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I took a reading on my water today and everything is fine, except my alkaline reading which is very high. Why would it suddenly spike and how can I fix it?
 

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did you check your tap water? if you live in a city, your water supply could have been altered a bit.
I am on well water. All my water runs through a culligan water system as well. I checked the tap and my system and they appear to be fine. What else could be the culprit?
 

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Hm. What is the pH exactly, and what was it before? Have you added any chemicals or maybe even strange ornaments?
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Hm. What is the pH exactly, and what was it before? Have you added any chemicals or maybe even strange ornaments?
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The pH is about 7.0 and hasn't fluxuated even after the water change. I did use a different water conditioner this time. I usually use the Tetra brand but I ran out and tried API brand. No strang ornaments.
 

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Strips don't work as well as liquid tests. they're not as accurate. but its still strange your readings changed.
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I've played with test strips for fun. 8 strips on same tank within minutes of each one. Came out with a couple that were VERY different results . Try a liquid test to verify that your strips are be truthful


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I've played with test strips for fun. 8 strips on same tank within minutes of each one. Came out with a couple that were VERY different results . Try a liquid test to verify that your strips are be truthful


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Thanks, I'll check PetSmart for one on my way home today.
 

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I picked up a testing kit...
Water Check - Nitrites: 0; Nitratres: 0; pH: 8.2; NH3: 0.50 ppm (my tap water pH is 8.0)

What pH is best for my Molly/Platy/Guppy aquarium and how do I gradually adjust it for them?
 

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I think that your pH is fine. messing with pH is complex stuff. A lot of times, (although not always) higher pH correlates to harder water, which livebearers do need. If you got a gh/kh test kit we would know for sure, but i would leave the water alone, unless the ph starts going even higher.
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I took a reading on my water today and everything is fine, except my alkaline reading which is very high. Why would it suddenly spike and how can I fix it?
This hasn't really been addressed yet.

The alkalinity that those test strips is showing is the KH portion of the hardness or GH.

Normally the GH is a higher number as it contains the total hardness and the KH is somewhat lower. When you uise a softener the KH can be much higher due to the salt that is now the the water... I won't try to get into the whole why but the short answer is that the addition of salts displaces the GH components of the hardness making it feel softer. The KH buffers the pH, the higher the KH the more stable the pH tends to be and also the higher it tends to be... I am not sure if this relationship is the same with a high KH due to softened water.

I wouldn't recommend using softened water but to use water from ahead of the system. It's more stable and easier on the fish, less salt. If your values changed it could be that you replaced the softening salt when it was empty, changed brands of salt, changed the settings of the softener.

I'd suggest getting the GH/KH test kit, about $10, and test it again... both the pre-softened water and softened water. If the pH buffering remains with the high softened KH and you are sitting at pH 8.2 then the KH must be very high... top of the strip range is 300ppm, could be somewhat higher than that.

With all of your fish being hard water fish you would probably be fine using the hard well water. I do and mine is in the 20dGH (350ppm) range and my fish aren't specifically hard water types, just hard water varieties of barbs and catfish.

Jeff.
 
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