What would cause the pH to raise? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-02-2014, 10:16 PM Thread Starter
Planted Tank Enthusiast
 
TurtleShark's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: U.S.A.
Posts: 560
What would cause the pH to raise?

Good day!

I was curious about my pH in my currently fishless 10 gallon tank, so I gave it a test. I expected it to be about normal, that is, about 8.2, which is what my fish tanks are at, but instead I found it at around 8.4. I use API liquid tests, and, instead of the liquid coming out a reddish-purple color, I got full on purple. When I compared it to the chart, it matched best with 8.4.

So, why would the pH in that tank be higher than the pH of my other tanks? I know I have a high pH to start with, but this has an even higher pH!

Any ideas? I'm going to be keeping a closer eye on that tank's pH, for sure. I want to make sure it is staying steady like it should. The tank has not been cycled yet, nor has it had a water change in about a month's time. I will be putting my fish back in it as soon as it is fully cycled.

In case it is staying firm at 8.4, should I attempt to lower it? Or would it be better to leave it up that high? If it gets any higher my test kit won't even be able to read it!
TurtleShark is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-02-2014, 10:45 PM
Wannabe Guru
 
The Trigger's Avatar
 
PTrader: (9/100%)
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Posts: 1,545
Your tap is probably liquid rock like mine. My area sits on a limestone deposit so my tap water is off the charts. A .2 raise in pH could simply be a testing error and prob not enough to cause you to worry. If you really want to lower your pH, just cut your water changes with RO water. Just get some 1 gallon jugs from the grocery store. They work wonders for me.

~Sam

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
**
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
**

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
The Trigger is offline  
post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-02-2014, 11:04 PM
Planted Member
 
urbach's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Singapore, indonesia
Posts: 188
any rocks in the tank? tested the rocks? are you dosing any fertz? some fertz contain phosphates which may increase your PH

will this be planted tank? what are planning for this tank? most aquatic plants in stands PH between 6.5 to 7.5 driftwood, peat ball, almond leaves, RO water will reduce your PH naturally.
urbach is offline  
 
post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-02-2014, 11:48 PM Thread Starter
Planted Tank Enthusiast
 
TurtleShark's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: U.S.A.
Posts: 560
How much does RO water cost?

And, the tank has Bacopa Caroliana and Telathera Cardinalis for plants and CaribSea's FloaraMax for substrate.

I have not been dosing ferts in this tank.

I'll test again in an hour or so and see where the pH is at.
TurtleShark is offline  
post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-02-2014, 11:56 PM
Wannabe Guru
 
The Trigger's Avatar
 
PTrader: (9/100%)
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Posts: 1,545
Quote:
Originally Posted by TurtleShark View Post
How much does RO water cost?

And, the tank has Bacopa Caroliana and Telathera Cardinalis for plants and CaribSea's FloaraMax for substrate.

I have not been dosing ferts in this tank.

I'll test again in an hour or so and see where the pH is at.
A gallon for me cost 89 cents. Plus you have a 10 gallon tank, I don't think that you'd need more than 2-3 gallons a week cut with tap to bring your pH to what you want it to be. As another user said, you can use peat to lower your pH. Just remember that peat will stain your water yellow

~Sam

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
**
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
**

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
The Trigger is offline  
post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-03-2014, 02:13 AM
Planted Tank Guru
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Contra Costa CA
Posts: 11,721
pH is not a 'stand alone' value.
Many of the things in the water might affect the pH. The 2 biggest are the carbonates, measured by the KH test, and organic matter including fallen leaves, fish food, fish waste, driftwood and so on. Adding CO2 to the water can also lower the pH.
If the KH is high, then the pH tends to be high, and difficult to change.
If the KH is low, then the pH is more easily changed, and is often controlled by something else in the tank, often the organic matter or CO2.

Water comes out of the tap with many minerals in it.
When the water is in a tank, and evaporates, only the water evaporates. The minerals stay in the tank. Then you top off the tank with more water, with its load of minerals. If you do small water changes, you are probably not resetting the tank to the original level of minerals, so there is a gradual increase.

The most prevalent mineral in the water comes from limestone. This is composed of calcium carbonate, magnesium carbonate and some other minor things. It dissolves in water fairly easily. The calcium and magnesium are measured by the GH (General Hardness) test. The carbonate and are measured by the KH test. Carbonates and bicarbonates interact in the water with CO2 and the pH changes.

SO...

The pH can be altered by accumulating minerals (especially carbonate and bicarbonate) in the water.
These can come from the tap water, or from decorative rocks, or from the substrate.
The pH usually goes up when the carbonates rise.

Most organic processes tend to lower the pH. But if the carbonate level is quite high this counteracts the acidity, so you may see a brief dip in the pH, but it will come back up.

To permanently alter the pH you need to reduce the carbonates to the level that they will not interfere with other things, then add other things that will lower the pH.

Most aquarium keepers will use a reverse osmosis filter to remove the carbonates (and pretty much everything else) from the water they have, then blend that water that has no carbonates with their high carbonate water until the KH is where they want it.

Most aquarium plants are pretty adaptable to a wide range of mineral levels and pH.
Most fish have a certain mineral range where they will thrive best. Decide which fish you want to keep, and set up your water to suit these fish. The plants will be fine.

Here is how I do it:
1) Set the GH to suit the fish.
2) Set the KH to match the GH within a degree or so.
3) If the fish come from black water rivers, add peat moss to the water prep barrel and to the aquarium filter.
Other than that, I just let the pH do whatever it wants to. It is not so important that I try to micro-manage the tanks to a particular pH. I use pH more as an indicator. If the pH is stable, then other things in the tank are stable. If the pH changes, then I look for what is causing the changes.
Diana is offline  
post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-03-2014, 02:29 AM Thread Starter
Planted Tank Enthusiast
 
TurtleShark's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: U.S.A.
Posts: 560
Hmm... Okay then. Am I correct in thinking that the lack of water changes is most likely the cupriet here? Maybe I'll try doing weekly 25% water changes on the tank and see where that gets me. I'll do one tomorrow, as it's a little late right now to try and do one. Or, should I just leave it all alone until after I get the tank cycled? I'll be using ammonia to cycle it and I'm going to do a large water change after the cycle completes. That should bring the pH back down, right? As in, back to where the tap water is at or just about there. And, I know that afterwards I'll need to watch the pH and make sure it doesn't raise up again. Is that a good plan? To do a large water change after it is cycled and then see if the pH changes?

When I tested the pH for a second time, it seemed to be a little closer to normal but that might just be me thinking that it is... Anyway I guess I'll just keep an eye on it and see what happens.
TurtleShark is offline  
post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-03-2014, 02:56 AM
Planted Tank Guru
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Contra Costa CA
Posts: 11,721
The current difference you are seeing is so small that it might be chalked up to some minor flaw in the testing.
I would not worry about it at this point.
Go ahead and cycle the tank. You might need to do water changes during the cycle, so you could monitor the pH, GH and KH levels when you do that. Otherwise the big water change at the end will certainly reset the tank to match the tap, or whatever blend you want it to be.
Diana is offline  
post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-03-2014, 03:11 AM Thread Starter
Planted Tank Enthusiast
 
TurtleShark's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: U.S.A.
Posts: 560
Alright, sounds good. Thank you for all of your help. I guess I'll just put that fact into the back of my mind and worry about it later if it's still off base a little.
TurtleShark 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