Please tell me what this means?
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Please tell me what this means?

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Please tell me what this means?
Old 09-11-2012, 02:02 PM   #1
 
Exclamation Please tell me what this means for water hardness?

I had horrible problems with my past aquarium a little over a year ago with cycling. Turns out it was the black gravel from Petco, which was leeching into the water and making the pH go to 6.0, hindering the cycle. I just started up again: with natural gravel this time :) My city's tap water has ammonia in it (chloramine treated) and it's a pretty significant amount. The pH is very alkaline, maybe even higher than 7.4. The hardness? I'm not sure as I don't have a test kit for that and no online access to the water company to find it out.
So my question is: what does it mean if I adjust the tank's the pH to 6.8 (with API pH Down) and the next day it is back to 7.4? What does this indicate about our water? (hard or soft). I know it's not recommended to use these drops but I just wanted to start the pH around 6.8 (it's always been my "safe zone" as far as pH went for some reason). I plan to keep community freshwater fish, mostly barbs and tetras. I've had fish in bowls for over a year and their pH tends to get acidic after a few days, like to 6.6. I only have glass marbles in there. So I thought our tap water tends to naturally go to more acidic after a while, but is that only if the fish are in there? (I'm wondering if fish waste contributes to the water turning more acidic) and maybe that's why my empty tank isn't skewing more toward acidic yet. thanks in advance!

Last edited by whitecloud7; 09-11-2012 at 02:12 PM..
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Old 09-11-2012, 02:30 PM   #2
 
Water hardness gH and kH are factors in buffering pH. pH can be difficult to change and maintain and most recommend just living with your slightly alkaline pH. Although sudden changes are to be avoided, fish adapt well to a wide range of pH values. Creating pH swings when adjusting can do more harm than good.
My pH is 7.6 and although I adjust my DI and rain water (for water changes) to a neutral pH, I don't attempt to mess with my tanks pH.
To answer your question, decomposition of organic matter can result in a slight pH drop (acidic).
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Old 09-11-2012, 07:01 PM   #3
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by AbbeysDad View Post
Water hardness gH and kH are factors in buffering pH. pH can be difficult to change and maintain and most recommend just living with your slightly alkaline pH. Although sudden changes are to be avoided, fish adapt well to a wide range of pH values. Creating pH swings when adjusting can do more harm than good.
My pH is 7.6 and although I adjust my DI and rain water (for water changes) to a neutral pH, I don't attempt to mess with my tanks pH.
To answer your question, decomposition of organic matter can result in a slight pH drop (acidic).
thank you so much. yeah, that's what I thought.
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Old 09-11-2012, 07:24 PM   #4
 
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The API pH Down is sulfuric acid - H2SO4 - that the pH went back up after adding it indicates that the water has high alkalinity, which is the capacity to neutralize acid. For most natural waters, the majority of alkalinity comes from carbonate hardness - KH, which is not the same as general hardness - GH - which is the concentration of divalent cations primarily Ca and Mg.
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