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How to raise PH?

Discussion in 'Freshwater Newbie Forum' started by Khaleah, Jan 10, 2018.

  1. myswtsins

    myswtsins Global Moderator
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    Thank you for efforts and answers!

    Glad to hear you've read the cycling thread. How do you intend to cycle the tank now?

    Also glad to hear your getting more liquid test kits AND keeping a logbook, awesome!

    Great, we know the test kit works, may not be the results we want but one thing eliminated! What do you mean by "don't get water from tap to test tube"?

    You are trying to cycle the tank so why do the 50% change because you have ammonia? (when no fish are present) You need the ammonia in there to feed the bacteria. Strips are notoriously incorrect so I am not surprised by different results over a couple days BUT they give us a good baseline of the craziness that is your tap water. So to confirm, your tank is bananas. ;) But we can fix it!

    I think we can safely say your water is ridiculously acidic and soft (find out for sure on softness when the good tests come though). Usually we say a stable but not "optimal" pH is best but yours is SO low I think you need to intervene or maybe keep black water species. If you wanted to consider keeping fish suited for your water instead of changing your water (my usual recommendation) than you would want to find out exactly what your pH is because not much will do well below 5.5 and you run into issues will bacteria going dormant etc. Personally I think keeping fish is those extremes is better left to seasoned hobbyists but wanted to put that option out there for you.

    Let's assume you still want to increase pH then. Ways to do that is with crushed coral, dolomite, baking soda, limestone and bottled chemicals etc. I do not suggest using bottled products and most will agree. I have never personally had to raise my pH but if I did have to I would like use crushed coral, either in a mesh bag in the filter or in my substrate and do smaller water changes more often to avoid big pH swings during a WC. You can also treat the water before adding it to tank in a bucket or barrel.

    Another option is to buy water from a local fish store. If you pay for water at home anyways then this is not a bad option. No fussing with water chemistry just have to lug water around.

    Also if you do a high ph test, and others, on your work tap water then maybe you can just use that! Might want to ask someone first or not.
     
  2. Khaleah

    Khaleah AC Members

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    High PH tests tank none, tap 7.4 and work 7.8_8 water. The face Palm was for not letting my tap water rest a little bit before testing in the past. I did the water change to bring the ammonia back down a bit. I got the GH and KH liquid test in. Yay

    Tank
    GH 35.8
    KH 89.5

    Tap
    GH 71.6
    KH 89.5

    My tap is okish and my tank wants to be an acidic pillow.

    20180112_174649.jpg
     
  3. myswtsins

    myswtsins Global Moderator
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    Ok, just getting more confused now. All this time I thought you said your tap AND tank tested below 6? Is this latest result of 7.4 out of the tap after sitting out overnight or with aeration? I'd assume so because of your face palm explanation. If that's the case then we need to figure out why your pH is dropping so much once being added to the aquarium. Keep in mind pH can drop during cycling but a 1.4+ degree drop seems too significant to blame cycling alone.

    Your initial target for ammonia during a fishless cycle is 5ppm and then 2-3 when nitrites show up as stated in the guide. You need to be adding a source of ammonia, not removing it. Again, are you adding an ammonia source? And what? Also while checking back through I see you have an ammonia reducing sponge in your filter, remove that and use it again when the cycle is complete and you have fish.

    Odd that your GH is disappearing in the aquarium, KH would be more typical with the pH dropping. The fact that the pH is dropping so much and you still have 5 dkh of KH is also surprising.

    Before we go any further I need clarification on testing methods and results. That all samples are gassed out and that you are sure the GH dropped not the KH. Hopefully something minor is askew and your 7.4 tap would be perfect!
     
  4. Khaleah

    Khaleah AC Members

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    GH and KH added one drop at a time inverted the tube and then Added another drop til the color changed.

    This PH change was different from the last one. This time I put the test water in a cup and them tested. Before I would just put the tube under the faucet.

    Gassed out? I've been following the instructions step by step.

    I guess I misunderstood on the ammonia. As I though if it went to over a 1 it need to be changed. Shrug. I can feed the tank fish food right now.
     
  5. myswtsins

    myswtsins Global Moderator
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    "Gassing out" is what Rbishop was referring to is this post
    When water is trapped in our pipes there is no way for gases to escape and these gases affect the chemistry of the water. Leaving samples that come directly from the tap out overnight in a shallow dish or with an airstone (takes less time) gives a more accurate reading of what the water will be like long term, eg in our aquarium. Let's try this again, leave a sample out overnight and test in the morning please.

    Not sure where putting the samples in a cup first came from? Or where anything over 1ppm ammonia while fishless cycling was bad, do you have a reference?

    Adding fish food will work for sure, I find it to be slower than pure ammonia but absolutely viable. Add the amount of food you would if you had fish in there, this is called ghost feeding.
     
  6. Khaleah

    Khaleah AC Members

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    Alright here we go. I don't know if I'm getting better at testing or what. But here's the latest. Tap water over night
    PH 7.4
    PH high 7.4
    Ammonia 1
    Nitrite 0
    Nitrite 0
    GH 6
    KH 5

    Tank
    PH 6 or below
    PH high N/A
    Ammonia 2
    Nitrite 0
    Nitrate 0
    GH 5
    KH 2

    20180113_100440.jpg

    20180113_100509.jpg
     
  7. Khaleah

    Khaleah AC Members

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    I left the water out over night. I have no clue as to why my tap now has ammonia in it when the last time I left it out it didn't. Ugg
     
  8. FreshyFresh

    FreshyFresh Global Moderator
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    We may have mentioned this above, but if your city water uses chloramine as opposed to chlorine as it's disinfectant, dechlorinator products will break chloramine down into ammonia.

    In a properly established aquarium environment, this ammonia will instantly be converted to nitrate. It's not likely to achieve 0ppm nitrate if your source water uses chloramine.
     
  9. myswtsins

    myswtsins Global Moderator
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    These results make some sense at least with KH reducing as pH drops but I have no clue as to why the pH is dropping so much in the tank. You did a 50% WC yesterday and still the pH is that low? Makes no sense, unless the pH is like a 4. What did you put the overnight sample in before testing? Do you have any leftover to do another test after more time has past?

    Some ammonia in your tap water is not that uncommon and like Freshy said use a good dechlor like Prime that will bind the ammonia so it doesn't hurt the fish while the bacteria is working on it (once the tank is cycled).

    If this was my tank, at this point I would do a 100% WC with a good gravel vacuuming, take my baseline tests right away, buy some pure household ammonia with no added perfumes, dose the tank to like 2 ppm (just to keep the bacteria that exists fed) and let it run overnight then take more tests. Keep testing every 4-8 hrs after that and see what happens. During that same time I would take a large sample of tap water in a separate container, add an airstone and test that at the same increments. This would give me a good side by side comparison. If the tap sample doesn't change but the tank does than I know something IN the tank is causing the pH drop. And I would use the process of elimination to figure out what id doing that.

    I'm really hoping it is something in the tank being naughty (even though I don't SEE anything that would) because your life would be so much easier if you didn't have to fuss with water parameters.
     
  10. bman_sp

    bman_sp Registered Member

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    how do you make a post?
     

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