bothersome water..please help!
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bothersome water..please help!

This is a discussion on bothersome water..please help! within the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium forums, part of the Freshwater Fish and Aquariums category; --> Hey guys im new to the forum names Brandon :). Ive kept fish tanks for awhile now but heres my problem. I've had this ...

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bothersome water..please help!
Old 03-25-2012, 04:51 PM   #1
 
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bothersome water..please help!

Hey guys im new to the forum names Brandon :). Ive kept fish tanks for awhile now but heres my problem. I've had this 55GAL set up for over 6months now problem is PH is 8.2 so im trying to naturally lower it by doing normal weekly water changes with RO water. When i started the tank up i used tap water first big problem.. i know. this is the third week of doing water changes with RO water 25% is how much im changing out but today i went ahead and do about 40ish %. And still no change in PH. Ok now thats the problem here is my set up. 55gal with a hang out the back filter. Just some normal blue gravel from the petstore. 2 Amazon swords, 1 rigid java fern, Then some i guess grass? petstore had it labeled aqua. grass for 1.50 a piece so i grabed a couple. rest of the stuff is fake plants a fake log, fake little cave. As for the live stock i have 3 female guppies 1 male guppy and 4 paired blue rams.( i know guppies with rams!! but the dont ever mess with each other). and 2 platies. ok my water levels are Ammonia 0, Nitrate 0, Nitrite 0, PH 8.2. Any suggestions? please
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Old 03-25-2012, 05:55 PM   #2
 
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Welcome to Tropical Fish Keeping forum.

The pH is related to the hardness, specifically the carbonate hardness (KH, or Alkalinity). Diluting the tap water (which presumably has a high KH along with the GH which is general hardness) will reduce the GH and KH but the KH is likely still sufficient to continue buffering the pH.

Can you tell us your GH and KH/Akalanity for the tap water? You should be able to find this out from the water supply folks who may have a website. Also the pH, I assume it is 8.2 but that needs to be confirmed so we can rule out something calcareous in the tank raising it--which is still a possibility. If you test the tap water for pH, shake the tap water vigorously for a minute before testing; this will give a more accurate reading as the CO2 will gas out.

Here's an article that attempts to explain the relationship that might be of assistance in understanding this:
http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/f...quarium-73276/

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Old 03-25-2012, 07:18 PM   #3
 
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Hey thanks Bryon for the fast response. PH is 8.2 from the tap water. i dont know about the KH i have a Well system its not city or anything so i dont know how to find that out is there a test kit i can buy for KH and GH? My thing is i have changed the water now a few times with RO water with a reading of PH 6.5 wierd how that little of remaining tap water can still buffer the new 45gallons of water thats in the tank.
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Old 03-25-2012, 07:59 PM   #4
 
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Originally Posted by Brandonl87 View Post
Hey thanks Bryon for the fast response. PH is 8.2 from the tap water. i dont know about the KH i have a Well system its not city or anything so i dont know how to find that out is there a test kit i can buy for KH and GH? My thing is i have changed the water now a few times with RO water with a reading of PH 6.5 wierd how that little of remaining tap water can still buffer the new 45gallons of water thats in the tank.
If you carefully read the article I linked you will begin to fathom why the pH is tied to the KH. If your well water is pH 8.2, I'd hazard a guess it is high in calcium and bicarbonates.

Rather than waste money on a hardness kit you may only use once, do you have a reliable fish store that will test your water? If they do, please ensure they give you numbers for GH and KH, not something like "it's fine" or "kind of medium" which is all meaningless. We really do need the numbers to know where we are. Once we have them, problem solved.
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Old 03-26-2012, 07:30 PM   #5
 
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Hey bryon ok they said kh is 80 an gh is 20.
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Old 03-26-2012, 07:49 PM   #6
 
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Hey bryon ok they said kh is 80 an gh is 20.
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OK, those numbers must be in ppm, so GH of 20 is roughly 1 dGH or very soft. The KH at 80ppm is about 4.5 dKH. That's not high, but it will buffer the pH of the tap water to some extent.

In this situation my suggestion would be to use mostly "pure" water for the tank, this can be RO, distilled or even better rainwater. The latter will be acidic, which will help more. Once the tank pH is where you want it, water changes with tap water should be OK, but you will have to experiment a bit with volume. The aquarium biology factors into this, so it is specific to the tank.

If there are fish in the tank, go slow. As you are already doing water changes with RO, I would use rainwater, maybe 1/5 of the tank volume. And bit by bit.

One can buy chemicals and stuff to achieve this, but I prefer doing it naturally. It is less expensive, safer and more long-term.

I have a similar related problem, my GH and KH is less than 1 so the tank pH will easily drop to 5 or perhaps lower. I'm having to add GH for the plants, but the pH I leave alone because I have wild-caught soft acidic water fish.
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Old 03-26-2012, 08:07 PM   #7
 
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Thanks for the fast reply again :), so just keep going with weekly water changes and itll eventully lower the ph then? Also dumb question but rainwater this time of the year kinda doesnt rain to much or can you buy it somewhere? I dont like using to many chems in the tank i just use florapride for the plants along with root tabs
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Last edited by Brandonl87; 03-26-2012 at 08:20 PM..
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Old 03-26-2012, 08:09 PM   #8
 
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What fish do you keep btw?
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Old 03-27-2012, 10:12 AM   #9
 
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You have to collect rainwater. I suggested it because it is the cheapest. But it is the water all freshwater fish live in.

I have mainly South American fish like characins (tetra, hatchetfish, pencilfish, some catfish) and a few SE Asian soft water fish. If you check my Aquarium Log (click "Aquariums" tab below my name on the left) you will find photos of some of my tanks with fish species and plant species listed.

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Old 03-27-2012, 05:31 PM   #10
 
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Wow man very nice tanks you have love the Asian stream one. What all do you use for your plants? liquid fert. root tabs? or you do C02 injection?
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