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Old 03-31-2011, 09:47 PM   #1
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Best way to raise PH / buffer?

I have really soft water that's causing my PH to keep crashing after my cycle finished. I know crushed coral raises PH, but will it keep it up? Is this the way to go or should I look at chemical options?
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Old 03-31-2011, 09:50 PM   #2
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I really don't think I'd worry yet. ammonia is alkaline, which is why pH isn't anything to worry about in a cycling tank. the fact that its lower now is probably due to the fact that you don't have ammonia in there. Have you done a 50% pwc? Have you set water (from the tap) out in a bucket or cup overnight, then tested pH?
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Old 03-31-2011, 09:55 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mfdrookie516
I really don't think I'd worry yet. ammonia is alkaline, which is why pH isn't anything to worry about in a cycling tank. the fact that its lower now is probably due to the fact that you don't have ammonia in there. Have you done a 50% pwc? Have you set water (from the tap) out in a bucket or cup overnight, then tested pH?
Haven't tested it after it sitting out, but I know it's ridiculously soft. Comes out of the tap at 7.6 PH and stayed there until the day my cycle finished. The day after my fishless cycle was done it crashed to off the scales low levels. I did a big pwc to get the PH back up. What I'm scared about is since the PH crash it's not as hungry to gobble up the ammonia as it was.
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Old 03-31-2011, 10:02 PM   #4
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You can use crushed coral in your filter, just like carbon. This is one of the most effective ways to safely raise and maintain pH/KH.

If you are good about testing you can test and add baking soda as needed. Keep track of it and eventually you will just need to add a certain amount with water changes.

If you pH was 7.6 and then crashed something big is going on. 7.6 should be very stable and if something drove it down you need to fix that problem, not the symptom. What is the tap's KH?
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Old 03-31-2011, 10:09 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fishguy2727
You can use crushed coral in your filter, just like carbon. This is one of the most effective ways to safely raise and maintain pH/KH.

If you are good about testing you can test and add baking soda as needed. Keep track of it and eventually you will just need to add a certain amount with water changes.

If you pH was 7.6 and then crashed something big is going on. 7.6 should be very stable and if something drove it down you need to fix that problem, not the symptom. What is the tap's KH?
I have no idea what the KH is. I've read on 1,000 different sites and threads today that the end of a cycle can cause a PH crash due to the bacteria producing some sort of byproduct, and so on. It happened to 3 members today who all happened to finish our cycles yesterday and live across the country so it's not a local water issue. The common thread is that we all have soft water.
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Old 03-31-2011, 11:36 PM   #6
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Okay, so after much more research, it's not the pH I have to worry about raising because it comes out of the tap around 7.6. I need an effective way to buffer the water so it stays there. As I said, I have VERY soft water and I need to raise it to keep the pH stable. Does crushed coral buffer it or just raise it? I know if I go to the lfs they're just gonna try to sell me chems. What do I do?
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Old 04-01-2011, 08:53 AM   #7
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How do you know you have soft water if you have no idea what the KH is? KH is carbonate hardness, the one that controls your pH. If the pH is 7.6 it is very unlikely that the KH is low at all.

To start get a KH test kit and see what it is in the tank and in the tap. Do a big water change to get the tank's pH back up to 7.6. Let it run and see what it does now that you aren't cycling. You will still need to add ammonia to keep it cycled.
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Old 04-01-2011, 09:00 AM   #8
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LFS owner told me that crushed coral raises PH and helps keep it there. I bought some and mixed it in with pebbles in my new tank. I think you should try that. The less chemicals you use is always better.
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Old 04-01-2011, 09:17 AM   #9
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Yes, crushed coral raises carbonate hardness (KH) which controls the pH. So if you add it the end result should be an elevated and much more stable pH/KH. I would not just add it to the substrate though. Use it in the filter just like carbon and it will be more effective and you won't need as much. You also won't have to alter the actual display.
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Old 04-01-2011, 07:18 PM   #10
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Alrighty, got the test kit and here's the results. Hardness~25 and alkalinity almost none. I knew the water was crazy soft I bought a bag of crushed coral and some mesh bags. I know I need to add and test to get it right, but how much is a good starting point? 1 bag full in the filter? 2? Its a 48 gallon tank.
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