Keeping a low and stable pH - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-01-2011, 04:43 PM Thread Starter
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Keeping a low and stable pH

Tap water here ranges from 8.0 to 9.0 pH, about 2 GH and 3 KH. How can I lower the pH to 6.0-7.0 and keep it stable, especially when I start using paintball CO2?
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-01-2011, 04:54 PM
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Measure the tap water after it sets out for a day or two, with that kh the actual ph should be around 7.2-7.4, then co2 will bring it down further. Regardless of your initial ph it is soft water as evident by the low gh, learn to ignore ph, fish notice gh or tds. To keep it stable leave it alone and do not add ph adjusters. Ph can be temporarily altered especially straight out of the tap and does not truly represent actual hardness. I have not tested ph in years because it is misleading.


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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-01-2011, 04:59 PM Thread Starter
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Would I need to raise GH then? And how do I measure TDS?
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-01-2011, 05:33 PM
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GH is on the low side, 3 to 6 is the recommendation for plants, I would watch for calcium deficiancy at the tips of stem plants (curling, distortion), if that happens add about 1/8 to 1/4 tspn gh booster or Seachem Equilibrum to each 5gl of change water. Don't adjust in the tank or all at once or you could shock the fish if it's too much too fast. If no fish or shrimp then no worries. Measure tds with a digital tds meter, its kind of overkill though unless you're a breeder or something, it's fun for learning about water though.


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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-01-2011, 05:50 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the info.

I had DIY CO2 for a while and it dropped my pH down to ~6.0, but I read that pH swings due to CO2 are not too significant. Is this true?
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-01-2011, 05:59 PM
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True, not at all. The only way co2 can kill is by gassing the fish to death. Just one representation of how ph can be altered in a way that doesn't affect fish and why a lot of us ignore it now.


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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-01-2011, 06:03 PM
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What is your pH after water sits in a cup for 24 hours? No way is even over 8 with that low of gh and kh. I wouldn't screw with it at all.
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-01-2011, 06:06 PM
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The old myth of ph shock is actually osmotic shock. If you drastically alter gh then osmotic shock can occur, meaning the fish cannot osmoregulate the minerals in their body fast enough to match the water. This usually happens when different source water is introduced in large volumes, when this happens there is no helping that kh and ph also change so people assumed it was the ph change doing the killing but it's gh or tds (gh is part of tds aka total dissolved solids which include minerals that fish must osmoregulate)


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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-01-2011, 06:12 PM
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I used to have tap water coming out at ph8 kh3 which dissipated to ph7+ after a day, I was told the water treatment plant added soda ash or something for pipe corrosion. I never bothered with aging the water, I just put it straight in the tank with dechlor, never had a problem, hardness and alkalinity never changed either.


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