Newbie...question about rapid pH drop in source water3

ShannyB

Hi all, I am relatively new to the hobby and have a question about pH swings I'm hoping to get some insight on. A couple of days ago I tested my two bigger tanks - a 20g long and a 10g. I also decided to check the tap water just to see where it is. My 20g is home to 4 pearl danio, 4 Otocinclus, 1 Hillstream Loach, 1 tiger nerite, and a number of bladder snails. My 10g has no inhabitants as I've been cycling it to become a Neo shrimp tank. Here are the results from Wednesday, I use the API master kit and a TDS meter from amazon -

20g:
pH = 7.4
gH = 9
kH = 3
Ammonia = 0
Nitrite = 0
Nitrate = 5-10
TDS = 219

10g:
pH = 7.4
gH = 7
kH = 3
Ammonia = 0
Nitrite = 0
Nitrate = 10-20
TDS = 196

Tap =
pH = 7.6 ---> 6.8
gH = 3
kH = 3
Ammonia = 0
Nitrite = 0
Nitrate = 0
TDS = 91

The question is about the tap water pH swing. I took it as per usual, result was 7.6. I left it in the test tube and did the gH test, which took about 2 minutes tops. Glanced back at the pH tube and it had clearly changed color. Found it settled on 6.8. Is this concerning for water changes? I have noticed my Otos get a little...?different? when doing water changes. Not that they are frantic and glass surfing, but they lay on the bottom of the tank or whatever leaf they're on, very still. That might last 30-60 minutes after I've finished changing the water. Then they're back to normal. Do I need to do anything to offset this volatility in pH? Raise the kH or adjust the pH prior to water changes...or is it probably okay? My tanks seem to be very stable at 7.4. I would prefer not to mess with the water chemistry if possible but also don't want to stress my little guys. Thanks for any thoughts!
 

Dechi

If your tanks are at 7.4 with a low KH, that means the water is coming in at 7.4, unless you are taking specific measures to raise it, which I doubt because of the low KH.

So I would think your tap water has a PH of 7.4 also. I have no idea why it swings after two minutes. What test are you using ?

eta : ok, APi test. It shouldn’t fluctuate after 2 minutes. I’ve never seen that happen. But the measure is the one you take right after dropping the liquid in the tube and shaking.

Bring a sample to your LFS for testing.
 
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