Other members can give you a more scientific reason but I can tell you what I encountered in my little 5gal. I think the same would happen in a large tank, just take a little longer to happen....
The water at work where I have the 5gal is also very hard...lots of minerals and such. As water evaporated from the tank, I was just topping it off with more tap water. During evaporation, most of the things that make your water hard are left behind...geting harder and harder in the tank.
I reached a point where I had no buffer and my pH crashed to 6 or even lower. My hardness and alkalinity (the buffer part for pH) both were at least 5 times the recommended.
In the end, I switched to bottled spring water since its such a small tank and only do about a gallon a week in whater changes. I'm still fighting to get things back in the ideal range.
What I found were that the fish in the tank during this slow increase in hardness and alkalinity seemed to adjust (though were likely stressed out). I added a fish and within a day, it died.
I guess there are things, chemical and natural, you can do to moderate it but I'm not qualified to explain those just yet I wouldnt recommend the continued use of your hard water as a sole source for your tank. Maybe supplement with some RO water to dilute it??
Fintastic, were you doing water changes or just topping off the tank level? If you were doing waterchanges, the remaining "extra" ions would be removed.
Yes, the ions that cause hard water stay in despite evaporation, but that should not cause a pH crash. More likely, a lack of sufficient waterchanges failed to keep up with rising levels of nitrate and other organic wastes, which tend to cause the pH drop. When you ran out of buffer, the pH crashed.
Its important to keep the necessary pH and gH or KH levels so that you know what you have to do in order for you're fish to thrive. If you don't give the fish water conditions that are not replicating or similar to that of its natural habitat, most likely you will run into problems. fish keeping requires some factors that are very important to a fishes health and if they are not met to a certain limit, then it would not be good. most people have fish that live in neutral conditions(pH of 7) so its not that important to them but still some do need way different requirements. _________________ Get attached, love everything now, then, suffer when it comes to an end, for it will bring great meaning to one's existence. JR
I think it is underestimated how freshwater tropical fish can adjust to harder water. I try to keep hardy fish but haven't experienced problems even though my tap water is supposedly very hard. Also I am sure conditioners like stress coat pretty much make the water OK.
It is actually pretty amazing that it is possible to keep so many species of fish with just regular tap water. The only fish I have had trouble with for some reason are neon tetras. They always don't last long for me. However, I have read that many neon tetras today still have problems with water conditions and aren't as hardy as other types.
thats why its important to keep regular pH and gH levels at the recommended level......neons and most amazonian species that need soft water are all very similar. _________________ Get attached, love everything now, then, suffer when it comes to an end, for it will bring great meaning to one's existence. JR
Joined: 05 Feb 2003 Location: Santo Andre (Brazil)
Posted: 2006.03.21(Tue)20:25 Post subject:
I think it is underestimated how freshwater tropical fish can adjust to harder water.
It depends a lot on what your level of expectation is regarding the fish's well being and longevity. I'd estimate that 9 out of 10 people claiming their neons are "fine" in hard/alkaline water have very low expectations, meaning that they're quite happy if their neons live a year or so, then they just go back to the shop and restock with some more neons that'll endure another year or so, and so on...
But if your expectations are higher, that is, you know that a neon's natural lifespan is 5-8 years and you believe it should be allowed to come close to that in your aquarium, then you don't see it as "fine" to keep neons in such hard water... _________________
Success with a fish/tank is measured in YEARS, not months or weeks...
Last edited by Marcos Avila on 2006.03.21(Tue)22:25; edited 1 time in total
I agree with Marcos obviously.... , and imost likely you should just keep it at the level where its better for the fish. If you really care and want the best results, for breeding purposes and longevity as before, then its best to mimic natural habitat conditions. _________________ Get attached, love everything now, then, suffer when it comes to an end, for it will bring great meaning to one's existence. JR
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