PH climbs over night - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 34 (permalink) Old 03-19-2019, 11:29 PM Thread Starter
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PH climbs over night

Been losing fish left right and center. Seriously I have been hunting this issue for months and every time I thought I figured it out I would lose another fish.
Long story short I have figured out my PH out of the tap is 6.5, after a couple days it is 7.6+. KH 2 GH 0
Why? any ideas?
Solution? Should I simply age it or should I dose KH and get it up to 4 or so assuming its due to instability?
I want my water to stay back down at 6.5 but I guess that isn't going to happen with out some weird dosing like adding KH which will raise PH then dosing something to drop PH. Like dosing Seachem Alkaline Buffer followed by Seachem Acid Buffer. This just seems like I would be arguing with myself though.

Anyway, just hoping to get some advice on stability first and foremost. If its possible to get the PH back down and keep stability im all ears. If not, I'll get over it.

Thanks in advance , appreciate the time
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post #2 of 34 (permalink) Old 03-20-2019, 12:48 AM
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What is the degassed pH of your tap water?

My algae is the only plant that pearls.
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post #3 of 34 (permalink) Old 03-20-2019, 12:56 AM Thread Starter
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7.4 - 7.6 as far as i can tell. I havent narrowed down how long it takes to get there exactly. I tested 1 day old water, 3 wk old water and both result in 7.4 to 7.6 so I assume its stable there.
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post #4 of 34 (permalink) Old 03-20-2019, 01:07 AM
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Leave a glass of tap water out to sit overnight and measure the pH the next day so you can rule out the influence of anything in your tank.

My algae is the only plant that pearls.
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post #5 of 34 (permalink) Old 03-20-2019, 01:08 AM Thread Starter
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the 1 day water was in a water change bucket, so should be the same as a glass of water. no fish no plants.
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post #6 of 34 (permalink) Old 03-20-2019, 10:44 AM
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Odd, I have the exact same parameters as you. It comes out of the tap 6.5 and when degassed it is somewhere between 7.4-7.6 and my KH is 2. I've never had fish losses from this though. I was at one point considering adding a little bag of crushed coral to keep it more stabilized.
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post #7 of 34 (permalink) Old 03-20-2019, 11:34 AM Thread Starter
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I started to use hot water to heat my WC tote due to winter. So instead of it gassing off over night in the tote i was using it immediately after, using dechlorinator of course. tested both the hot and cold and the PH is within .2, looked to be just above 6.5 .
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post #8 of 34 (permalink) Old 03-20-2019, 02:34 PM
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That pH swing shouldn't be enough to do any harm to the fish (many people using pressurized CO2 swing their pH +/- 1 twice a day every day), but if you really want to rule it out then you can do as you suggested earlier and just age the water or do smaller, more frequent water changes to reduce the pH swing.

My algae is the only plant that pearls.
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post #9 of 34 (permalink) Old 03-20-2019, 03:49 PM Thread Starter
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So i have been messing with my TDS meter and this is what I got.

Today at 8:27 AM hot 114 us/ 54ppm
Today at 8:33 AM cold 57us / 27ppm
Today at 9:08 AM hot 91us / 43ppm
cold 68us / 32ppm
Today at 11:30 AM hot 87us / 41ppm
cold 85us / 40ppm

roughly 3 hours to gas off an inch of water in a whisky glass if I understand this correctly
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post #10 of 34 (permalink) Old 03-20-2019, 03:52 PM
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0 GH...do you have a water softener? I would be adding a GH booster, your fish might be dying from osmotic shock?

To keep your water below 7 pH without CO2 addition, you need a buffering substrate(UNS Controsoil, ADA, etc..). That's really all there is to it. You can mess with buffers, but that approach can cause more problems than anything. Why are you wanting your pH to be 6.5?

With 2 dKH, your pH swinging isn't going to matter. I run my CO2 tanks at 1-2 dKH, they swing from very low 6's during injection to mid-upper 7's off-gassed within a 12 hour window. Your water is changing pH as it off-gasses, so this really isn't a concern, especially with such a small swing.

I would lean towards fish dying from osmotic shock, and I'd immediately start adding a GH booster.
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post #11 of 34 (permalink) Old 03-20-2019, 04:21 PM Thread Starter
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yeah , coming to the same conclusion.
no water softener but it is city water . I have their reports, where would that be listed under? What might it be called?
I thought PH swings were worse than stable GH, did not realize GH was at all an issue as long as it was steady. I switched to drop acclimating thinking my acclimating was an issue. I would have thought drip would have solved both.
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post #12 of 34 (permalink) Old 03-20-2019, 04:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ravynn View Post
Odd, I have the exact same parameters as you. It comes out of the tap 6.5 and when degassed it is somewhere between 7.4-7.6 and my KH is 2. I've never had fish losses from this though. I was at one point considering adding a little bag of crushed coral to keep it more stabilized.

I added a bag of crushed coral to my filter to regulate (biofilter, not carbon) and everything was smooth sailing.
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post #13 of 34 (permalink) Old 03-20-2019, 05:05 PM Thread Starter
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So I was looking forward to breeding apistogramma. Everything I have read says low everything. So I am confused on how my water is killing fish the way it is. Some apisto breeders use straight RO. So I could see shock being an issue with acclimating, could this be corrected by much longer acclimating? I am talking days.
Why is this an issue with fish I have had for a while kicking off after water changes? I'm at a loss with bloated cories within hours of a 50% wc. That tank is aged.
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post #14 of 34 (permalink) Old 03-20-2019, 05:50 PM
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Quote:
Long story short I have figured out my PH out of the tap is 6.5, after a couple days it is 7.6+. KH 2 GH 0
Why? any ideas?
zero GH is not good for plants or fish.Fish have surprising good tolerance for PH changes. I have seen them survive a PH change of 7 to 8.5 daily without any noticeable long term affects. However a GH of zero is a well known killer of shrimp. Fish are more tolerant than shrimp but their long term health is impacted.

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yeah , coming to the same conclusion.
no water softener but it is city water . I have their reports, where would that be listed under? What might it be called?
Frequently GH but often the CA and MG levels are also listed separately. Just post a link to it so anyone can look at it.

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I added a bag of crushed coral to my filter to regulate (biofilter, not carbon) and everything was smooth sailing.
crushed coral would work but that just provides calcium. Plants and animals need a mix of calcium and magnesium. Instead of crushed coral you can use dolomite which is a mix of calcium and magnesium carbonate. This will buffer your water nicely. However if you are using CO2 it could cause your GH to increase daily which is not good. But for a non CO2 tank it works great but your GH would be limited to about 1 and you wouldn't need to add any KH to the tank and your PH would stay close to 7. Many would claim a GH of 1 is not enough i saw no issue with shrimp, fish or snails.

For a CO2 tank I would use a sulfate GH booster. it will not be affected by CO2. Two good ones are Seachem Equilibrium and Nilocg.com GH Booster. You can use it to target an GH you want.

Quote:
I thought PH swings were worse than stable GH, did not realize GH was at all an issue as long as it was steady. I switched to drop acclimating thinking my acclimating was an issue. I would have thought drip would have solved both.
PH by itself is not really hazardous. But a PH change does indicate the chemistry of the water has change and that may or may not be hazardous. GH does play a role in water chemistry as well as fertilizers, KH boosters and water conditioners IF you can keep everything stable at good levels your fish should do well.
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post #15 of 34 (permalink) Old 03-20-2019, 06:29 PM
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Originally Posted by SininStyle View Post
yeah , coming to the same conclusion.
no water softener but it is city water . I have their reports, where would that be listed under? What might it be called?
I thought PH swings were worse than stable GH, did not realize GH was at all an issue as long as it was steady. I switched to drop acclimating thinking my acclimating was an issue. I would have thought drip would have solved both.
Drip acclimating is not really advised. Good ol' "plop and drop" method is definitely going to be the way to go. But you're taking fish that are probably in GH water in the 6+ range and putting them into 0 dGH water. There's no way for the fish to reasonably adjust to this big of a change during the duration of a drip acclimation. As I said, I'm fairly certain you're dealing with death from osmotic shock. This can kill them immediately, or slowly over a few days. GH is far more important than KH for your creatures. I've run tanks with 0 KH and just a little bit of buffering substrate, no issues. Big changes in GH, however, can be lethal.

My advice - order a GH booster, there's several options. Nilocg, greenleafaquariums, Seachem...many vendors carry GH boosters, and they're all pretty similar. If you're more DIY inclined, you can order some MgSO4.7H2O and CaSO4.2H2O from Nilocg or GLA and dose these into your water change water to bring up GH. You dose 3 ppm Ca to 1 ppm Mg. Rotalabutterfly.com's dosing calculator can help you figure this out based on your target GH. I can also help.
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