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PH raised out of no where!

Discussion in 'General Freshwater' started by sumtnfishy, Mar 18, 2017.

  1. sumtnfishy

    sumtnfishy AC Members

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    Hi everyone. I would appreciate if you could give me your insight.
    I set up a small tank. I took water out of my well established 65 gal along with some "borrowed" filter media for bacteria. I put in new tiny sized gravel (just the typical fish store gravel don't remember the brand) and underneath that I put a layer CaribSea Flora Max. I added a couple of Anubias Nanas. I am ready to move my apisto pair in their breeding home so I am glad I tested the water again. The water that went in was a pH of 7.7-7.8 When I did the normal range test it came out a beautiful dark blue but didn't match the darkest blue on the sample card. I then tried the high range test and it looks like an 8 The only other thing I have added so far to the tank is the Seachem Fourish for the plants. Any of these things a culprit for raising pH? I threw some of my Fluval peat moss cubes in the filter to get the water to match the tank they are coming from.
    Thanks for your help!
     
  2. fishorama

    fishorama AC Members

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    Some substrates raise GH, KH &/or pH...& of course your peat cubes change things too. Many fish can adapt especially if changed slowly.
     
  3. sumtnfishy

    sumtnfishy AC Members

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    Hello. Thank you. Yep I do know that substrates can alter pH. However I was hoping if someone could verify the floramax or if there has been any experience with this product raising pH.
     
  4. Bunsen Honeydew

    Bunsen Honeydew AC Members

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    A pH of 7.8 and 8.0 aren't very different.
     
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  5. sumtnfishy

    sumtnfishy AC Members

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    Thanks however that isn't really wasn't the reason for my post. I know the difference between levels I am just trying to cont. Learning so I didn't know if someone has had experience random like that and or if anyone has experienced pH being raised from flora max.
    Question for you. Do you think there is a big difference between 7.8 and 7.6?
     
  6. Tifftastic

    Tifftastic "With your powers combined . . ."

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    So, its important to think about what pH actually measures.

    http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/Chemical/ph.html

    So, what you are reading is the concentration of H+ in your water. Since it is positively charged it is always looking for something negatively charged to bond with. The more positive ions in the tank, the lower the pH, the more negative charged ions the higher the pH. So, anytime you add minerals (that aren't buffered) to the tank you can alter the pH. So, yes the flourish and flouramax can alter the pH because they are minerals that you are adding for plants. Some of these minerals may bind with free hydrogen ions altering the pH of the water, or the pH of the solution itself can alter the pH of the water.

    Additionally, it is important to remember that pH is measured on a log scale. Meaning, that a pH of 7.6 and 7.8 are VERY different, and so is a pH of 7.8 and 8.

    A pH of 7.6 is actually hydrogen ions in a molar concentration of 10^-7.6
    A pH of 7.8 is actually hydrogen ions in a molar concentration of 10^-7.8
    A pH of 8 is, you guessed it, 10^-8

    To put this in perspective:
    10^-1 = 0.1
    10^-2 = 0.01
    10^-3 = 0.001
    10^-4= 0.0001
    10^-5 = 0.00001
    10^-6= 0.000001
    10^-7= 0.0000001
    10^-8 = 0.00000001

    See how rapidly you're increasing with each number? You're moving on a larger scale than just a single number. Its not the same as saying a temperature of 77 F isn't much different than 79 F, because it is on a log scale.


    However, if you slowly acclimate the fish, they can adjust to a broad range of pH.
     
  7. FreshyFresh

    FreshyFresh AC Members

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    You made a lot of big changes to that tank. Water parameters will likely change. I wish you luck with your substrate layering. I always wind up with a mix. LOL!

    I used Caribsea's FloraMax for a few years in a little planted 10g. It's dusty, but the plants did well in that setup.
     
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  8. Bunsen Honeydew

    Bunsen Honeydew AC Members

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    What you are missing there is the relationship to to the precision and accuracy of the testing method. A finer point that is more important is whether such a difference in pH would significantly change the protonation state of a relevant biological molecule at these pHs. I don't recall any that have a pka around 7.9, but I could be mistaken. The larger point is that the tests are colorimetric (indicator based) and evaluated visually, and both at the edge of their ranges. Neither one is a recipe for precision.
     
  9. sumtnfishy

    sumtnfishy AC Members

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    Thank you but I'm not really missing anything. I understand all that. I just wanted to see what your thoughts are because you said there is not much difference between 8 and 7.8
    I humbly disagree with that after research and hearing others. Anyway I appreciate the info none the less. I just felt it was a little rude telling me I missing something. You don't know my intelligence ;) all in fun though just putting that out there.
     
  10. sumtnfishy

    sumtnfishy AC Members

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    Hello Tifftastic!! Awesome awesome reply. This is great! I believe it's the floramax because the 65g has flourite underneath the same gravel and I had no issues. Anyway love this in depth knowledge!
    Thank you for not making me feel stupid :)
     

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