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Old 01-02-2009, 01:09 PM   #1
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Exclamation My tap water pH is 9.4!?

Will it possibly drop as it sits out? Do you have any advice? I have a 20G new tank with no fish yet--I was just testing things and getting ready to let it cycle. But I was surprised that the pH was so high.
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Old 01-02-2009, 01:10 PM   #2
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How did you even determine that? Even my High Range pH test kit doesn't go that high.
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Old 01-02-2009, 01:12 PM   #3
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How did you even determine that? Even my High Range pH test kit doesn't go that high.
I paid Ward Labs in Omaha to test my water for my beer making (my secret shame) and it was listed as 9.4 there. No big deal for beermaking, but maybe not so good for fish. My tests even with the high pH test were the highest level, so I'm assuming the lab wasn't joking. I even looked at the water company website which gives daily readings of water quality, and it is always in the 9.3 - 9.5 pH range.
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Old 01-02-2009, 01:30 PM   #4
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That's crazy. Where do you live?
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Old 01-02-2009, 01:31 PM   #5
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Let it sit for 24 hours with some aeration and see what it ends up at.
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Old 01-02-2009, 01:34 PM   #6
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That's crazy. Where do you live?
Central Iowa. I'm thinking they artificially raise the pH at the water works as there may be some benefit (prevent leeching?)
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Old 01-02-2009, 01:35 PM   #7
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Let it sit for 24 hours with some aeration and see what it ends up at.
I'll check it again tonight.
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Old 01-02-2009, 02:57 PM   #8
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They don't raise it that high .... usu. 7.8 or so is all that is needed to prevent corrosion in the pipes.

You might want to check the KH & GH. That would help to figure out what is in the water causing that high pH. You might also see if the water co. post water analysis results.

If the water is really bad, you will either have to go RO/DI (or a mix) or maybe find fish that really like hard water (like certain cichlids).
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Old 01-02-2009, 03:10 PM   #9
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I live in Cedar Falls Iowa and my water right out of the tap is like 7.4-7.6

Like others said you will want to let it sit out for 24-48 hours and normal with the oxygen and such in the air it will make the waters pH more neutral.
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Old 01-02-2009, 04:01 PM   #10
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They don't raise it that high .... usu. 7.8 or so is all that is needed to prevent corrosion in the pipes.

You might want to check the KH & GH. That would help to figure out what is in the water causing that high pH. You might also see if the water co. post water analysis results.

If the water is really bad, you will either have to go RO/DI (or a mix) or maybe find fish that really like hard water (like certain cichlids).


City shows Fleur water treatment yesterday at 9.7 per the water company.
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Old 01-02-2009, 08:35 PM   #11
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You want to get the other results - hardness, nitrates, phosphates .... etc. If they have limed the water to increase the pH, they might mention that as well. Also, some water co will post a detailed test (may be monthly) that shows the levels of all dissolved ions & solids.
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Old 01-02-2009, 08:40 PM   #12
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You want to get the other results - hardness, nitrates, phosphates .... etc. If they have limed the water to increase the pH, they might mention that as well. Also, some water co will post a detailed test (may be monthly) that shows the levels of all dissolved ions & solids.
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Old 01-02-2009, 08:56 PM   #13
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I got the report on line. According to them, the KH is 66, GH 149, NO3 is 10, and the only thing out of ordinary is high sulfates (60ish).

The water is basically relatively soft, and more than likely been treated with Ca(OH)2. The high pH is artificially raised & should be temporary. After equilibrating with atmospheric CO2, the pH should drop. <Likely to high 7's .... although the sulfates will mess that up a bit.> Try aerating the water for a couple days & see what you get .... you might be able to use the water after the aeration treatment.


To read more about this:
http://www.skepticalaquarist.com/doc...oftening.shtml
The section in the middle - "soft water with high pH - talks about the effects of liming.
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Old 01-03-2009, 06:52 PM   #14
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How old is the area your house is in? Some old style under ground water mains can raise the pH but not usually that high unless the water going in from the municipal authority is high to start with. Does the water co. break down the supply grid into seperate readings?
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Old 01-04-2009, 08:54 AM   #15
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I got the report on line. According to them, the KH is 66, GH 149, NO3 is 10, and the only thing out of ordinary is high sulfates (60ish).

The water is basically relatively soft, and more than likely been treated with Ca(OH)2. The high pH is artificially raised & should be temporary. After equilibrating with atmospheric CO2, the pH should drop. <Likely to high 7's .... although the sulfates will mess that up a bit.> Try aerating the water for a couple days & see what you get .... you might be able to use the water after the aeration treatment.


To read more about this:
The Skeptical Aquarist
The section in the middle - "soft water with high pH - talks about the effects of liming.
Thanks for the note! I checked yesterday a.m. and the pH was down to around 8.0. I'll read the article now--thanks again for the reply!
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Old 01-04-2009, 08:57 AM   #16
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How old is the area your house is in? Some old style under ground water mains can raise the pH but not usually that high unless the water going in from the municipal authority is high to start with. Does the water co. break down the supply grid into seperate readings?
I live in a brand new development (2000+), and my house was built in 2004. Not sure what you mean by the last question. Are you asking about whether or not I can determine what water analysis from the water company is really the water that my house gets? I posted a lab analysis of my tap water in this thread, although I'm not sure it has all the info we need...I really think that the water's pH is raised on purpose by the treatment plants.
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Old 01-05-2009, 12:40 AM   #17
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Sorry, could have been clearer. The reading at your tap is the one that counts. I know water systems have different parameters from point to point on the supply grid. A reading of the water going into the system is not a guarantee of what you will get out of it. You would not believe some of the stuff that happens. Was the pH 8.0 on the water you sat and/or aerated for 24 hrs?
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Old 01-05-2009, 01:05 AM   #18
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Sorry, could have been clearer. The reading at your tap is the one that counts. I know water systems have different parameters from point to point on the supply grid. A reading of the water going into the system is not a guarantee of what you will get out of it. You would not believe some of the stuff that happens. Was the pH 8.0 on the water you sat and/or aerated for 24 hrs?
I was looking at like 7.8 pH after 48 hours or so in the tank with filter running. The tank is a bit cloudy right now. No fish. Heat to 78 F. I don't mind getting this thing running slowly. I want to do it right!
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Old 01-05-2009, 01:43 AM   #19
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I've lived in central Iowa (just north of Ankeny) for years, and I've noticed that my pH has always been high. I just got a 13 gallon plastic trash can and let the water sit in it for a few days before I did a water change to get the pH to drop. It would probably be a pain in the butt if you had to do a pwc for a really big tank though.
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