Alkalinity....should I be worried. - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 31 (permalink) Old 01-30-2020, 01:50 AM Thread Starter
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Alkalinity....should I be worried.

Need some advice on my tap water parameters. I have a whole home filter system which removes the chlorine and other harmful things from the water so I stopped using my RO/DI unit. I was curious tonight, so I took a testing strip that we use in our pool and tested my tank water and then my holding tank water I use for top-offs and WC. Very much to my surprise, the Alkalinity in my holding tank water was off the chart!! My PH was around 7.8, hardness was 0 and chlorine was 0. Should I be worried about such a high Alkalinity and if so, I do I lower it?

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post #2 of 31 (permalink) Old 01-30-2020, 01:54 AM
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If your local water just uses chlorine, you may just want to let buckets sit overnight to off-gas. Chloramine is more complicated. I was happy to learn that my local water district just uses chlorine.

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post #3 of 31 (permalink) Old 01-30-2020, 01:58 AM Thread Starter
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And to note....Alkalinity in the tank is around 120ppm and PH is 7.2. Also, this is a 125gal tank.

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post #4 of 31 (permalink) Old 01-30-2020, 02:02 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Streetwise View Post
If your local water just uses chlorine, you may just want to let buckets sit overnight to off-gas. Chloramine is more complicated. I was happy to learn that my local water district just uses chlorine.
I am not worried about my chlorine. My filter system removes that. It is my very high Alkalinity that I am concerned with. I have a 55 gal tank that I use for water storage for my 125.

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post #5 of 31 (permalink) Old 01-30-2020, 02:11 AM
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My Vermont water is about is 7.4 to 7.6 depending on photosynthesis (monitored by Apex), and my neo shrimp, tetras, danios, and otos like it.

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post #6 of 31 (permalink) Old 01-30-2020, 02:15 AM Thread Starter
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My Vermont water is about is 7.4 to 7.6 depending on photosynthesis (monitored by Apex), and my neo shrimp, tetras, danios, and otos like it.
That great but it is not my PH that I'm worried about, it is my Alkalinity.

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post #7 of 31 (permalink) Old 01-30-2020, 02:29 AM
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I am not an expert on KH and GH. Can you share both of those please? I just ran a test and I see KH about 30, and GH about 20.
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post #8 of 31 (permalink) Old 01-30-2020, 02:56 AM
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Originally Posted by dewalltheway View Post
Very much to my surprise, the Alkalinity in my holding tank water was off the chart!!
I'm not sure why you are even testing alkalinity?

Is there some specific problem you think your alkalinity is causing? I did a quick search and it said the recommended range for drinking water is 30 to 400 ppm. Why is yours at 120 ppm alarming?

And who knows, maybe I am missing something. But IMO, of all the things to worry about in a planted tank, alkalinity is not one of them.

And curious what is your KH??
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post #9 of 31 (permalink) Old 01-30-2020, 02:58 AM Thread Starter
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I am not an expert on KH and GH. Can you share both of those please? I just ran a test and I see KH about 30, and GH about 20.
I am getting actual aquarium test strips Friday. The testing strips I was using was from our pool which measures in ppm and mine was off the color code. I will test Friday and let you know.

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post #10 of 31 (permalink) Old 01-30-2020, 03:07 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
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Very much to my surprise, the Alkalinity in my holding tank water was off the chart!!
I'm not sure why you are even testing alkalinity?

Is there some specific problem you think your alkalinity is causing? I did a quick search and it said the recommended range for drinking water is 30 to 400 ppm. Why is yours at 120 ppm alarming?

And who knows, maybe I am missing something. But IMO, of all the things to worry about in a planted tank, alkalinity is not one of them.

And curious what is your KH??
Fish death is the reason. The 120ppm in the tank is fine but water storage tank for water changes is over 240, probably closer to the 400ppm. That much difference between tank water and new water has to be a shock to the fish.
I am getting actual aquarium test strips this Friday so I can test for KH. I found a calculator that converts ppm to doh and when I convert 300ppm it is like 17dKH.

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post #11 of 31 (permalink) Old 01-30-2020, 03:08 AM
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I am getting actual aquarium test strips Friday. The testing strips I was using was from our pool which measures in ppm and mine was off the color code. I will test Friday and let you know.
Test strips are not very reliable.

I would get API kit for KH, GH.

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Fish death is the reason.
Well let's see what your tests show.

In general, loads of ways to have fish deaths, but high KH or KH swing is not usually one of them.
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post #12 of 31 (permalink) Old 01-30-2020, 03:17 AM Thread Starter
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Ordered the liquid test kit too.

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post #13 of 31 (permalink) Old 01-30-2020, 03:19 AM
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I'm not sure why you are even testing alkalinity?

Is there some specific problem you think your alkalinity is causing? I did a quick search and it said the recommended range for drinking water is 30 to 400 ppm. Why is yours at 120 ppm alarming?

And who knows, maybe I am missing something. But IMO, of all the things to worry about in a planted tank, alkalinity is not one of them.

And curious what is your KH??
Now I am lost, is not alkalinity and dKH one in the same?

120ppm alkalinity = 6.7dKH???

120ppm is not alarming but could be lower.
400ppm and I would be scared!
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Growing is not that difficult.
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post #14 of 31 (permalink) Old 01-30-2020, 04:35 AM
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I am not worried about my chlorine. My filter system removes that. It is my very high Alkalinity that I am concerned with. I have a 55 gal tank that I use for water storage for my 125.
I think the hobbyist question is: should you bypass your home water filter system for your aquariums?

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post #15 of 31 (permalink) Old 02-01-2020, 02:31 AM Thread Starter
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So I received my test kits today and my KH of tap water is 15 and my tank water is at 10. My GH is 0. My concern is now not only the KH level but my nitrates were very high! So I did a 50% water change, cleaned my one filter that skims the surface, and changed my Purigen reactors. After a couple hours, no change in my nitrate levels.
For my KH, I am going to go back to using my RO/DI unit and see if that makes a difference. Does anyone have an idea to help bring down my nitrates??

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