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pool filter sand changes PH?

This is a discussion on pool filter sand changes PH? within the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium forums, part of the Freshwater Fish and Aquariums category; --> I thought that my tap water was hard. Your's is harder then mine. The ph out of my tap is about 7.5. I tested ...

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pool filter sand changes PH?
Old 04-16-2009, 08:44 PM   #11
 
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I thought that my tap water was hard. Your's is harder then mine. The ph out of my tap is about 7.5. I tested my 55 and the ph is 7.6 it comes out a light blue with the API test kit. Good luck in adjusting your ph. I hope it all works out for you. Post your outcome.
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Old 04-16-2009, 09:26 PM   #12
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eileen View Post
I thought that my tap water was hard. Your's is harder then mine. The ph out of my tap is about 7.5. I tested my 55 and the ph is 7.6 it comes out a light blue with the API test kit. Good luck in adjusting your ph. I hope it all works out for you. Post your outcome.
actually my water is ultra-soft. 0 GH. also be aware that i am using the API high range PH test.


ok this is the results of the test i ran this morning. left was the tank, middle was my sand test, right is my tap PH but due to my water softner cycling it is different than the water i used in the tank and sand test.



this is the test after i got home from work. left is the tank, next is a new sand test i started that morning, next is the old sand test (same as other pic), then there is the tap test in high range and normal.


what is really weird is that my tank ph has changed alot. went from brown to purple (did it twice to verify). the only thing i did when i got home was to dose with ammonia. could the ammonia have caused the ph difference?

the other results seem ok. my first sand test seems to be about the same if not a little lower. and my new sand test seems to be on the rise.

just really concerned about my tank having such a drastic change, when the only thing i did was add my 24hr ammonia dose.

i guess i will wait till tomorrow morning and see what the tank ph looks like then. maybe once the ammonia is processed the ph will drop again.
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Old 04-17-2009, 01:54 AM   #13
 
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I noticed that you said your water went through a softener that gives it a gH of 0. I would be curious as to what your kH is. It is possible that your softener is capable of producing a low gH without actually removing any of the bicarbonate that is measured in kH. It is possible that your water is going through a ping pong effect before it reaches a stable pH after coming out of the softener. I really am just guessing at this point though...

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Old 04-17-2009, 08:57 AM   #14
 
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Originally Posted by MBilyeu View Post
I noticed that you said your water went through a softener that gives it a gH of 0. I would be curious as to what your kH is. It is possible that your softener is capable of producing a low gH without actually removing any of the bicarbonate that is measured in kH. It is possible that your water is going through a ping pong effect before it reaches a stable pH after coming out of the softener. I really am just guessing at this point though...

i know i have a gh of 0. it gets tested by the ws rep all the time. i will look into the kh.



ran a ph test this morning. left is the tank right is the latest sand test. the tank ph is back to normal levels. the only thing i can think of is that the ammonia somehow short circuits the ph test. when i get home tonight i am going to test again before dosing ammonia and right after, and see if there is a difference.
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Old 04-17-2009, 11:09 AM   #15
 
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I see two very significant issues here.

First, in other parts of this (or another) forum, aquarists who have had experience with household water softeners have warned that they often soften the water by adding stuff and altering the chemical compounds. Without knowing exactly what is happening with the softener, it is very dangerous to be fiddling with the pH in an aquarium. As previous posts have indicated, there are natural buffers in water and nothing you do is going to have a lasting effect if the buffers are acting contrary, but will rather subject the fish to continual pH fluctuations, and that is very bad as I'll explain in a moment (that's the second significant issue).

Chemicals like pH down and similar are not recomended for use in an established aquarium. These chemicals are OK to lower the pH in tap water for a partial water change, but not in an established tank because the natural buffers in the tank water will cause the pH to swing about, depending of course upon the chemical composition of the tank and the tap water and what you're doing. All of this will again stress the fish, and now I'll explain why.

Fish are very closely tied to their environment (the water they live in). Fish "drink" the water they require by osmosis, when the water passes through the cells of the fish. The fish must adjust its internal pH to equal the water coming in, so every pH change in the aquarium causes the fish to adjust its internal pH. In an excellent article on "Fish Growth vs. Tank Size" in the December 2006 issue of TFH, Laura Muha put it very well: "Both salinity and pH affects a fish's growth rate because they affect how hard a fish's body must work to maintain its physiological equilibrium--that is, the complex chain of internal chemical reactions that keep the pH of its blood steady, its tissues fed, and its immune system functioning. When pH and/or salinity stray outside the ideal range for any given species, the fishes' bodies must work harder and use more energy to maintain this equilibrium." Having fluctuating water conditions means the fish is constantly having to adjust its metabolism, and this stresses the fish and can lead to poor health, disease, and even death if not corrected.

The yo-yo effect you are experiencing in your water pH would be very stressful to any fish in such a setup. We need to find out your tap water pH, what pH you want in your tank, and then we can offer suggestions.
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Old 04-17-2009, 07:41 PM   #16
 
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the problem is not a yo-yo effect.


here are 2 test that were run 10 mins apart.
#1 i ran the test on the left: ph and high range ph.
#2 then added ammonia
#3 ran test on the right: ph and high range ph.
appears that the ammonia messed up the ph test.

i am willing to bet once i no longer have to add ammonia my ph problem will go away.
just never heard of ammonia altering the ph results.

with my current tap ph of 7.4-8.0 i should be ok. my platy tank never had any issues.

the 75g will be a schooling tank, tetras, rainbow fish, and cories.
in a perfect world i would like a ph of 7.0, but i know that probably wont happen with my water.
i thought of adding peat or driftwood, but water changes might cause too much of a swing.

any advice?
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Old 04-17-2009, 07:43 PM   #17
 
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Originally Posted by MBilyeu View Post
I noticed that you said your water went through a softener that gives it a gH of 0. I would be curious as to what your kH is. It is possible that your softener is capable of producing a low gH without actually removing any of the bicarbonate that is measured in kH. It is possible that your water is going through a ping pong effect before it reaches a stable pH after coming out of the softener. I really am just guessing at this point though...

ok i tested this. my gH is definetly 0. my kH is 7.
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Old 04-17-2009, 08:28 PM   #18
 
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yeah 7ppm is essentially a zero for this purpose. I have never heard of ammonia affecting pH either, in fact everything that I read says that nothing in the nitrogen cycle has anything to do with pH. Maybe the ammonia you bought isn't quite "pure" like it advertises, but then again what in this world is. I would just wait for the cycle to finish, then see if you have a stable ph, which I am guessing that you will. Once you do have fish in it, I would recommend that you let your tap water sit for awhile before you use it in your water change to allow any reactions to take place because of the softener that you have on it.
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Old 04-18-2009, 08:23 AM   #19
 
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yeah 7ppm is essentially a zero for this purpose.
oops my bad, i meant 7dkH which is 125ppm.

i use the ace brand ammonia, used it when i cycled my 55g. maybe the stuff has a shelf life, it was sitting around for a year before using it in my 75g.
what i would really be interested in knowing is if the ammonia is affecting the ph or just the high range ph test.
good idea about letting the water sit. i am going to talk to my ws rep, see if i can get better stability.

what do you think about my ph and stock? do you think i should add anything physical and try to lower the ph? how would you approach this?
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Old 04-18-2009, 08:45 AM   #20
 
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oh and i tested my RO unit. I get 6.4 ph on it.
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