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Old 10-17-2012, 06:03 AM   #16
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[QUOTE=Diana;2042897]Run these tests:

1) pH, GH, KH and TDS of tap water right out of the tap.
2) pH of tap water that has sat out overnight, 24 hours, then 48 hours.
3) pH, GH, KH and TDS of tank in AM right before lights on, or within a few minutes of lights on.
4) pH of tank in the late afternoon, after the lights have been on pretty much all day.
5) pH, GH, KH and TDS of the tank right before a water change.
6) pH, GH, KH and TDS of the tank right after a water change, then at 24 hours and 48 hours.
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Hi Dianna. I have a question for you. Do you know if the TDS EZ Water Quality Tester is a reliable product for testing the TDS? I found one online for $15 vs others for hundreds of dollars.

I preformed some tests today and will do more tomorrow following the water change. I have plenty more tests to do, but got a start.

Tank water late afternoon, day before water change
pH 6.0
Amonia 0
Nitrate 0
Nitrite 0
GH 71.6 ppm
KH 35.8 ppm

Right out of the tap:
pH 7.2
GH 89.5 ppm
KH 89.5 ppm
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Old 10-17-2012, 09:12 PM   #17
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Did some more tests and found something. My pH swings from 6.0 to 6.8 just overnight! My tank is not heavily planted so I can believe what a difference my plants are making (if it is in fact the plants) After the 25% water change this morning, my pH is still 6.8. So, this PM I will test the pH again to see how soon it drops following a water change.
Anyway, compare:

PM Tank: pH 6.0, GH 4 degrees, KH 2 degrees
AM Tank: pH 6.8, GH 5 degrees, KH 2 degrees
Straight from Tap: pH 7.2, GH 5 degrees, KH 5 degrees
Right after 25% WC: pH 6.8, GH 5 degrees, KH 5 degrees

I have not tested the TDS yet because I don't have a tester and they're not sold locally. I haven't tested the tap 24hrs and 48 but started today.
I did test the the tap water with water conditioner in it for pH, and no change.

These tets have brought up another question for me, so I will start a different thread for it as not to get this one off track.

Last edited by Amandas tank; 10-17-2012 at 09:20 PM.. Reason: alignment changed after posting
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Old 10-19-2012, 02:33 AM   #18
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So, after the water change last night, the test was 6.8 for pH. I wanted to see just how soon it starts to drop after the water change so I had a test done this afternoon and already it had dropped to 6.5. . That's fast.

So, next I am going to experiment with my small 5 gallon snail tank which is currently at 6.0 pH. I am going to add a 1" square of cuttlebone to the tank and test the water daily to track the changes. Adding more at the end of the week. Once I find out just how much cuttlebone it takes to raise the pH to the desired amount, I will do the math and begin the process with my large tank. Since cuttlebone is both fish safe, plant safe as well as good for the snails shells, I thought this would be a safe way to tamper with the pH, as long as it's little by little. I will also track the process over a long time period to see when the cuttlebone is weakening so to get a close to accurate amount of cuttlebone to have in the tank at one time to keep the pH where I want it.

Anyone have any input on this plan?
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Old 10-19-2012, 04:13 AM   #19
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Quote:
(1) PM Tank: pH 6.0, GH 4 degrees, KH 2 degrees
(2) AM Tank: pH 6.8, GH 5 degrees, KH 2 degrees
(3) Straight from Tap: pH 7.2, GH 5 degrees, KH 5 degrees
(4) Right after 25% WC: pH 6.8, GH 5 degrees, KH 5 degrees
Compare (1) and (2):
pH changes through the day, but not in the way I would expect it to. Plants use CO2 through the day, so the pH should be higher at the end of the day. Plants give off CO2 though the night, so the pH ought to be lower right before the lights come on.
Note KH is quite low, so whatever is changing the pH does not have to overcome very much buffering to do so.

Compare tap (3) to tank before water change (1 and 2):
Tap water pH is higher, but similar to the AM tank, quite a bit higher than the PM tank. This suggests that the tap water might have less CO2 than water that has reached equilibrium with the air for CO2, and this equalization is taking place in the tank. Lets see the tests of the standing tap water, @24 hours and 48 hours. This can help figure out if it is something in the tank, or purely a tap water problem.
Note the high KH in the tap compared to the tank. Something is removing the KH. Or turning it into CO2.

Compare (3) and (4):
Values ought to be in between tap and tank when you do a water change. pH is like this, but KH is not. Hmmm...
When you do a 25% water change the KH ought to be in between the 2 levels, in this case closer to the tank value, since there is still 75% of the original water in there. I would have expected 25% of 5 dKH plus 75% of 2 dKH to make the tank test about 3 dKH.
That it tests 5 dKH after the water change is a bit odd.
Here is a way to check that:
Are you using API test tube and reagent type of tests?
That test calls for 5 ml of water. Use 10 ml, and each drop you add equals 1/2 of one degree.
Are you using any other test tube and reagent type of test?
Use double the water sample, and cut the answer in half.
(I do not know how to alter the dip stick method to test like this)
The next time you do a water change use that method to test tap and tank before and after.

I have one of the cheaper TDS meters, I think I paid about $20 including shipping. Works just fine. I sure would not pay hundreds or even one hundred dollars.

Any answer from the water company about chlorine or chloramine?

How are the fish doing?
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Old 10-21-2012, 06:13 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Diana View Post
Compare (1) and (2):
pH changes through the day, but not in the way I would expect it to. Plants use CO2 through the day, so the pH should be higher at the end of the day. Plants give off CO2 though the night, so the pH ought to be lower right before the lights come on.
Note KH is quite low, so whatever is changing the pH does not have to overcome very much buffering to do so.

Compare tap (3) to tank before water change (1 and 2):
Tap water pH is higher, but similar to the AM tank, quite a bit higher than the PM tank. This suggests that the tap water might have less CO2 than water that has reached equilibrium with the air for CO2, and this equalization is taking place in the tank. Lets see the tests of the standing tap water, @24 hours and 48 hours. This can help figure out if it is something in the tank, or purely a tap water problem.
Note the high KH in the tap compared to the tank. Something is removing the KH. Or turning it into CO2.

Compare (3) and (4):
Values ought to be in between tap and tank when you do a water change. pH is like this, but KH is not. Hmmm...
When you do a 25% water change the KH ought to be in between the 2 levels, in this case closer to the tank value, since there is still 75% of the original water in there. I would have expected 25% of 5 dKH plus 75% of 2 dKH to make the tank test about 3 dKH.
That it tests 5 dKH after the water change is a bit odd.
Here is a way to check that:
Are you using API test tube and reagent type of tests?
That test calls for 5 ml of water. Use 10 ml, and each drop you add equals 1/2 of one degree.
Are you using any other test tube and reagent type of test?
Use double the water sample, and cut the answer in half.
(I do not know how to alter the dip stick method to test like this)
The next time you do a water change use that method to test tap and tank before and after.

I have one of the cheaper TDS meters, I think I paid about $20 including shipping. Works just fine. I sure would not pay hundreds or even one hundred dollars.

Any answer from the water company about chlorine or chloramine?

How are the fish doing?
I've experienced something interesting the past couple days. I was assuming the bubble walls going all night were allowing the co2 to leave the tank causing the pH to raise, and then during the day, the co2 was much higher causing the pH to drop. I thought I must not have enough plants to use up the co2 during the day. So, I decided to try something. I have left the bubble wall going night and day the past two days and have been testing the water every two hours with the last test being performed at 10pm. So, the pH has stabalized at 6.5 over the past two days. Interesting hu? I am concidering shutting the bubble wands off during the day again just to test my theory and see if infact, the bubblewalls have been the cause of the pH flucuating. Oh, and no flucuations with the KH and GH either.
Far as the bucket tests, my husband dumped my water the first night and then the next night my son dumped it! No one likes standing water around here So, trying again. This time everyone knows why there is water in a bucket!

I am using the API liquid test drops. I will do like you said with the 10ml insterad of 5ml. Our water is chlorine. I went ahead and got a conditioner that removes both anyway. Sorry I never got back with that answer.

The Denison Barbs have ICH again; 3rd time since June! The angels and betta are perfect, like always. Never been sick never had ICH.

Thank you for checking in!
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Old 10-22-2012, 08:57 PM   #21
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I finally got to do the test on the tap water in the bucket after 24 hours. I don't think it could be right, so I am going to dump it and try again. There is nothing in the bucket, just the tap water. My results were crazy!
Day 1: pH= 7.2, KH= 2, GH= 5
24 Hrs Later: pH= 7.6, KH= 3, GH= 5

Makes no sense right! I had preformed the 24 hr test 3 times over just to be sure that it wasn't an error on my part. (I also had tested the day 1 water a second time to be sure the results were the same)

Retesting...will post the results in 24 hours.

Also, the tank has changed slightly. The pH is now 6.4 and the KH is 1. It held stable for 4 days before dropping.

Last edited by Amandas tank; 10-22-2012 at 09:00 PM.. Reason: need to add something
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Old 10-24-2012, 09:40 PM   #22
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Okay. So here are my results over the course of this week. Things nearly stabalized once I left the bubble wall going 24/7! Before, when I was turning bubble wand on at night and off during the day, my pH was flucuating between 6.0 at end of the day and 6.8 first thing in the morning.
Starting fresh with a water change, leaving bubble wand on 24/7.

10/17 25% PWC pH=6.8, KH=2 dkh, GH=4 dkh
10/18 am tank pH=6.5, KH=2 dkh, GH=4 dkh
10/18 pm tank pH=6.5, KH=2 dkh, GH=4 dkh

10/19: pH=6.5, KH=2 dkh, GH=5 dkh
10/20: pH=6.5, KH=2 dkh, GH=5 dkh
10/21: pH=6.4, KH=2 dkh, GH=4 dkh
10/22: pH=6.4, KH=1 dkh, GH=4 dkh
10/23: pH=6.4, KH=1 dkh, GH=4 dkh
10/24: pH=6.4, KH=1 dkh, GH=4 dkh
10/24 25% PWC pH=6.8, KH=2 dkh, GH=4dkh

Last edited by Amandas tank; 10-25-2012 at 06:27 PM.. Reason: Add more info
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Old 10-25-2012, 07:29 PM   #23
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Default Tap Water Test Results are CRAZY!!!

Okay. I retested my tap after the crazy numbers the other day. Conclusion; I Either have a faulty API pH test kit or the tap water flucuates! What??? Can tap water change during the day? Oh, and The pH test kit doesn't expire until 2016.
I have been running repeat tests back to back the last few days, and I am baffled. Here's why; the tap water at 9 am read 7.6 (Three back to back tests!) the tap at 12 noon read 7.2 (Three back to back tests again!) I retested every 4 hours. At the end of the day, the tap came out 7.0 then the next morning 7.2! Late afternoon 2nd day of testing I actually got 7.8!!!! I am completely confused by the reults. I took my results to my LFS owner and had him double check them...sure enough, I had read them correctly.

This city started up because of mining. All the creeks run through areas of old mining. Our drink water comes from off the Salmon Creek Basin where there had also been mining. So, I wonder if that might have something to do with the constant changes in our water chemistry. ???? What do you think?

Also, in a large tank, is it possible to get different pH, KH, and GH readings from different areas of water? Say near the filter out-take vs in the front where there is less movement.

One more thing. My KH out of tap today is 2 dkh. I retested 4 times just to be sure. Last week it was an obvious 5 dkh (retested then too). The GH doesn't change much. It is a 4 dkh out of the tap this morning. Last week it was 5 dkh.

Last edited by Amandas tank; 10-25-2012 at 07:48 PM.. Reason: needed to add KH/GH results
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Old 11-02-2012, 05:25 AM   #24
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Still checking my water parameters. My KH is no longer 2 and has dropped to 1 dkh. Far too low! I added 3 cuttlebones to the tank for the snails, and the white marks on their shells have diminished! So, at least that is helping them being able to munch on some calcium cuttlebone My pH has raised 1 degree, and now is 6.6 and has been holding steady there the past 3 days. The rise happened after adding Eco-Complete Planted Substrate to half of the tank. It's to my understanding this is uncommon, but from what I've read, occassionaly can happen. No biggie. I added the substrate 3 days ago, and just preformed a 25% water change and my pH held at 6.6! In three more days I will be doing the other side of the tank and 3 days after that a water change. Not sure if the pH will climb another degree or not. I just need to get my KH up! Then all will be good.

Last edited by Amandas tank; 11-02-2012 at 05:43 PM.. Reason: error
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Old 11-03-2012, 03:40 AM   #25
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You are being very thorough to double and triple check the test results!
Weird that your water samples got dumped two days in a row! I bet the guys are not always so helpful about cleaning up!

Seeing the KH continue to drop in the tank suggests that there really is something removing it.
Nitrifying bacteria use the carbon in carbonates.
Some plants can use the carbonates as a source of carbon.
When these two things are going on a KH of less than about 3 degrees can crash, allowing the pH to also drop.

See what you can add to the filter or the tank that will help to stabilize the KH.
Has the KH changed in the tank with the cuttlebone? Do you have this in the filter (high water turnover) or a calmer area of the tank?
Other materials: Oyster shell grit (sold for small birds like Budgies), coral sand, limestone sand or fine gravel.
Faster reacting: Baking soda, potassium bicarbonate (food/ supplement/vitamin)

Yes, it is entirely possible for the water to change through the day from the tap. At the water treatment plant the water is exposed to the air. When it is cold more gases (including CO2) may be dissolved in the water, so the early morning water has a low pH. As the day warms less gas stays dissolved in the water, so late afternoon water might have a higher pH. These effects are so slight that only water with such low KH would show that effect.

If the water in the tank is well circulated it ought to be the same anywhere in the water column. If you can get a sample from the bottom of the tank, under the substrate, that might be different, since water does not circulate through that much.

EC had some problems several years ago with product that was not supposed to raise the pH of the water, yet it did. I have heard that there may still be a trace of that sort of reaction going on, but only in water with poor buffering (like yours, with low KH).
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Old 11-03-2012, 05:10 AM   #26
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HaHa! I know right!!!! Honestly, they don't ever have anything to do with the fish stuff! Just didn't like the look of standing water I guess

The tap water KH is now reading 3. Good grief.
The cuttlebone is just floating behind some floating plants for the snails to feed on. Do you think I should try some in the filter? I have plenty! I may be able to find some Oyster Shell grit because there are a lot of birds in the pet stores here locally. No one carries limestone or coral here.

Interesting about the tap water and the effect of cold air. You know quite a lot about this! I find it amazing!
Thank you again for being so helpful and informative. I really don't know much about water chemistry. I have tried to learn about it reading online, but I have to be honest...it completely makes no sense to me! I can't retain it long after reading about it either. Now if I'm reading about a species of fish, I will only have to read something once and it'll be with me forever HaHa!

Anyway, I want to send my thanks to you again
Take care!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Diana View Post
You are being very thorough to double and triple check the test results!
Weird that your water samples got dumped two days in a row! I bet the guys are not always so helpful about cleaning up!

Seeing the KH continue to drop in the tank suggests that there really is something removing it.
Nitrifying bacteria use the carbon in carbonates.
Some plants can use the carbonates as a source of carbon.
When these two things are going on a KH of less than about 3 degrees can crash, allowing the pH to also drop.

See what you can add to the filter or the tank that will help to stabilize the KH.
Has the KH changed in the tank with the cuttlebone? Do you have this in the filter (high water turnover) or a calmer area of the tank?
Other materials: Oyster shell grit (sold for small birds like Budgies), coral sand, limestone sand or fine gravel.
Faster reacting: Baking soda, potassium bicarbonate (food/ supplement/vitamin)

Yes, it is entirely possible for the water to change through the day from the tap. At the water treatment plant the water is exposed to the air. When it is cold more gases (including CO2) may be dissolved in the water, so the early morning water has a low pH. As the day warms less gas stays dissolved in the water, so late afternoon water might have a higher pH. These effects are so slight that only water with such low KH would show that effect.

If the water in the tank is well circulated it ought to be the same anywhere in the water column. If you can get a sample from the bottom of the tank, under the substrate, that might be different, since water does not circulate through that much.

EC had some problems several years ago with product that was not supposed to raise the pH of the water, yet it did. I have heard that there may still be a trace of that sort of reaction going on, but only in water with poor buffering (like yours, with low KH).
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