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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; --> Hours---pool filter sand--------colorquartz in plastic----colorquartz in glass-----home depot pebbles----water control---used gravel----flourite------eco-complete w/flourite start----- 6.6------------------------- 6.6------------------- 6.6----------------------- 6.6------------------------ 6.6------------------- xx----------- xx----------------- xx 12 hrs---- 7.0------------------------- ...

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pool filter sand changes PH?
Old 05-02-2009, 08:35 AM   #41
 
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Hours---pool filter sand--------colorquartz in plastic----colorquartz in glass-----home depot pebbles----water control---used gravel----flourite------eco-complete w/flourite
start----- 6.6------------------------- 6.6------------------- 6.6----------------------- 6.6------------------------ 6.6------------------- xx----------- xx----------------- xx
12 hrs---- 7.0------------------------- 7.4------------------- 7.0----------------------- 7.0---------------------- 6.6------------------- 6.6---------- 6.6---------------- xx
24 hrs---- 7.0------------------------- 7.4------------------- 7.4----------------------- 7.0----------------------- 6.6------------------- 7.4---------- 6.5---------------- 6.6
32 hrs---- 7.1------------------------- 7.4------------------- 7.4----------------------- 7.2---------------------- 6.6------------------- 7.4---------- 6.5---------------- 6.6



OK 32 hrs.......not much else is changing. both flourite and eco-complete seem to be doing real well. dont think i will be doing live plants so prob. dont want that type of substrate.i am going to divide the pfs and the cq into 2 tests to see if continued wcs will make a diff.
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Old 05-02-2009, 02:53 PM   #42
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iceprizm View Post
Hours---pool filter sand--------colorquartz in plastic----colorquartz in glass-----home depot pebbles----water control---used gravel----flourite------eco-complete w/flourite
start----- 6.6------------------------- 6.6------------------- 6.6----------------------- 6.6------------------------ 6.6------------------- xx----------- xx----------------- xx
12 hrs---- 7.0------------------------- 7.4------------------- 7.0----------------------- 7.0---------------------- 6.6------------------- 6.6---------- 6.6---------------- xx
24 hrs---- 7.0------------------------- 7.4------------------- 7.4----------------------- 7.0----------------------- 6.6------------------- 7.4---------- 6.5---------------- 6.6
32 hrs---- 7.1------------------------- 7.4------------------- 7.4----------------------- 7.2---------------------- 6.6------------------- 7.4---------- 6.5---------------- 6.6



OK 32 hrs.......not much else is changing. both flourite and eco-complete seem to be doing real well. dont think i will be doing live plants so prob. dont want that type of substrate.i am going to divide the pfs and the cq into 2 tests to see if continued wcs will make a diff.
This is certainly mystifying to me. The used gravel puzzles me--are you certain there is no dolomite/coral/limestone mix in this? Do you know what the pH was in the tank when this was the substrate?

As I think someone mentioned earlier, it seems significant to try and track down what is in the water that is making the pH rise when it comes into contact with regular sand and gravel--of course, assuming the sand, pebbles and gravel has no calcium-based material in it which would explain a pH rise. For instance, if the pebbles are limestone that is probably the answer for that one. Is your water (coming out of the tap at 6.6 I am assuming) going through a general softener in the house?

A rise of almost one degree in pH (from 6.6 to 7.4) in 24 hours as is occurring with the colourquartz and used gravel is very significant--this is almost a ten-fold decrease in acidity. Many fish subjected to this on any sort of regular basis would probably suffer in a number of ways.
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Old 05-02-2009, 03:15 PM   #43
 
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the water i am using has gone thru a water softner then an RO filter. i also tried the ground water before it enters the softner. the changes in ph with the pfs was consistent with the RO water. it comes out of the RO with a 6.6 ph. just for giggles i am going to get a sample of the ground water and subject it to some type of substrate, see if it is indeed consistent with the RO water.

i cant tell you anything about the used gravel, i have never used it nor do i know where it came from, it was just in a bucket in my garage. it could have anything mixed in it.

i can tell you that the flourite was in my 55 tank for a few weeks until i took some out and added eco. i never had ph issues in my 55. but i never looked this closely before.
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Old 05-02-2009, 03:37 PM   #44
 
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the ph of my ground water is about 7.5. i put a sample of pfs and cq in the ground water. have to see what happens.
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Old 05-02-2009, 05:42 PM   #45
 
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I believe we may have found the problem, at least in part. Your water softener is adding something to the water--I understand that is how they soften water, buy adding chemicals to remove/dilute/lessen the hardness (and thus the pH). Either this "wears off" in a manner of speaking and the pH rises, or something in the gravels is affecting it. I don't know a lot about buffering in hard water, but I suspect the softener is affecting the buffering capability and then it is prone to sudden shifts. This is a similar problem to when you use pH down chemicals and the buffering agents raise the pH back up in 24 hours.

The water on its own remaining at 6.6 still puzzles me though. The water with the eco-substrate and flourite is probably kept down by the nutrients in the material, similar to tannins leeching from driftwood that tend to soften and acidify water.

If you could run some of your water through just the RO and then see what happens...

I'm not a chemist, but this is how I read this. If this turns out to be the case, you would be better to use the non-softened water, run it through the RO unit, and then mix it with some untreated water (to restore a bit of the mineral content which is important to avoid water so pure it is unfit for fish).
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Old 05-02-2009, 08:12 PM   #46
 
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ok i thought this too....however.

ground water- 7.5, 7.5
pfs ground water- 7.5, 8.0
cq ground water- 7.5, 8.1

new rinsed pfs ro water- 6.6, 6.5
new rinsed cq ro water- 6.6, 7.0
first number is started ph second number is 8 hours later.

the other tests i was running showed no more changes.

i can say that the untreated water has the same effect as the ro water. both show ph changes when sub. was added.

doesnt look like my water equipment is to blame.

i am unable to run the water just thru the ro unit. even to get to the ground water was a chore.

i have lots of consistent data, but still am at a lose as to what it means.
it seems the more i rinse the pfs the less the ph change. although the test is still new i wonder if boiling the pfs would make a difference..........
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Old 05-03-2009, 09:23 AM   #47
 
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I can't add any more to this as I'm beyond my depth. But I will just say that I think the problem is either with the softener (I really would not use water in an aquarium that has gone through a water softener) or in the sand/gravel, or both. I hope others with more chemistry knowledge may have suggestions.
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Old 05-03-2009, 09:53 AM   #48
 
Here take a sample of your water you use to fill the tank with
a sample of whats in the tank
and a sample of your sand,drained, all in seperate containers to your LFS, see if they use 7.0 water first though.

they test for free, the substrate test is usually a 24 hour gig but its worth it.

Mine only raised it .10 however my PH of my tank is an 8.0 last night going to test this morning should be around an 8.1 maybe 8.0 steady

Its worth the trouble and its a phone call the next day to get results.
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Old 05-03-2009, 10:42 AM   #49
 
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ground water- 7.5, 7.5, 8.2
pfs ground water- 7.5, 8.0, 8.2
cq ground water- 7.5, 8.0, 8.3
boiled pfs- 6.6, 7.0
boiled cq- 6.6, 7.4
pfs ro- 6.6, 6.5, 6.6
cq ro- 6.6, 7.0, 7.4


what is odd is that the ground water has changed ph by just sitting out.
this might need a call to my water company to find out why.

boiling doesnt help at all.
rinsing many times yields better results.

i will have to call around to see if anyone can do water/substrate tests.
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Old 05-04-2009, 08:05 AM   #50
 
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I'm cetainly no chemist but this entire thread appears to be a lesson in chemistry which in my view,, takes all the enjoyment from the hobby.
There are those who feel that domestic water softners as Byron indicated, replace one kind of mineral, the kind that builds up or furs inside pipes,, with another kind that doesn't. This water is said to contain too much sodium and not enough calcium salts and is unsuitable for fishes longterm health.
I might were it me,(and it ain't) go outside the house or apartment building and run some water from spigot minus any softner or R/O treatment. After letting this water set for twelve to twenty four hours ,,I would take ph reading. pH will rise after being allowed to offgass and what ever this ph value was, would be the water I used. If still measuring 8.0 to8.4 I would keep Livebearers,or cichlids or some rainbow fish. Problem solved.
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