Originally Posted by Moleen
Now bear with me.....I'm still very new to this, but I'm a fast learner
Went into Boston today to a very reputable LFS. I had them test my tap water (I let the water sit out in a glass overnight). They got 7.2 for PH. I just this minute tested my tap straight out of the faucet and got 7.6. They told me my H20 is very soft...testing around 25 for KH?
I just did a 7 gallon H20 change (tap treated with Prime)
PH has just tested 6.4
Ammonia has just tested .5
KH...0-40 ? (test strip)
Seachem Ammonia Alert on tank still reads "Safe"
They recommended Seachem Equilibrium and Seachem Alkaline Buffer, which I bought but haven't used yet because on the label of the Alkaline Buffer bottle it say" if H20 is soft or not well buffered, use with Acid Buffer.....which I did not purchase so I'm not sure whether to use it without the Acid Buffer?
OMG! LOL! I am so frustrated!!!! I don't understand why my ammonia is still at .5????? I have a bazillion plants that are thriving! I bought 7 more today. I don't understand how I can pour 7 gallons of 7.6 PH tap H20 into my tank and still get a reading of 6.4????
All I know right now is my fish seem just fine....active with good appetites...no visible signs of stress?
Maybe I should just crack open a beer and celebrate that my Patriots just won and are a couple weeks away from winning the Superbowl!!!!!!!!!
If you read the article I linked you should have a fair understanding of why the pH in the tank is lowering. But to save time, I'll summarize. The GH and KH numbers for your tap water are low which means soft water. The KH is the "pH buffering" component in all this, and it is quite low at 25 ppm (must be ppm, can't be degrees or it would be liquid rock
). So the pH in the aquarium will lower as the CO2 produces carbonic acid. My tap water is pH 7.0 to 7.2 with even less GH and KH than you have, and my tanks naturally have a pH around 5 if I just leave them alone; and I change half the tank water every week with straight tap. Once an aquarium is established, the pH will tend to remain stable and when fresh tap water is added during a water change, the pH will rise very slightly and then over the next few hours lower back. This is not an issue for fish, but I won't go into all that.
Assuming you have soft water fish, this will be fine for them and your plants. I would not mess with it at all. I have Equilibrium and am using it in one tank as an experiment. My water is softer than yours, which means no calcium and magnesium, and these minerals are not available in sufficient quantity in basic fertilizers like Flourish. My swords are showing calcium deficiency, and there are a couple of ways to deal with this, one being Equilibrium. I am using other methods in other tanks. But if your plants are fine, and from your GH I would say your calcium and magnesium should be sufficient--forget the Equilibrium and the other stuff; they will get very expensive long term. Again this assumes you have soft water fish.
Livebearers and other fish that need medium hard or harder water with a basic pH will not last in your tank any more than in mine. Rift lake cichlids would also fail. The article suggests ways to deal with this if it applies.
If you have not used the two buffer products, take them back and ask for a refund or a credit. Assuming soft water fish stilll...
And please read that linked article, it covers this better than I can here and will help you.