Badman's Tropical Fish Forum

May 23, 2018, 07:31:32 PM *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or join our community.
Did you miss your activation email?

Login with username, password and session length

Welcome to the forum! Whether you are an old pro or new to the hobby, feel welcome to share your knowledge and experience and to further educate yourself about this great pastime of ours.

PetSmart
News: Stay tuned for another contest starting soon. 
 
   forum   guidelines calendar Forum search help Join Login  
  Main Site site map Fish Profiles Fish Stats Articles tank log Species Gallery Photo Gallery  

Badman's Chat
Users in chat
Please upgrade your brower.
in   cm  L °F   °C   click for tank volume calculations
Pages: [1]   Go Down
  Reply  |  Print  
Author Topic: PH Level  (Read 695 times)
Mike
Guest
« on: December 30, 2017, 05:39:54 PM »
Reply with quoteQuote

I have a 55 gal aquarium that has been in use for at least 2 years.   I'm having trouble keeping the PH between 6.8 and 7.0 . It keeps dropping below 6.2. I do regular filter and water changes and do not have any live plants in the aquarium. I use API proper PH and still the PH drops to under 6.2 after a few days. The water that I use for changes has a PH of 7.6. I have 8 fish in it right now. I'm looking any suggestions on how to keep the PH level at 6.8 to 7.0.  confused confused confused

   Thanks.
        Mike
Logged
Ruthy
Veterinarian
Full Member

Offline Offline

Gender: Female
United Kingdom United Kingdom

Posts: 3,480



« Reply #1 on: December 31, 2017, 07:41:43 AM »
Reply with quoteQuote

Do you know the hardness of the water in your area? Very soft water has very little buffering capacity and can change pH from simply blowing on the water in a sample tube
Logged
Netti
Full Member

Offline Offline

Gender: Female
Canada Canada

Posts: 2,302



« Reply #2 on: December 31, 2017, 10:18:28 AM »
Reply with quoteQuote

If there is too much bio-matter it can cause the pH to drop too. Gravel vacs are important, and ensure you don't overfeed.

If the problem lies with water hardness as Ruthy mentioned, you can add a little crushed coral to your tank or filter (if there is room). I would avoid using chemicals to adjust the pH as the fluctuating pH is dangerous for your fish, it's also better to do more regular smaller water changes for the same reason, until you have a more steady pH.

Logged

40 gallon long South Asian, 10 gallon Betta tank
TwoTankAmin
Full Member

Offline Offline

United States United States

Tanks: 20- from 5.5 to 150 gals.
Posts: 350



« Reply #3 on: December 31, 2017, 10:47:56 AM »
Reply with quoteQuote

It isn't the hardness as measured by GH but rather that measure by KH, often referred to as temporary hardness. Rather than explain myself, I will offer the following:

Quote
Buffering Capacity (KH, Alkalinity)

Buffering capacity refers to water's ability to keep the pH stable as acids or bases are added. pH and buffering capacity are intertwined with one another; although one might think that adding equal volumes of an acid and neutral water would result in a pH halfway in between, this rarely happens in practice. If the water has sufficient buffering capacity, the buffering capacity can absorb and neutralize the added acid without significantly changing the pH. Conceptually, a buffer acts somewhat like a large sponge. As more acid is added, the "sponge" absorbs the acid without changing the pH much. The "sponge's" capacity is limited however; once the buffering capacity is used up, the pH changes more rapidly as acids are added.

Buffering has both positive and negative consequences. On the plus side, the nitrogen cycle produces nitric acid (nitrate). Without buffering, your tank's pH would drop over time (a bad thing). With sufficient buffering, the pH stays stable (a good thing). On the negative side, hard tap water often almost always has a large buffering capacity. If the pH of the water is too high for your fish, the buffering capacity makes it difficult to lower the pH to a more appropriate value. Naive attempts to change the pH of water usually fail because buffering effects are ignored.

In freshwater aquariums, most of water's buffering capacity is due to carbonates and bicarbonates. Thus, the terms "carbonate hardness" (KH), "alkalinity" and "buffering capacity" are used interchangeably. Although technically not the same things, they are equivalent in practice in the context of fishkeeping. Note: the term "alkalinity" should not be confused with the term "alkaline". Alkalinity refers to buffering, while alkaline refers to a solution that is a base (i.e., pH > 7).

How much buffering does your tank need? Most aquarium buffering capacity test kits actually measure KH. The larger the KH, the more resistant to pH changes your water will be. A tank's KH should be high enough to prevent large pH swings in your tank over time. If your KH is below roughly 4.5 dH, you should pay special attention to your tank's pH (e.g, test weekly, until you get a feel for how stable the pH is). This is ESPECIALLY important if you neglect to do frequent partial water changes. In particular, the nitrogen cycle creates a tendency for an established tank's pH to decrease over time. The exact amount of pH change depends on the quantity and rate of nitrates produced, as well as the KH. If your pH drops more than roughly two tenths of a point over a month, you should consider increasing the KH or performing partial water changes more frequently. KH doesn't affect fish directly, so there is no need to match fish species to a particular KH.

Note: it is not a good idea to use distilled water in your tank. By definition, distilled water has essentially no KH. That means that adding even a little bit of acid will change the pH significantly (stressing fish). Because of its instability, distilled (or any essentially pure water) is never used directly. Tap water or other salts must first be added to it in order to increase its GH and KH.
from http://fins.actwin.com/aquariafaq.html

The cycle itself uses up KH because the microorganisms involved need inorganic carbon which they can get from the carbonates that contribute to KH. This is why over time a tank which gets no water changes will become more and more acid. Crushed coral dissolves in ones tank and helps to raise the KH and the total hardness (TDS/conductivity). One of the worst ways to deal with pH in a tank is with any of the pH altering chemicals you will see in fish stores or online aquarium supply sites.

Finally, it is important to understand the GH, KH and pH are all intertwined. It is difficult to alter one without also altering the others.

One last observation. When testing ones tap water it is important to insure it has the proper balance of dissolved gasses. Often ones rap pH is artificially changed either by a water company or by the amount of dissolved co2 in the water. Therefore, when testing your tap do one of two things first. Fill a clean container from the faucet. Then either let it sit overnight before you test it or you can shorten this process by using an airstone to bubble the water for 30-60 minutes and then testing.
Logged

“Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not to his own facts.” Daniel Patrick Moynihan
Mike
New Member

Offline Offline

United States United States

Posts: 3


« Reply #4 on: December 31, 2017, 03:13:09 PM »
Reply with quoteQuote

Do you know the hardness of the water in your area? Very soft water has very little buffering capacity and can change pH from simply blowing on the water in a sample tube

I do not know the hardness of the water, but I know it isn't to soft because I get calcium build up in my water pipes.
Logged
Mike
New Member

Offline Offline

United States United States

Posts: 3


« Reply #5 on: December 31, 2017, 03:24:38 PM »
Reply with quoteQuote

If there is too much bio-matter it can cause the pH to drop too. Gravel vacs are important, and ensure you don't overfeed.

If the problem lies with water hardness as Ruthy mentioned, you can add a little crushed coral to your tank or filter (if there is room). I would avoid using chemicals to adjust the pH as the fluctuating pH is dangerous for your fish, it's also better to do more regular smaller water changes for the same reason, until you have a more steady pH.



  There is no build up of bio matter and the ammonia level is good. I will try the crushed coral like you suggested
Logged
Netti
Full Member

Offline Offline

Gender: Female
Canada Canada

Posts: 2,302



« Reply #6 on: December 31, 2017, 09:39:34 PM »
Reply with quoteQuote

Do you have a nitrate test kit? That reading is also a good indicator to rule out problems that might cause your pH crashing.  goldfish
Logged

40 gallon long South Asian, 10 gallon Betta tank
Mike
New Member

Offline Offline

United States United States

Posts: 3


« Reply #7 on: January 01, 2018, 11:32:07 AM »
Reply with quoteQuote

Do you have a nitrate test kit? That reading is also a good indicator to rule out problems that might cause your pH crashing.  goldfish
No, I'll have to get one.
Logged
Pages: [1]   Go Up
  Reply  |  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Badman's Recommended Links
1 Post
1 Topic
Last post by Badman
in Sites We Support
on 5/2/07 12:00 PM

 

Navigation
Badman's

Main Site Navigation

Complete Map

 

 

 

Powered by SMF 1.1.21 | SMF © 2015, Simple Machines
Page created in 0.042 seconds with 18 queries.