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Old 09-28-2022, 04:03 PM   #1
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My tap water is pure alkaline, not sure what to do

This is something I recently found out after dealing with alkaline spikes in my tank. I started running tests on the tap water and sure enough, it comes up pure dark blue with a PH test kit. Is there any way to deal with this for water changes/topping off my tanks? I can't keep putting water like this into them then struggle to rebalance...

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Old 09-28-2022, 08:35 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Bluetech View Post
This is something I recently found out after dealing with alkaline spikes in my tank. I started running tests on the tap water and sure enough, it comes up pure dark blue with a PH test kit. Is there any way to deal with this for water changes/topping off my tanks? I can't keep putting water like this into them then struggle to rebalance...
Here's one way: You can get yourself a receptacle to hold water ( i.e. a 55 gal drum) and put in a bubbling filter with things like peat moss or almond leaves which will naturally lower the Ph of the water. You can then use that water for your water changes and evaporation. I suggest getting something large enough so that you don't have to do this after every water change. The more water you can store, the less often you will need to refill it with the high Ph water.
Here's some other ideas: https://fishlab.com/how-to-lower-ph-in-aquarium/
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Old 09-30-2022, 04:56 AM   #3
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Collect rain water and cut it in to your tap 50/50.
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Old 09-30-2022, 07:57 PM   #4
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Here's one way: You can get yourself a receptacle to hold water ( i.e. a 55 gal drum) and put in a bubbling filter with things like peat moss or almond leaves which will naturally lower the Ph of the water. You can then use that water for your water changes and evaporation. I suggest getting something large enough so that you don't have to do this after every water change. The more water you can store, the less often you will need to refill it with the high Ph water.
Here's some other ideas: https://fishlab.com/how-to-lower-ph-in-aquarium/
Was hoping for a more compact solution. Thank you though.
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Old 09-30-2022, 09:18 PM   #5
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Was hoping for a more compact solution. Thank you though.
If I recall, at one of the import warehouses I worked at, we had a Culligan Filter that lowered the Ph ( and softened?) of the water before it went into the system. You might want to check with them if this is still available in your area.
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Old 10-01-2022, 05:50 AM   #6
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What test kit are you using? The standard API pH test kit only goes up to 7.6 above which you need to use the high range pH test kit. You may not even have an issue.

And im not sure what you mean by an alkaline spike.
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Old 10-02-2022, 04:30 AM   #7
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What fish do you keep?

What is the pH in numbers?
Take a sample of tap water and check the pH. Let the sample stand for a couple of days and check the pH again and see if it has dropped.


What is the GH (general hardness) and KH (carbonate hardness) of your water supply?
This information can usually be obtained from your water supply company's website or by telephoning them. If they can't help you, take a glass full of tap water to the local pet shop and get them to test it for you. Write the results down (in numbers) when they do the tests. And ask them what the results are in (eg: ppm, dGH, or something else).

Depending on what the GH of your water is, will determine what fish you should keep.

Angelfish, discus, most tetras, most barbs, Bettas, gouramis, rasbora, Corydoras and small species of suckermouth catfish all occur in soft water (GH below 150ppm) and a pH below 7.0.

Livebearers (guppies, platies, swordtails, mollies), rainbowfish and goldfish occur in medium hard water with a GH around 200-250ppm and a pH above 7.0.

If you have very hard water (GH above 300ppm) then look at African Rift Lake cichlids, or use distilled or reverse osmosis water to reduce the GH and keep fishes from softer water.


--------------------

Most water companies add pH buffers to reduce corrosion in water pipes. Chlorine also tends to raise the pH.

You can use a reverse osmosis (R/O) unit to make close to pure water and then mix the R/O water with some tap water to get a better pH.

You can buy bottled or distilled water and mix it with tap water but that is expensive.

You can make a solar still and mix the distilled water with tap water. It is slower but free once you have the components.


--------------------

SOLAR STILL

You can make a solar still. It would give you pure water, no waste water and be free to make pure water, it just requires a bit of sunlight.

Get a large plastic storage container and put it outside in the sun.
Pour a bucket of water into the storage container.
Put a clean bucket in the middle of the storage container. Have a rock in the bucket to stop it floating around.
Put the lid on the storage container.
Put a rock or small weight on the lid in the middle, so the lid sags above the bucket.

As the sun heats up the container, water will evaporate and condense on the underside of the lid. The water will run towards the centre and drip into the bucket. When the bucket is full of water, you put it into a holding container and put the bucket back in the storage container with another bucket of tap water.

You get pure water with a pH of 7.0, 0 GH, 0KH and no wasted water, no power used and it's cheap to set up. You can then use this water to mix with tap water and get a better pH, GH & KH.
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Old 10-04-2022, 06:59 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Aiken Drum View Post
What test kit are you using? The standard API pH test kit only goes up to 7.6 above which you need to use the high range pH test kit. You may not even have an issue.

And im not sure what you mean by an alkaline spike.
It's about 8.4 - 8.5
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Old 10-04-2022, 07:00 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Colin_T View Post
What fish do you keep?

What is the pH in numbers?
Take a sample of tap water and check the pH. Let the sample stand for a couple of days and check the pH again and see if it has dropped.


What is the GH (general hardness) and KH (carbonate hardness) of your water supply?
This information can usually be obtained from your water supply company's website or by telephoning them. If they can't help you, take a glass full of tap water to the local pet shop and get them to test it for you. Write the results down (in numbers) when they do the tests. And ask them what the results are in (eg: ppm, dGH, or something else).

Depending on what the GH of your water is, will determine what fish you should keep.

Angelfish, discus, most tetras, most barbs, Bettas, gouramis, rasbora, Corydoras and small species of suckermouth catfish all occur in soft water (GH below 150ppm) and a pH below 7.0.

Livebearers (guppies, platies, swordtails, mollies), rainbowfish and goldfish occur in medium hard water with a GH around 200-250ppm and a pH above 7.0.

If you have very hard water (GH above 300ppm) then look at African Rift Lake cichlids, or use distilled or reverse osmosis water to reduce the GH and keep fishes from softer water.


--------------------

Most water companies add pH buffers to reduce corrosion in water pipes. Chlorine also tends to raise the pH.

You can use a reverse osmosis (R/O) unit to make close to pure water and then mix the R/O water with some tap water to get a better pH.

You can buy bottled or distilled water and mix it with tap water but that is expensive.

You can make a solar still and mix the distilled water with tap water. It is slower but free once you have the components.


--------------------

SOLAR STILL

You can make a solar still. It would give you pure water, no waste water and be free to make pure water, it just requires a bit of sunlight.

Get a large plastic storage container and put it outside in the sun.
Pour a bucket of water into the storage container.
Put a clean bucket in the middle of the storage container. Have a rock in the bucket to stop it floating around.
Put the lid on the storage container.
Put a rock or small weight on the lid in the middle, so the lid sags above the bucket.

As the sun heats up the container, water will evaporate and condense on the underside of the lid. The water will run towards the centre and drip into the bucket. When the bucket is full of water, you put it into a holding container and put the bucket back in the storage container with another bucket of tap water.

You get pure water with a pH of 7.0, 0 GH, 0KH and no wasted water, no power used and it's cheap to set up. You can then use this water to mix with tap water and get a better pH, GH & KH.
I have mostly neons in the tank, 2 coreys, 1 clown pleco and a molly. Not sure on water hardness, I have a old kit I can check that, but Ph is about 8.4 - 8.5
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Old 10-05-2022, 06:43 AM   #10
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The pH is great for mollies but not the other fishes. You probably have hard water too, which will shorten the life of the other fishes.

Try to find out what the GH and KH are.

If the water is really hard, maybe look into changing the fish you keep to Rift lake cichlids or livebearers or rainbowfish. However, that would depend on the size of your aquarium.
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Old 10-05-2022, 01:24 PM   #11
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I have two 20 gallon tanks. The other one has all Gourami's.
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Old 10-06-2022, 02:00 AM   #12
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20 gallon tanks are a bit small for rainbowfish and Rift Lake cichlids. Might be a bit small for mollies too when they start producing babies.
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