will washed playsand change PH?
I'm upgrading my 23 gallon tank to a 30. I have 2 GBR's and 8 Cardinal Tetras. The ph they are in is nice and low at 6.3. I have washed more playsand to go in the new tank, but will add the existing sand too, that is in the current tank. I'm letting the washed sand dry, as I'm thinking, wet it will change my water parameters (ph) but dry it won't because there is no water in the sand. My husband says the particles that make the water hard, will still be in the sand.
I don't want to shock the fish, but creating a flux in ph in the new tank. Do I need to worry? Any suggestions? Does anyone have experience with this? My tap water is 8.2, but I use bottled water for all my wc in this tank. I'll be moving over all my plants, and driftwood that I have in the tank, along with the filter etc.
If it's well-washed, I don't think it will change the pH at all. It should be inert.
If you are concerned, put some water in a bucket, let sit a while, take a pH measurement, add sand to the bucket, let sit and remeasure the pH. If the pH shifts at all in your tank, it should do so slowly unless there is something really strange with the sand.
Thank you!! I didn't even think to test a sample. So, I did what you said, and sure enough, it's not changing the ph. What does that mean, to be inert? And how does that happen? You'd think if the sand was damp and had tap water in it, it would effect the ph. Thanks for your help.
That is something I have never thought about. But with my near-zero hardness in my tap water, I wouldn't. As water evaporates, minerals are left behind; those with hard water regularly see this in the white deposit as water evaporates from the fish tank. I've no idea if this might occur, or by how much, from washing the sand/gravel. But your test seems to indicate little if any.
"Inert" means the sand will not affect water chemistry either by adding hardness or removing it. Calcareous substances like coral, limestone, dolomite and marble that are crushed and used as substrate gravel or sand are not inert because the mineral (calcium primarily) that make them calcareous will slowly dissolve into the water, raising hardness and corresponding pH. Inert substances such as playsand, quartz gravel and such do not contain calcareous mineral so they have no effect on water chemistry.
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