High pH tap water - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-12-2006, 08:11 AM Thread Starter
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High pH tap water

I went from a perfect 7.2 pH 8degrees kH to 8.6 pH 3-4 degrees of kH after my move from college. I have a 29gal planted tank @ 4.48 WPG with injected CO2. When I do water changes should I just let the CO2 adjust the pH or is too big of difference? anyone else with these similar conditions. I dont know what to do at this point since I've never had to deal with bad water parameters. Any suggestions would be helpful thanks!
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-12-2006, 08:37 AM
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8.4pH, 5KH here.

I had the same concern when starting CO2. I was assured that it generally isn't a problem. Indeed, I haven't had any problems, even with 50% water changes and the large pH swings that result.

But you should probably tell us what fish you have, just to make sure that there isn't anything particularly sensitive in your tank.
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-12-2006, 07:43 PM Thread Starter
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I have starter first since this my first planted tank. Back in college I had platties, mollies, neons, otos, cories, and a betta. I was running the 4.45wpg and injected CO2 before the move. After the move I lost 1 cory and all my neons. I did a 25% water change just the other day and the cories didnt seem too happy afterwards, but they are fine now. I just did straight from the tap dechlorinate and into to the tank. I did it in the morning hoping that the CO2 would help lower the overall pH. Any routines that you do due to your hight pH?
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-12-2006, 08:06 PM
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Wei,

The total dissolved solids (TDS) of your new water is probaby more important than the pH change. TDS is a total measure of everything dissolved in the water. Two important components of this are the total hardness (GH) and buffering capacity (KH). You probably have baseline differences in both TDS and pH compared to what you had before. What the fish notice more is the change to the actual chemistry of the water (TDS). Most fish can acclimate to a change in TDS, but it takes several days to weeks. Many won't breed or look their best, but most can survive and be perfectly happy within a certain range. Some species don't tollerate change as well as others (neons).

Any pH change you artificially create by adding CO2 is done without significantly altering the TDS of the water. I wouldn't get too hung up on the actual pH reading since running it up or down with CO2 doesn't seem to affect the fish much. You can't please fish that prefer soft, acidic water just by adding CO2 to 'liquid rock' hard water. Once they get used to the new water, the pH change from the addition of CO2 probably doesn't have much effect. Of course, getting it so high that they can't transport O2 in their blood eventually matters. This probably happens in the 45-60 ppm range.

Short version: Using CO2 to try to reproduce some pH that you think is good for the fish probably doesn't work. Let them get used to the new water and use the CO2 like you did before.
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-12-2006, 08:23 PM
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If you are concerned and would still like to have your ph range fish of 7.2-7.6, what I did was cut my home high ph water with distilled bottle water (available at most wal-marts) in a bucket before adding it to my tanks.

It lowers the TDS (hardness, etc.) and lowers the ph at the same time.

(I keep angelfish which coundn't stand such high ph.)

Something so expensive and addictive HAS to be illegal. I'm just waiting for the police to break down my door and confinscate my fish food.
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-12-2006, 08:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TAF CAF
If you are concerned and would still like to have your ph range fish of 7.2-7.6, what I did was cut my home high ph water with distilled bottle water (available at most wal-marts) in a bucket before adding it to my tanks.

It lowers the TDS (hardness, etc.) and lowers the ph at the same time.

(I keep angelfish which coundn't stand such high ph.)

That's what I did before i got my R/O unit. For the time it takes to use it though I almost preferred distilled.
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-13-2006, 01:36 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks everyone for your replies. I think I will try the adding tap water with distrilled water.
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-13-2006, 03:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrbelvedere138
That's what I did before i got my R/O unit. For the time it takes to use it though I almost preferred distilled.
How much of a difference is there between RO and distilled? I would think that distilled gets rid of most of the solids and other things that are in the normal tap water. On a small tank, it almost seems to be a wash on the annual cost of distilled vs. the initial cost of an RO unit and replacement filters.

To those with more chemistry background, am I way off base here?
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-13-2006, 08:29 AM
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It depends on the quality of your RO unit and the quality of the distillation. They're pretty much the same thing as far as a hobby is concerned unless you have a really bad RO unit.
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-16-2006, 12:07 AM Thread Starter
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I took some tap water and let it sit for a couple of days and today I measured the pH and it dropped from 8.6 to a 7.7. Whats the reason behind this?
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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-16-2006, 12:19 AM
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The reason is CO2. There is a given percentage of CO2 in the air, and some of it will dissolve in water, when it is standing around or being agitated or whatnot.

Water coming out of your tap was under pressure, and you will measure a different pH that it has after standing for a while.

For all planted tank purposes, you can say your water has a pH of 7.7.


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