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Old 05-21-2004, 11:05 AM   #1
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LOW pH

Ok, this is not a fish tank this is my turtle tank and the people on my turtle forum could not give me any ideas so I figured I would ask some fish people b/c it is similar. My pH in my turtle tank has dropped VERY LOW, it does not even register on the color chart, probably about 3-4. I immediately did a 50% water change, waited 2 days did another 50% water change. NO CHANGE! I then added this stuff called pH up, still NO CHANGE. Now I am not sure what to do other then doing a complete water cahnge.

Just some info on the tank, it is a 40 gallon long tank which is not quite filled to the top probably about 30-35 gallons of water in it. I have a fluval 304 canister filter on it.

Any advice would be great.... Thanks
Christina
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Old 05-21-2004, 11:23 AM   #2
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could be a bad test kit, if your ph was 3 or 4 i think your fish would have died by now.
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Old 05-21-2004, 11:35 AM   #3
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Thanks, I thought of that, it has been tested by several different kits. And it is a turlte not fish. The turtle won't stay in teh water and whne he does his eyes stay closed b/c it probably burns him. I reall just need some advice on how to raise it.

Christina
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Old 05-21-2004, 11:41 AM   #4
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Raising the ph is not the issue. You need to figure out why the ph is low, or you are going to be in a never ending struggle to get the ph where you want it. You really need to try to get the ph where you want it without using additives. Right out of the tap, you should be around 7 ph, and water changes should be able to keep it around 7 depending on what is in the tank that could change it.

What exactly is in the tank that could alter the ph? Do you have any rocks in the tank that may not be aquarium safe? What are you using for water conditioners or additives? After 2 50% water changes, you have changed 75% of the water in the tank so it is very unfortunate that the ph is still so low. Have you tried doing a ph test on your water supply to see if anything weird is going on?
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Old 05-21-2004, 11:47 AM   #5
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I agree with Grimlock.

Test yout tap water first, IF that shows a normal pH then you know your problem is in the tank.


So I would take out any rocks that you put in the tank and drip an acidic substance on them , I think viniger works well for this task but I'm not sure.


if it sizzles, its the rock causing the problem and it must be removed.

If it does not have a reaction, then rinse the rock very well and put it back in the tank because its inerta nd won't affect chemistry.

I don't doubt that he isn't going into the water, a 3point pH is very acidic.
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Old 05-21-2004, 12:12 PM   #6
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Rocks usually raise pH so I doubt it's that, I'd give the tank a thorugh cleaning and replace pretty much all the water. A build up of organics can lower pH.
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Old 05-21-2004, 12:33 PM   #7
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Another thing to ask is 'what are you cleaning the tank with?' Any chemicals, detergents, etc.?

As a side note: a PH reading of 7 is neutral. The PH scale logarithmic. So a reading of 8.0 is ten times more alkaline than 7.0 and a reading of 9.0 is 100 times more alkaline than 7.0. So on and so forth. Works that way on the other end of the scale.

So if you are getting a reading of 3.0 I think that it has to be something chemical. I don't see rocks or substrate making that large of a change to the PH. (7 to 3-4). Unless the rocks are leaching out some chemical that they were exposed to before being put in the tank. JMHO.
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Old 05-21-2004, 12:42 PM   #8
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Find some limestone (calcium carbonate) for your tank. It will raise the pH.
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Old 05-21-2004, 12:45 PM   #9
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wow, thank you for all the responses. I actually do not have any rock in there no susbtrate either. I just recently got some rock, I just have to lcean but I did not add it especially when I saw the problem. The only thing in the tank is his floating dock and that is all. I added a cuttlebone the other day as a buffer in hopes of that helping.
I tested the tap water b/c I also have a sw and I was concerned that it was that tap water and that registered as normal. I do have an RO filter just waiting for hubby to hook it up and I will start using RO water for the turtle as well. I treat the water I use Aqua plus, I only just recently started doing that, maybe I will not do that with the next water change????
The only thing that was new was I had added anacharis for him to eat, he NEVER ate it and it fell apart and clogged the filter and was all of the place. I unclogged the filter and removed all the anacharis. But that is now long gone, so I could understand it having caused the pH to drop but I agree why is it staying so LOW!
Could it be something in the filter media, should I replace it? That was the last thing I could think of, I am just trying to rule everything out.
As for cleaning the tank, I never use any chemicals, I have frogs in other tanks and it is too dangerous for them so I just use warm water to clean anything.

Thank you again
Christina
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Old 05-21-2004, 04:59 PM   #10
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a pH of 3 is low enough to cause burns so be careful with that water. You don't want any on your skin (especially any "moist" areas of your body such as eyes, mouth, nose etc).

I suggest stripping the tank down completely and resetting it up. Just keep it very simple when you rebuild and monitor the pH for atleast 2 weeks before you change anything again to make sure what is currently in there is not causing any problems. This way you may isolate what exactly it was that got in there to cause this problem.

You do keep the turtles water quite clean right? (free of waste matter and frequent water changes)
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Old 05-21-2004, 05:06 PM   #11
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It sounds like you know what you're doing but I can offer 1 idea. Do you have kids? If so there could be almost anything in there. This might not be the greatest solution but you might try baking soda (not powder). I would suggest pulling about a gallon out and seeing how much baking soda is required to get 1 gallon to the proper ph. Then you could put 30 times that much into the aquarium. If this does not fix it then you know that something is still leaching acid into the water. Good luck!
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Old 05-21-2004, 10:52 PM   #12
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Thank you for all your ideas b/c now I am really at a loss. I decided to do a big water change this evening. I took out all but 10-15 gallons worth so about a 75% water change. Now having the thought of the product I use to condition the water, I tested the tap water, I then tested it again when I added the conditioner and it was still fine. I added all my water and tested the tank and for pete's sake it was still really low. So I am thinking you are right there maybe something actually in the tank causing hte problem but I really don't know what. Like I had mentioned hte only thing in there is the floating dock (which a turtle needs) and his heater. Could there be something the heater is doing, I can pull that out, it is plenty warm enough in the room. How does that sound? What about the filter media, should I replace all that???

Thank you again I really appreciate it.

Christina
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Old 05-21-2004, 11:11 PM   #13
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The floating dock? What is that made of?
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Old 05-22-2004, 01:18 AM   #14
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not sure. someobdy on here said to try to test it with vinegar maybe I will try that. The dock has been in there a while so I am not sure. I have never heard of anything having problems with it but I will check on that int he am and ask the other turtle people if they have had problems. It is designed for water turtles, but who knows companies are just out to make a buck...

Thanks
Christina
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Old 05-22-2004, 04:31 PM   #15
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You test for a base with vinegar. Use a base to test for acids (like baking soda mixed with water).
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Old 05-22-2004, 06:14 PM   #16
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Just be careful, remember chemistry, if you try to balance out the acid with a base it will create saltwater as a byproduct. I personally think that your best option is draining it and resetting it
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Old 05-22-2004, 06:16 PM   #17
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in regards to the dock...i am just a little concerned that it may be leaching something into the water. Some of the chemicals manufacturing companies use can be pretty potent.
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Old 05-23-2004, 01:35 AM   #18
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It's possible that there is a some chemical or ion that is throwing off the readings. (A ph of 3 will burn your skin). You might try testing the ph another way.

Please post the results of your battle. I am extremely curious to know what happened. Good luck!
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Old 05-23-2004, 09:20 AM   #19
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Well last night I purchased a wide range pH test according to that it is at 5. Which is much better then what we though. I also purchsed about 7 lbs of rock that helps raise the pH. I did buy the proper pH stuff but I have not yet used it. I was feeding him last night so I did not want to add any chemicals. I am going to do another waterchange tonight (or tomorrow) and test it again and see if this helps. Somebody at my job suggested that I make sure that my return flow is breaking the surface of the water that maybe it is not getting areated enough??? So I am doing that as well. It will be hard to determine what is actually fixing hte problem since I am doing so many at once but I am getting desperate at this point.

Thanks again
Christina
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Old 05-23-2004, 09:43 AM   #20
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Well keep us posted and good luck.
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