I am so confused - pH, gh, phosphate - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-17-2005, 05:22 AM Thread Starter
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I am so confused - pH, gh, phosphate

My tap water comes out at a pH of 6.6. I've been changing it to neutral using Seachem Neutral (which is a phosphate buffer). Out of the tap, the water is: kH3, gH of nothing, phosphate of .5. Obviously, when I add the Neutral Regulator, I get a reading of more than 10 on the phosphate. I have two tanks- a 10g planted with a betta and 3 otocinclus, and a 30g planted with a feeder goldfish, 6 white clouds and 6 cory cats. I also have DIY CO2 on both.
I am pretty new to all of this- since September. I've read not to change the pH on your tanks, but now that these fish have been in a pH of 7, I'm nervous about just treating the water for metals and not changing the pH when I do a water change. However, I read you're not supposed to use phosphates with plants? Things look pretty good to me as far as the plants and fish....
What should I do about the pH? Slowly mix tap water in that is a lower pH and allow the fish to acclimate, or is there something else?
Thanks so much for your help! So far, I've been able to keep plants alive and actually get some growth thanks to all the info here!
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-17-2005, 05:32 AM
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Bringing up the GH

Possibly get some Kent RO right to bring up the GH. 1/2 teaspoon added to 5 gal will give you a GH of 3.

Baking soda is the right way to go if you want to raise the KH and pH, and waaay cheaper than phosphate buffers.

What I can't explain is why you pH is so incredibly low out of the tap. Try oxygenating the water (air stone) for a night, and then post the pH. This would help.

Ted


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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-17-2005, 05:35 AM Thread Starter
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Ok, I will do that! I live in an area where acid mine drainage is a problem, and I can only guess that our water sources are also acidic... I can't remember the chemistry of how that all happens...but I will oxygenate a bit of water overnight and post the pH tomorrow.
Thanks again!
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-17-2005, 07:44 PM
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Plain old Baking Soda will raise the kH and the pH. But if you were to do partial water changes with the tap water over the course of a week there would be no shock to the fish.

And normally one would expect water with a kH of 3 to have a pH in the range of 7.4 to 7.6.

My tap water right now is coming out of the tap with a pH of just about 6. That's pretty normal for this area as the kH out of the tap is >1. If you let the water sit it will come up to around 6.8-7.2/
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-17-2005, 09:37 PM Thread Starter
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Thumbs up You're right!

After oxygenating the water since last night, I tested it and it is a nice 7.0. I did a small water change in both tanks to get rid of some of the phosphates. Now, my question is- should I add a little baking soda to the new water when I do the water change, or just treat the water for chlorine and chloramine and put it in as is?
Rex- yours was the site where I read not to be a water warrior!
Thanks again for the help!
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-17-2005, 10:47 PM
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Just do the water change. You can add a VERY SMALL amount of baking soda. Remember that you will get your pH even higher than the 7 is currently is.
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-18-2005, 03:36 AM Thread Starter
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Gotchya.... thanks so much for your help!!
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