Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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SeaHorse 01-27-2011 03:58 PM

Water Hardness and Testing
 
The water where I live is exteemly hard. In speaking with a LFS staff yesterday he seemed to think my PH was way too high at 8.4 and that I should be doing something about it. I do have both the strip tests and the full testing kit. Today I used the High Range test kit and got a reading of between 8.2 and 8.4. How is PH different form Hardness, is there a reference on TFK I can read? I thought we should not try to mess with our PH...
My first question is:
Can the testing kit components get "old" or "expire"? I have had this kit for a very long time stored away in a cool dark location... but it is many years old.
After doing the PH test, I did the KH and it took 11 drops to change the colour from blue to yellow which gives me a reading of 196.9 Whatever that means...lol
Then I did the GH test and again, one drop at a time, lid back on, shake, no change, add another drop... etc. and got to 35 drops of testing solutions and I still don't have a reading....the test sample should turn from orange to green. So I'm baffled now...I never did get a GH reading...
Then it talks about using Tap Water Purifier to lower these levels. Is that the chlorine remover that I use with every water change?
2.) I also hear of people adding drift wood to a tank.. what does that do to the PH or hardness?
Could the type of rocks I have in the tank influence the water quality/hardness. They have all been purchased from the LFS and kept over the many years between tanks in a tub. This tank has been up now since the big leak in October 2010, and all filters, substrated, gravel was moved over from the leaking 45G tank which had been up for over 2 years. I have several types of rock in there. Might have to take a pic at the LFS of the rock bins and their labels to identify what I have in there.
Should I invest in a brand new testing kit? Hoping you guys can help!

SeaHorse 01-28-2011 10:51 PM

Ok so I was in town at the LFS and picked up a new full testing kit. Will test the tap water first tomorrow and then the tank and will post them tomorrow here. Interested to see what they say.

Curt 01-29-2011 02:15 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jakiebabie (Post 571744)
The water where I live is exteemly hard. In speaking with a LFS staff yesterday he seemed to think my PH was way too high at 8.4 and that I should be doing something about it. I do have both the strip tests and the full testing kit. Today I used the High Range test kit and got a reading of between 8.2 and 8.4. How is PH different form Hardness, is there a reference on TFK I can read? I thought we should not try to mess with our PH...
My first question is:
Can the testing kit components get "old" or "expire"? I have had this kit for a very long time stored away in a cool dark location... but it is many years old.
After doing the PH test, I did the KH and it took 11 drops to change the colour from blue to yellow which gives me a reading of 196.9 Whatever that means...lol
Then I did the GH test and again, one drop at a time, lid back on, shake, no change, add another drop... etc. and got to 35 drops of testing solutions and I still don't have a reading....the test sample should turn from orange to green. So I'm baffled now...I never did get a GH reading...
Then it talks about using Tap Water Purifier to lower these levels. Is that the chlorine remover that I use with every water change?
2.) I also hear of people adding drift wood to a tank.. what does that do to the PH or hardness?
Could the type of rocks I have in the tank influence the water quality/hardness. They have all been purchased from the LFS and kept over the many years between tanks in a tub. This tank has been up now since the big leak in October 2010, and all filters, substrated, gravel was moved over from the leaking 45G tank which had been up for over 2 years. I have several types of rock in there. Might have to take a pic at the LFS of the rock bins and their labels to identify what I have in there.
Should I invest in a brand new testing kit? Hoping you guys can help!

There are 2 ways to lower PH one is to use a chemical like ph down or Proper ph. I used proper PH and while it kept my ph perfect. IT caused the water to be cloudy and a I didnt like how I kept having to add chemicals to the tank. The water where I am is already hard. Proper ph rebuffers your water to maintain a stable ph. Products like ph down while they do work will only temporary reduce the ph and then it will go back up to what the orig ph was. Now my local petco and petsmart were telling me to buy this and that and control it. But I started going to another place that sells only fish and fish products. They gave me some great advise.

First off here in Orlando the water is one of the worst tap waters in the country very hard and high ph 8.6. So They told me to use RO water and tap water. RO water is reverse osmosis water. Its ph is low and is pure filtered water. They sell it By combining the tap water with the RO water it rebuffers my ph in the middle of the two. This also lowers the hardness of the water. However you do not want to use pure water for all of your water. Some of the stuff that makes water hard the fish need. So I do about 50% RO and 50% tap. So I kill 2 birds with one stone and dont use chem's to change the water.

The other idea they gave me was when it rains put a bucket outside and recapture the rainwater. Rainwater here in florida is pretty pure. There is no pollution around because of the oceans the ph is really low I have collected and used it. However do not collect water that is runoff like from your gutters. This may have metals in it or contaminates. so with that water I use about 40% rainwater and 60% tap.

8.4 may be high for some fish but from my understanding and I dont keep these kind of fish but Ciclids prefer higher ph water.
:fish: :BIGcool: Hope this helps.

SeaHorse 01-29-2011 12:11 PM

So did my testing today... hmmmm not so bad... and despite all the bottles in the pkg there were only 4 tests, no GH or KH that I was freaking about. lol. Chillax!!
Ok so readings were
Amonia 0
Nitrite 0
Nitrate 10-20, colouration on the card is hard to tell so I'm going to assume the higher.
PH 8.2
I am a known over feeder so I'm going to try to slow it down a bit. Recording all activity in a calender so will keep up with my water changes.
Also I found an old record book for an old tank 12 years ago, and realized that my whole house used to be on a huge carbon filter in the basement. When we moved 4 years ago, there is a finished apt in this basement and the water pipes are all behind walls and the only location to connect the big filter would have meant it would sit smack on the apt's kitchen counter after removing kitched cupboards. lol. Not happening! So the filter stands in storage. Even our water meter is in the kitchen cupboards. (stupid) The main reason my water is so hard. I had that filter running for 20 years, (with proper mainenance and carbon changes) so I never had water issues or chlorine to take out. Duh!! No wonder I am struggling with this. I had it easy before.
Thanks for you help Curt


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