pH Buffer Between 7.0 and 8.0 - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 12 Old 08-29-2010, 03:20 AM Thread Starter
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pH Buffer Between 7.0 and 8.0

Is there such a thing? I know there's buffers for 7.0 and 8.2 but is there an in between? If not, what is everyone's suggestions for keeping the pH between those two?
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post #2 of 12 Old 08-29-2010, 11:35 AM
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Theres some pH buffers out there that will tell you how much of each to add to reach your target pH, no clue how they work, never used them, but here is one.
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post #3 of 12 Old 08-29-2010, 12:24 PM
Most people don't recommend any type of PH buffers.

:[ I'm a bad man
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post #4 of 12 Old 08-29-2010, 12:31 PM
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Most people don't recommend any type of PH buffers.
+1 they do more harm then good.

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post #5 of 12 Old 08-29-2010, 05:20 PM Thread Starter
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I thought you were supposed to use the buffers and not just the liquid "pH up" or "pH down." If you're not supposed to use either, what DO you use?
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post #6 of 12 Old 08-29-2010, 05:54 PM
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To raise the ph you can use crushed coral and shells as well as certain rocks such as limestone.To lower the ph you can use peat and driftwood will lower the ph some.However its best to let the tank cycle and stabilize and select fish compatible with the parameters you have.Many fish can adjust to the ph as long as its stable but tinkering with it can cause the ph to fluctuate and the fish can never adjust to it causing stress and leading to health issues and death.

Your's truly,
Lee
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post #7 of 12 Old 08-29-2010, 05:58 PM
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As others have mentioned, I also do not recommend "buffers." Adding any chemical or substance to an aquarium is something I never do unless it is essential, such as water conditioner and plant fertilizer.

There are ways to naturally buffer your water and it will be stable, without having to constantly add chemicals. First it is important to understand the reason behind all this; if this is "old news" just skip over it, but as I do not know your level of understanding I will explain it briefly.

The hardness (both GH and KH) and the pH are connected. In nature, acidic waters are usually soft while basic (alkaline) waters are usually hard. Hardness is the measure of dissolved minerals and salts in the water. In hard water, containing more minerals and salts, the acidics and organics are bound to the minerals, removing them from the water; the pH remains basic. In soft water with few or no minerals, the acids and organics remain and the pH will lower as they increase. In cases where certain minerals or salts that do not naturally bind with organics are added to tap water, the pH can be low even if the water is hard. The same occurs when acidic substances such as CO2 are added to the water, because this can be stronger than the effect of the minerals and salts in the water.

In the aquarium as acidics (organics) are produced by fish and biological processes the pH will tend to fall. But the hardness will counter this as described above. The carbonate hardness (expressed as KH) acts as a buffer on the pH. If the tap water parameters are basically what you want in the aquarium, regular (weekly) partial water changes of 40-60% will usually serve to maintain this. However, the KH of the water needs to be sufficient to do this or even during a week the pH can fall due to normal acidification.

The best way to "buffer" the pH is naturally, by adding minerals (chiefly calcium and magnesium). But this will raise hardness and correspondingly the pH, and this may not suit the fish. If on the other hand you want to lower the pH of the tap water for the aquarium, the best natural method is by mixing tap water with "pure" waster such as RO (reverse osmosis), rainwater or distilled water. All of this can have critical implications in an aquarium. I can perhaps go into this more once I know your tap water parameters and where you want the aquarium water parameters in relation to that.

Byron.

Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]

Last edited by Byron; 08-29-2010 at 06:01 PM.
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post #8 of 12 Old 08-29-2010, 10:56 PM Thread Starter
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I can perhaps go into this more once I know your tap water parameters and where you want the aquarium water parameters in relation to that.

Byron.
Well I'm planning on eventually setting up a tank for blind cave fish (I have a post in the DIY section) and since it's still just in the planning stages, I haven't tested my tap parameters yet. I read on the profile here that they should have water with a pH between 7.0 and 8.0 with harder water, but a different profile I read said they should have slightly acidic, softer water. So I'm just trying to figure out the best way to make my little fishies happy. I want to make sure I know everything I'm doing before I start doing it.

Thanks!
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post #9 of 12 Old 08-29-2010, 11:45 PM
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In my case, I've added crushed coral and limestone to gradually move the numbers up. However, Bones14's comment has me thinking that it might be better to leave well enough alone. Even if you're using coral, rocks, bogwood, or other natural stuff to change PH and hardness, it seems possible that water changes would throw things off. I'd like to know for sure either way. Sorry to jump in on your thread. I'm just really interested in this topic right now.
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post #10 of 12 Old 08-29-2010, 11:51 PM Thread Starter
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Sorry to jump in on your thread. I'm just really interested in this topic right now.
No problem at all! It's good for us to all get answers to our questions.
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