I May Have Figured Out Some Of The Ph Problem? Help

Discussion in 'pH' started by Starflyr3, May 19, 2019.

  1. Starflyr3 Valued Member Member

    My tank's pH has been swinging a bit widely since I have been testing.

    I am currently doing a fish in cycle, and am testing and changing 25-50% water every day immediately after testing.

    Im not sure why it's swinging, as our kH is maxxed out, which should keep it pretty stable (right??). it is usually around 8, both in the tank and out of the tap. However, the pH has been anywhere from 7.4-8.4, which I imagine is a bit stressful on my betta (though he is looking MUCH better).

    So, today, on a hunch, I tested our tap water pH both hot and cold. They both go through a whole house filter, which removed chloramine and chlorine, but then the hot goes through a tankless "unlimited" hot water heater (not "instant").

    The pH of the hot water is (a little) higher; and I wonder if that may be contributing to the pH swings, depending on how much hot is mixing with cold? I have to do some, since I dont want to shock his system. The tank stays 76-78 (the heater is set to 78).

    I use API stress coat + and API quick start. I was also using Ammolock for a couple of days. I have some almond leaves in there, but none have been added, and none have been removed. The testing is with the API Master test kit, high pH solution. (pic below)

    Please, HELP? How do I fix this??

    The last 10 days:

    date: temp: pH: Ammo: Nitrite: Nitrate:
    5/09/19 76/78 8 0.25 0 0
    5/10/19 76/78 7.8 0.25 0.25 0-5
    5/11/19 76/78 7.8 0.25 0.25-0.5 0-5
    5/12/19 76/78 8 0.25 0.5 0-5
    5/13/19 76/78 7.4-7.6 0 0 0
    5/14/19 76/78 7.8 0.5 0 0
    5/15/19 76/78 7.8 0.5 0 0
    5/16/19 76/78 8 0.5 0.5 0
    5/17/19 76/78 8.2-8.4 0.5 0.25 0-5
    5/18/19 76/78 7.8 0.5 1 0-5
    5/19/19 76/78 8.2 0.5 0.5 0


    ps. sorry about the formatting; I had it all nice and spaced out.

    Rainbow says hi, also.


    Last edited by a moderator: May 19, 2019
  2. Coradee Moderator Moderator Member

    Giving this a bump up for you hope you get some responses today

  3. Wraithen Fishlore VIP Member

    Looks kind of like you are having a lot of evaporation? Do you live in a dry climate?

    As water evaporates it wont take the minerals with it so it will leave the kh minerals in less water which can slightly increase ph. Possibly why you have slightly different ph between cold water and hot water also. Have you let your water off gas in a bucket over night and checked it again to see if it fluctuates?

    I would worry too much about the ph changes that small though. Any bigger could be concern, especially with large water changes, but people with a lot of driftwood can have pretty big changes in ph between water changes. Your cycle will use up some of your kh as well.

    You aren't maxed on kh btw. I have a higher ph than you from the tap lately, and kh and ph are directly linked to each other.

  4. Skavatar Well Known Member Member

    supposedly, higher temps = lower pH.

    how old is your tankless heater? has it been clean? only thing i can think of is after years of use there is calcium build up which is increasing the GH and pH.
  5. Starflyr3 Valued Member Member

    I live in Texas, but we have been having flooding since I got this tank, so not right now, no. I don’t think we’re having much evaporation.

    I haven’t put water in a bucket to gas off overnight, no. I need to get a bucket that hasn’t been used for who knows what for that to be accurate. I only use the bucket for collecting and dumping the siphoned water.
    I scoop water out in the fish water pitcher to test, though.

    Would gassing off make a difference in water that has already been through a filter that removes chlorine and chloramine, and descales prior to it reaching the tap?

    And by max kH, I mean it’s as high as the test goes.

    The tankless heater is 2 years old, and my husband cleans it regularly (new build house). The water issue is the city water. Neighbors who didn’t put in a filtration system now, after 1-2 years, can’t use water in the bathrooms further from the heater because of all the gunk in it. Even unscrewing and rescaling the shower heads and faucets isn’t enough; they have to get a plumber to come fix the pipes in the walls (I guess there are more filters there).

    Shower heads literally have had handfuls of grit/scale/sand in them (my husband is the HOA president and has been helping neighbors Troubleshoot)

    Thank you for the link. Interesting.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 21, 2019
  6. Skavatar Well Known Member Member

    with unfilter city water, letting it gas off does affect pH readings. it would help eliminate this as a factor if you could gas off your water overnight and test to see if there's any difference.
  7. Starflyr3 Valued Member Member

    I’ll try it. Ours is filtered, though, through activated carbon.

    We use a big Aquasana EQ 400 system that removes chlorine, chloramine, heavy metals, pesticides and organic solvents.

    *we* haven’t have the scaling/clogging issues like our unfiltered neighbors have.

    The other weird thing, because I did all the tests on hot and cold tap water yesterday, Ian that the house water has more nitrates than the fish tank water? Not sure how that happens.

    Same light, same place:

    Hot tap:

    Cold tap:


    Fish water (cycling):

  8. Skavatar Well Known Member Member

    are there any plants? they could be consuming the nitrates.

    does the tap have nitrates before going through the filter system?
  9. Starflyr3 Valued Member Member

    I don’t know about the tapwater before filtration; I’d have to go get water out of the garden hose. I can try that after I get home, I suppose.

    The only plant in the tank is a moss ball. I didn’t think they ate too many nitrites?