Help me understand PH testing? (photo enclosed) - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-10-2017, 10:33 PM Thread Starter
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Help me understand PH testing? (photo enclosed)

Hi there!

I just tested the water in my tank, and everything checks out ok except for the ph - I can't figure out what it is.

The regular pH testing seems to be around 7.6 - but the high range pH test seems to be 7.4 or below? Am I missing something?

Thanks so much!


Last edited by foxfiddles; 01-11-2017 at 12:03 AM. Reason: Changed image hosting. :)
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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-10-2017, 10:44 PM
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That's what you call a 7.5. You can look up the ph of bottled water that you have locally, and test your test, to make sure it is reading right. If so, might as well go with 7.5. I get that sometimes and that's what I do. You mainly want to keep it stable and the fauna should be ok, unless they have special needs. If you get that reading regularly, I wouldn't worry too much. Bear in mind that the ph will change a bit during the course of a day. More so if you are injecting co2 into your tank.

I try to follow the K.I.S.S. Principle, but it's just no fun.

Last edited by Turningdizzy; 01-10-2017 at 10:47 PM. Reason: grammar correction
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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-10-2017, 11:20 PM
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Are you using API? Can't see the photo for some reason. My API kit does the same thing, Ive always been reluctant to assume it means 7.5. Especially since I get the same readings, I've never gotten a reading other than what you've experienced. At first I thought the test is bad, then I thought maybe it does mean 7.5. Fortunately it isn't an issue in my tanks as I don't inject co2 in any way, but I still doubt my ph is that stable ALL THE TIME.


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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-10-2017, 11:25 PM
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I think your photo wants me to log on to your host.

The API low range for me is always blue. High range the hue never matches unless I'm testing saltwater.

Previously known as Fresh.Salty
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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-11-2017, 12:04 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Random_Fish View Post
I think your photo wants me to log on to your host.

The API low range for me is always blue. High range the hue never matches unless I'm testing saltwater.
Oops - I'm redesigning a site so it was locked behind a password. (didn't realize it would affect this sort of thing too.) I changed where the image is hosted, so hopefully it works now.
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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-11-2017, 12:10 AM
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Image works now!!! My water typically tests the same!


I'm considering getting a pH pen to see if I can get more accurate readings.
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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-11-2017, 12:24 AM
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I've tried at least 3 pH pens and they just didn't last very long. With pH meters I'm lucky to get 6 months use from a probe before needing a replacement.

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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-11-2017, 12:47 AM
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My water tests the same way too. I've always called it 7.6. It's always that way too, every time I check it. I think once at the beginning it was a bit different, but not in a while.


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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-12-2017, 07:51 PM
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don't worry about your pH if these results are concerning you. I wouldn't even bother testing it again.

it doesn't matter and fighting it is not worth the effort

ask yourself... why do you think your pH needs to be at a certain level? do you even know what it means / if negative factors are contributing to it?

focus on growing plants IMO
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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-12-2017, 08:33 PM
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don't worry about your pH if these results are concerning you. I wouldn't even bother testing it again.

it doesn't matter and fighting it is not worth the effort

ask yourself... why do you think your pH needs to be at a certain level? do you even know what it means / if negative factors are contributing to it?

focus on growing plants IMO
For the most part I agree, but there are specific times where pH is important such a making sure you are above 7 for specific types of snails. Most fish and plants acclimate to reasonable pH ranges, but throw breeding or inverts into the mix, and it can definitely make a difference.
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post #11 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-17-2017, 11:02 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you for the replies!

To further complicate things, I had my water tested at Petsmart yesterday - and everything was great except for the pH that tested at 8.3. I'd tested my water beforehand at home with my api master test and got the same results I posted here - so I'm not sure which test was inaccurate.

I did order ph testing strips that will be here tomorrow to see how that compares. I also ordered fluval peat pellets to introduce slowly to see if that helps.

I'd be much happier if my pH was closer to 7.6 - I'm guessing my fish would be happier too, especially since I'd like to add more fish in the future. My current fish are probably going to start aging out soon. (I mostly have five year old gold tetras, neon tetras and corydora - they've survived three aquarium changes, and then this apparently higher ph water several months ago when I moved to a new house, haha.) I also have several nerite snails, though I lost all of my older snails when I first moved here and had trouble introducing newer ones - I guess because of the higher ph.

Would a ph of 8.3 explain why I've had a hard time keeping plants alive? I'm using eco-complete for the substrate, have a 24/7 planted plus light in a 29 gallon, homemade fert capsules, and dose with co2. I'm FINALLY seeing slightly better results lately, but if lowering the pH would help, that would be even nicer!


...or maybe I should just get cichlids after my current stock dies out, haha.
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post #12 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-17-2017, 12:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by foxfiddles View Post
Thank you for the replies!

To further complicate things, I had my water tested at Petsmart yesterday - and everything was great except for the pH that tested at 8.3. I'd tested my water beforehand at home with my api master test and got the same results I posted here - so I'm not sure which test was inaccurate.

.
I do some water sampling and testing for submission to government regulatory agencies, pH samples have no hold time and must be tested immediately to ensure accuracy.
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post #13 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-17-2017, 05:45 PM
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Unless your API test kit is inaccurate, I'm more likely to believe it than some test strips which could easily become contaminated with moister and give false readings.
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post #14 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-17-2017, 05:53 PM Thread Starter
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I'll post the ph strip test results tomorrow when I get them. I'm really curious to see if they match what the store's result was. The water was in the vial for about an hour before they tested it.

I'll also do my api master test again, though it has been fairly consistent!
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post #15 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-18-2017, 11:42 PM Thread Starter
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Update!

I tested with my api master test, and got the same exact results as the top of this thread. PH test = 7.6, and "high range" PH test = 7.4.

I tested the water straight from the faucet, and that was between 7.0 and 7.2 - so it apparently gets higher from something in my aquarium.

...and here is the result from the strip test. I actually can't quite tell what the PH is, what do you think? It does appear that I have hard water - might need a softener for my plants to be happy? (I've had issues with keeping plants alive)



In case it tested high, I did get some fluval peat granules to introduce slowly - but I'm thinking it might not be necessary.
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