GH Booster influences pH? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-26-2009, 02:28 AM Thread Starter
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GH Booster influences pH?

Hi,

I have been observing this for a few weeks. I use a spare 29g to age and treat my water for the water changes of my 55g. I order to bring the pH of 9.5 down to something less harsh for my fish I dump 10 ml of 10.5% Muriatic Acid (HCl). This also brings my kH from about 4 down to under 2.
That's all great. Now my water also comes out of the tap at less than 1
I remedy that situation with Barr's GH Booster, which is KSO4, MgSO4 and CaSO4. Problem is, that the GH Booster seems to increase the pH significantly. I read up on sulfate and it is a base, so it should not be that surprising. Question now is, is the basic nature of the water harmful to either fish or plants? Should I not be using Sulfates? What are alternatives?

Thanks

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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-26-2009, 02:51 AM
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What is less than 1 now? GH?

I've never used chemicals to alter my pH. I have naturally soft water which fits the kinds of tanks I like. I typically need to buffer a bit though due to low KH and somewhat low GH. I use Carib-Sea's Aragonite in small mess baggies placed in my filter box. If you are aging your water you could always put it there to give it a head start.

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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-26-2009, 03:05 AM Thread Starter
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What is less than 1 now? GH?

I've never used chemicals to alter my pH. I have naturally soft water which fits the kinds of tanks I like. I typically need to buffer a bit though due to low KH and somewhat low GH. I use Carib-Sea's Aragonite in small mess baggies placed in my filter box. If you are aging your water you could always put it there to give it a head start.

Yes, GH is less than 1.

I have only been treating my water for 3 weeks, so I am quite new at this also. Another member of this forum convinced me that pouring water with pH 9.5, kH 4 and gH of less than 1 would be very stressful the fish.

I used to use crushed coral in the filter, but I decided a while ago that dosing what I need in the water will give me more consistent water quality. The coral in the filter would change the makeup of the water throughout the week.

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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-26-2009, 03:31 AM
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I doubt it is the GH booster that is affecting your pH. Much more likely the substrate or rocks in the tank.

Have you tried airating your tap water for 24 hours and checking the pH?
My tap in Boston was the same, high 9s out of the tap, but it dropped to 7.4 once it had sat for a while. I used that water for 50% weekly water changes in a tank full of Toninas without issue.


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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-26-2009, 04:10 AM
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could the city be adding something to raise the ph without affecting the other params?
they often do that to save their pipes.

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I just did a little googling
http://www.mwra.com/monthly/wqupdate...ata/072009.pdf

it says it in here.. they target 9.3ph and 40mg/l alkinity. They want to reduce lead & copper in the pipes leaching. Hmm, sounds like you guys might have heavy metal issues too.


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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-26-2009, 04:57 AM
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it says it in here.. they target 9.3ph and 40mg/l alkinity. They want to reduce lead & copper in the pipes leaching. Hmm, sounds like you guys might have heavy metal issues too.
This is it exactly. There are many lead pipes still in use in Mass. The additives form a protective barrier between the water and the piping. The water is perfectly fine for fish keeping, straight out of the tap.


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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-26-2009, 05:24 AM
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well, at least give time for the additive to dissipate? That high of a ph and maybe the additive can't be good for the fish.


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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-26-2009, 06:26 PM Thread Starter
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Ok for clarification. All measurements I have taken were on the 29g holding tank, not my 55g.
The additive they use to get the pH so high is soda ash Na2CO3. The HCl I am adding is purely to offset this. Chlorine and Chloramine, if any, is taken care of by Prime, that I put in the holding tank.
I usually start Saturday night, or sometimes Friday night by filling the holding tank with cold tap water. I then add the Muriatic acid which brings the pH down to around 6.6
I can't measure pH above 8, because I am using API drip tests (uncalibrated... i know ) After an hour or so I add the gH booster. Curiously, the water never gets perfectly clear, which means not all the sulfates dissolve fully.
Once the water is in the tank, it is clear within the hour. Maybe the filter takes out the rest and slowly dissolves it over time...

Minsc, I think I will try filling the tank a few days earlier and monitoring pH, but as it is, I have a powerhead and an airstone in the tank for at least 18h before doing the water change. The pH does not seem to be coming down, but that is after acid and GH booster.

In a couple of weeks I will have some vacation that I will use ti do more experiments on this I think.

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