Trying to understand PH help.. - The Planted Tank Forum
 1Likes
  • 2 Post By PlantedRich
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-20-2015, 01:01 AM Thread Starter
Planted Tank Obsessed
 
thegirlundertherainbow's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Port Aransas, Texas
Posts: 392
Trying to understand PH help..

This is with API Master Test kit.
I'd been using strips but just got this so this is my first time using it.
SO my tank was 7.6 on the fw ph range..
so I tried the HIGH ph and it tested at 7.4 on it.
afterward.. I tested my tap water and it tested at 6.8i..

20g long with Otos, Corydoras Pygmaeus, RCS and Nerites

2.6 gal nano planted Sparkling gourami breeding tank

2 gal planted Betta Splendens tank

10 g planted with Sparkling Gourami fry
thegirlundertherainbow is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-20-2015, 02:04 AM
Planted Tank Guru
 
PlantedRich's Avatar
 
PTrader: (2/100%)
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: United States
Posts: 11,868
Okay, PH is one of those things that do get confusing. I'm not sure I fully understand it and I've been at it a long time. But the big thing is that it changes and it does read different at times. One big thing you've spotted is the way our hobby grade test kits leave some doubt. When you have colors printed on paper, there is room for error. When we look at those colors under different light it adds more room for error. Go to a store and look at a color under the store lights and then it may be different when we get it home.
So I start off with doubt that what I read is going to be exactly right and combine that with the fact that water in nature changes constantly. Think of a lake out North in the piney woods where there are a lot of pine needles. When a heavy rain comes along lots of those needles go into the water and the lake may become more acidic. Or during a dry time, the Colorado river may swing alkaline or more toward acidic as debris is flushed out or washed into the water. Tap water has gases in it and as those gases disperse into the air, the PH changes. When you add it to the tank, there are minerals in the tank which may change the PH. Limestone tends to push PH up while wood tends to push it down. The PH changes and the fish are used to it. Happens all the time so I tend to downplay the importance of PH. I know it is often one of the first things mentioned in the proper care of fish but I don't find it nearly as big as the mineral content of the water.
Adding CO2 to a tank often forms carbonic acid and that pushes the PH down but the fish are not bothered. I keep African cichlids who might find 8.0 PH in Africa but they have no trouble spawning in 6.8 when I run CO2.
My advise is be aware of PH but generally ignore it!
I should not say to ignore it! Be aware of it but only worry if it is changing as that would be a first indicator that there is something going on in the tank. A little this way and that is no alarm but if it continues to drift you may want to ask what's up?

Last edited by PlantedRich; 12-20-2015 at 02:07 AM. Reason: add
PlantedRich is online now  
post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-20-2015, 02:18 AM
Wannabe Guru
 
PTrader: (1/100%)
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: rochester ny
Posts: 1,397
I usually average where the 2 test kits overlap... Also tap water needs about 24 hours of time to degas, faster when agitated to let any dissolved co2 come out of the water so you get an accurate reading. Also during the day your ph will shift as planned use co2 from the water and fish add it. I.e ph in the morning before lights on well usually be lower than ph at the end of the day. Small settings are usually OK as long as it isn't sudden and drastic
theatermusic87 is offline  
 
post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-20-2015, 02:50 AM
Planted Tank Guru
 
Maryland Guppy's Avatar
 
PTrader: (13/100%)
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: Arnold
Posts: 3,219
I had the low and high pH kits at first.
After 1 month I shelved them for the pH pen tester.
Got a TDS & pH pen from Evilbay for about $16US.
It has actually saved me money by not needing to buy more pH reagents.

I use both pens as an identifier, but when out of line it is an indicator for further water testing.
Cannot beat the fact that it is so quick and easy to test.

I experiment with pre-charging different fired clay substrates.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Growing is not that difficult.
Maryland Guppy is online now  
post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-20-2015, 10:37 AM Thread Starter
Planted Tank Obsessed
 
thegirlundertherainbow's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Port Aransas, Texas
Posts: 392
I run pressurized co2 ( but think up until a day ago it wasn't getting disrupted well and i moved it). Have a big driftwood piece.. Eco complete substrate.. But also put 10 flourish root tabs in 2 weeks ago or so.. Plus use liquid fertilizers.
Did a 30% water change after testing do to detecting tiny amount of nitrate and retesting today.

20g long with Otos, Corydoras Pygmaeus, RCS and Nerites

2.6 gal nano planted Sparkling gourami breeding tank

2 gal planted Betta Splendens tank

10 g planted with Sparkling Gourami fry
thegirlundertherainbow is offline  
post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-20-2015, 01:31 PM
Planted Tank Guru
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Contra Costa CA
Posts: 11,721
Hobby level test kits are not the most accurate.
The overlap between the high range and the regular kits does not mean the pH is changing. Just a difference in the way they test the water.
If your water is exactly in the middle of the test range I just call it 7.5 and move on.

The exact value is not so critical, it is more that pH is one more way to monitor if something is changing. By testing over time and charting the results you can see something changing before it goes too far. Since I will be reading the test in the same area (same lighting) each time, I will interpret the results the same way each time.
Diana is offline  
post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-20-2015, 03:36 PM
Planted Member
 
Mark Fisher's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Rockport, Texas
Posts: 198
I live in Rockport, and we both get our tap water from Corpus Christi. Your reading of 6.8 from the tap seems low, as we have hard water with high carbonates. The city regularly reports on water chemistry and you can get those reports here: Reports

They are reporting a pH of around 7.5 from the water treatment plants in November (December reports aren't published yet). I just tested my tap water with an API high range pH, and I got an amber color, which is 7.5-7.6 on the color scale.
Mark Fisher is offline  
post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-20-2015, 07:36 PM
Planted Tank Guru
 
Nordic's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Cape Town
Posts: 4,032
Buy yourself one of the little pen based, battery powered probes.
They normally come with a pH 4 calibration sachet. It won't even set you back $10, shipped. Just look for pH pen on [Ebay Link Removed]

Cape Town, South Africa.

Hi. I'm back.
Nordic is offline  
post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-21-2015, 12:40 AM
Planted Tank Guru
 
PlantedRich's Avatar
 
PTrader: (2/100%)
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: United States
Posts: 11,868
I take PH with a very large grain of salt as I've done some of the testing on public water supplies and I know water quality varies. Sometimes quite a lot. The reports given are for public health concerns and not meant to be a spot-on reading of what is at your tap at any given time. Consider that my system had 100 meters and we reported from 5-6 locations and then consider how many test sites would be used in even a small city. There will be many, many tests taken in the whole system and those readings will vary depending on lots of factors. As long as the readings are safe, that fulfills the purpose of the testing.
The reports give us a general idea, some parts give a high and low reading of some items but no report tells you the difference between the water at 512 mystreet compared to the reading at 118 yourstreet!
Take the readings, assume they are somewhat accurate and that is as close as you get without actually having a lab do the work and do the test every time you turn on the tap. It varies and it is something most of us never notice and all is well without the worry.
Hoppy and Hoppy like this.
PlantedRich is online now  
post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-22-2015, 12:08 AM Thread Starter
Planted Tank Obsessed
 
thegirlundertherainbow's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Port Aransas, Texas
Posts: 392
I had put a tums tablet in for my snails a week ago.. trying to think what else.
Anyhow.. I did like a 30% water change after testing.. waited till today.. and my ph is back down to what my tap water is.

20g long with Otos, Corydoras Pygmaeus, RCS and Nerites

2.6 gal nano planted Sparkling gourami breeding tank

2 gal planted Betta Splendens tank

10 g planted with Sparkling Gourami fry
thegirlundertherainbow is offline  
Reply

Tags
None

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the The Planted Tank Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome