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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-17-2006, 08:00 AM Thread Starter
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Seachem Onyx Sand

I'd really like to use this in my 10g tank, but I've heard that it can make the water more alkaline. I'm not sure if I should worry about this or not. My water is very soft and alkaline as it is.

First of all, is this true, secondly, can I just combat that with baking soda or is it best not to use that substrate and go for something like aquasoil or eco-complete?

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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-17-2006, 01:53 PM
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If your water is really soft it should be more acidic than alkaline.

Onyx sand will raise a hardness a bit.
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-17-2006, 04:31 PM Thread Starter
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straight out of the tap I've got a pH of about 8.4 (slightly less) and a kH and GH of 2 degrees each.

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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-18-2006, 01:53 AM
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Check your pH after your water has set for 24 hours.
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-18-2006, 04:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rex Grigg
If your water is really soft it should be more acidic than alkaline.

Are you sure about that? Pure water has a pH of 7.0 Therefore, I would think that any degree of carbonate "hardness" would push the pH at least a bit to the alkaline side of things (provided, of course, that there are no significant acidic solutes in the water as well).
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-18-2006, 04:34 AM
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Pure water has a wildly differing pH. Since pure water has no buffers you will normally find it with a pH lower than 7.

And I have really soft water most of the year. Normally less than 0.5 of kH. And I have seen tap water pH lower than 6.
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-18-2006, 05:22 AM
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yeah. RO water which is 99% pure and negligible gH and kH has pH lower than liquid test kits can measure. it always comes out yellow.


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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-18-2006, 06:31 AM
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-19-2006, 12:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SammyP
yeah. RO water which is 99% pure and negligible gH and kH has pH lower than liquid test kits can measure. it always comes out yellow.

That must be because it has some acidic material dissolved in it, as the yellow color would suggest. Perhaps this is due so something coming off the ion exchange resin (assuming your RO unit has a deionizing resin after the RO membrane like mine did)? Or perhaps your RO membrane is not filtering everything? I don't think that pure water should be yellow. I work in a lab that runs deionized water through a purifying filter. The water coming out of that is ultrapure grade and, as Rex mentioned, if I stick a pH meter in the ultrapure water, the pH never settles. The readings bounce around from 6.8ish to 7.4ish.
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