How to best raise and keep a stable pH?

Amaya
  • #1
I have very acidic water (6.6 specifically), I'm currently attempting to raise my pH with eggshells until I can get crushed coral. I'm wanting the pH around 7, how do I best keep this stable, and is crushed coral okay?
 
TheMysticWizard
  • #2
You need to add carbonate hardness. Baking soda and washing soda do this as well. Crushed coral works great.

If you search BRS Calculator, you can use that to direct you on an amount. You can enter your current KH (if you are unsure of it, get a test kit) and the number you want to get to and it will direct you how much to add.

Go slowly though. Aim for 1-2 dKh a day, going too fast will kill your fish.

KH is a buffer that keeps your PH up, fish waste continually tries to pull it down, but more KH the more it takes to move that PH number.
 
Dunk2
  • #3
I have very acidic water (6.6 specifically), I'm currently attempting to raise my pH with eggshells until I can get crushed coral. I'm wanting the pH around 7, how do I best keep this stable, and is crushed coral okay?

Yes, crushed coral works and is one of the more natural ways to raise pH. I use it in all 3 of my tanks.

Place a very small amount in a media bag in your filter so the water flows through it. For my 75 gallon tank, I only needed to add a 1/4 - 1/2 cup.

I would not recommend using baking soda or other chemicals to raise pH. Not only do they often result in unwanted pH fluctuations, you have to keep adding them to maintain the desired pH level.
 
Amaya
  • Thread Starter
  • #4
Yes, crushed coral works and is one of the more natural ways to raise pH. I use it in all 3 of my tanks.

Place a very small amount in a media bag in your filter so the water flows through it. For my 75 gallon tank, I only needed to add a 1/4 - 1/2 cup.

I would not recommend using baking soda or other chemicals to raise pH. Not only do they often result in unwanted pH fluctuations, you have to keep adding them to maintain the desired pH level.
Thanks! This is for a 20 gallon tank, so I'm assuming add very little
 
NevermindIgnoreMe
  • #5
Yes definitely crushed coral, I use baking soda as well, it's a life saver for me. If ph plunges for any reason it can be a nice quick fix. Also sea shells are a good option for maintaining ph, especially in a small set up. Make sure they are washed well.
 
Amaya
  • Thread Starter
  • #6
Yes definitely crushed coral, I use baking soda as well, it's a life saver for me. If ph plunges for any reason it can be a nice quick fix. Also sea shells are a good option for maintaining ph, especially in a small set up. Make sure they are washed well.
Thank you!
 
Amaya
  • Thread Starter
  • #7
You need to add carbonate hardness. Baking soda and washing soda do this as well. Crushed coral works great.

If you search BRS Calculator, you can use that to direct you on an amount. You can enter your current KH (if you are unsure of it, get a test kit) and the number you want to get to and it will direct you how much to add.

Go slowly though. Aim for 1-2 dKh a day, going too fast will kill your fish.

KH is a buffer that keeps your PH up, fish waste continually tries to pull it down, but more KH the more it takes to move that PH number.
Thank you!
 
StarGirl
  • #8
Baking soda brings it up and down too fast. It will kill your fish fast. Go with the crushed coral. Wash it really good first. It will cause a spike if you don't. Its slowly dissolving so this will keep it stable how you wanted.
 
NevermindIgnoreMe
  • #9
Baking soda brings it up and down too fast. It will kill your fish fast. Go with the crushed coral. Wash it really good first. It will cause a spike if you don't. Its slowly dissolving so this will keep it stable how you wanted.
IME it would take a ton to make such a dramatic spike. But you should definitely start small.
 
TheMysticWizard
  • #10
1/8 teaspoon of Baking Soda in 1 Gallon of RO Yields about 4 dKh

1/8 teaspoon of Washing Soda in 1 Gallon of RO Yields about 8 dKh

I store my RO in 45 gallon containers, I was adding 5 teaspoon baking soda and 3 teaspoons washing soda to reach about a 7 dKh.

Again, you must go slow and test. Spiking it is easier than you think, and absolutely deadly.
 
MrBryan723
  • #11
Sodium buffers are great in a pinch and all, but long term you probably want to use a calcium or magnesium based buffer as they are more stable and not as aggressive/unpredictable as baking soda.
 
Frank the Fish guy
  • #12
I have very acidic water (6.6 specifically), I'm currently attempting to raise my pH with eggshells until I can get crushed coral. I'm wanting the pH around 7, how do I best keep this stable, and is crushed coral okay?

I am in a similar situation as you. My well water comes up out of the ground at 5.6 pH. I have a soda ash (washing soda, a.k.a sodium carbonate) injection system for the whole house and my goal is to have pH of 7.0 in the pipes so that the water is not corrosive to the metal plumbing. Corrosive water leaches heavy metals from metal plumbing.

When the water treatment system is doing what it should, the result is a KH of 8 for the treated water. I use this in all my tanks (soft and hard water fish both) and it keeps the pH stable around 7.8. For my African rift lake cichlid tanks, I also add Seachem salts and Buffers to raise it up higher. I use coral substrate and filter over crushed coral. Cichlids breed in this water and are happy and healthy.

We have a tank with neons and they breed! Baby neons are precious!! We use the buffered well water without any extra hardness added.

If you have well water, once you treat it to be neutral for your own (human) needs, it will be great water for fish tanks. You can use it for any kind of fish. I love my well water.
 
mossman
  • #13
Magnesium and calcium raise kH?
 
MrBryan723
  • #14
Magnesium and calcium raise kH?
Their carbonates. Figured that was understood.
 
mossman
  • #15
Their carbonates. Figured that was understood.

I see. I've always used MgSO4 and CaSO4 to raise gH and baking soda for kH.
 
Frank the Fish guy
  • #16
Sodium buffers are great in a pinch and all, but long term you probably want to use a calcium or magnesium based buffer as they are more stable and not as aggressive/unpredictable as baking soda.

They also raise the pH to 7.0 and then the chemical reaction naturally stops at that point and even if you add more, the pH will stay at 7.0.

Meanwhile soda will just keep raising the pH up and up as you add more.

If the OP has well water with 6.6 pH then a water conditioner that uses calcium or magnesium would be good to look into to stabilize the water source.

Meanwhile folks like me that have much more acidic water (5.6 pH) tend to use chemical injection systems to neutralize the water with soda ash. The reason is that the calcium and magnesium carbonates also raise the hardness and adding enough to neutralize the low pH makes the water very hard.

Calcium and Magnesium carbonates will raise the pH up to 7.0 but they also raise BOTH the GH and KH equally.

I used to have a calcium neutralizer system. It made the water very hard, but neutral. I switched to soda ash injection. Now I have neutral (pH = 7.0) water with KH =8 and GH = 2 coming from the tap. I can use that water as a base for any kind of fish!

It's all abut the fish, right!!
 
mossman
  • #17
They also raise the pH to 7.0 and then the chemical reaction naturally stops at that point and even if you add more, the pH will stay at 7.0.

Meanwhile soda will just keep raising the pH up and up as you add more.

If the OP has well water with 6.6 pH then a water conditioner that uses calcium or magnesium would be good to look into to stabilize the water source.

Meanwhile folks like me that have much more acidic water (5.6 pH) tend to use chemical injection systems to neutralize the water with soda ash. The reason is that the calcium and magnesium carbonates also raise the hardness and adding enough to neutralize the low pH makes the water very hard.

Calcium and Magnesium carbonates will raise the pH up to 7.0 but they also raise BOTH the GH and KH equally.

I used to have a calcium neutralizer system. It made the water very hard, but neutral. I switched to soda ash injection. Now I have neutral (pH = 7.0) water with KH =8 and GH = 2 coming from the tap. I can use that water as a base for any kind of fish!

It's all abut the fish, right!!
gH of 2!? That seems awfully low for the majority of fish. Maybe discus would be fine with that.
 
Frank the Fish guy
  • #18
gH of 2!? That seems awfully low for the majority of fish. Maybe discus would be fine with that.
Right! It's easy to add more salt, but hard to take it out.

So by starting with GH=2 water, I can keep very software fish through cichlids and brackish water fish just by adding more salt as needed.
 
mossman
  • #19
Right! It's easy to add more salt, but hard to take it out.

So by starting with KH=2 water, I can keep very software fish through cichlids and brackish water fish just by adding more salt as needed.
Oh, you mean kH of 2? You said gH of 2. I completely agree with kH of 2 and gH of 8, but you said the opposite.
 
Frank the Fish guy
  • #20
Oh, you mean kH of 2? You said gH of 2. I completely agree with kH of 2 and gH of 8, but you said the opposite.

What comes out of my tap after treatment with soda ash is neutral pH well water. The KH is 8 due to the addition of soda ash. However, the hardness is unchanged and is a GH of 2.

For the fish, I can add salts and raise the GH up easily to whatever I want or leave it low for some fish (neons). So the neutral low hardness water seems ideal for me and my aquariums and allows me to keep a variety of fish.

If on the other hand, If I had hard water coming from the tank, I would not be able to keep my software fish so healthy. Neons do not do well in hard water and don't breed and don't live very long.

I went and fixed my original post to clarify. Sorry for the confusion.
 
Charlyc
  • #21
They also raise the pH to 7.0 and then the chemical reaction naturally stops at that point and even if you add more, the pH will stay at 7.0.

Meanwhile soda will just keep raising the pH up and up as you add more.

If the OP has well water with 6.6 pH then a water conditioner that uses calcium or magnesium would be good to look into to stabilize the water source.

Meanwhile folks like me that have much more acidic water (5.6 pH) tend to use chemical injection systems to neutralize the water with soda ash. The reason is that the calcium and magnesium carbonates also raise the hardness and adding enough to neutralize the low pH makes the water very hard.

Calcium and Magnesium carbonates will raise the pH up to 7.0 but they also raise BOTH the GH and KH equally.

I used to have a calcium neutralizer system. It made the water very hard, but neutral. I switched to soda ash injection. Now I have neutral (pH = 7.0) water with KH =8 and GH = 2 coming from the tap. I can use that water as a base for any kind of fish!

It's all abut the fish, right!!
I know this an old post but I was reading your comments on your well water and I have a similar situation. My PH from the well is 5.5 KH = 0 GH= 6 and I inject soda ash that brings it up to 6.8 KH - 8-9 GH = 6 out of the tap. If I age the water in a barrel with air stone and pump the PH will jump to 8 +. Do you age it? I been trying to cut with RO 40/60 Ro but it still rises quite a bit and gives me a KH = 5. I can add Seachem Acid Buffer that converts some of the KH to CO2 down to 4 and reduces the PH.
By the way I am also from Maryland.
 
Frank the Fish guy
  • #22
You could start a new thread on this. Maryland water for fish!

I age my water since the water has very low oxygen from the well. I put it in 50 gallon drums and aerate. The pH stabilizes at 7.8. The increase in pH is because the carbonic acid in the water gasses out as C02.

To remove some of the KH (that I added using soda ash), I add concentrated HCL (Hydochloric acid) to the barrel. The acid combines with the carbonate and produces water and C02 that gasses out. This is a standard technique used in fisheries to lower KH. But you need to be able to handle strong acids safely, so not recommended for most folks.
 
Charlyc
  • #23
You could start a new thread on this. Maryland water for fish!

I age my water since the water has very low oxygen from the well. I put it in 50 gallon drums and aerate. The pH stabilizes at 7.8. The increase in pH is because the carbonic acid in the water gasses out as C02.

To remove some of the KH (that I added using soda ash), I add concentrated HCL (Hydrochloric acid) to the barrel. The acid combines with the carbonate and produces water and C02 that gasses out. This is a standard technique used in fisheries to lower KH. But you need to be able to handle strong acids safely, so not recommended for most folks.
I been using muriatic myself but I have Seachem Acid Buffer that converts some of the KH to CO2. But still running testing to get the best and easiest results. Thanks for the quick reply

When do you make you addition of hydrochloric before or after aging?
 
Frank the Fish guy
  • #24
After aeration for 24 hours, that way it is stable. Then I start adding acid, and keep aerating. I run my own water works!
 
Charlyc
  • #25
After aeration for 24 hours, that way it is stable. Then I start adding acid, and keep aerating. I run my own water works!
Do you find that you get a better result with Hydrochloric than muriatic?
 
Frank the Fish guy
  • #26
Do you find that you get a better result with Hydrochloric than muriatic?
They are the same thing, just different names from different trades.
 
Charlyc
  • #27
They are the same thing, just different names from different trades.
Muriatic has more impurities than hydrochloric but for my purpose makes no difference.
 

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