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Old 04-24-2018, 06:31 PM
Nanook
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Default Tank PH question

I buffer all my makeup and water change water with Seachem Tanganyika Buffer and salts. My tank ph is usually 8.5 after a water change, then down to 8.1ish after a few days. Are these swings bad for my fish?

Another question, I have gray colored areas in my sand that Im assuming are from anoxia/hydrogen sulfide. Are these areas causing my ph issues?
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Old 04-25-2018, 11:00 AM
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Based on my reading outside of fish forums, and personal experience, I'd say the need for perfectly steady ph is overstated, at least within a fish's range of comfort or tolerance. I used to be on that bandwagon myself, convinced by forum posts and some articles I read, but I've learned otherwise. I'd been suspecting this for some time, decided to do some research and found studies like this. The hazards would be a crash below what a fish can handle or a sudden spike upwards from a low pH (7 or under) when there's ammonia present, because it changes the ammonia to a more toxic form, or for some especially sensitive fish swings of more than just a few tenths. If someone has problems when there's relatively moderate pH changes I'd suspect other chemistry issues are at fault, not pH in itself.

Other people have figured this out and are sometimes the ones who recommend getting a fish out of the bag as fast as possible rather than keeping them in the bag to slowly exchange water and equalize pH before putting them in the tank. When it comes to this, I'll test pH in the bag vs. tank, and if it's way off and an expensive fish I'll acclimate the fish in a bucket rather than keeping it in the bag. But otherwise, I've experimented with varying pH within a reasonable range, like 7.2 to 8.2 with a lot of my fish, and they mostly think nothing of it-- I did have some guianacara show stress when pH got well into the 8s, so different fish have their limits, of course.
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Old 04-25-2018, 12:13 PM
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Thanks. I see my ph was 8.6 after the water change yesterday and today down to 8.1. It seems to stabilize around that number, so I guess I’ll just watch it for now. My KH is 14-16, so I’m buffered good enough. I think the sandbed is an issue with accumulating grayish zones, so I’ll work on that angle. I’m doing 140-150 gallon water changes weekly.
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