Thread: PH Question
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Old 03-10-2016, 09:51 AM
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neutrinoman
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What kind are the new fish and are they wild (and expensive)?

Your experience having problems with touchy water chemistry makes me hesitant to say do this or do that, so I'll just comment on my experience and what I'd do. Ultimately has to be your call, but normally I'd consider one of the following options, depending on type of fish, cost, or my experience with that type:

Most of the time I don't worry about it. If the fish are being shipped, by the time they arrive the ph in the bags has dropped anyway and it's a relief for them to go into one of my tanks with good water, zero ammonia, and moderate ph (ph in my tanks is not far from yours, mostly 7.5, 7.6-ish, including kapampa tanks).

If I want to take extra precautions with an expensive fish I'll acclimate them in a bucket or tub to the target ph for an hour (or longer). In some cases when I want to be cautious I might raise my tank ph just slightly, just a few degrees, and a compromise between what they came from and my normal ph. If I wanted to be really fussy, I'd set up a temporary tank where I can acclimate them over a longer period.

Years ago I believed the conventional wisdom, thought you should be meticulous about ph, would repeat the common advice that your exact ph is not as important as keeping it very steady and cite the fact that the ph scale is logarithmic, so small changes in value makes a big difference to your fish, etc, all conventional wisdom on fish forums. But eventually I found that really didn't line up with my personal experience, which is that most fish are reasonably forgiving-- within reasonable limits. Basically I learned this over time, receiving wild fish, having to move fish from one tank to another, sometimes with different ph between them, etc. Now I normally keep all my tanks in the same range, anyway, just for simplicity's sake.

Couple of years ago I found this article that confirmed in my mind what my experience seemed to be saying.

That's just my take and what I've been doing. Like I say I don't want to be dogmatic on it. Also, tanks are a little different than wild in the sense that significant ph changes in a tank can affect ammonia, nitrifying bacteria activity, etc, so some of the big swings that the article says some fish routinely handle in the wild could be more problematic in a tank. (problems with ph are often more about these other tank issues than the ph by itself, unless ph has gone way off) Of course, some species are more sensitive than others, but most fish are reasonably adaptable to ph differences.
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