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Discussion Starter #1
Hi, this is my first post. I never planned on joining a forum like this but I'm starting up my 30 gallon freshwater aquarium after it has sat for 15 years and I'm stumped.

Heres the situation. New Penguin 350 power filter, 30 gallon aquarium, new gravel (rinsed), plastic plants. Tap water. The tap water measured 7.4 from the sink. I put it in the aquarium and it went to 8.2 in a day. I used an entire bottle of PH Decrease over a couple days and it didn't do anything. Then I siphoned all the water and replaced it with tap (7.4), it is back to 8.2 again.

I have not purchased any fish for it out of fear they will not like it or any radical chemical additions I may need.

What is the best solution to stabilize it? I read that driftwood (tanin) will help so I put a bunch of oak chunks in the water (floating) to see it that has any effect but I need some serious help.

Thanks for any advice.

Jerry
 

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What i would do is take some of that tap water and put it in a bowl let it sit and see if the ph rises.I know peat moss will lower it.What type of substate (Gravel) are you using?It is possible it could be the fake plants,But if all you have in the tank is the fake plants and gravel i would imagine it is your gravel.Make sure the gravel does not have any sea shells or anything that contains calcium because that will raise your PH.Im sure there are others here that have more knowledge on the subject.Hope this helps..
 

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What type of test kit are you using?.....

First off stop adding Ph down to the tank. Second Remove the wood chips, it take alot of tannis to lower the ph to 7.0.

Now, you have to have something in the tank that is raising the Ph... Please list the decor and the type of gravel you used etc. Generally in a new tank you Ph will go up when the tank is cycling, except you have no fish in the tank. I am assuming you not using the fishless cycle method, because you didn't mention it. Do a little research on Aquarium Cycling it really the first thing you should learn about, before we get into water ajustments. Relax and Don't Panic.
 

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You should take a glass of tap water and let it set 24 hours then test the ph of it. Normally ph will rise after it gasses off. If it goes to 8.2 after 24 hours it will be your tap water. If it doesn't raise that much there is something that you put into the tank that is raising it.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
First of all, thanks all for your ideas and assistance.

The gravel is TopFin Premium gravel, "non-toxic, epoxy coated".

The ph test kit is API Freshwater Master test kit.

I have not added any PH down to the water that is in it at the moment.


Let me shed a little info on my tap water as well. The city water I have has always been soft enough that in the 15 years we have lived here, we never felt the need for a softener. In the past year or so, it seems a little harder and I have been procrastinating the installation of a softener. Would soft water remove the buffering capability of the city water?

Jerry
 

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Like susankat check freshly drawn tap water then let the glass sit 24 hours then test it again. Hard water will generally have a higher PH, first thing lets see what your tap water tests at then we can go from there.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Contents of tank include brand new power filter, Penguin 350 with new filters. New plastic plants-3. New gravel, 1 piece of driftwood that I used for about 4 years-15 years ago and hard tap water.

I did not do the 24 hour water test (although I agree that makes sense) because I installed a much needed water softener in our home just today. I plan to test the water as sugested (24 hour test) with the new soft water, then I will change out the aquarium and see where I am at that point. I am hoping this will reduce the buffering tendency of my hard water. I hope I am on track with this, if nothing else I will save on soap and shampoo!
 

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Discussion Starter #10
problem solved

There was supposed to be a ? mark after the title on this post....

I tested the tap water this morning after having installed the water softener yesterday. The tap is now at 7.2. Hopefully the rocks won't make it go up but if they do, I believe I have removed the buffering capacity of the water by removing the minerals. I'll siphon the tank, replace it and report back. Hopefully if this works, this thread may be helpful to someone else having the same problem.
 
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