Ph balancing
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Ph balancing

This is a discussion on Ph balancing within the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium forums, part of the Freshwater Fish and Aquariums category; --> My tap water has a ph somewhere well over 8 going by my testing. I have an API ph kit with tester, ph up, ...

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Old 06-10-2013, 01:38 PM   #1
 
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Ph balancing

My tap water has a ph somewhere well over 8 going by my testing. I have an API ph kit with tester, ph up, and ph down. I'm on city water and petco and petsmart sell out of ph down often so I know it's not just me.

I can not get this ph level to go down no matter how many times I treat it! I have a hanging monitor for ph that is reading 8-8.2, maybe 7.9 but it's not getting down to 7-7.4.

I'm wondering if its why I've lost two ghost shrimp this week as well. First preggo shrimp then the smaller male. (I have name the survivor Pvt. Ryan.)

Ammonia is fine, hanging meter says safe levels. I should probably get a nitrate nitrite test too.

After weekly vacuuming and replacing 3-4 gallons of water I treat with Easy Balance Plus by tetra which claims to regulate ideal ph but I don't think that word means what tetra thinks it means.

I haven't had problems with my betta at the base (8+) ph. Had him since beginning if January and never checked ph. He's a hardy fella.


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Old 06-10-2013, 01:49 PM   #2
 
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What happens with ph regulators is that they only change the ph, they don't change the gh and kh, which (from what I understand, I'm not a master on this subject) are directly related to how high the ph is. Generally, if you have a high gh/kh, your ph will be higher. You have to change these numbers in order to change the ph.

So what happens with products like 'ph up' and 'ph down', is they do change the ph, but only briefly (because the gh/kh will buffer it back to where it's supposed to be), so you end up with radically changing ph levels, which can affect fish detrimentally.

For us to help better, can you get us the numbers for your gh and kh? You can either find these online from your cities water suppliers website, or API has a test for them.

There are several members here who have had success lowering their tap water hardness by cutting it with 'pure' water, but I don't have any experience in that area.

Also, can I ask why you want to lower the ph? What fish do you have?
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Old 06-10-2013, 02:09 PM   #3
 
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I have a bamboo shrimp, harlequin rasbora school, and a ghost shrimp. From what I've read they need 7-7.4 right?


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Old 06-10-2013, 02:53 PM   #4
 
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First, welcome to Tropical Fish Keeping forum.

Jentrala answered your initial question; if you want the more technical reason, have a read of my article:
Water Hardness and pH in the Freshwater Aquarium

As to the shrimp deaths, that might be related to all the chemicals entering the tank. A high pH is not going to harm any shrimp, but chemicals will and a fluctuating pH might do so as well.

First, stop using pH adjusters, they rarely work (as you've seen, and that article will explain why). Also stop the Easy Balance Plus, this is doing several bad things. One of these is keeping the pH from lowering which is working contrary to the pH lowering stuff [you can imagine the damage this is doing together], another issue is what this Balance stuff does to the biology of the tank. Please don't use it. It does not allow you to avoid water changes for six months, like they claim.

Second, ascertain the numbers for the GH (general hardness) and KH (carbonate hardness, or Alkalinity) for your water from the supply folks website, or directly. Once we know these, we will be in a better position to suggest what if anything should be done.

Byron.
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Old 06-10-2013, 03:37 PM   #5
 
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Ok I will have the gh and kh soon, getting a test kit. Thanks for the article. I think if I want it to go down I'll have to get a few gallons of distilled from the grocery store.


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Old 06-10-2013, 04:32 PM   #6
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Allison View Post
Ok I will have the gh and kh soon, getting a test kit. Thanks for the article. I think if I want it to go down I'll have to get a few gallons of distilled from the grocery store.
It's up to you, but if you want to save money, just get the GH and KH/Alkalinity from the water supply board. This will tell us what may be needed. Then, if it is decided to start adjusting the parameters, a kit would be necessary.
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Old 06-10-2013, 04:53 PM   #7
 
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Kh 9
Gh 13

I also picked up three gallons of distilled water (it's cheap why not) to potentially cut the levels down, will this still have to be treated with the water conditioner like tap?

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Last edited by Allison; 06-10-2013 at 05:11 PM..
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Old 06-10-2013, 05:24 PM   #8
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Allison View Post
Kh 9
Gh 13

I also picked up three gallons of distilled water (it's cheap why not) to potentially cut the levels down, will this still have to be treated with the water conditioner like tap?

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Do you kow the measurement unit for these numbers? Meaning, dGH, ppm, mg/l, gpg, etc.
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Old 06-10-2013, 05:45 PM   #9
 
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It's how many drops it took to change the colors in the API tests.


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Old 06-10-2013, 06:45 PM   #10
 
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It's how many drops it took to change the colors in the API tests.


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Fine, so that equates to dGH. So the water is fairly hard, 13 dGH, and the KH is sufficient to prevent pH fluctuations. So this clearly explains why the pH stuff had no lasting effect.

I've forgotten where we were going with this now... but at least we know the parameters.
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