Go Back   Aquarium Advice - Aquarium Forum Community > Freshwater > Freshwater & Brackish - Getting Started

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 09-22-2008, 08:38 PM   #1
Aquarium Advice Activist
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: ottawa
Posts: 136
vinegar and pH

As an FYI,

Some experts (e.g., Walsted) recommend using vinegar as an easy way to lower pH in a planted tank--but a caution from my own accidental use with non-planted tank: vinegar breaks down into acetic acid which plants eventually can use as carbon dioxide as it further breaks down. Without plants, too much co2 (well if you have to drop the pH as much as I do).

To make matters worse, vinegar to lower pH mixed with bicarbonate soda as an alkaline buffer (which many use) creates 'a volatile form of CARBOLIC acid that quickly precipitates into carbon dioxide'. Yikes.

I lost 5 harlequin rasboras before figuring this out, and almost lost my 5 corys. I'm thinking that they probably survived because of the labyrinth organ.

Now I'm using a smidgen of pH down, until I can slowly acclimate my fish to a higher pH. Can anyone tell me just how high is too high for tropical fish? Tap pH is close to 9 and gh and kh are below 2, and I'd rather avoid r/o expenses if I can...but not at the cost of fish lives. I figure if I can get them used to 7.8 I'll be happy with far less use of chemicals...
JD
__________________

__________________
jdsunflower is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-22-2008, 08:41 PM   #2
Aquarium Advice Freak
 
Lager's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: New York, NY
Posts: 445
That is some interesting tap water you have. a KH of 2 and a PH of 9. I wonder what else is in there acting as a buffer. Have you tried mixing the tap with RO/DI water?
__________________

__________________
Lager is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-22-2008, 08:44 PM   #3
Aquarium Advice Activist
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: ottawa
Posts: 136
no, due to $$. Someone told me it's because the city is using phosphates to increase pH, whereas it is naturally soft and acidy.
I know some people add phosphates (yes on purpose), I wonder if this will spare me at least that!
__________________
jdsunflower is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-22-2008, 08:49 PM   #4
Aquarium Advice Activist
 
OasisKeeper's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Southern California High Desert
Posts: 190
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lager View Post
That is some interesting tap water you have. a KH of 2 and a PH of 9. I wonder what else is in there acting as a buffer. Have you tried mixing the tap with RO/DI water?
Exactly my thinking. These are really whacky readings and therefore likely incorrect. This implies a lot of sodium phosphate or organics or something. So I'd say step #1 is:

What test kits are you using? Let's make sure these readings are correct before you add anything more to your water.

PUT THE PH DOWN BOTTLE AWAY! (channeling Mel Brooks).

Did you do that? Good... Let us know eh?

Edited to add: Call your local water district, tell them what you are doing, and ask for their current tests. Most water agencies are pretty forthcoming.
__________________
OasisKeeper is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-22-2008, 09:00 PM   #5
Aquarium Advice Activist
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: ottawa
Posts: 136
various liquid reagent kits as I hoped it was a misreading... (API and Hagen, wide range, low and high kits, brand new). These readings aren't new--I've had aquaria for years and it's always been an issue. The local fish stores keep tetras in pH of 6, so I know people are having to do something with their water. I wondered why the hobby wasn't bigger in this city, but I wonder if this might be part of the reason...phophates used in the city water...
How high of a pH is acceptable for tropical fish, anyway?
__________________
jdsunflower is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-22-2008, 09:02 PM   #6
Aquarium Advice Activist
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: ottawa
Posts: 136
I like the suggestion about contacting the water agent. Thanks! Will do. It's a 40 g tank, so I dread to have to start buying water (esp. without a car).
__________________
jdsunflower is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-22-2008, 09:15 PM   #7
Aquarium Advice Activist
 
OasisKeeper's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Southern California High Desert
Posts: 190
Quote:
Originally Posted by jdsunflower View Post
I like the suggestion about contacting the water agent. Thanks! Will do. It's a 40 g tank, so I dread to have to start buying water (esp. without a car).
Yah, and if you manage to get the lab guy on the phone, he can probably tell you the easiest way to fix it as well. They to water for a living (TM).
__________________
OasisKeeper is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-22-2008, 09:31 PM   #8
Aquarium Advice Activist
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 188
Just as a point of disscussion, if phosphate is what is raising the Ph, then would a phosphate filter or something like Phoslock be a reasonable thing to lower the Ph?


Rick
__________________
Ruadh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-22-2008, 10:49 PM   #9
AA Team Emeritus
 
jsoong's Avatar


 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Edmonton, Canada
Posts: 4,222
People add phosphates to lower the pH. pH down is phosphate based.

If you have just free phosphate (ie add H3PO4), that would buffer the water to pH of 2.4 or so. Other phosphates have differing buffering properties (NaPO4 is around 7.5, eg). At any rate, I think using a phosphate filter is unlikely to change pH much (assuming you have other buffers around.)

jdsunflower - you might try checking the net for your water result. My water co. post water composition tables on the net. One reason your water is that screwy may be due to the water co adding stuff to bring up the pH. Soft water is fairly corrosive to pipes, so the co. brings up the pH with NaOH or other stuff.
__________________
80 gal FW with 30 gal DIY wet/dry/sump.
9 fancy golds, 1 hillstream loaches, 1 rubber-lip pleco (C. thomasi), 3 SAEs, small school of white cloud minnows, planted.
jsoong is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-22-2008, 11:27 PM   #10
Aquarium Advice Activist
 
OasisKeeper's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Southern California High Desert
Posts: 190
I don't think it's all quite so straight forward j... phosphoric acid has pKs at 2 and 12 .. check this out...

Phosphate Buffer Calculator

Plug in a Ph of 9.. takes a fair bit but you can hit it. Obviously depends upon the other ions as well, which we don't know. But the water guy probably does.

This may also be the reason we have trouble explaining high PHs in some of the other discussions.
__________________

__________________
OasisKeeper is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
vinegar

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
Surficants in my vinegar or no? jaiden Freshwater & Brackish - Getting Started 4 11-18-2009 10:11 PM
Vinegar bry1105 General Hardware/Equipment Discussion 1 03-09-2009 12:34 AM
Vinegar soaking... 2cvbloke Freshwater & Brackish - General Discussion 0 09-16-2007 01:30 PM
Vinegar eels fishguy Archive 3 09-26-2003 12:14 AM







» Photo Contest Winners







Our Communities

Our communities encompass many different hobbies and interests, but each one is built on friendly, intelligent membership.

» More about our Communities

Automotive Communities

Our Automotive communities encompass many different makes and models. From U.S. domestics to European Saloons.

» More about our Automotive Communities

RV & Travel Trailer Communities

Our RV & Travel Trailer sites encompasses virtually all types of Recreational Vehicles, from brand-specific to general RV communities.

» More about our RV Communities

Marine Communities

Our Marine websites focus on Cruising and Sailing Vessels, including forums and the largest cruising Wiki project on the web today.

» More about our Marine Communities


Copyright 2002-2012 Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 08:57 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Aquarium News Delivered to your Email!

Stay up-to-date with Aquarium News in your inbox!

unsusbcribe at anytime with one click

Close [X]