In my case, the tap water is well buffered but more alkaline, with pH ranging between 8.1 and 8.2. The ranchu adapted to this pH and will be doing fine, as long as I will maintain consistency. At this higher pH level, however, ammonia becomes more toxic and even small traces of it can be stressful on fish. So, my attention was given to building a sufficient bio-filter, that has been doing a great job so far in keeping the ammonia and nitrite levels at their lowest. Weekly 90% water changes further reduce nitrates and thus my water parameters are kept stable.
I acquired a couple of new gadgets to help me to monitor the water. One is a digital pH meter, that instantly reads pH and gives me an idea about the overall stability. Another gadget is a digital infrared thermometer that I use during the water changes and to help me to decide on the amount and frequency of food while temperatures fluctuate. It is instant accurate and very convenient. One thing to remember with infrared thermometers however, is that they ONLY read temperature of the surface. I usually take readings of the surface that is agitated by the air bubbles.
|EcoTestr pH2 by Oakton|
|Fluke 62 MAX+ IR Thermometer|