05-20-2010, 03:20 PM
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I bought a pH test kit with adjuster since its in my budget at the moment. From the readings and chart comparison, it looks like the pH is around 7.6 (its a medium-light blue color). I added 2 drops/ gallon and took another reading and it looked the same. So I added another 20 drops and it still looks about the same. Do I keep adding it until it looks greenish like 7.0 or should I wait 24 hours?
This is not advisable and may cause considerable stress and even death to the fish. While these chemicals are intended to lower (or raise, depending) the pH, this does not usually work long-term, as I'll try to explain.
The water pH is determined by several factors, one of which is the carbonate hardness (KH) that works to buffer pH changes. The pH adjuster chemicals may lower the pH when used, but the natural KH of the water will return it to where it was within 12 hours. This constant fluctuating pH is far more stressful on all fish than a stable pH that may be outside their preference. There are natural and safe ways to lower pH if
this is actually necessary. Please do not put any more of this stuff in the aquarium.
You could test your source water (tap water presumably) for hardness, both the general (GH) and carbonate (KH) hardness. Fish stores will usually do this, or you might contact your water board. Make sure you get the actual numbers (degrees or ppm), not general indications like "slightly hard" which is almost meaningless for our purposes. Once we know the GH and KH, and the current pH, we can suggest what is likely to occur or how to adjust the pH if that is deemed necessary.