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Turbosquid 09-22-2002 03:57 PM


I have a problem with my tap water is a ph of 7.4 and I do 10% changes weekly....but my ph is always around 8.0. I have moderatly hard water and since starting the diy c02 I would have hoped it would lower my ph, but hasnt! Should I use RO water in my tanks instead of tap. Or should I buy some of those water softening pillows they sell? Any suggestions :bounce:

m.lemay 09-23-2002 01:17 AM

My suggestion is to test the KH and GH of your tap water vs. the KH and GH of your tank water. If your tank water gets higher readings than your tap water, (my guess is it will) then there is something in your tank that is contributing to your tank water hardness. Perhaps some rocks or shells etc... Try to find the offending piece of material and remove it. This should help to keep your tank water around the ph value of the tap water. Are you using any additives which might be increasing the ph of the tank? I hope that helps.:cool:

KyleT 09-23-2002 01:44 AM

All I can think of for the raising of your PH is like M.lemay said it is either a rock or something else or maybe some additives you are adding.

Now onto the CO2 not lowering it. I guess that is a sign that you're "reactor" is not working! :flick:

It is time to let your DIY skills shine through.


Turbosquid 09-23-2002 02:02 AM

Hmmm well I have no rocks...other than the gravel...which by the way was a 50lb bag that said "Filter Media" they are small little rocks. I only have one of those fake logs in there...and I add FloraPride and used to add co2 tank buddies tablets. I'll have to test the KH and GH as lemay suggested...thanks.....:sad: well I hope my co2 will start doing something soon....:confused:

m.lemay 09-23-2002 08:49 PM

How big is your tank? Have you checked your DIY setup for leaks? It may be your substrate thats messing with the PH. Any idea what the mineral content of the filter sand might have been? It'll usually say on the bag. 75% quartz, 10% diatomacious earth, 10% limestone, 5% silica etc.... These are just examples. Certain minerals like limestone and diatomacious earth are high in calcium for example, which could raise the GH and KH and thus the PH.:alien:

Turbosquid 09-25-2002 12:00 AM

I have no idea what the contents's not sand though...they are just small pebbles. I'll have to test the waters KH and GH...probably this weekend. I'm pretty busy during the I'll write back then with the results...thanks.:bounce:

Turbosquid 09-27-2002 12:37 AM

OK tested my tank water...and it all came from the tap...I tested KH which took 14 drops and GH took 12 the results were hard water...and my ph is at 8.0. I am going to do a 20% gallon change using that water you buy from the blue windmill houses...that is like 25 cents a gallon...does anyone know if this water is good? :confused:

peterinwa 09-27-2002 03:53 AM

I'm very much a novice and don't understand most of the other replies. But I recently killed most of my fish trying to lower the pH with pH Down. I did it over two weeks and thought everything was fine. But the great quantity of pH Down stressed the fish and they got a bad case of deadly ich.

I put some of the slate rocks in one vase with water and some of the gravel in another with water. I found that the gravel caused the pH to rise .2 every day! I could have added pH Down forever and never solved my problem.

So I'd suggest you fill a glass vase or large jar maybe 1/3 full with your gravel/sand and the rest with water, and perform your own test.

I don't know how rare it is, but that was my problem.

Thanks to Gareth for sending me to this great website!


Anonymous 09-27-2002 08:57 PM

Ok. Have you tested the water straight from the tap yet? Or did you add it to the tank and then test it? That wasn't clear in your post. If you add it to the tank before you test it you're getting a test for the tank and not actual tap water because it may be dissolving minerals in the tank. If that is the gh and kh for your actual tap water, you've got some serious hard water.
You could soften it with a water softening pillow. That won't do you any good if something in the tank is making your water hard.:confused:

Turbosquid 09-29-2002 01:26 AM

The water hardness test I performed was from my tank water...I havent' tested the tap water yet. I have tested the tap water for ph and its' around 7.6. The bottled water is usually around 6.4 or less. I know we have hard water becuase this area is mostly limestone. Willl those water softening pillows work? and I'll probably need like 3 for a 55 gallon tank. I guess I should test the tap water for hardness. :fish:

m.lemay 09-29-2002 02:13 AM

Well, the ph of your tap water is 7.6 and the ph of your tank is 8.0. If your using tap water to fill your tank and there was nothing in the tank to raise the ph, the tank water would also be 7.6. Save for maybe some outgassing which might affect the ph slightly.
What all this means is that there is probably something in your tank raising the ph. It probably should be removed if you can figure out what it is. The point being that even if you add the bottled water with a ph of 6.4 it will probably rise back to 8.0 from the substance in your tank which is alkaline. Whatever that may be. A ph of 7.6 aint bad to start with and it can be lowered with co2 and water softening pillows. Again if theres something in the tank that keeps yo-yoing your ph back up you'll be forever fighting this ph battle. By the way I posted the "Anonymous" post, I gues I wasn't logged on.

Turbosquid 09-29-2002 11:26 PM

I have a feeling it's my gravel. I went to the store and checked out the bag a little said it contains Silica which is known to be a carcinogen...but other than that I know it has to be the gravel. I have nothing else in that tank except some real plants and a fake log. Will the effectiveness of the gravel ever wear down or will it always have the same potency as far as being a buffer?:bounce:

m.lemay 09-30-2002 12:05 AM

Silica,if I'm not mistaken, is pretty inert. It probably wouldn't affect the ph because its not very soluble. If thats all you have in there, then I would do 10-20% water changes every few days till you can get the ph to stabilize around the 7.6 of your tap water. It could take a while. Don't use ph down or anything else like that. Once you get your ph to the ph of your tap water, you shouldn't have any problems bringing it to 7.2 or7.4 with the CO2 injection. It's really too much trouble to fight your tap waters natural ph unless you want to be a purist. If you really want to lower it some more you can use peat moss or pillows. Do not use those PH stabilizers which use phosphates to stabilize your ph at a given value. They will only give you an algae problem that'll make your ph situation a cake walk by comparison. It is what it is, don't kill yourself trying to fight the natural equilibrium of your tap water. Your c02 reactor should make a huge difference and the ph should go down.:)

anonapersona 10-21-2002 11:31 PM


Originally posted by Turbosquid
I have nothing else in that tank except some real plants and a fake log.
Let's go back to the fake log... I think you need to do that suggested test of a jar of water soaking the gravel and another of the fake log.

It's the easiest and fastest thing to do.

Also, we have all assumed that the tap water is stable, it can on occasion, change dramatically if the water authority has worked on lines or had a problem of some sort.

SNPiccolo5 10-23-2002 02:12 AM

I know exactly what you mean! My tap water has been (since I started testing) 8.0 from the tap with nothing being able to change it (hard!). Well, I was testing yesterday, and instead of my usualy blue, I saw green!! Wow!! Green!! The pH dropped from 8.0 to 7.6? It was wierd!


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