aside from a RO system and constantly buying water, what are my options so as to not cause a ph spike in my tank?? Should I fill my buckets with tap, condition it, and add the api proper PH 6.5? I only plan to have 1 discus for now. Other fish include 7 neon tetras, 4 cherry barbs, 1 kuhli loach, 2 cory cats, 2 harlequin rasboras and 1 serpae tetra. I gave the store 2 of my yo-yo loaches today that Iíve had for years because they were too hyper and occasionally chased the discus.
    Also what is this pre filter sponge and no carbon situation Iíve read about?

    Thanks !

  2. #2
    Registered Member 14Discus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Beginner water help needed

    There are many more people w more Discus experience than I. From what I gather, you were given wrong information to a degree. More important by far than a lower pH that may not be stable, is a stable ph even if it's a bit higher. I have two Discus tanks w
    Phs of 7.6. My water mixture of 4 or 5 RO water to 1 of tap water ratio gives me a constant ph w decent KH and GH levels.
    You are correct to be concerned. A ph of 7 is not a high ph....it's exactly neutral and fine for Discus if constant. Artificially creating a 6.5 ph that, due to your water concerns mentioned,
    is unsustainable is indeed asking for trouble. What is your ph, KH, and GH? All three are important and should be measured with the liquid kits, not the strips.

    If you maintain a constant higher ph (not for breeding), things should be ok. Now you have to gradually
    let your pH get to what would be constant w your current fish. Slowly......get your Discus used to your
    reliable ph. Don't use chemicals to adjust ph ever.....you're asking for trouble.

    The lower pH thinking for Discus in a regular tank is not really true any more. Also, one Discus alone
    in a community tank is not ideal. They are schoaling fish and depend on fellow Discus for comfort and security.

    Hope this helps some and I know it's a lot to take in. Good luck.

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    Default Re: Beginner water help needed

    What your LFS told you is just plain wrong. Dicuus can live happily in a very wide range of PH. The worst thing you can do is lower it using chemicals. The pH swings that you get using chemicals is bad for the fish. Consistency is the most important thing.

    If I were you I would look on the forum for fish for sale rather than buy from a LFS. Who knows what those fish have been exposed to. There are plenty of sellers here that have excellent reputations.
    Mama Bear

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    Default Re: Beginner water help needed

    Yeah, unfortunately I’ve gathered this information after the fact. I feel like i shot myself in the foot! So now that I’ve artifically lowered the PH, how do i go about adding water from here on? If I add it from the tap, I’m sure it will be in the 7 range.

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    Registered Member 14Discus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Beginner water help needed

    Gradual is the key. I'd do it via water changes over time. Do check into your KH. KH will greatly effect the ph movements in either direction.

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    Default Re: Beginner water help needed

    Quote Originally Posted by 14Discus View Post
    Gradual is the key. I'd do it via water changes over time. Do check into your KH. KH will greatly effect the ph movements in either direction.
    Currently only have the master kit. I will purchased a GH/KH kit and report results.
    As for gradual, would you continue to add the proper ph to the tap water, only slowly using less and less until using none or?
    Thanks

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    Registered Member 14Discus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Beginner water help needed

    There r probably faster ways, but I'd proceed gradually w perhaps a 25% WC daily for a bit. Remove 25%, then replace w just your tap (figuring your tank is 6.5 and your tap is 7.0). Btw....your tap water being put in should be the same temp, aged, and have had chlorine and chloramine removed. This is important as being off in these four things can kill quickly as well. I know I've said this before, but that KH will play a role in your attempts at ph moving. Maybe wait a day while you age your tap water and get it to the same temp w the two chlor removed. In the meanwhile get your KH and GH levels known by buying the kits. You can do this.....it will just require care and patience.

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    Default Re: Beginner water help needed

    Quote Originally Posted by 14Discus View Post
    There r probably faster ways, but I'd proceed gradually w perhaps a 25% WC daily for a bit. Remove 25%, then replace w just your tap (figuring your tank is 6.5 and your tap is 7.0). Btw....your tap water being put in should be the same temp, aged, and have had chlorine and chloramine removed. This is important as being off in these four things can kill quickly as well. I know I've said this before, but that KH will play a role in your attempts at ph moving. Maybe wait a day while you age your tap water and get it to the same temp w the two chlor removed. In the meanwhile get your KH and GH levels known by buying the kits. You can do this.....it will just require care and patience.
    Thanks again for the reply. So to clarify:
    - stop using the api proper ph
    - start doing 25% tapwater changes (roughly 10 gallons)
    -use prime for dechlorination
    - Get the KH Test kit

    You don’t think 25% daily will be too much adjustment for the fish?

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    Default Re: Beginner water help needed

    Honestly, I don't think it will be too much depending on your KH. Perhaps others should give input before you go w my suggestion...for your fishes' sake. Remember, too, that going up w pH is always better than going down as long as it's slow and easy. Without thinking KH, putting 25% of 7.0 into a tank still having 75% 6.5 should only raise it a bit. That's why KH is so important....it will determine how much and how fast the ph will move. I would advise you to prepare your water and wait until you have your KH data. Pm me if you want to chat over the phone.

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    Default Re: Beginner water help needed

    Quote Originally Posted by 14Discus View Post
    Honestly, I don't think it will be too much depending on your KH. Perhaps others should give input before you go w my suggestion...for your fishes' sake. Remember, too, that going up w pH is always better than going down as long as it's slow and easy. Without thinking KH, putting 25% of 7.0 into a tank still having 75% 6.5 should only raise it a bit. That's why KH is so important....it will determine how much and how fast the ph will move. I would advise you to prepare your water and wait until you have your KH data. Pm me if you want to chat over the phone.
    Great thank you !

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