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Old 09-12-2010, 08:40 PM   #1
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My PH Has Dropped 1.5 In Two Days

Anyone know why that might be?
It's been at like a 7.2 for the life of the tank (5-6 weeks)
And now the last 2 days it's measuring around 6.0 maybe even lower. It's a pale pale yellow.

I'm even doing 20% water changes almost every other day, and the tap water is like a 8.4.

Yesterday it was probably around a 6.2, and I put 14 gallons of fresh tap water with the 8.4 in and the PH has actually gone further down since.

Strange.

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Old 09-12-2010, 09:32 PM   #2
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First check the tap water after it sat out in a bowl for 24 hrs. Sometimes tap water has dissolved gases or had been limed and the pH will not stay stable.

If you can, check the KH. Lack of buffering capacity may cause rapid pH changes like that.

You should also check for ammonia/ nitrites. If you have not seeded the tank, it might just be finishing cycling at 5-6 weeks. Ammonia is basic, so the pH is increased during the ammonia phase of the cycle. Once that is done, the pH can drop back to the "normal" value. <I am assuming that your tap water has low buffers & is naturally acidic, but had been limed to bring the pH up (water co does that to prevent pipe corrosion) ... the effect of liming does not last long & the water will revert back to "original" ... hence the suggestion to test the pH of tap after sitting out for a day or 2.>

Finally, there might be something in the tank that is altering the pH. Although I can't think of much that can move a "natural" 8.4 water. <A naturally occurring pH of 8.4 usually means the water is saturated with bicarbonates, and it is almost impossible to move the pH.>
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Old 09-12-2010, 09:32 PM   #3
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More info please? What do you have in the tank? How big is it? Do you have driftwood? What are the parameters? What are the parameters of your tap? It could be a lot of thing but until we know more info we're not gunna be able to help. A pic of the tank would help.
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Old 09-12-2010, 10:02 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by corrado33 View Post
More info please? What do you have in the tank? How big is it? Do you have driftwood? What are the parameters? What are the parameters of your tap? It could be a lot of thing but until we know more info we're not gunna be able to help. A pic of the tank would help.
Sorry, I have another thread going here too but I thought this was more specific.

There's pics in this thread.
http://www.aquariumadvice.com/forums...cs-134009.html

I have
FISH
1 Pictus Catfish
5 Red Eyed Tetra
6 Zebra Danios
1 Blue "Three Spot" Gourami
1 Gold "Three Spot" Gourami

PLANTS
2 Java Fern
2 Anacharis
1 Banana Plant
1 Wisteria

I tested the tap water straight from the tap, and it was like 8.4
I did take additional tank samples from deeper down, and it was a little higher, but not much.

I thought maybe the heat from the lights at the top affected it.

Quote:
You should also check for ammonia/ nitrites. If you have not seeded the tank, it might just be finishing cycling at 5-6 weeks. Ammonia is basic, so the pH is increased during the ammonia phase of the cycle. Once that is done, the pH can drop back to the "normal" value. <I am assuming that your tap water has low buffers & is naturally acidic, but had been limed to bring the pH up (water co does that to prevent pipe corrosion) ... the effect of liming does not last long & the water will revert back to "original" ... hence the suggestion to test the pH of tap after sitting out for a day or 2.>
I've been checking all the essentials on a daily basis, but in the last 2 days they have moved a lot as well...
I thought I was nearing the end of my Cycle, but maybe not.

I was almost near Zero-.25 as far as Ammonia and Nitrates go.
I've been at 0 PPM Nitrites for the whole 5-6 week life of the tank. Though on 4-5 random days the Nitrites have been .25PPM

Now the Ammonia is around a 1PPM, however that's what the tap water Ammonia shows right out of tap.
So I thought I've been knocking down the Ammonia with fresh tap water, but it's the same level (1PPM)
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Old 09-12-2010, 10:05 PM   #5
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I'm going to put some tap water out over night too, that's a good idea.

I have only tested the tap water right out of the faucet. So I'll have those numbers tomorrow. Thanks for the help.
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Old 09-12-2010, 10:30 PM   #6
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sometimes air exchange in the room and surface current can fix a ph problem. Really, it seems it would be trivial but it isn't...fresh air from outside agitated through a water lift....is ideal, but just opening up the windows running the fan and agitating the surface will go far.
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Old 09-12-2010, 10:30 PM   #7
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Remeber that the nitrogen cycle causes the water to become more acidic.

Ammonia (NH3) -> nitrite (N02) for every ppm of ammonia converted about .17 ppm of H+ (acid) is produced. So theoretically in a 55 gal tank a conversion of 5ppm of ammonia = 0.84 ppm Acid produced..... = a pH of 5.4 assuming neutral water with no buffering capacity.

If your water's carbonates are used up the pH can drop. This is often refered to as a pH crash. Poorly buffered water can crash easily, and requires pwcs more often.

Test the KH of your tank and tap water too.
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Old 09-12-2010, 10:38 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mattrox View Post
Remeber that the nitrogen cycle causes the water to become more acidic.

Ammonia (NH3) -> nitrite (N02) for every ppm of ammonia converted about .17 ppm of H+ (acid) is produced. So theoretically in a 55 gal tank a conversion of 5ppm of ammonia = 0.84 ppm Acid produced..... = a pH of 5.4 assuming neutral water with no buffering capacity.

If your water's carbonates are used up the pH can drop. This is often refered to as a pH crash. Poorly buffered water can crash easily, and requires pwcs more often.

Test the KH of your tank and tap water too.
Forgive me, but is KH the water's carbonates? I don't think I have a test for that.

The only thing from my API kit that I haven't used is the "High PH" tester.

Quote:
Originally Posted by johnmaloney View Post
sometimes air exchange in the room and surface current can fix a ph problem. Really, it seems it would be trivial but it isn't...fresh air from outside agitated through a water lift....is ideal, but just opening up the windows running the fan and agitating the surface will go far.
Really? That sounds so weird. I had the windows opened the last few days, AC on now.
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Old 09-13-2010, 01:04 AM   #9
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KH is Carbonate Hardness, measures the bicarbonate level of the water & indirectly the buffering capacity ... handy when trying to sort out strange pH problems.

We can infer the KH if you have the pH of tap water that had been equilibrated with room air, although that inference contains some pretty big assumptions so can be wrong .... getting a real test is always better.
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