Can I use PH decreaser that is 15-20 years old? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-17-2015, 10:08 PM Thread Starter
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Can I use PH decreaser that is 15-20 years old?

Hello.

I just tested the PH levels of my aquarium and they are off the charts high. I got an API test and they are a darker level then the highest picture on the chart.

I went though some of the old fish box that my relative gave me 15 years ago and I found some old "MYDOR PH-ease decrease" She use to use it years ago but stop having a fish tank. So it could be anywhere from 15-20 years old I think.

The ingredients are:

Sodium Phosphate(monobasic), EDTA, Phosphoric Acid, Calcium Chloride, Potassium Chloride and Sodium Chloride.

Does this stuff expire?

Thanks.
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-17-2015, 10:32 PM
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Yes it expires DO NOT USE IT. And don't go out and buy new ones either.

pH is something you do not want to mess with in the tank. Consistent weekly water changes and most fish will adapt to whatever pH you have. A stable pH is best for the tank.
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-18-2015, 04:37 AM
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If the pH decreasing product only has those chemicals, it will likely not expire.

However, it is not advised that you use it because it is old, but perhaps more importantly, because there is no need to play with your pH, as mentioned.

Are you using the regular API pH test kit or the high range test kit?

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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-18-2015, 06:46 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Darkblade48 View Post
If the pH decreasing product only has those chemicals, it will likely not expire.

However, it is not advised that you use it because it is old, but perhaps more importantly, because there is no need to play with your pH, as mentioned.

Are you using the regular API pH test kit or the high range test kit?

Its a regular API test kit and its off the scale.

I have eco-complete as well as lava rocks in the aquarium so perhaps these might have something to do with the PH being so high.

Its literally off the charts. When I tried to get Petco to replace my dead fish, they told me my PH was too high and it is what caused my fish to die.

Why should I not throw in a few drops of PH decrease or at least PH stabilizer for my aquarium?

The neon tetra I read are suppose to have 6.2 to 6.8 and I'm at least if not over 7.6.

I may eventually get some drift wood which I think can lower the PH levels however I need to keep my fish from dying. Lucky nothing has died for the past few days however its crazy to have my PH so out of the norm.
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-18-2015, 10:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by miogpsrocks View Post
Its a regular API test kit and its off the scale.
If you have the basic API test kit it only goes to 7.6. I have the API Freshwater Master Test Kit that has two pH test solutions. The second is for high range. My tank has tested as high as 7.8.

Quote:
I have eco-complete as well as lava rocks in the aquarium so perhaps these might have something to do with the PH being so high.
I have Eco capped by CaribSea Peace River gravel, local river rocks (mostly granite), and Mopani driftwood.

If you have some lava that is not in the tank you can test it by putting a few drops of vinegar on it. If it doesn't react, it is probably not the problem.

Quote:
Its literally off the charts. When I tried to get Petco to replace my dead fish, they told me my PH was too high and it is what caused my fish to die.

Why should I not throw in a few drops of PH decrease or at least PH stabilizer for my aquarium?
I panicked and tried to bring the pH down with API pH Down. I ended up killing three out of four corys and two Otos. See this thread. I followed the advice and stopped messing with pH Down solutions. I added a DIY CO2 setup with a hagen ladder co2 diffuser.

Angelfish arrived shortly after I posted that thread. I kept them in quarantine for awhile and then added them to the main tank. They seem very happy. They are very active. Always hunting for food, and come to the glass when I approach. They don't seem to mind the high pH.

Quote:
The neon tetra I read are suppose to have 6.2 to 6.8 and I'm at least if not over 7.6.
Corys supposedly like a similar range. However, if they are farm raised they can probably handle a much greater range.

I bought some USA farm raised False Julii Corys to replace the ones I killed by trying to control the pH. They are currently in a quarantine tank which has a pH of around 7.5. They seem to be doing fine.

The surviving one in the main tank looked very stressed for awhile, but after I stopped messing with chemicals it recovered and is doing fine now.

Quote:
I may eventually get some drift wood which I think can lower the PH levels however I need to keep my fish from dying. Lucky nothing has died for the past few days however its crazy to have my PH so out of the norm.
I have a lot of Mopani driftwood in my tank and it didn't prevent the pH climb. If you get Mopani (beautiful stuff) boil it and then soak it for a month, changing the water daily. I only soaked mine a couple weeks and two months later the water still have a yellow cast to it.
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-18-2015, 11:40 AM
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pH Chemical

Hello mio...

You're doubtful, so don't use it. A steady pH of 6 to even 8.5 is fine for most fish. They'll adapt. Putting chemicals into the tank water is never a good idea. Just follow a sound water change routine and feed a balanced diet. The fish and plants will take care of themselves.

B

"Fear not my child, just change the tank water."
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-18-2015, 02:27 PM
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As others have advised, whether or not this might actually expire I still wouldnt use it. Once you go down that road you have to continually monitor and adjust the ph. While it might seem simple at face value its really difficult to maintain a constant value if you're trying to alter what you have naturally. When you hear about how certain fish are sensitive to PH usually the sensitivity lies in any sudden ph swings as most tank raised fish can acclimate to a wide ph range without much issue. Even many fish that were previously considered to be very sensitive to ph and were only able to survive at certain low ph values can now survive in quite varied ranges. Wild fish might still need particular ph values but most rank raised fish can acclimate well to most conditions.

What kind of fish do you keep and what did you loose?

What else can you tell us about your setup? How long has it been up and running? How long have you had these fish that died? Have you ever test the ph in the past?
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-18-2015, 03:49 PM
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If you do not have plants you can use Seachem neutral regulator and with plants you can use Seachem Acid buffer. It changes the PH but also lowers the KH so you have to be careful how much you use. It is far more important that your PH and KH remain stable than it is what that actual measurement is. For that reason a 50% water change each week is recommended to keep the water consistent and clean.
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-18-2015, 06:33 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BBradbury View Post
Hello mio...

You're doubtful, so don't use it. A steady pH of 6 to even 8.5 is fine for most fish. They'll adapt. Putting chemicals into the tank water is never a good idea. Just follow a sound water change routine and feed a balanced diet. The fish and plants will take care of themselves.

B
Hi.

I travel a lot and for probably a months at a time. Maybe 2 months max so I am trying to automate everything. I have automated Fish feeder made by a German company, a sponge filter rated for 125 gallon aquarium(inside my 55 gallon) and a ton of plants to remove the nitrates.

Is the chemicals are bad idea because it changes the PH too quickly or because of the chemicals themselves? I put chemicals in the take to remove the Chlorine, are the PH stabilizers much different?

The acid and base kind of neutralize each other I think? Like lemon juice and baking soda ?

I mean, what if I added like a drop a day or something very slowly ?

Thanks

Bump:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Argus View Post
I panicked and tried to bring the pH down with API pH Down. I ended up killing three out of four corys and two Otos.

How quickly did you try to change the PH levels?

What if I went very slowly and only added a drop or two a day?

I know that fast swings to the PH can be trouble but what if its very slow?

If I want Petco to honor their fish replacement policy then I am going to have to prove to them that my aquarium water is not the problem. Right now they are making issue of the PH level. ( I am open to suggestions on this also)


If the drift wood that you have in your tank suppose to lower PH ? I just purchase the same type of drift wood online yesterday. I did not realize that it took so long to keep it from discoloring the water.

Thanks
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-18-2015, 06:55 PM
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This conversation also needs the notion that pH isn't all that there ever is/was. I know most have hit the main point. Don't mess with chemicals to bring your pH up/down. If you want to improve your pH ro/di is the ONLY way to go.

If your pet store you were trying to get credit on won't let you keep the fish because your water pH is too high, your first question is can I please see you test the water you are keeping the same fish in.

Finally kH and gH are far more important in the fish hobby than pH ever could be. As I learned earlier this year, your water company can put a lot of things in your water to keep the pH much higher, while still having relatively soft water.

Right now the water coming out of my tap has a pH over 8.0, however it's kH and gH are about 2 and 5 respectively (Which would be consider softish water). Looking at the 8.4 pH you sure wouldn't believe it. Now if you let that water sit for a while it will use up whatever the water company puts in and I'll get back to my more normal 7.2-7.6 pH.
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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-18-2015, 11:52 PM
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Ditto Gavin:

pH is not the most important.

Test the following, and post the results:

Tap water:
GH, KH, pH (fresh out of the tap), TDS.
pH of some water that has sat out for overnight or longer- 24-48 hours.

Tank:
GH, KH, pH, TDS.

pH is not a stand alone value.
The minerals in the water control the pH. If you want to alter the pH then you need to find out what the mineral levels are, first, then figure out how to alter them.
If the KH is high, then the pH will almost always be high, and difficult to change. The 'easy' way- adding stuff from a bottle, does not work. It will drop the pH for a short time, but the high KH will bring the pH right back up.

Here is how I do this:
1) Research the fish needs, especially GH.
2) Test the tap water as above.
3) Goal: Set GH and KH to similar values. Ignore pH.

3a) If the tap water GH and KH are too low (probably not in this case)
Add Seachem Equilibrium to raise the GH
Add baking soda or potassium bicarbonate to raise the KH.

3b) If either GH or KH are too high, then blend distilled or reverse osmosis water with the tap water until the one that is highest is diluted down to where you want it. If the other value is too low, then alter as in 3a. When the minerals are right, the fish will handle a wide range of pH.

3c) If you are keeping black water fish do step 3b) then filter the water through peat moss to add the organic acids these fish need.

If you go this route you will always have to blend your water just right when you are preparing for a water change.
If you buy fish from a store with different water parameters then part of the quarantine procedure will be to alter the water first when you get the fish to match the water they are in, then gradually alter the water while they are in quarantine to match the main tank.
__________________________________________________ __________

Easier than all this (especially if a non-fish person will be doing maintenance)
Get fish that like your water.
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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-19-2015, 01:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by THE V View Post
Yes it expires DO NOT USE IT. And don't go out and buy new ones either.

pH is something you do not want to mess with in the tank. Consistent weekly water changes and most fish will adapt to whatever pH you have. A stable pH is best for the tank.
I agree with this.
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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-19-2015, 02:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by miogpsrocks View Post
Hi.

The acid and base kind of neutralize each other I think? Like lemon juice and baking soda ?

I mean, what if I added like a drop a day or something very slowly ?

Thanks
Unfortunately, it is not that simple, as Diana explained.

Quote:
How quickly did you try to change the PH levels?

What if I went very slowly and only added a drop or two a day?

I know that fast swings to the PH can be trouble but what if its very slow?
I tried to do it carefully, but it kept bouncing back. So, as I struggled with it, the pH went down, up, down, up, etc. This stressed the fish. They had been doing fine before, but the test numbers freaked me out and I thought I needed to bring pH down to the published specs. for the fish. Big mistake.

Quote:
If I want Petco to honor their fish replacement policy then I am going to have to prove to them that my aquarium water is not the problem. Right now they are making issue of the PH level. ( I am open to suggestions on this also)
I like the idea of you asking them to test the pH in the tank where your fish came from. Make them do it in front of you. Also, print Diana's post and show it to them. See if you can get them to test for GH, KH, ammonia, and nitrates as well. If you don't have it, get the http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000255NCI?psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=od_aui_detailpages00 and check all those parameters in your tank. As an incentive to get them to show you test results from their tanks, offer to buy the kit from them.

Quote:
If the drift wood that you have in your tank suppose to lower PH ? I just purchase the same type of drift wood online yesterday. I did not realize that it took so long to keep it from discoloring the water.

Thanks
My understanding is that to get Mopani to lower pH you have to put it in after minimal soaking. The tannic acid lowers the pH. It also makes the water look like tea. Some like that for specific fish that live in "black water" but I doubt it is what you would want. It really can go quite black.

Last edited by Argus; 09-19-2015 at 02:53 AM. Reason: additional thought
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