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Old 11-06-2019, 11:39 PM   #1
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I NEED HELP WITH A PH LEVEL i CANT KEEP STABLE

I need help with the ph in my 20 gal. freshwatwer. when I finish a h20 change the ph is about 7.6. I use seachem neutral regulator in small amounts. the problem is my tap water is very hard but the drinking water is treated so the water actually has a low ph of about 7.4. iF i don't do a water change once a week , but wait a few additional days, the ph is 8.6. how does that happen? polluted water is more acid, right? so how does old water become alkaline? this was a problem before I used the seachem neutral regulator, so I don't think it is the source of the problem. how does water go in at 7.4 and become 8.6 after about a week and a few days/ I am losing fish that cant take the ph changes even though they are considered hardy. please help if you can.
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Old 11-07-2019, 03:45 PM   #2
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The water is off gassing c02. Get a glass of water from your tap. Let it sit out 24-48 hours and test it. I bet it's higher than when it first came out.

8.6 is a little high but shouldn't be killing fish. What kind of fish do you have?
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Old 11-07-2019, 06:16 PM   #3
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Hello cad...

I steady pH is all the fish need. If you're keeping fish from the local pet store, the store is very likely using the same water you have. You just use a water treatment like Seachem's "Safe" and work to the point you remove and replace half the water every week. No excuses. This will maintain a level pH.

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Old 11-11-2019, 11:17 PM   #4
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do you have an air stone or diffuser in your tank? I made that mistake, bought a new air pump that came with a diffuser so I thought I would add it to the tank. Within about 3 days my PH went from 7.2-8.4. CO2 off gassing. Shut it off and dropped back to normal in about 3 days.
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Old 11-15-2019, 12:43 PM   #5
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Sometimes it would be something you have in the tank (rocks, gravel, shells) that increase the water hardness, hence also increase the PH.

Instead of using the Neutral Regulator to control the PH, I would recommend to switch to buffering soil substrate which will keep the PH more stable.
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Old 11-15-2019, 01:05 PM   #6
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Hello cad...

Did you know the vast majority of aquarium fish will adapt to the vast majority of public water supplies? By using nothing more than the standard water treatment and removing and replacing half the tank water every few days, you can maintain a steady pH. You don't need to test the water at all as long as you change half the water regularly. Your 20 gallon tank requires a couple of large water changes a week. Do this, and you'll have no tank problems.

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Old 11-16-2019, 01:01 PM   #7
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That does sound a bit unusual.

I would suggest putting tap water in a container with some air and see if the pH change happens.

If it does, it is the water, if it doesnít it is something in the tank.

If it is the water, Stability is most important, I would age the water before adding it.

You mention this is the drinking water, what is your nondrinking water like?
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Old 11-22-2019, 04:17 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kbalaz View Post
do you have an air stone or diffuser in your tank? I made that mistake, bought a new air pump that came with a diffuser so I thought I would add it to the tank. Within about 3 days my PH went from 7.2-8.4. CO2 off gassing. Shut it off and dropped back to normal in about 3 days.
if co2 is building up that much on its own, that just means you have a very poor rate of surface exchange, which most likely also means low O2 concentration. The airstone doesn't get rid of all co2, it just returns the co2 concentration in the water to atmospheric equilibrium, which is how you measure your true baseline pH. Don't worry about the ph, it's far more important to make sure your water is staying oxygenated. I highly recommend that you put the airstone back or increase surface flow somehow.
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Old 11-22-2019, 04:49 PM   #9
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if co2 is building up that much on its own, that just means you have a very poor rate of surface exchange, which most likely also means low O2 concentration. The airstone doesn't get rid of all co2, it just returns the co2 concentration in the water to atmospheric equilibrium, which is how you measure your true baseline pH. Don't worry about the ph, it's far more important to make sure your water is staying oxygenated. I highly recommend that you put the airstone back or increase surface flow somehow.
The PH matched what was in my planted 20 gallon tank that has 2 HOB filters running and it creates a ton of surface agitation and PH measures 7.2. My 10 gallon has always been 7.2 right from setup with sponge filter for filtration. Everything suggests CO2 off gassing and that the sharp increase in PH is detrimental to my Betta and shrimp in the tank which is why I pulled it. Everything out there says pull it and you say put it back. I love knowledge and love to learn from others, any information that suggests to put it back in will always be accepted, but I can't find anything other than your opinion suggestion otherwise. references to research would be greatly appreciated, thanks
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Old 11-23-2019, 11:46 AM   #10
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The PH matched what was in my planted 20 gallon tank that has 2 HOB filters running and it creates a ton of surface agitation and PH measures 7.2. My 10 gallon has always been 7.2 right from setup with sponge filter for filtration. Everything suggests CO2 off gassing and that the sharp increase in PH is detrimental to my Betta and shrimp in the tank which is why I pulled it. Everything out there says pull it and you say put it back. I love knowledge and love to learn from others, any information that suggests to put it back in will always be accepted, but I can't find anything other than your opinion suggestion otherwise. references to research would be greatly appreciated, thanks
Sorry, I donít have any links on hand, just a strong chemistry background in my younger years. Research the relationship between co2 KH and ph. Also look into how surface exchange works. The dissolved gasses in water are at equilibrium with the surrounding atmosphere when they are dissolving and offgassing at the exact same rate. This equilibrium is what you want to achieve for the most possible oxygenation. Trapping co2 in the water to keep the ph low is not a good idea because your oxygen exchange also slows down. Besides, what really matters is not the ph but the KH. Ph swings due to co2 are not the same as changes in KH.
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Old 11-23-2019, 11:52 AM   #11
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Try this, take a cup and dip some water from you aquarium. Let this cup sit overnight or put an air stone and let it run until the ph settles. Test the ph of this water and you will know the true baseline ph of that particular body of water.
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Old 11-23-2019, 12:10 PM   #12
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Sorry, I donít have any links on hand, just a strong chemistry background in my younger years. Research the relationship between co2 KH and ph. Also look into how surface exchange works. The dissolved gasses in water are at equilibrium with the surrounding atmosphere when they are dissolving and offgassing at the exact same rate. This equilibrium is what you want to achieve for the most possible oxygenation. Trapping co2 in the water to keep the ph low is not a good idea because your oxygen exchange also slows down. Besides, what really matters is not the ph but the KH. Ph swings due to co2 are not the same as changes in KH.
and that is what I want to know, I have seen the pictures of your tank and it is stunning. My concern is for the fish as it has been hammered home by pretty much everyone that swings in PH can be deadly to fish.
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