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Old 04-28-2003, 12:24 PM   #1
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Understanding pH & Alk

Here's another good one for ya. I understand why we test for our other stuff like Ammonia , nitrite, nitrate, & calcium; but I'm having a hard time understanding pH & Alk. I asked about pH a few days ago & the site I was given was all Greek to me. Can someone give me a short reason for testing for these in laymans terms. And tell me what role they play in our tanks.

I know pH & Alk go together in some way & has to do with the amount of hydrogen in the water right or wrong?
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Old 04-28-2003, 12:49 PM   #2
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Forget Hydrogen and all that Alkalinity is the water's ability to maintain a constant PH. Alkilinity should be close to 4 meq/L (I think that's the unit of measure)
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Old 04-28-2003, 12:54 PM   #3
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Again with the hard questions

PH and ALK are actually truely understood by very few aquarists, most aquarists have a bisic knowledge of ph and alk.

PH one reason for testing ph is because our fish and inverts come from a specific ph range and will die if kept at elevated or lowered ph. There are many processes in our tank that impact our ph. PH is an indicator that it's time for a waterchange, ph is an indicator that there is too much CO2 in the water. As your tank processes waste the process produce CO2 as well as acids, this will lower the ph, and this is where ALK comes in, if the ALK is very low. Alk is the waters ability to maintain it's ph/buffering capacity. This is not much of a lesson, but without more specific questions...it is too long to go into.
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Old 04-28-2003, 01:01 PM   #4
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I understand it's a long subject. I knew all fish like a specific pH but not much past that.
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Old 04-28-2003, 01:06 PM   #5
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It's looks like all the fish I have picked out for my new tank are all in the 8.1-8.4 pH range. So I have to check pH to make sure it stays in this range & use the pH up or pH down to keep in it this range correct? Ok I got that part not where does the Alk test come in?
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Old 04-28-2003, 01:32 PM   #6
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Quote:
Ok I got that part not where does the Alk test come in?
Here is a website http://www.advancedaquarist.com/issu.../chemistry.htm that explains it. It's a little heavy in the chemisty talk but there is a section 1/2 of the way down that that talks about why alkalinity is important. Hope this helps.

edited by reefrunner69 to test something, trying to resolve an issue with one of the styles.
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Old 04-28-2003, 01:50 PM   #7
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That is a very good article and will give you a good idea of ALK and it's importance as well as different ways to measure ALK.
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