help with my pH level its at 8.4! - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-22-2012, 04:08 AM Thread Starter
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help with my pH level its at 8.4!

So I've had a demasoni/yellow lab in my tank and my ph was around 7.2-7.4. Now I wanted to start over and do a new setup, got 4 Bolivian rams, 10 neon tetras, 2 plecos, and 4 clown loaches. Next morning I find 6 of the tetras, 1pleco, and 1 clown loach dead, at first thought it was due to stress. Brought it back to petsmart and they told me my ph was at 8.4.

Have no idea why my ph is so high. I have sand substrate mixed with corals. Also I added 2 real seashells I got from the bahamas. That's the only thing I've added since my African cichlid tank.

I've done a 50% water change and siphoned the sand. Are there any I can do to lower the ph?

One last thing while doing the water change I tested the ph from the tap and it came out as 8.4 still.

Any insight would be greatly appreciated thanks in advance.
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-22-2012, 04:32 AM
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If you tested it as 8.4 out of tap not much you can do aside from RO. I would point out though that coral and shells will raise ph as well.


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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-22-2012, 05:06 AM
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You mentioned that you have corals in the substrate, and a couple of seashells. Both of those will cause the KH to go up continuously, along with the pH. If you switch to a real inert substrate that problem should go away.

Tap water is usually high in pH, but the chemicals that make it high tend to do so only temporarily. If you let some tap water sit for a day in the open, does the pH drop back to around 7?

Hoppy

Last edited by Hoppy; 07-22-2012 at 05:08 AM. Reason: add more
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-22-2012, 05:51 AM Thread Starter
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i will test it out and let you know.
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-22-2012, 06:48 AM
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Just thought I'd second the advice you've already gotten. The coral and shells are what you add if you want to increase your ph. Take them out and do some water changes.

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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-23-2012, 09:54 PM Thread Starter
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test the tap water out and it came out the same

got a new test kit and this is the results

GH-30
KH- 240
pH- 8.5(on the new ph kit)
nitrite-0
nitrate-40
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-24-2012, 03:36 AM
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That means the coral and shells must go - now!

Hoppy
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-24-2012, 03:52 AM
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Quote:
GH-30
KH- 240
pH- 8.5(on the new ph kit)
nitrite-0
nitrate-40
This is the tap water?

You will need to remove a lot of the KH to be able to lower the pH.
Here is a way to do this:

Get a gallon of RO or distilled water (grocery store or almost anywhere).
Mix it with tap water. Try 25% Tap and 75% RO. (5 gallon bucket is great, even a 1 gallon bucket will do for this. Make perhaps a quart of the mixed waters.)
Test GH, KH, pH.
If the KH is not somewhere around 60 ppm or lower then add more RO to lower it.
Next, add a handful of peat moss. Stir that around every few hours, or add an air bubbler to keep the water moving. Test after a few hours, then the next day. Keep on running this for a week and test a couple more times.
Once you have a mix that is mostly RO, the GH might be too low. Fish and plants need the calcium and magnesium, so you might need to add a small amount of GH booster to keep the GH around 30-60 ppm.

Peat moss often removes minerals from the water (but not always). It adds organic acids that these fish are accustomed to.

If this works, here is what you will need to do to keep these fish:
Prepare enough water to totally change out the tank. Remove the sand and coral substrate. Remove any limestone rocks, seashells and any other source of minerals. Use neutral rocks and driftwood. Use a water softening substrate like one of the ADA products, or Turface or similar. If you use a neutral substrate add some peat moss under it.
Add peat moss to the filter.

When you are getting ready to do a water change prepare the water a day ahead. Blend RO and tap per whatever recipe works for you, and circulate the water overnight with some peat moss. I use a knee hi nylon stocking of peat moss in a garbage can of water. The peat moss is reusable, but the treatment takes longer as the peat moss ages. You can hang an aquarium heater in the water to keep it warm. (I run hot water from the tap to get it warm initially, so the aquarium heater is not heating the whole volume, just maintaining the temperature).

Top of with pure RO water.
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-24-2012, 06:23 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you for the advice.

So what is a good level for the all the water parameters?

Also what is RO water? And how can i obtain some?
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