Distilled water and PH... - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-25-2014, 10:04 PM Thread Starter
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Distilled water and PH...

I have recently gotten a high range test kit for PH but have forgotten
something which I think is relavent to this issue.
I want to find out just how much the distilled water lowers the PH
but I have read that after a few(24?) hrs the PH in water goes down after you get it from the tap.
Can someone elaborate on this for me and give me an amount of time to wait before I do this test.
I have tap water that maxxes out my low range test kit. I guestimate it to be 8-8.4 PH but I was told to check it better/w a highrange test kit first. But I also want to include this lowering thing in the test.
I've been adding 2g of tap plus 40oz of distilled after taking out 2g water each week. When I test it comes out at 6.8 PH(in my 10g tank).
But I was told to check better/w a high range test kit cause distilled
water will not bring down PH that much.
I'd like to be sureand not guess at it so I bought the high range test kit.
But I also want to kno about the PH going down after a while in the tap water...so...

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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-25-2014, 10:49 PM
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Sometimes in your tap there is CO2 in the water and after a period of time the ph goes up a little after the CO2 has gassed off. Not usually the other way around, but sometimes. I see it with my RODI water...coming out 7.0 and lowers to 6.8 after 5-6 hours. Aerating the water can get it to occur more quickly. 24hrs to be sure, as far as waiting.

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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-26-2014, 01:23 AM
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It can go either way.
The tap water might have excess CO2, so the pH will go up when it is exposed to the air and the CO2 leaves.
The tap water can have less CO2 than it can hold, so the pH will go down when it is exposed to the air.

Stirring the water helps this to happen faster. I put a fountain pump in a garbage can of water, with the pump aimed upward. This circulates the water the best so it all gets exposed to the air.
24 hours is usually enough.

If you cannot stir the water very much (maybe you are just stirring it with a spoon or something whenever you go near it) I would give it 48 hours.

Really easy to run this test:
Put some water in a very shallow container on the counter. Swirl the water around whenever you go near it.
Test after 24 hours.
Test again after 48 hours.
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-28-2014, 09:05 AM
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Raymond, what were your results?

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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-28-2014, 11:36 AM
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The distilled water is very low in TDS, so any reduction of PH more likely has to do we the lack of buffers in the water than with any deficiency in the PH of the water...fish from acidic water tend to need low TDS anyway, so this isn't a bad thing and may even be beneficial.
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-28-2014, 02:52 PM Thread Starter
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odd

Quote:
Originally Posted by jrman83 View Post
Raymond, what were your results?

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The test result was odd. I get a 7.4/w the high range kit.
How many drops do you use/w the low range kit...lost directions.
Now I need to add the distilled water to see where it comes out.
In the tank that is.
I have municiple water from a huge lake and the level hasn't fluctuated much in months. Big drops or raises cause PH changes I suspect and
I don't know, but also suspect this water to change PH from time to time.
I have computer trouble and don't get subscription notices and a couple of other glitches so I just checked this thread today and saw a couple of replies that I didn't know were there...sorry..should be fixed or broke
this weekend. Trying to do a first time DIY build and get it up and running. Laugh if you want, but I just got one of these in May of 06
and built this one a couple of months ago after not being satisfied/w
the one I bought in 06 and after reading up on it.
Need I say keep your fingers crossed...LOL...

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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-28-2014, 04:49 PM
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Low range API test is 3 drops, high range 5. Should be right on the front of the bottle.

I would say that your ph is between 7.4-7.6. You are at the high end for the low range kit and at the low end for the high range, right?

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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-28-2014, 05:26 PM Thread Starter
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Seems that way. Will do a water change likely later today and test tomorrow A.M. to see just what it changes it to
remove 2g and add 2g plus 40oz of distilled, my usual change.
It does say it but I was looking for a statement like Directions: etc but only has the word Add plus a drop/w the number 3 in it.

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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-31-2014, 03:29 AM Thread Starter
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I check parts at work and color quality is one category that is checked but for the life of me I can't decide which level this is for the 6.8/7/7.2 being so close to each other.
Anyway this is after a day of the water just being changed/w Distilled having been added.
And the next one is of the same tap water after a couple of days but without the distilled water added.
https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/pi...ictureid=54930
I can't tell any difference but I might if I could put them side by side. If anything the water in the first picture looks a tad darker
and it is of the water AFTER the distilled is added but from my tank also.
Two things are obvious to me. The water in my tap fluctuates in PH(surprise) and I'm not getting any lower PH by adding distilled water to my changin water in the low amount that I'm useing ?
Which leads me to this point:https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/sh...d.php?t=592417

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Last edited by Raymond S.; 03-31-2014 at 03:52 AM. Reason: more info
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-31-2014, 03:43 AM
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Unlike GH and KH, pH is not changed in direct proportion to how much distilled water you add. Remember, pH is a logarithmic variable. A change of 1 in pH means a change in the concentration of H+ ions by a factor of 10, not 1. That makes it a lot harder to calculate how much distilled water added to other water is needed to drop the pH by a specific amount. Also, the pH of water is proportional to the KH and is a function of how much CO2 is dissolved in the water, as well as how much acidic compounds are in the water. I think the best way to handle pH is to ignore it 99.9% of the time.

Water companies add a strong chemical to the water to raise the pH, if the untreated water is 7 or lower. That chemical can dissipate, I think, when the water is stirred out in the air. (I'm having a senior moment in trying to recall the chemical.)

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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-31-2014, 04:10 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you Hoppy. So between you, jrman83 and Diana I shall conclude that I'm just beating my head against the wall for basically nothing and
that as I already have a KH test kit but no GH or TDS meter I should get both of them and "fix" that to within shrimp perameters and just let the PH fall where it may.
Just to lay something to rest...any thoughts on Blackwater extract ?
Pro/Con/not unless setting up a Blackwater bio-type/ etc.
Mostly thinking about it for the alleged benefits to the plants.

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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-31-2014, 04:28 AM
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If you are keeping livestock that has been raised in captivity for many generations, and do not plan on breeding then let the water be, and quit worrying.

However, here is a more complex answer:

Fish are adapted to the mineral levels in the water, the pH is secondary.
Do some research about the livestock you want to keep. Find out their optimum GH, and if they come from a black water river. Optimum pH, & TDS if you can find it.

Run some tap water a jar.
Test GH, KH, TDS, pH right out of the tap, then repeat in 24 & 48 hours.
Adjust the GH to suit your livestock.
If the GH or KH is too hard for your fish blend your water with distilled until it is good.
I use Equilibrium to raise the GH. If you think your tap water has unbalanced levels of Ca and Mg, then use which ever you need until you end up with a ratio that is more or less 4:1 Ca:Mg. You can get calcium or magnesium separately, and fresh water calcium tests, but this is not usually needed.

Set the KH pretty close to the GH. I have used baking soda and potassium bicarbonate to raise the KH. They both work just fine. Some people do not want the extra sodium from the baking soda.

If you are keeping black water fish then add peat moss to the water. Circulate it for several hours or overnight.

Test GH, KH, pH and TDS.
Allow this to sit overnight or so, and see if it stays the same, then test a few days later.

Now you have a recipe for how to make water for a delicate or special species of fish. You will do this for every water change. Top off with reverse osmosis or distilled water.
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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-31-2014, 04:41 AM Thread Starter
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It's dry here so I do need to top off mid week. I presume using the distilled for that keeps all my values constant.
A lot of this is over one fish actualy as he came from water/w a PH of 6.4
But what you see in those pictures of the test is what he has been living in so
likely he is acclimated for a couple of years already. A banded Pigmy sunfish.
But RCS also live in these tanks so better to please them I think.
BTW Diana..you would or would not use MGSO4 to raise the GH ? Have this one already.

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