Ph problems - Page 2 - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #11 of 11 Old 03-07-2018, 01:26 AM
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First.....find a truly inert gravel substrate such as granite, Jasper, quartz, many sands etc. Trying to lower pH with substrate, chemicals, driftwood are pointless if you are doing regular water changes.
You want to make the water you put in nearly always be the same with the substrate having no effect.

My tap water is 7.8 pH, with 22KH and 20GH. My RO water is 6.4pH with 2KH and 2GH. After much testing with various water combinations, I've found my replacement water nearly always the same when I put 4 gallons of RO with 1 gallon of aged/treated tap ratio into the tank. This new water for my change done by ratio is usually very close to 7.0pH with 6KH and 6GH If I do a larger change, then I adjust the water amount stated in a 4 to 1 ratio. I keep the upcoming/next water change water mixed in a big tub with a heater in it so it is the same exact temperature as the tank. I might suggest you test for KH no matter what. If you have a very high KH, the pH will remain rather constant and is hard to lower. You want some KH above 0 for the ecology of the tank as well as some GH which is needed by the tank as well.

KH is Carbonate Hardness ( CaCO3 ).....calcium in water. GH is General Hardness measuring all the dissolved minerals in water including KH. KH is important for fish osmoregulation and it stabilizes pH...reducing the likelihood of pH crashes....and can raise pH when high. GH measures for the presence of other minerals like Magnesium, Sodium, and Potassium among others. Magnesium is also very important for life in the tank. Some lower levels of both KH and GH are necessary for fish and plants.

And, as said before, avoid the up and down chemicals for pH. Instead, get a liquid test kit for KH and GH and you'll know what has to be done to lower your pH. Water Hardness and pH go hand in hand. I tend to focus on KH and GH more than pH. If my desired KH is maintained, my pH is almost sure to be constant.

Make the water always constant that you add to the tank after you find a ratio that works for your desired pH, KH, and GH. Lastly, here is a link to a well done detailed explanation of these facets of water parameter issues.

Now there will surely be others out there who disagree with me. That's ok.....but, the science of the relationships of water make up are pretty solid. I don't know how big your tank is, but also remember that pH and all will affect your Nitrogen cycle. If you want a great video on this, go to the link below.

Good luck and let us know how you come out.
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