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-   -   Is the Tahitian Moon sand messing with my pH, or do I just need to wait it out.. (

jennesque 02-20-2013 06:48 AM

Is the Tahitian Moon sand messing with my pH, or do I just need to wait it out..
Hey.. I'm redoing my tank a bit, and I did finally get rid of my bright, nearly white, substrate and got Tahitian Moon Sand since it was 20% off at my LFS. Normally, even before I had added driftwood in the past, every time I tested the pH of my tanks, it was consistently around 6.6, occasionally it'd even drop to 6.4 (this is with an API liquid test kit). So, yesterday I switched over the sand and I started to refill the tank.. got halfway done and had to leave this was at about 2pm. Now this morning I had just a couple minutes before I had to leave, and so for curiosity's sake I did a pH test and thecolor of the tube was just blue. Can't recall what the specific pH was, but certainly higher than my normal 6.6. The tank was up for like three yearsand always had a constant pH. The only thing in the tank right now is the conditioned tap water, and, and my driftwood.

Now, my tap usually has a pretty high/neutral pH so I know this is where the change is probably originating from, but normally I feel like the pH would've dropped by now. I tested it at about 6:30am. Should I just wait longer to see if it drops?

I know that my tap water's GH is at like 3.. so it's very soft. I'm assuming that's why the pH dropped so easily in the past. I like keeping fish that like soft, acidic water, so I am somewhat upset that the pH is now different. It is a 28gal tank and I've got about 5gallons of old tank water my filter and some amamino shrimp and some snails are hanging out in while I did the change.. I was going to dump that in if the pH was the same this morning (since both the bucket and tank are being heated, I figured there'd be no major shock if the water tested the same...). Not sure if the addition of that water would make a significant change or not.

DKRST 02-20-2013 09:22 AM

The sand alone should cause no changes in pH. I use that sand and can't tell any pH difference between the tahitian sand tanks and my tanks with Lowe's play sand in them. Perhaps it's the effect of stirring everything up and a major water change? Give it a few days to settle down and retest.

jennesque 02-20-2013 11:59 AM

OK. I guess I'm just over worrying.. I did my research and everything said it was inert!

I did empty 99.9% of everything out of the tank (also trying to get rid of duckweed, although I'm sure it'll show up again lol). I'm not exactly surprised by the water's pH, I just didn't think it'd stay that way so long. I know my water has nearly no buffering ability so it should naturally go down regardless..

Does water's pH usually decrease over like 24 hours? I remember reading that it's good to let your water for your PWC sit out over night so that it'll be closer to the tank's water. I'm scared to stick my
shrimp in there if the pH may change dramatically... :/ I've never left the water out over night because for whatever scientific reason, my pH doesn't change in the tank when I add the tap water. I'm guessing that's due to the lack of a buffer, and because I'm usually changing out 3-5 gallons a week. I don't know how adding about 4 gallons of my old, acidic tank water will change the overall chemistry.

By the way, I think saw your lecture on planted tanks at the SCAA get together last month? If this was you, thanks for the awesome lecture. My mom's going to start a planted tank now! She was debating on it, but after your lecture she was sold! I'm so glad you weren't focused on all the high tech methods.. I was afraid she might be scared off if that were the case. She loved the slide show. :)

1077 02-20-2013 12:07 PM

Usually leaving water set ,one will see the pH rise due to CO2 off gassing.
My thought's are that the tank had been set up for sometime, and bacterial process over time, will yeild lower pH than tap through bacterial processes in the aquarium.
Same will happen with new substrate/tank over time.8-)
My tap water comes out at pH of 7.6, but water in tank's that are a couple year's in the running yeild's pH of 7.2

Quantum 02-20-2013 06:55 PM

I've tried to find out exactly what the Tahitian moon sand is, but can't find any info. I wonder if it is coal slag, like the blasting media some people use. If so, it could contain CaO, which certainly could affect pH.

jennesque 02-20-2013 07:42 PM

Yeah.. I'm reading that a number of people saw a .5 increase in their pH.

The pH has dropped down from the Max on the scale of 7.6 down to about 7.0 or 6.8.. so it's definitely going down now that I've got the tank full and the filter in. It dropped on it's own while I was at work. Adding my old tank water made no change. Although it wasn't much. I was trying to drip acclimate my shrimp but when I looked up some had got out of the container and were on the lip of the tank!! So I had to just stick them in. Other than like a grocery bag, I had nothing else to put them in, and who knows what's been in and on the bag. Hopefully they make it. They've been doesn't around the tank since I put them in there. :) and hopefully the tank doesn't cycle either, but my only other tank has newts in it which will eat them!

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