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Cyphotilapia Disease, Health and Nutrition Discussion of Cyphotilapia frontosa & gibberosa diseases, health and nutrition.


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  #1  
Old 03-09-2016, 12:23 PM
dean9922
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Default PH Question

I will be getting some fish in soon and they come from a ph level of 8.4.

My ph is about 7.4 - 7.6.

How do I go about introducing them into my ph level?????
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Old 03-09-2016, 12:47 PM
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Well I would up my pH before they arrive. Adding sodium bicarbonate every water change (about 1 teaspoon per 2 galls) will increase it to around 8.2. If you don't want to keep on adding bicarb long term, you could slowly decrease the amount you add until you are back to tap.
Alternatively, put them in buckets and slowly add your water with an airline over a period of a couple of hours, although 8.4 down to 7.6 is a big drop to make in that time.
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Old 03-09-2016, 01:48 PM
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yeah that's the problem...every time I have fooled around trying to raise ph levels it has cost me frontosa. I finally have a colony of Kasanga that are doing great and don't want to disrupt them either....

also the fronts I have now are in my water of 7.4, so now I would be affecting them????? grrrrrrr

so it is the drop in ph that kills them if they go from higher to lower...
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Old 03-10-2016, 09:51 AM
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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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Old 03-10-2016, 10:33 AM
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In my experience, big swings are not ideal especially if you are going down. Going up seems to be not as bad. As NM wrote above, pH swings can impact other values so you need to becareful.

Slow small adjustments typically work well. If I was in your shoes, I'd be tempted to raise the pH in the destination tank a few points before the new group lands. I'd do that slowly with SeaChems Tanganyika Buffer. Fill a five gallon bucket with tank water, add one scoop of buffer, stir, let settle and stir again and slowly add around the perimeter of the tank with a coffee cup. Wait four hours and test pH and maybe redose after eight hours. One dose a day would be good if you have the time. I wouldn't recommend more than two doses a day.

Then acclimate new fish in five gallon buckets. If you can't give them their own bucket, watch for aggression. Add a cup of tank water to each bucket every ten minutes, after about 45 minutes, maybe start adding two cups depending on how they are doing. Labored breathing will be your trouble indicator with pH swings. After an hour, to 1.5 hours, you should be fine. Make sure you have air stones in the buckets. Also, you may want to bump up the heat in the house so that it is in the 70's during the acclimation process so the buckets don't loose too much temp during the acclimation period. Maybe add more tank water at the end of the process so they don't have much of a temp difference when added to the tank. Of course, don't add the bucket water to your tank, just the fish.

Hope that helps!

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Old 03-10-2016, 12:02 PM
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thanks for the replies....it is a small colony of dolphins I am getting locally. They are a breeding group I will be adding in with my 6 fronts. But he is on a different water source then we are, in the town where I live. They are not that expensive (4 of them, 1 male 3 female I believe). I want to add them all into a new 135 I will be setting up and want to introduce them at the same time.

dumb question.....will baking soda only raise the ph to a certain level and hold it there????
I can not get the Seachem buffer here at any of the local pet shops...grrrr

Directions: Use 5 g (1 level teaspoon) for each 40-80 L (10 to 20 gallons) of water each day until desired pH is attained and maintained. Thereafter, use as required to maintain pH, usually no more than once every two to three weeks. HINTS: It is best to dissolve the buffer in freshwater before use. Use when setting up an aquarium or making water changes (preferably after the addition of Seachem's Cichlid Lake Salt) and between water changes as needed to maintain pH. Seachem's Tanganyika Buffer is formulated to maintain a pH between 9.0 and 9.4, depending on the amount used. For lower pH, use Malawi/Victoria Buffer (pH 7.8-8.4), either alone or in combination with Tanganyika Buffer.

this is what the seachem directions are

just wondering if you would recommend the clchlid lake salt also?????

thanks again and I can order this out of Vancouver....

Last edited by dean9922; 03-10-2016 at 12:20 PM.
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Old 03-10-2016, 02:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dean9922 View Post
thanks for the replies....it is a small colony of dolphins I am getting locally. They are a breeding group I will be adding in with my 6 fronts. But he is on a different water source then we are, in the town where I live. They are not that expensive (4 of them, 1 male 3 female I believe). I want to add them all into a new 135 I will be setting up and want to introduce them at the same time.

dumb question.....will baking soda only raise the ph to a certain level and hold it there????
I can not get the Seachem buffer here at any of the local pet shops...grrrr

Directions: Use 5 g (1 level teaspoon) for each 40-80 L (10 to 20 gallons) of water each day until desired pH is attained and maintained. Thereafter, use as required to maintain pH, usually no more than once every two to three weeks. HINTS: It is best to dissolve the buffer in freshwater before use. Use when setting up an aquarium or making water changes (preferably after the addition of Seachem's Cichlid Lake Salt) and between water changes as needed to maintain pH. Seachem's Tanganyika Buffer is formulated to maintain a pH between 9.0 and 9.4, depending on the amount used. For lower pH, use Malawi/Victoria Buffer (pH 7.8-8.4), either alone or in combination with Tanganyika Buffer.

this is what the seachem directions are

just wondering if you would recommend the clchlid lake salt also?????

thanks again and I can order this out of Vancouver....
NM and Russ knocked it outta the park. As far as your Baking Soda question I dont like using it. IME of my earlier fish keeping days...You can dump it in like clockwork but over time it will just drop again. I dont use the buffers much either, I would say get some crushed coral along with media bags and toss them in the filter. Thats what keeps it stable in all my tanks 8.0-8.2 Thats what has worked for me and been more reliable. I also used sterilized sea shells laying on substrate I get from a particular store,had them in a year plus no issues.
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Old 03-11-2016, 02:06 AM
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When I kept C. moori/blue dolphins they did just fine in ph in the mid 7s, no problems at all and I've seen people keep tank raised moorii at 7.0 without a problem.

To go into more detail on acclimation, what I like to do receiving shipped fish is test the ph in the shipping bags when I get them so I know what I'm dealing with. If it's close enough to the ph in their target tank I just float the bags long enough to equalize temperature (like 5 minutes) then net them into the tank.

If shipping water ph is way low, that usually means ammonia in the bags and I'll get them into a bucket or tub quick as possible with ph in the bucket high enough to be safer but as close as reasonable to the bag ph-- in other words, if water in shipping bags of African cichlids was to test in low 6s I'd want to get them into water near 7 pretty quickly, then start raising ph from there up to my target ph.

If water in the bags is more than just a few tenths higher than my tank, I'll set up the bucket to match the ph in the bag water, then gradually lower it to my target ph before transferring them into the tank.

Most of that is just being cautious, which there's nothing wrong with doing and better safe than sorry. But, like I say (and as the link in my post above shows), all else being equal in terms of water quality, most fish can actually handle quick ph changes within reason and when I used to keep tanks at different ph-- not to an extreme, but one tank 7.2 and another 7.8, for example-- when needed I could move fish from one to another without issues.

...A lot of the issues people have with ph swings come from things like how it affects nitrifying bacteria which operate differently (more efficient) at ph in the mid 7s to about 8 compared to the low 7s or lower, and how ammonia changes chemically from low ph to high ph (or the other way around). There's technically something of a trade-off in that lower ph means less efficient bacteria but more ammonia in its safer form while higher ph (up to the high 7s, low 8s) means more efficient bacteria, but ammonia in a more toxic form-- which is why adding higher ph water from your tank to a shipping bag with low ph and ammonia can be hard on the fish, thus the reason for transferring them to a bucket of clean water for acclimation.

So, it's not that fish can't handle ph changes in themselves, it's complications to the conditions in a limited tank (or bag) environment that can bother them. In other words, in agreement with the article, I found that moving a fish from one healthy tank at 7.2 to another healthy tank at 7.6 or so (or the other way around) didn't bother my fish and I've received shipped fish previously kept in the 8s and with a little time in an acclimation bucket as described above, put them into one of my tanks at 7.4-7.6 with no problem at all.

There could be some exceptions with more sensitive fish, some ram cichlids, or B. cupido, for example, but it's been over 20 years since I kept those types.
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Old 03-11-2016, 02:17 AM
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...As far as baking soda, I've never had a problem with it. I've used it for years to raise and buffer my water from 6.4-6.5-ish out of the tap to the mid or upper 7s, or even up to 8 at times. Don't know why a few people seem to have issues with it or what it is about their water that might give them problems with baking soda that I've never seen, so I can't comment on that and wouldn't disrespect their opinion. I just know that for me it's always worked well.
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Old 03-11-2016, 11:31 AM
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thanks again Neutrinoman and everyone else!!!!! I will be picking them up in a 5 gallon pale, no shipping will be done. I killed off 2 groups of fronts by playing with PH levels. So don't really want to go there again...maybe did something wrong

I have a rubbermaid container I think holds like 20 gallons. will maybe try to drop the ph slowly in that before putting into big aquarium. Over the course of 3-4 days
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