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Old 05-23-2013, 05:37 PM   #1
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Water ph and clarity?

Ok so I have a tank with a mantis shrimp and a damsel fish in it. I am having some problems with water clarity and I'm not sure why or how to fix it. My ammonia is at 0, my nitrite is 0, an my nitrate is at 0. I tested my ph and it says I'm at 7.4 and I read that perfect is 8.2 and I quite a ways from that. Is it a big problem? I've heard that I can fix it with baking soda but not sure if its a good idea or how much I need. O and I have been using RO water for replacement in my tank
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Old 05-23-2013, 05:48 PM   #2
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Probably not the right forum for this question, perhaps an admin will move it (getting started?).
However, what are you using to test your water? Strips are netoriously inaccurate and may be the reason for that low reading. Holwever, if those numbers are correct, you can use baking soda to raise your pH some. However, you will max out around 7.8 and you will need something to raise it beyond that. A pH buffer will work and it has a very similar make up to baking soda, but a few different ingredients to get the higher pH. Most Alk buffers (which BTW is what baking soda realy act as) will raise your pH to the target of 8.4 while also raising alk, which in the end provides better pH stability.
Glass covered tanks trap CO2 in the water which reduces pH, having better air flow helps this problem.
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Old 05-23-2013, 06:00 PM   #3
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I am actually using a chemical test kit and the tank is not covered at all. It would have pretty good airflow. So is 8.2-8.4 about right? And how important is it? And ph doesn't affect water clarity does it? Thanks
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Old 05-23-2013, 08:36 PM   #4
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More questions.
What kind of salt are you using?
How long has the tank been setup ?
Gas it cycled?
What kind of filtration?
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Old 05-23-2013, 08:47 PM   #5
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I haven't adde any salt to it yet. When I set it up I used actually ocean water and lowered it to the correct specific gravity. It's not gas cycled. Not really sure what that is. For a filter, I'm using an aqueon quiet flow rated for up to a 25 gallon tank I think. The tank have had fish in it for almost four weeks now
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Old 05-24-2013, 12:08 PM   #6
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A pH of 7.4 is very low. It only occurs in a very few areas in the world naturally, typically west coast equatorial zones where deep water upswelling occurs. Even then it is quickly diluted to a higher level. First I would suspect your test kit, either it has expired or there is some other problem. I would go to another place and have the water tested, most LFS will do that for free (a happy customer spends money).
I wouldn't say low pH won't cause cloudy water, but if there is a chemical imbalance, it could cause issues. But adding baking soda to a tank may cause cloudiness for a few days as well. The other possible (probable) cause can be a bacterial bloom that can occur in new tanks. Of course new tanks and new sand, especially fine sand, can have coudiness issues at start-up. Strong mechanical filtration will help clarify that, and there is an additive that helps bind the small particles and helps clarify the water. Not sure the name, but it was mentioned in another "getting started" thread.
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