Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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-   -   PH changes and Buffering Cap (http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/beginner-freshwater-aquarium/ph-changes-buffering-cap-72225/)

Eshnon 06-07-2011 01:57 PM

PH changes and Buffering Cap
 
Im having issues with my PH and Buffering cap of my water... My water will NOT go down to neutral at all!! It stays right at 7.8 and no matter how much PH down I put in there... it goes down, but the next morning it goes right back up to 7.8.
Currently, I have a few Zebra Rocks in there, But I cant imagine that being that cause of high buffering... And I've been using this plant food called FloraPride. It has Iron and Potassium. I have Amazon Frogbit multiplying like crazy, and 2 Nymphaea plants taking off like rockets...
-The reason why I want to lower my water down to 6.8-7.0 is for my bolivian Rams... I want them to be comfortable and ready to breed..
I dont know if im stupid and just missing the point... or if there's something wacky in my water or tank..

(I tested my tap water as well.. it's at 7.8 as well.. but I've been putting A LOT of acid in there.. You'd think by now the water's buff cap has been overloaded.. I haven't done a water change either.)

redchigh 06-07-2011 02:13 PM

Water with high Kh will not go down because of adding acid. The PH shifts will also kill your fish.

I reccomend you discontinue use immediately. I would probably take out the Zebra rocks if you think they are calcerous. They sell water softening 'pillows' at LFS. You can try that.

The best option would be to simply use some bottled water (distilled, not drinking) when you do a waterchange.

Byron 06-07-2011 07:17 PM

I completely agree.

As redchigh very correctly said, the water's hardness is most likely buffering the pH. Calcareous rock can also do this, but unless you have a lot of rock it is not likely going to be as drastic as you mention, overnight.

Water has a degree of hardness, caused primarily by calcium and magnesium but some other minerals also contribute. Along with bicarbonates. The latter act as a buffer to maintain a stable pH. It will resist any attempt to adjust the pH up to the limit of its buffering capacity. Once that point is reached, something equally bad occurs, and that is a very sudden and significant drop in pH, what we term a pH crash. Most often this is severe enough to outright kill the fish because it is too sudden and too great a change.

In the interim, the constant up and down fluctuating pH is highly stressful. Fish must regulate their internal pH, keeping the pH of their blood roughly equivalent to the pH of the water they are in. When the pH of their environment shifts dramatically, they have to expend considerable energy to match it, and this is highly stressful. Stress weakens the immune system in fish just as it does in humans, so if the pH change doesn't get them, something else likely will.

There are safe and natural methods to adjust pH but first we need to know the hardness and pH of your tap water. You can find this out from your water supply people, many have websites with water data posted. We need the GH and KH (general hardness and carbonate hardness). Once we know this, we can ascertain how best to go about lowering the hardness and pH--if that is needed. You mention Bolivian Rams, and they will manage in the mid-7's fine, although they prefer soft to medium hard water. When we know the hardness of the tap water, we can better evaluate this. Also, what other fish are in the tank; some may be more susceptible to hardness/pH.

Byron.

zof 06-07-2011 07:31 PM

I'd like to point out I have a pH of 8 and my Bolivian rams have no problem spawning, now when it comes to parenting that's another issue.

Eshnon 06-07-2011 10:19 PM

Ok.. this is good to know. I've tested my water from my tap, and I've tried to find my local water works, but the site is only supplying me with last year's info.. which is copper, and various other metals.. Instead, I tested my tap, and my KH is low (40ppm), my ph is 7.8. Which I dont understand.. because low KH leads to low PH right? Why is it at 7.8 instead of like 6.8-7.0? My tap water's GH is also Soft (75ppm). Now that is my Tap water...
My current water in the tank is just about the same.. but I guess because of the PH down.. my KH is now 20 ppm and PH is still at 7.8. Water GH hasnt changed either.. that is still 75ppm. Im just thinking of letting it cycle more.. seriously.. I dont even have Nitrates.. 0 Nitrites, and 0 ammonia. So Im thinking of letting nature take it's course.. let it create it's own acids and lower the Ph on its own.. The fish are happy right now.. and dont seem stressed at all. The only fish in my tank that seem the slightest stressed are the cory catfish, and that's because I added a little aquarium salt.
Question is.. would it be wise to let nature take hold, lower the PH on its own.. and once it gets to a certain point.. just keep doing water changes to maintain the water parameters I want?

Teishokue 06-08-2011 01:05 AM

if you are really looking into lowering your pH with chemicals (which i do not recommend), then you should obtain a pH buffer at a certain level of your desire and then slowly titrate until your pH has changed to neutral. then calculate the ammount needed for your tank. look into titration.

Byron 06-08-2011 01:18 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Eshnon (Post 695213)
Ok.. this is good to know. I've tested my water from my tap, and I've tried to find my local water works, but the site is only supplying me with last year's info.. which is copper, and various other metals.. Instead, I tested my tap, and my KH is low (40ppm), my ph is 7.8. Which I dont understand.. because low KH leads to low PH right? Why is it at 7.8 instead of like 6.8-7.0? My tap water's GH is also Soft (75ppm). Now that is my Tap water...
My current water in the tank is just about the same.. but I guess because of the PH down.. my KH is now 20 ppm and PH is still at 7.8. Water GH hasnt changed either.. that is still 75ppm. Im just thinking of letting it cycle more.. seriously.. I dont even have Nitrates.. 0 Nitrites, and 0 ammonia. So Im thinking of letting nature take it's course.. let it create it's own acids and lower the Ph on its own.. The fish are happy right now.. and dont seem stressed at all. The only fish in my tank that seem the slightest stressed are the cory catfish, and that's because I added a little aquarium salt.
Question is.. would it be wise to let nature take hold, lower the PH on its own.. and once it gets to a certain point.. just keep doing water changes to maintain the water parameters I want?

I certainly recommend letting nature work this through. With that low a GH and KH the tank will acidify over a few weeks. Something is likely being added to the water to raise the pH. I have that here, some kind of ash I think, can't remember. If you provide the link to your water info i can check it, and may see something.

I would not use salt with freshwater fish except as a specific treatment for a health problem, and then only if the fish in the tank can tolerate it. And Corydoras do not. Salt is very stressful to soft water fish. Please don;t use it. Partial water changes will gradually remove it.

No chemicals should ever be regularly added to a freshwater tank except water conditioner and, if needed, plant fertilizer.

Byron.

Eshnon 06-10-2011 11:17 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Byron (Post 695649)
I certainly recommend letting nature work this through. With that low a GH and KH the tank will acidify over a few weeks. Something is likely being added to the water to raise the pH. I have that here, some kind of ash I think, can't remember. If you provide the link to your water info i can check it, and may see something.

I would not use salt with freshwater fish except as a specific treatment for a health problem, and then only if the fish in the tank can tolerate it. And Corydoras do not. Salt is very stressful to soft water fish. Please don;t use it. Partial water changes will gradually remove it.

No chemicals should ever be regularly added to a freshwater tank except water conditioner and, if needed, plant fertilizer.

Byron.

Byron, if you can find the site, I would be amazed.. because I've searched and I only found our local waterworks water compounds sheets for the last 3 or 4 years. I live in Manchester's North side, New Hampshire.

Once my PH lowers, Ill be changing the water to remove the salt in the tank. Should be another week.

Byron 06-10-2011 11:30 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Eshnon (Post 697185)
Byron, if you can find the site, I would be amazed.. because I've searched and I only found our local waterworks water compounds sheets for the last 3 or 4 years. I live in Manchester's North side, New Hampshire.

Once my PH lowers, Ill be changing the water to remove the salt in the tank. Should be another week.

I found their Water Quality Report but it only lists metals and such. They say the full water analysis is available on their website, but I can't find it.

Eshnon 06-13-2011 01:13 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Byron (Post 697198)
I found their Water Quality Report but it only lists metals and such. They say the full water analysis is available on their website, but I can't find it.

Yeah, same... I guess I'll just save up for a master kit... do a master test once a month, and weekly Nitrite, Nitrate, PH test. I dont have any issues though.. my fish seem healthy and happy. Only issue was the salt and high potassium in the water.. and the 60% water change just about removed most of it. Ill update in a week or two.


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