Please help with my HIGH PH levals!

Discussion about discus
Post Reply
Posts: 3
Joined: Thu Feb 19, 2009 10:39 am
Location: Seattle, Washington

Please help with my HIGH PH levals!

Post by LilStorm » Thu Feb 19, 2009 10:50 am

I have a 125 gallon fish tank
In the tank are 3 Discus fish... the tank is about a month and a half old if you include the ageing process before adding the fish.

Problem is, I am trying to get my Discus to breed, and I have already lost one Discus. Tap water has High PH levels & I would like to drop them without using a bunch of chemicals.
Breeder I got fish from says to use an "Acid Bath" on the water, but I have no clue what that is!

Found a Liquid PH test today, my tap water is testing out between 7.2 & 7.6 or higher, I know Discus like there ph closer to 5 & 6.5, so my question is, how do I lower my PH levels of my tap water without using a but load of chemicals?

I have a 55 gallon plastic drum that I have been ageing the water in and bringing it up to temp for the fish before I do my water change outs. I aerate the water for 24 hours and heat it and then do a water change in the 125 gallon tank. (again, trying to not use chemicals of any sort)

Since i lost one discus already, I added some amazon sword plants (3 medium/large plants and one small potted plant) and a smallish bog wood to the tank.

I have a power head mostly working on aeration of the tank, and two other aerator driven sponge filters in the tank as well as a bubble wand.
My tank stays about 83 degrees, and I have ONE discus out of a total of three that is VERY DARK in color.

They all eat, they all seem too breath normally, and their poop is not any weird colors. The one dark Discus seems to like to be hanging out at the bottom of the tank, leaning to one side or the other and wont perk his colors back up yet!

Oh, there is nothing on the bottom of the tank, the plants are in the bottom of milk jugs with 3 inches of gravel in the jug, but no gravel on the bottom of the tank since I am trying my hand at breeding and they say that makes it eaiser to clean the tank.

Any suggestions? For lowering my PH and getting my discus happy again?
I'm new at this so help me!

check out the pic, you can see the difference in the happy fish and the not so happy one.

User avatar
Posts: 2876
Joined: Tue Nov 25, 2003 9:11 pm
Location: Ontario, Canada

Re: Please help with my HIGH PH levals!

Post by Lisachromis » Thu Feb 19, 2009 11:30 am

Well.. depending on how high your pH was before, I would actually leave that alone. The less you do to your water, the better you can do water changes. Discus really like water changes (well, so do other fish.. ).

Your dark discus is obviously not very happy. Does it eat at all? Is it picked on by the other two? What do you feed these guys?

Posts: 3
Joined: Thu Feb 19, 2009 10:39 am
Location: Seattle, Washington

Re: Please help with my HIGH PH levals!

Post by LilStorm » Thu Feb 19, 2009 2:14 pm

I feed them Defatted Beef heart, shrimp & spinach in a puree that has been frozen.
I feed them also Blood worms, they get food twice a day and eat it pretty quick, if anything remains in the tank i remove it asap.
No the other two Discus are not picking on him at all.
He is more active now that I have put some PH down in the tank, (plus the bog wood and Amazon Swords) but still dark.

Peat Moss? Where can I get that at?

Posts: 44
Joined: Wed Dec 10, 2008 1:29 pm
Location: NW PA

Re: Please help with my HIGH PH levals!

Post by cupfishhead » Sat Aug 15, 2009 8:17 am

Are any of you other levels out high. Without gravel in the tank your ammonia nitrite and nitrates may be jumping up and your not seeing it. I agree the less you change your water the easier it is to do your water change and keep your water parameters the same which is what they like. What kind of filter to you have on it? If you really want to change it maybe try getting some peat moss and soaking it in your barrel and do water changes with just that water, but on the other hand you are going to have to do smaller water changes so the pH doesnt change too quickly. My guess is that that one is just a little stressed from something in the tank, but i dont think that its just your pH. Test your other water parameters on a daily basis and you may find something else going on with your tank. In my opinion adding discus to a tank that is just finishing cycling is a little to early especially when that isnt alot of extra room for your bacteria to colonize
Native Fishes Rule!!! Go sample some streams near you!!!
Of course Cichlids Rule Too!!!

Posts: 62
Joined: Sun Nov 23, 2008 7:49 pm
Location: Vermilion OH

Re: Please help with my HIGH PH levals!

Post by trebor69 » Tue Aug 18, 2009 7:30 am

This is kind of an old thread but heres my take on it anyhow haha
How did these fish end up now?

I dont think it is pH either. A pH of 7.2 to 7.6 is ok for almost all discus....especially domesticated strains.

Adding things like chemicals to alter pH is asking for trouble with pH swings that will do more harm than good.
The most reliable way I know to maintain a more constant pH is to soften your water with RO water. But this takes some
experimentation on how much to mix with your tap water. Some people do a 50/50 mix and others a 1/3 tap to 2/3 RO.

It lowers the hardness of your water....mainly you are concerned with the KH (carbonate hardness)
Anyway I still wouldn't get too excited trying to mess with pH.

You said you aged you water in a barrel. Do you treat it at all with chemicals for dechlorinating?
Aging/aerating will get rid of chlorine but not so much chloramine. Some cities use chloramine and
some don't. I like to use a product made by Seachem called 'Prime'. It eliminates chlorine/chloramine
and also binds to ammonia and nitrite to make them non-toxic while still allowing them to be
consumed by the biological filter.

You could also bump your temp up a couple of degrees. Your temp of 83 is usually OK but I like to
keep mine more like 85-86.

One other thing that caught my said this tank is 6 weeks old. That is very young in the
aging process and I fear your filter may not yet be fully cycled. In which case the Prime would help.
More frequent WCs with Prime will make sure ammonia and nitrite are not the problem for now.

Post Reply

Return to “Discus”