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Re: [APD] KH question

The infamous pH Crash feared by fishkeepers is usually from unplanted 
dirty tanks, often loaded with nitrite. As the dirty filter releases 
acid and drops pH of too soft (i.e., unbuffered) water, the tendency is 
for the fish to get "brown-blood" disease as their hemoglobin is blocked 
out by the nitrogen compounds. They gasp at the surface and their gills 
look brown as they slowly suffocate.

Salt is a good first treatment, but water changes and the addition of 
some essential electrolytes (like Seachem's "Equilibrium") is probably a 
good idea.

It never happens in well-planted aquaria. Jerry is right, the fish don't 
feel the pH. I have bred wild Betta species at around pH of 3-4, because 
that pH supports so few harmful (to them) bacteria. I subject killies to 
sudden changes of 2 points or more with no ill effect or signs of 
discomfort. Of course I don't do that with water containing a lot of 
ammonium. High pH can turn it to deadly ammonia (NH3). That effect is 
probably 90% of the source of the pH Shock myth.

Unskilled fish-shops often add alkaline tap water to their new arrivals 
in soft acid water. When the fish die of ammonia poisoning, they blame 
it on pH shock. Ammonium can build to high levels during shipping. A 
squirt of ammonium reducer is all they needed.


> Message: 9
> Date: Mon, 20 Nov 2006 14:13:26 -0800
> From: Jerry Baker <jerry at bakerweb_biz>
> Subject: Re: [APD] KH question
> To: aquatic plants digest <aquatic-plants at actwin_com>
> Jerry Baker wrote:
>> > I don't understand the concern over pH crashes. Isn't it the 
>> > conventional wisdom that pH doesn't really bother the fish one way or 
>> > another within reason? Even if KH was only 5 ppm and your CO2 tank 
>> > started spitting out at twice its usual rate, your pH would still be 
>> > around 5.7 which is above levels found in many blackwater streams.
> Make that 5.1.
> -- Jerry Baker

Wright Huntley - Rt. 001 Box K36, Bishop CA 93514 - whuntley at verizon_net  760 937-2276 (cell) .

"You can hear a lot by listening"
- Yogi Berra


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