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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-22-2011, 12:44 AM Thread Starter
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Question rising pH

Any idea what could be making my pH rise. It is a fairly new set-up with 2 year old substrate. The tap pH is 7.0 but after a week of very light feeding (only 7 fish in a 80 gal tank) the pH has gone up to 9.1 .

I have very hard water and so I use a combination of softened water and unsoftened water. Just tested both today and got the following results:

Softened:
pH: 6.7
GH: 1 drops
KH:36

Unsoftened (softener bypassed):
pH: 7.0
GH: 34 drops
KH: 39.

Several weeks ago my pH had also risen to 8.9 so I did a 50% WC. After one week it was back up to 9.1. Any idea what could be causing this and what I should do about it? Needless to say most of my plants have melted!
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-22-2011, 04:16 AM Thread Starter
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Any idea what is causing my pH to go up. I've tested both with my pH controller (which was callibrated) and with Aquarium Pharmaceuticals liquid drop test.
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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-22-2011, 04:16 AM
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Do you have rocks or something in your tank? They could be dissolving and raising your pH. Unless you're adding things to your tank (aside from food, which shouldn't be causing that problem) your tank is a closed system, so there's basically no way the pH could be changing that much unless something in the tank or filter or somewhere in the system is causing it.

Also, do you know how old your pH test kit is? It could be a faulty test kit, although with your plants melting that doesn't sound like it's the case (unless they died for a different reason).

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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-22-2011, 11:53 AM
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Not so sure that you want to used softened water. That adds sodium into the water if I'm not mistaken. Sodium will kill your plants.


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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-22-2011, 12:03 PM
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Not so sure that you want to used softened water. That adds sodium into the water if I'm not mistaken. Sodium will kill your plants.
Agreed. Systems that regen a resin bed with salt wouldn't work for me here.


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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-22-2011, 03:43 PM
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What is the pH after the water has been sitting for just a day? Usually freshly drawn tap water has a different pH from water that has been sitting out for a while due to gases dissolved in it. I am not surprised your pH rises, that is seriously hard water!

I would compare samples of softened and unsoftened water to the tank water after a day, a couple days. Bet you will be seeing some changes in all the samples.

Agree with the others, water softened with sodium isn't good for plants. Most people use RO water if they feel it necessary to change the hardness of the water.
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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-22-2011, 03:59 PM
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What kind of substrate are you using?
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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-22-2011, 04:07 PM Thread Starter
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Flourite w/Aquabase by Ferka. It was in this tank from before and has sat for a year because of moving. I rinsed it lightly before setting up.
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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-22-2011, 04:14 PM
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Are you using any rocks like limestone?
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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-22-2011, 04:22 PM Thread Starter
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There is nothing in the tank but the substrate, fish, plants and filter intakes and outputs. I had CO2 running but when I starting seeing the weird pH changes I stopped that and it hasn't been running now for a couple of weeks (All readings given are post CO2 stopping). I was planning on doing a Dutch landscape so I have no rocks or other hardscape.
In the filters I only have Biomax, Bio-chem Stars, and sponges. The tank is cycled.
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post #11 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-22-2011, 04:25 PM Thread Starter
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I letting some of the softened and bypassed water age for 24 hours and will then test them to see if the pH also rises. If it is just happening in the tank them obviously something in there is changing the pH, I just don't know what. I don't want to have to change everything if I don't have too. I am just soooo puzzled.
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post #12 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-22-2011, 04:44 PM
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I have been reading/learning about our water here in Denver and evidently the ph rises dramatically during the Winter and lowers in the Spring when most of the water is fresh meltoff. Hmm.. or was it the reverse?

Well, my point is - maybe there is some natural fluctuation effect?



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post #13 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-22-2011, 05:04 PM Thread Starter
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Our water does fluctuate greatly from summer to winter. We moved about a year ago and I still haven't figured out what to do with the water for my tanks. It is much softer in the winter.
The fluctuation effects I'm seeing now are from the tap to 2 days in the aquarium. Could it be that there is a hugh amount of CO2 in the tap water? When it outgases the pH rises? Or is there something else that when outgasses the pH rises? I think I will have to call the local water company to find out what they add to the water.
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post #14 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-22-2011, 08:37 PM Thread Starter
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Just retested water that has been sitting in glasses for 24 hours and the pH has risen in them too.
Softenered bypassed water: pH risen to 8.0 from 7.0 last night
Softened water: pH risen to 8.7 from 6.7.

What is going on????
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post #15 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-22-2011, 09:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by binders View Post
What is going on????
Evil ex-girlfriend with an abundant supply of baking soda?

You best bet is to have a look at your local water report. You have access to it by law, and most are available online.
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