High PH, high GH, low KH, dumb goofy water - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 07-25-2004, 06:10 AM Thread Starter
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High PH, high GH, low KH, dumb goofy water

Greetings all:

I would like to know why my tap and tank water differ. I'm sure theres a reason, I just need to be educated

Tap - PH 8.8, GH 161, KH 143

Tank - PH 7.4, GH 179, KH 53.7

Tank is an established 46g bowfront.

Artificial gravel, emperor 400 and Magnum 250.

I pre-treat my tap water with Tap Water Conditioner, thats it.

Every few days I do a 10-25% water change.

Inhabitants: A few angels, a couple large headlamp tetras, 5 red fin tetras, a pair of ADF's, a zillion trumpet snails, 4 amazon swords and a few other plants that I'm not really sure what they are.

So my question is, why is the PH and KH so much lower in the tank than from the tap?

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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 07-25-2004, 07:38 AM
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Is there anything other ornaments in the tank that may release acid (driftwood, peat)? In the past maybe? If none, do a 60% water change and check the KH on the next day. After that, check the KH again a few days after and see whether it held constant.

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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 07-25-2004, 04:15 PM
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Regarding the pH... fill a glass with tap water, then let it stand overnight and take the pH afterwards. My water comes out of the tap 8.0, and goes down to 7.6 after a few hours.

Regarding the kH, I am not sure... there are a few guesses, like Nino mentioned, anything leaching humic acids, or if you use peat in your filter, also natural processes in the tank will lower kH over time.

Regular water changes should keep it fairly even.
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 07-25-2004, 05:25 PM Thread Starter
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Thx 4 the reply.

I should have also mentioned I am not complaining about the lower PH, I like it, just wondering why it happens.

I do have a slab of granite in there, but that should have no affect.

I'm the first owner of the tank.

I have run the emperor with carbon before, don't think that would do it.

Can I rule out organisms (fish, plants, snails) affecting PH?
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 07-25-2004, 07:18 PM
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There seems to be no problem with your GH, as that stays fairly constant. Your pH and KH on the other hand is a different case.

Basically, pH and KH are directly related: as one goes up, the other goes up and vise versa. In most cases though, KH runs the show and controls pH. In your case, there is some kind of acid that is using up a huge amount of your KH buffer, or simply something is doing a type of resin exchange (like peat). How often do these changes occure from tap to tank? Again, test the pH and KH of your tap after it has rested for 24 hours.

You cannot rule out the fish in this matter since they produce acids that eat away at kH and lower pH. Is this tank really overcrowded...or does it have big fish?
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