driftwood and pH and a Q about water hardness
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driftwood and pH and a Q about water hardness

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driftwood and pH and a Q about water hardness
Old 12-30-2009, 06:06 PM   #1
 
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driftwood and pH and a Q about water hardness

When driftwood lowers pH, does the impact last only as long as the original water is in the tank, or does the pH eventually go back up?

and since my questions always seem to come in pairs:

is what hardness pretty much a stable number? I'm wondering if it's possible to increase or decrease it to support certain fish (without it fluctuating too much).
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Old 12-31-2009, 12:49 AM   #2
 
I bought a piece of bogwood when I began my tank last year, and despite many water changes (after i had boiled the wood first) the PH was very low, around 5.5, for more then 8 months. I assume that it would have continued to stay low for quite a long time with water changes.

It wasn't until half a year later that a clerk at the LFS suggested I add just a small piece of base rock to bring it up a bit. It worked and has stayed at around 6.5 ever since. BTW my tap is around 7.2. While my findings are by no mean scientific proof, just what i found from experience.

Don't have an answer for the second part though I'm afraid.
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Old 12-31-2009, 03:02 AM   #3
 
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[quote=stephanieleah;296913]When driftwood lowers pH, does the impact last only as long as the original water is in the tank, or does the pH eventually go back up?

and since my questions always seem to come in pairs:

is what hardness pretty much a stable number? I'm wondering if it's possible to increase or decrease it to support certain fish (without it fluctuating too much).[/quote

Takes considerable amount of driftwood to see any real results when attempting to lower the pH. Water changes each week would always be trying to raise the pH to whatever the ph of source water was unless one is using a combination of say 50/50 tapwater and RO or distilled water.
Straight tapwater usually is comprised of salts and minerals that buffer the water to resist change either up or down with regards to ph. It is the salts and minerals that make the ph numbers we get and indicate either soft acidic water or basic alkaline(hard) water.
Most fish will do fine in the tapwater we have with a few exceptions. Always better ,easier,to keep fish that do well in the water we have readily available and that no adjusting has been done.
Much easier to make soft water harder than it is to make hard water softer. To make hard water softer and stable,storing enough water for water changes is safest way. As mentioned, A tub of 50 percent tapwater and 50 percent RO or distilled will lower the hardness and ph but for each water change,,same water must be added hence the need to store enough water already mixed for water changes. Others use peat in the filter but this is largely an expieriment that should take place in seperate container until the desired pH is reached so that you know how much peat to use and how long the effects last. eventually, peat will become less effective and need to be replaced.
Your hardness,is indicated by GH and more importantly Kh of your source water and should be relatively stable.
All kinds of mineral salts and or calcerous rock such as crushed coral that can be added to the filter in small nylon pouch to make soft water more alkaline (harder) best to start with small amount and test the ph over a couple weeks to note the change if any and adjust amount used accordingly. I am no chemist but this is best way I csan explain. Perhaps others will comment further. In any event,, I would leave my water alone if at all possible and focus on fish that do well in that water rather than trying to adjust water to suit a particular fish, but that's just me.

Last edited by 1077; 12-31-2009 at 03:04 AM..
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Old 12-31-2009, 08:37 AM   #4
 
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DW lower pH and hardness, yes - But sometimes (ofte) so lil you won't even measure it unless you have a super large DW piece in a mini tank
And yes, you're removing the tannis with each w/c and add new 'harder' water with higher ph back in the tank, eventually it'll be back up where you started.
Hardness if not a stable # - Goes hand in hand with your pH - You alter 1 you alter the other 1 and vise versa.
No you will not ONLY change your hardness, any time you try to do that, you'll also find a drop in pH.

Tempering with your water is tricky, time & money consuming when done right. You'd then need to ENSURE each & every single w/c is EXACTLY the same parameters (which is next to impossible to do) otherwise exposing your fish to permant up & down swings, stresses them, stress causes sickness & short life, neither of which is desired in a tank.
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