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pH swings and bubbles
I have a heavily planted ten gallon tank consisting of nothing but
glossostigma, e. tenellus and pearl grass. I never understood why they
called it pearl grass before (it looks nothing like pearls, or grass. I
used to think m. umbrosum was a more appropriate "pearl grass"), but now I
know! It pearls like mad... making my tank look like its filled with
Sprite, 7-Up or whatever your favorite bubbly is.
I have had the compressed CO2 system on it for two months now with no
noticeable problems before but I've noticed within the past week that my
fish are not as active as they used to be and they just huddle in a corner
of the tank, as if they were stressed or something.
I had originally thought that this huddling was caused by the fact that the
part of the tank (3/4) covered with pearl grass bubbles like crazy and that
they don't like getting bubbles stuck on their sides when they swim through
it. Hence, they only huddle and swim over the area where the pearling is
not continuous (1/4 of the tank, over glosso and e. tenellus). It was
within the past week that I finally got my dissolved CO2 levels at 17ppm and
the crazy pearling started, coinciding with the strange behavior of my fish.
Though my fish may huddle most of the time, I doubted it was a water
quality stress related problem because they do become very active when I
feed them and their colors are not faded whatsoever.
However, I also got alerted (on the suggestion of a couple of other people)
that my fishes' behavior could in fact be stress induced. One person
mentioned that oxygen saturation (the reason for pearling) can irritate fish
gills and their air bladder. Someone else mentioned that the daily pH swing
(7.0 in the day, 7.4 at night) caused by the use of my solenoid that turns
the CO2 off at night might be a huge stress factor. I know of many others
who have this daily pH swing so I didn't think it would be a problem.
Is oxygen saturation a threat to my fish? Is the pH swing stressful to my
fish? Or are they just acting weird because they don't like swimming
through the bubbles?
Thanks to anyone for their help!
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