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HELP: Can High PH Kill Dwarf Gourami?

3098 Views 1 Reply 2 Participants Last post by  welok
My PH is at 8.8 and I think it is killing my gourami:frown2:
I just recently set up a 5 gallon quarantine tank- I cycled it using filter media from my 30 gallon. Paramters were good after 3 weeks so I purchased a neon blue Dwarf Gourami on Friday and placed it into the quarantine
The tank parameters were good, no ammonia or nitrites and nitrates were at 10-20. PH was at 7.8- NOTE: I refilled my quarantine tank with water from my 30 gallon before putting the fish in thinking I could get him used to my tanks parameters while in quarantine.
(My gourami was not looking the best when I placed him in the tank and was laying on his side- I think he was just a little freaked out and perked up eating food within 30 minutes) He has been acting fine since friday until today. This morning I tried to feed him but he would not eat. He appeared to be just chilling in the top corner of the tank behind one of the fake plants gasping for air at the surface. I checked my ammonia only, and it was at 0 (I use API test kit). I decided to change about 25% of the water and remove the debris of the fish food since I have no gravel. I used my tap not thinking about using my 30 gallon tank water and conditioned with prime- Ever since the water change- he has not been doing well. He was laying on his side again but now he is at the top gasping for air. He also seems eratic and will randomly swim fast and hit the wall. I ended up doing a full test of my tank- PH was at 8.8 dark purple and nitrates were between 20-40... a bit high for right after a water change... turns out my tap has 8.8 PH and nitrates are pretty high. SOOOOO my question is.. is my PH killing him? or is he just sick? OR should I replace water from the quarantine tank with my 30 gallon to lower the PH. HELP
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I would replace water from your other tank to start.

Long term, if you are going to use tap water, you should probably get something to naturally lower your PH (I know Indian Almond leaves, driftwood, etc. do, but probably not to the degree you need, especially as a quarantine tank). While Gourami prefer a 6-7 PH range, they can adapt to a higher PH if given the time, but they won't be as happy.

The high Nitrates can be combated with plants, and as a quarantine tank, I would do something simple like hornwort (doesn't root, so no substrate is needed. it just floats around and grows, though you can weigh it down and have it look like it's rooted/planted) or the dreaded duckweed (duckweed is a floating plant with roots, but doesn't need substrate since it is really small and won't reach any of the substrate anyway. It is REALLY hard to get rid of so make sure you don't accidentally transfer any to a planted tank unless you have goldfish, but sops up a lot of nitrates).
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