pool filter sand changes PH?
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pool filter sand changes PH?

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pool filter sand changes PH?
Old 04-15-2009, 08:48 PM   #1
 
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pool filter sand changes PH?

i am cycling my 75g tank. i switched to pool filter sand i picked up at ace. the next day my PH went from 8.0 to 8.4.
i tried putting some of the PFS in a tupperware with some water i tested before adding. the next day the water with the sand had a ph of 8.2 while the control water was tested at 8.0.

it seems like the PFS i bought is definetly increasing my ph. has anyone heard of this before?
i thought PFS wasnt suppose to mess with waters chemistry.

anyhow i need to get my ph down before i add fish. any ideas?
i dont want to have to use ph down ever time i do a water change and my water is very soft so stability may be an issue.

i am thinking maybe i can add something to the tank or filters that can gradually bring down my ph.
ideally i would like to get down to 7.0 or so. water from my tap is around 8.0. water in my 75g tank with sand around 8.4.

any idaes?
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Old 04-15-2009, 09:55 PM   #2
 
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If the sand is actually causing the pH spike then you won't be able to bring it down. Carbonates are being released from the sand as a result of the low pH. Lowering the pH or acidifying the water will cause pH to spike right back up again. Sorry.

Normally swimming pool sand is silicate based, not calcium based. You just bought the wrong stuff.
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Old 04-15-2009, 10:42 PM   #3
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pasfur View Post
If the sand is actually causing the pH spike then you won't be able to bring it down. Carbonates are being released from the sand as a result of the low pH. Lowering the pH or acidifying the water will cause pH to spike right back up again. Sorry.

Normally swimming pool sand is silicate based, not calcium based. You just bought the wrong stuff.
i dont understand. the stuff i bought is #20 silica sand.
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Old 04-15-2009, 10:44 PM   #4
 
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I have pool filter sand in my 55. gal tank and I have a PH of 7.5. You should of got your sand from a pool supply store. I paid $10 for a 25 lb bag. The Ace must have gave you the wrong stuff. I was told to get it from a pool suppy store. I have community fish in my tank Glow light tetras, Harlenquen Rasboras, Dwarf rainbows, mollies, bushy nosed plecos, and 1 large angelfish I also had Red cherry shrimp in the tank with no problems with my fish. Maybe it's something you put in the tank like rocks of some sort or wood that could change the ph also. Good Luck.
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Old 04-15-2009, 11:02 PM   #5
 
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the only thing in my tank is the sand...........i also see others using the exact same sand with no issues. its hth arch chemicals:
ttp://www.drillspot.com/products/353148/Arch_Chemical_Hth_61308_50LB_Hth_Sand_Filter
i would have gotten the sand from a pool supply but in the desert there isnt much demand for pools.
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Old 04-16-2009, 12:05 AM   #6
 
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Was this a substrate change? If so, then it is possible that your old substrate was LOWERING your pH somehow. When you changed to the sand, it didn't raise your pH, it just doesn't lower it like your old substrate did. If you were just using plain old made for aquarium gravel before, then this probably isn't the case. I was just presenting a different way of thinking about it...
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Old 04-16-2009, 12:17 AM   #7
 
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it was a substrate change. the gravel i used did not alter the ph. as a test i tried soaking sand in a plastic container and the ph of that water changed overnight.
it doesnt bother me if i have to get "the right stuff" and dump the sand i have now. its the fact that as far as anyone can tell me the stuff i have now should be ok.
i dont want to try different sand and get the same outcome.
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Old 04-16-2009, 01:51 AM   #8
 
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I wouldn't try a different sand just yet, it seems like what you bought is the right stuff. I have been trying to research this, but I can't find anything on silica affecting the outgassing of CO2, which seems like a possibility of what is happening. I would do another water test from the tap in a plastic container for pH, then wait for 4-5 days and test again to see if there is any outgassing that occurs naturally. Since you did a one day test with and without sand, it might be that the sand just speeds up the process. I would also test the kH of the tap water and see if it is unusually high for what you tap pH is. It could be that the pH is just catching up with the alkalinity of the water. If it is one of these causes and you put peat moss in your filter to lower your pH, then you will run the risk of stressing your fish at every water change. If you find out that it is your water reacting, then you might want to look into an RO unit if you are really in need of low pH.
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Old 04-16-2009, 03:09 AM   #9
 
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Were it me,(and it ain't) I would go ahead and let the maturing or (cycling) happen with the current substrate. It is not uncommon for pH shifts to take place during this time. In any event, pH will need to be stable before any attempts at adjusting are made. I would also think that a rise from 8.0 to 8.4 after water has set (off gassed) would not be uncommon.IMHO.
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Old 04-16-2009, 08:01 AM   #10
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MBilyeu View Post
I wouldn't try a different sand just yet, it seems like what you bought is the right stuff. I have been trying to research this, but I can't find anything on silica affecting the outgassing of CO2, which seems like a possibility of what is happening. I would do another water test from the tap in a plastic container for pH, then wait for 4-5 days and test again to see if there is any outgassing that occurs naturally. Since you did a one day test with and without sand, it might be that the sand just speeds up the process. I would also test the kH of the tap water and see if it is unusually high for what you tap pH is. It could be that the pH is just catching up with the alkalinity of the water. If it is one of these causes and you put peat moss in your filter to lower your pH, then you will run the risk of stressing your fish at every water change. If you find out that it is your water reacting, then you might want to look into an RO unit if you are really in need of low pH.

the water im using is filtered thru a water softner. i also have a RO unit but it only produces 10g at a time. i just checked again and the PH has seemingly lowered in both my test sample and the tank.



the left is my tank the middle is the test water with sand and the right is the tap. unfortunately my softner went thru a cleaning cycle last night and the ph has been altered. but the sand waters have definetly gone down overnight. they use to have a purple tinge in the indicator. the color i got in the pic is exactly what the tap was yesterday.i think i will be ok. i usually do wc right after my softner cycles, so i get the lowest ph possible from the tap. im am not planning on getting any super sensitive fish, just some tetras, cories, rasboras, and maybe a couple of plecos.

i have to go to work now. i am going to set up a third sand test with the new ph from the tap, just for fun. ill see how it goes when i get home.
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