Keeping PH Stable - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-05-2009, 12:07 AM Thread Starter
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Question Keeping PH Stable

Hey everyone, I've got a question on something I have been struggling with since I have gotten into fish keeping about 8 months ago. I have had trouble keeping the PH stable in both of my tanks.

We have softened well water and when I tested its PH it is roughly 8.4. I have got to test our water hard, but as far as I remember it was in a save zone around 7.5 or so. I normally get the water for my water changes through my normal sinks, which is soft water. If I go down to get our hard water tap then it is down a flight of stairs...which is a pain in the butt.

I have been using Wardley's 3 in 1 to help lower the PH before I add the water to the tank, which helps to take it down but it goes right back up in just a little while. I would like to be able to keep my PH at a more stable level instead of the roller coaster it has been. Does anyone have any suggestions? Maybe I am using the wrong product? Thanks in advance!
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-05-2009, 12:24 AM
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You can try letting the tap water sit for 24 hours. Then test it again and see if the ph dropped. If it didn't, you might have to end up using ro water that has been fixed with ro right or other reconstituting additive.
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-05-2009, 12:39 AM
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Why do you want to lower your pH?
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-05-2009, 01:04 AM
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I am no expert, but I have read that there are two types of hardness one is general hardness (GH) and the other is carbonate hardness (KH0. I had the same problem as you only in reverse, we have very acidic water. I added limestone about 2 cups of limestone gravel (calcium carbonate) to my substrate. I am convinced that this contributed to an increase in my KH and my ph is now relatively steady. Also, many types of fish do perfectly well in the higher ph. I would stop adding the ph down and strive for a stable ph rather than trying to get to ideal. Fish can adjust to the higher ph more easily than they can adjust to the swings.
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-05-2009, 01:50 AM
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Measure your pH once, say "Wow!", then forget about pH. One of the advantages of having a planted tank is that pH becomes irrelevant. It is KH, if anything, that can bother the fish when it is much too high, or, especially, when you change it rapidly. pH doesn't affect the fish.

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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-05-2009, 12:04 PM
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One other option you may want to think about. You don't need to haul the untreated water from the basement. You should be able to trow the bypass valve on the treatment tank and let the hard water run into your upstairs sink for a few minutes and then throw the valve back to the original position. I know it's still two trips to the basement. but you would be able to use your Python syphon if you have one.
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-05-2009, 12:43 PM Thread Starter
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Okay, thanks for getting back to me!

It's nice to hear that the pH doesn't affect the fish, but I always thought that the plants and fish had preferred pH levels? Maybe I just have my head on wrong. It will be much less to worry about if the pH doesn't effect them. But it's being said that it is the GH that is more important than the pH, right? I will have to test my GH today, as I can't remember what my readings are in the tank. Now, what should the ideal GH and KH be? Because someone told me on a different forum that the suggestions that my booklet gives me aren't necessarily correct.
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-08-2009, 05:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brittanyb157 View Post
Okay, thanks for getting back to me!

It's nice to hear that the pH doesn't affect the fish, but I always thought that the plants and fish had preferred pH levels? Maybe I just have my head on wrong. It will be much less to worry about if the pH doesn't effect them. But it's being said that it is the GH that is more important than the pH, right? I will have to test my GH today, as I can't remember what my readings are in the tank. Now, what should the ideal GH and KH be? Because someone told me on a different forum that the suggestions that my booklet gives me aren't necessarily correct.
It's not ph that affect the fish but rather what is making the ph what it is that affects the fish. The ideal GH and KH levels are the exact ones that come out of your un-softened water outlet. Softened water is not good for plants or fish. What IS good is stable, pristine water conditions attained by doing regular water changes with the same type of water (out of the un-softened faucet) that the tank has in it. That makes conditions stable. Adding chemicals to hit a ph target makes things unstable. We all know that it is hard when starting into this hobby to want to make things perfect for our fish by trying to recreate the habitat that they come from. Take that dedication and caring and channel it into regular maintenance and if you want to test the water for whatever do that too. Many people enjoy doing that sort of thing occasionally.


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