Tap water concerns - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-31-2020, 12:27 AM Thread Starter
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Hello,

I am planning to set up a planted tank and took some tap water to the LFS for baseline tests. All I had tested were GH, KH and PH. GH and KH were ok, 5 and 3. PH on the other hand PH was on the high side, 8.3. I checked the city/county website and found that their goal is to raise the PH to 8.8 this year. With 1.0 PH drop with CO2 that would still be high. The water treatment plant uses soda ash, sodium carbonate (Na2CO3), to raise PH. Does this present a problem? (excessive sodium in the water) If so, how can this be corrected?

Thanks
Bill

Ok, I did some searching and sodium carbonate is no threat. the PH is still high for tetras, corydoras and the usual suspects.

Bill

Last edited by Darkblade48; 09-01-2020 at 04:37 PM. Reason: Please use the edit function for back to back posts to keep threads cleaner
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-31-2020, 06:22 AM
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Ok, I did some searching and sodium carbonate is no threat. the PH is still high for tetras, corydoras and the usual suspects.



Bill
Almond leaves lowers ph as well as ultum soil

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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-31-2020, 05:33 PM
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I had a very similar situation when I lived in Austin, where the municipal water supplier raised the pH to around 8.8. It would drop back down to 7.9-8.0 by itself after it equilibrated with atmospheric CO2, but I also injected CO2 down to around pH 7.0. There wasn't any plant I could not grow, and kept the same school of blackskirt tetras and corys for 6+ years.

They raise the pH because iron, lead and copper are insoluble > 7.0. It's a simple and effective means of preventing those metals from getting into tap water.
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-01-2020, 05:53 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the replies. I think I'll "age" some tap water and check PH again. It would be nice to avoid doing rigorous water prep for routine water changes.

The fish i'm drawn to like soft acid water. I'm almost convinced that remineralized RO is the answer. It could give me peace of mind knowing that the water is well controlled no matter what the city does. Some posters make it sound easy.

I'm in no hurry so lots of research first.

Bill
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-18-2020, 03:14 PM Thread Starter
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A little follow up.

After a couple days ageing with a heater and aeration the PH dropped to 7.8. GH and KH, 5/6 degrees respectively, matched the original test results, well close enough. I got my own test kits so I may be the cause of the difference in kh.

I bring koi into a 75 gallon for the winter and I'm subjecting them to my learning curve. Slowly adding all of the "skills" I'm planning for the planted tank I want to set up. CO2 is next.


75g, Fluval FX4, 48" Beamsworks and one fluorescent tube, Java Fern, Hornwort, and five small koi.
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-20-2020, 09:36 PM
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I’ve been using RO water for my 72 gallon planted tank with Angelfish, rainbow fish and Cory fish in it , unfortunately I think I need to reverse going back to using tap water for my weekly water changes as I’ve injured my back and unable to go to store anymore and fill my 5 Gallon jugs and carry them anymore but my problem is that my tap water is at a PH of 8.4 and I usually have mine at 6.8/7 . What product should I use to lower tap water?
post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-21-2020, 03:51 AM
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What product should I use to lower tap water?

Commercial pH down is sodium bisulfate; it's inexpensive and available on eBay and elsewhere. You could also use vinegar. You could also get a domestic RO unit, they are as little as $150 at Home Depot.
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-22-2020, 07:08 PM Thread Starter
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Jessy, I think a home RO/DI system is the way to go. Some kind of reservoir, pump and hose for distribution. I intend to set up something similar when I start my planted tank. Seems to be a little overkill for my koi winter housing.
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