Go Back   Aquarium Advice - Aquarium Forum Community > Freshwater > Freshwater & Brackish - General Discussion
Click Here to Login

Join Aquarium Advice Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about them on AquariumAdvice.com
 
Old 06-05-2019, 06:10 PM   #1
Aquarium Advice Apprentice
 
Join Date: Mar 2019
Location: Texas
Posts: 22
Struggling with PH

I have been trying to control algae in my aquarium so I have tried a few times to add some Ottos, but only two of five have survived. I read that they prefer a lower PH so I have been trying to get my PH down to 7.5 or so but my tank just keeps coming back to 8.2 or higher.

I have used mostly softened water for years now but recently tried to use a lot of distilled water from the store to lower the TDS levels. I also just assembled a new RO system which after 5 stages the TDS is like 9 or 10 which seems fantastic. The problem is I just tested it and it's PH was 8.2.
The sixth stage is an Alkaline filter for taste and that was like 8.8 so I won't be using that water.

I have read that plants raise PH during the day and lower it overnight, and I have observed that but my PH still creeps up during the week after a water change. I have also read that lowering the TDS removes 'buffers' that help stabilize the PH.

My problem is I fear if I go with the RO water my PH is going to be all over the place and might spike up high like it did over my recent two week vacation. I had two sick fish when I got back which died within a day or two. The PH had spiked up to like 8.6 or higher, this was with mostly distilled water with a TDS in the 30's if I recall correctly.

One more item, I have some Fluval peat granules in my filter but they don't seem to be lowering the PH all that much.
__________________

__________________
wayneb64 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-05-2019, 08:09 PM   #2
Ichthyophile


 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Northern California
Posts: 396
I always mix RO water with tap water until I get the right balance of hardness and pH. Since I am on a well, the water quality varies a bit but the pH is about 7.8. After going through the RO system I adjust the pH to about 6.8. Don't use straight RO water or your pH will go too low. I run a tap water line into the RO line and adjust the mixture with a valve. The pH will vary so you have to keep checking.
__________________

__________________
rlederer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-05-2019, 09:03 PM   #3
Aquarium Advice Apprentice
 
Join Date: Mar 2019
Location: Texas
Posts: 22
I just retested the RO water I had sitting in a cup for a few hours and it now measures about 7.2. I also tested a capped bottle I had drawn an hour or so ago and it was 8.0. Does fresh RO water need to 'off gas' for a while to lose PH? I don't want to deal with that every week when changing water so I am hoping when it mixes with the tank water the net will be a PH of 7.5 or so.

I also suspect my under gravel filter harbors a large stash of alkaline sediment from the years I used to have limestone rocks in the aquarium. That was great for the cichlids I used to have but the tetras I switched to were not happy.

Running only RO water might eventually leach all that sediment out but I will keep an eye on my PH.
__________________
wayneb64 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-05-2019, 09:15 PM   #4
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
King Fisher's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2018
Location: Nevada
Posts: 2,769
The constant swings in pH is more than likely what killed your fish. It's better to have stable high pH. Fish adapt to pH.

Also, using RO removes most if not all minerals in the water so your fish over time will succumb from a lack of minerals. Much like how a human would without minerals in thier diet daily. You'd have to remineralize the water if you want to use straight RO.

Personally I would stick to just tap water if I was you and see how the fish adapt to the pH. It'll make life a lot easier and your fish may love you for it.
__________________
King Fisher is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 06-06-2019, 12:52 AM   #5
Aquarium Advice Apprentice
 
Join Date: Mar 2019
Location: Texas
Posts: 22
Can you be more specific about mineral needs of fish? I add plant food which contains trace elements for the plants. Something is also raising the PH beyond what the plants do with their day/night cycle, like I said above I suspect sediments in my under gravel filters. The TDS of the aquarium water was over 1000 so something sure is in there.
__________________
wayneb64 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-06-2019, 08:33 AM   #6
ZxC
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
ZxC's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2017
Location: Forest City, Ontario
Posts: 1,388
100% RO water is perfectly fine.

Dose CaSO4 to yield 30ppm Ca.
Dose MgSO4 to yield 10ppm Mg.
Dose KHCO3 to yield 0.5 - 1.0 degrees of kH.

Doing this will result in a pH of roughly 7.2, a gH of roughly 7 degrees and enough kH to keep the pH stable.

Use https://rotalabutterfly.com/nutrient-calculator.php to determine how much to dose.

You pre-dose all this into a holding tank with RO water to net you the water change water you are looking for.
__________________
____________________________________________

If it were easy we wouldn't be here
ZxC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-06-2019, 12:34 PM   #7
Aquarium Advice Apprentice
 
Join Date: Mar 2019
Location: Texas
Posts: 22
Just to be clear, I have a fresh water tank and the calcium and magnesium levels can be tested/maintained with products I see that are advertised for Salt water tanks right?
__________________
wayneb64 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-06-2019, 02:41 PM   #8
ZxC
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
ZxC's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2017
Location: Forest City, Ontario
Posts: 1,388
Quote:
Originally Posted by wayneb64 View Post
Just to be clear, I have a fresh water tank and the calcium and magnesium levels can be tested/maintained with products I see that are advertised for Salt water tanks right?
CaSO4 for Ca
MgSO4 for Mg

https://greenleafaquariums.com/aquar...m-sulfate.html

https://greenleafaquariums.com/produ...aso4-1-lb.html

https://www.amazon.com/KEEGH-High-Pr...ateway&sr=8-24
__________________
____________________________________________

If it were easy we wouldn't be here
ZxC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-07-2019, 04:36 PM   #9
Aquarium Advice Apprentice
 
Join Date: Mar 2019
Location: Texas
Posts: 22
I have been using stage 5 RO water as it has the lowest TDS of 9 or 10, but looking at the sixth filter stage I wonder if everything in it is all good and maybe all I need:

"Improves the taste of RO water by adding back minerals such as ionized calcium, magnesium, sodium, and potassium ions"

"Includes high-quality 3-layer Alkaline mineralization filter cartridge with Mineral Stone, Calcite, and Corosex"

"Increases the pH level by 0.5-1.2, which helps minimize the fluctuations of your body's pH"

The PH of this sixth stage was crazy purple, like 8.6 or higher so I didn't think it was a good idea but maybe a gallon or two of that for a 8-10 gallon change might be a good think right?
__________________
wayneb64 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-13-2019, 04:10 PM   #10
Aquarium Advice Apprentice
 
Join Date: Mar 2019
Location: Texas
Posts: 22
Turns out my stage 6 RO filter does not really add any measurable Mg or Ca. I have started adding Mg and Ca in "5 gallon" doses, meaning I add enough MgSO4 (2g) and CaSO4 (2.5g) to bring 5 gallons to 10 ppm and 30 ppm respectively.

The problem is after adding 15 gallons worth of them to my 30 gallon (really more like 25 subtracting rocks and gravel) I see no measurable affect to Mg levels. (My test kit starts at blue.) My Ca level is between one and two drops so between 20 and 40 ppm.

Should I just assume Mg is fine if Ca is fine since I added a correct ration of each? Does either 'decay' over time by plant or fish usage? I know aquarium salt only needs replacement with water change, are Ca/Mg the same or do I need to monitor them?

My GH is quite high, the water feels hard, and my TDS is at 670 (it was only 350 or so before adding the last '5 gallon' dose of Mg/Ca and two 5 gallon' doses of aquarium salt.

I have read and not seen clear agreement, is Aquarium Salt needed or not? It certainly had a large affect on TDS, is 670 to high?

It seems the more I learn the more confused I get on what is best for my aquarium.

(PH is stable around 7.2-7.4 and I FINALLY got my Phosphates down to seemingly unmeasurable. Also zero ammonia, nitrite, or nitrate. Mh Kh is about 2 after adding two '5 gallon' doses of KHCO3)

Do I even need to change water if nitrate stays zero?
__________________

__________________
wayneb64 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
struggling

Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about them on AquariumAdvice.com

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Xenia Struggling minotaur Saltwater & Reef - Sick Fish or Coral 6 02-26-2006 11:41 AM
New Puffer struggling lyquidphyre Freshwater & Brackish - General Discussion 24 04-28-2005 06:50 PM
Amazon Sword struggling Keeper Freshwater & Brackish - Planted Tanks 4 04-04-2004 02:21 PM
Struggling with low pH superswamper Saltwater Fish Only & FOWLR 5 01-05-2004 04:48 PM
struggling cathyjane Forum Admin & Announcements 2 08-20-2003 05:50 AM







» Photo Contest Winners








Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 05:01 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.