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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all. Well I'm fairly new to fresh water aquariums. I used to live in Ohio, but now I live in Anchorage, Alaska. Our tap water here has very high levels of floride and the pH is very alkaline. I recently setup a new 10 gallon tank and did a pH test on the water. I discovered that it has a pH of 7.6 or higher (the test only goes to 7.6). I've attempted to balance out the water with Nutrafin Aqua Plus tap water conditioner with no sucess yet. I'm about 12 hours into that process.

Does anyone have any ideas on what could help balance my tap water?
 

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There are some other factors that weigh in here such as the GH of your water. Have you tried letting the water sit in a bucket for ~ 24hrs and then testing it?

Also, see about getting the High pH test kit if you don't already have it. That will give you better idea of what the pH is.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
As of today it has set for 24 hours. I'm taking a cup to Petco today for analysis. I'll post my results here later on. Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Well I got the water tested and it appears it's also high in ammonia. So I guess I'll be waiting around for that to lower as well.*old dude
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
When I spoke to my LFS, he was perplexed as well. We have come to the conclusion that the ammonia must have come from the tank I'm using. It's an old tank that my uncle gave me that I'm now setting up for new fish. We think the ammonia may have been from the prior use of the tank. However, I did use Tetra tank cleaning wipes and rinsed it out a few times before use. So I guess I thought I'd be ok. I'm also using brand new gravel stones as well. Anyways, he ended up squeezing out his filter and giving be a bag of murky water that he claims :p has live bacteria in it to put in my filter to lower the ammonia levels naturally. I'll update you and see if it works!
 

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The absolute best thing you can do is buy an API master test kit. If your LFS is anything like the ones I visit they use strips to test your water. The strips are notoriously inaccurate. As mentioned above to get a true pH reading from your tap water you need to let it sit for about 24 hours with an air stone if possible. The API test kit has a high range test that goes well over the 7.6.
The last advice I can give is to leave your pH as it is unless it is super high (like close to 9). My 120 tank is at 8.4 and the fish are fine. I have angels, cory's, and cardinal tetras. As long as you acclimate them slowly it is easier for the fish to adjust to the pH then for you to try to change it and keep it steady. Once you start changing your pH it is hard to keep it steady and a pH that fluctuates in an acceptable range is harder on the fish the a pH that is high but consistent.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Well I put a piece of mopani wood in there to lower the pH naturally, so we'll see how it goes. It's been cycling for weeks and is probably well over the 7.6 range still.
 

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I know that the water parameters in a ten gallon tank will change a lot easier then a larger tank but here is a pic of my angel tank and you can see I have three huge pieces of driftwood in it and they have my water stained pretty good and it still didn't drop my pH any. In case you don't know it's the tannins from the wood that stain the water and change the pH. So if the piece of wood you put in doesn't turn your tank water a tea color then it won't lower your pH.


 

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Do you have a High pH test kit? That should get you readings higher. If you're bucking over 8, then another option are peat plugs in your filter.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Yep the wood didn't do anything. I'm going to the store today for a higher pH test kit. I've heard about peat moss in the filter, so we'll see if that works too. Thanks for all the replies!
 
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