Does this make sense to anyone?

Discussion in 'pH' started by Jahnikar, Jan 2, 2013.

  1. JahnikarValued MemberMember

    I'm beginning to get VERY frustrated with my pH levels. Up until recently, my pH has been consistant both in my tanks and the tap, so I hadn't been testing it. Tap was about a 7.8-8.0 and my tanks were steady at 8.2. Over the last couple weeks I've had some mystery deaths in 2 of my tanks so I did a full test on all my tanks and the tap. Holy moly things have changed! All of my tanks are reading a pH of 8.4 with the API liquid test kit. Straight from the tap water is reading at 7.6 (really, I tested with the high range and the regular pH solutions). I am going to set some tap water aside with an airstone in it tonight so I can test it's "true" pH also. How long does it take to gas out? 24 or 48 hours?

    Now here's where I'm really confused. None of my tanks are stocked or decorated the same, so I don't understand how there are no variations between the 4 of them especially with my tap being so different.

    Tank #1: 5 gallon betta tank with MTS. Black Tahitian moon sand, a plastic fake plant, one plain terra cotta pot, and a shiny white rock from my LFS.

    Tank #2: 10 gallon planted with endlers, panda cory and MTS. 2 plain terra cotta pots, applewood driftwood, pool filter sand, a few river stones, java moss, guppy grass.

    Tank #3: 10 gallon divided betta tank with MTS. Pool filter sand, fake plant, fake rock, a couple seashells from Hobby Lobby (boiled), fake lantern decor from PetCo.

    Tank #4: 20 gallon standard planted with neon tetras, a multi shell dweller and MTS. Black sandblasting sand, lots of escargot shells and Hobby Lobby seashells (boiled), fake log from PetSmart, guppy grass and water wisteria.

    Am I just over-thinking this or does this seem weird to you guys too? :;sh
  2. Tigress HillWell Known MemberMember

    Definitely strange. Have you used any chemicals in your tanks lately?
  3. JahnikarValued MemberMember

  4. fishaddictionValued MemberMember

  5. chrisb01Well Known MemberMember

    There's really not a lot of difference between the two readings you're working with. If you are keeping with regular water changes (20% to 30% weekly), the PH should go back to where it usually is after a little while of a w/c. I'd look for a different cause of death than PH.
  6. ryanrModeratorModerator Member

    It's not odd that a tank reads a different pH to the tap.

    To answer your question, 24 hours with an airstone will give true pH.

    Can you test KH? I expect it will be around 6-7 dKH (maybe 9) at pH above 8, but just to ensure it's not a buffer problem.

    Too, you're coming into winter yes (or already in it)? Does Missouri get snow, or any other weather conditions that might prompt the water company to alter your water supply?
    (OK I'm guessing, it was 104 today here, and it never snows, my water doesn't change)

    I don't think pH is your mystery death problem (might be, never had it that high, except in SW), but it would be good to understand the causes/effects.
  7. JahnikarValued MemberMember

    Thanks Ryan! It hasn't quite been 24 hours on my tap yet so I will wait til tomorrow to test it for it's true pH. I don't have a test kit for KH yet, but if I make it up to the city this weekend I will be picking one up. Should I get the one that has GH and KH or just the KH?

    Unfortunately yes, winter just hit us full force in the last 2 weeks. We actually just got snow a couple days ago and temps have been below 40* for over a week. Now that you mention it, our tap water started smelling different about a month ago, kind of a sulfer smell. Well ... is there anything I can/should be testing for to determine what it is they've added?
  8. ryanrModeratorModerator Member

    Normally they come as a twin pack. It's always handy to know GH when you have plants. If it's within your means to get both, definitely worthwhile IMO.

    Your water company should publish it on their website, if not, you can just call them, and they should tell you. It's not classified information persay, the public has every right to know what's in their water supply :)
  9. JahnikarValued MemberMember

    Ok so it's gonna be a little bit before I can get up to the city to get GH/KH test kit but I will be getting one asap.

    I did at least get my gassed out water tested and it's reading at 8.2 pH. Since there is such a huge difference between my straight tap water and my tank water, should I let a bucket of water gas out to do water changes with? Normally when I do a water change, I add Prime as I'm filling my bucket of tap water, adjust tap temp as I go, let it sit for a couple minutes and then slowly add to the tank. Have I been going about this the wrong way all this time?