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Old 30th March 2009   #1
Dana
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Default water issue

Hi everyone,

I just was testing the Christmas tank (for a Betta, not FBNs) that has been giving us fits. The tap water seems to be horrible and I've been making all sorts of adjustments to it. I finally got the levels all pretty normal except my pH. I'm a little freaked out because I just used pH Down as it was at the bottom of the test kit chart, so I think about 7.8. I then read the article on pH here at the site and it said NOT to use this product. Is it OK to use water that has been treated w/ it and found to be OK or is it unacceptable altogether? I have larva and do not want to harm them and haven't done my water change today as I was just preparing to do so when I came across this article.

Also, does anyone know how long it takes for the pH decreaser to work? Apparently more than a few hours???? I had been using a pH neutralizer and it didn't work in the tank or my treated jug. I hate to subject the babies to these chemicals especially if they're not working - thinking about just buying the Deer Park Spring Water tomorrow. Will skipping the water change today be OK? Do you have to treat the spring water at all?

Thanks for any input,
Dana



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Old 30th March 2009   #2
Hardwarehank
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Default Re: water issue

I too used API pH down on my tap water in the past, it comes out at 8.2. From what I can gather the stuff should work pretty instantly but your water may be like mine where it is too alkaline which makes the pH down very ineffective and very cost inefficient as you need to dose excessive amounts to make any sort of difference. The biggest reason you don't want to use pH down for your larvae is that it is composed entirely of sulfuric acid, not good for animals with semi-permeable skin and I believe it is also harmful to live plants.

Anywho, my tanks hover around 8.0-8.2(C.O., P. Labiatus, and a C.O. larva tank) and my animals seem to do fine. The only modifications I make to the water now is using Stress Coat to dechlorinate. So if your tap water comes out at 7.5ish I would think that is perfectly acceptable for your animals.

p.s. If you have any larvae in the pH down treated water I'd suggest moving them to a different container for the time being until you can do a water change.



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Old 30th March 2009   #3
Dana
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Default Re: water issue

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hardwarehank View Post

p.s. If you have any larvae in the pH down treated water I'd suggest moving them to a different container for the time being until you can do a water change.
Nope, they're safe. I had just bought the decreaser yesterday, but had used a pH neutralizer for the water used to tap off some of the adult and larva tanks - is that OK?

After I posted last night, I tested the larva tank and the pH was about 7.6 or just less, so no worries there. All other levels were great.

I'll reserve this treated jug for the Betta tank if I ever get it up and running. Scary about the sulfuric - feel like I'm back in college - and even using it around fish! I need to STOP listening to employees at pet stores as I'm sure they have no idea why the pH goes down after using this stuff!

Thanks, Hank,
Dana



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Old 30th March 2009   #4
Jennewt
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Default Re: water issue

See what you can find out about the pH tolerance of betta fish. For FBN, I would certainly not tamper with a water pH of 7.8 - they'll be fine with that. When tap water has a high pH, it is usually due to the water being mineral-rich, which is generally a good thing. This also makes the water relatively refractory to any attempt to lower the pH using chemicals. Another possibility is that your pH is high due to chloramine; be sure you are using a dechlorinating product that deals with chloramine properly. In either case, adjusting the pH with those "pH Down" type products will only result in wild fluctuations; for most animals these fluctuations are more stressful than an "imperfect" but stable pH.

In a cycled tank, water pH has a tendency to drop over time. Thus your established tanks are likely to end up at a pH that is closer to neutral. That's another reason you don't need to try to tamper with adjusting the pH.



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Old 30th March 2009   #5
Johnny O. Farnen
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Default Re: water issue

You are in luck! I bred Betta splendens in vast amounts for years!
Betta splendens prefers slightly acidic water. Ideally in captivity you want to shoot for a pH of 5.8 to 7.5. Keep in mind though that these are very tolerant fish. The most important thing to watch for with them is ammonia and temperature. Bettas need it right around 80F for optimum health. Also avoid bright light and aeration. Bettas actually breath surface air and water movement stresses them badly so filtration should only be via sponge filter, although frequent water changes with aged water are best.

My best recomendation to you is google the IBC- International Betta Congress they have links to everything you never wanted to know about anabantoids.




Last edited by SludgeMunkey; 30th March 2009 at 16:15. Reason: usual poor typing
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Old 30th March 2009   #6
Dana
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Default Re: water issue

[QUOTE]Also avoid bright light and aeration. Bettas actually breath surface air and water movement stresses them badly so filtration should only be via sponge filter, although frequent water changes with aged water are best.
[QUOTE]

Thanks for that post - will help me when we venture there again. We've had two that both died w/in a week or two of getting them. We then discovered the nitrites were very high. It was a new tank for the second one (2.5 gal) as we thought the first one died as it was in a bowl after reading online information when he began to look badly. Anyway, got the small tank and the Betta seemed happy at first, then took a terrible turn as we helplessly looked on. The ammonia was fine as was the pH (then - in Jan.) but now the pH is very high and not suitable for fish, hence the ph Down product being used. Do you know if it's OK for Betta? Also, I read online that a filter was beneficial which is why we bought the little tank - do you view them as happier w/ a low current filter like I use w/ the newts which isn't on full time?

Thanks,
Dana



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