P.H drop

Wakin1062

Member
Good morning, I just tested the water in my 45 gallon cycling aquarium with three Wakin goldfish in it. PH has dropped to 6.0 overnight for some reason. Ammonia is 0.25, nitrite is less than 0.25 and nitrates are 10 PPm. Should I do another partial water change I did 50% yesterday
 

mattgirl

Member
Wakin1062 said:
Good morning, I just tested the water in my 45 gallon cycling aquarium with three Wakin goldfish in it. PH has dropped to 6.0 overnight for some reason. Ammonia is 0.25, nitrite is less than 0.25 and nitrates are 10 PPm. Should I do another partial water change I did 50% yesterday
Welcome to Fishlore

I appears your tap water lacks the buffers necessary to hold your pH up to the level it comes out of the tap. If that is the case you may need to run some crushed coral in your filter. It is the most natural way I know of to both raise and hold the pH up to at least the level of your tap water. What was the pH level before the drop?
 
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Wakin1062

Member
It was at 7.4 on the high range test last night
I just tested the tap water, when I put the three drops in the test tube it turned blue 30 seconds later went all the way down to light yellow
 

mattgirl

Member
Wakin1062 said:
It was at 7.4 on the high range test last night
That is quite a drastic drop over night. Do you normally have to use the high range test? If it is 7.4 on the high range it could be lower on the normal range test. Of course that doesn't explain why it dropped so low over night.

I am going to ask you to fill out this template. Hopefully it will help me get to the bottom of what is going on in this tank. Nitrogen Cycle Template | Aquarium Nitrogen Cycle Forum | 494741

I am going to ask you to do one more thing. We need to find out what the pH of your tap water actually is. I am going to ask you to put some in a container. Run the pH test on the water straight from the tap and then run it again on the same water you put in the container 24 hours later. This number will be the actual pH of your tap water. Quite often once the tap water gasses off the number has been known to drop. Sometimes it drops drastically. Other times is has been known to go up.

We do need to get and keep the pH up. Bacteria struggles to process ammonia and/or nitrites when it is this low. The one good thing about it is the ammonia isn't as toxic at this number but to complete the cycle we do need to get and keep it up to at least 7
 
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Wakin1062

Member
Okay I will look at that template, I just tested the tap water when I put the three drops in the tube it was blue 30 seconds later it dropped to light yellow
 

mattgirl

Member
Wakin1062 said:
Okay I will look at that template, I just tested the tap water when I put the three drops in the tube it was blue 30 seconds later it dropped to light yellow
Oh my, you do have a low pH in your tap water. I do have to wonder in this case how it was 7.4 in the tank at one point. Do you know if your water company has been doing anything to the water lines or in some way made a change in their water source?
 
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Wakin1062

Member
The pH was 6.2 last night, showed 7.4 on the high range pH test. I have tested the tap water before it is all over the place one day it's neutral the next day it's low
 

mattgirl

Member
Wakin1062 said:
The pH was 6.2 last night, showed 7.4 on the high range pH test. I have tested the tap water before it is all over the place one day it's neutral the next day it's low
Oh my goodness. I would certainly be running crushed coral in this tank then. It will help stabilize the pH in the tank. It seems there is no need to use the high range test at all. That one is for those that do have a high pH. I know my pH is low so I never use the high range test.
 
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Wakin1062

Member
Ok I won't use the high range anymore. Here is a picture of the test tube of water out of my faucet it was blue, 30 seconds later it's almost clear
 

mattgirl

Member
Wakin1062 said:
Ok I won't use the high range anymore. Here is a picture of the test tube of water out of my faucet it was blue, 30 seconds later it's almost clear
I can't say that I have ever seen that. You certainly don't want to do a water change right now. Your numbers for ammonia plus nitrites are in a safer zone. Where are you located in the world? I live in the mountains of Arkansas USA. My tap water comes from a lake that is fed by a river that runs through granite type rock so contains a very low amount of minerals. gh/kh and TDS are very low but even at that my pH us fairly stable at 7/7.2. Your water appears to have even fewer minerals.

Do you run your tap water through some kind of filter or water softener? I am having a hard time wrapping my head around this almost total lack of a pH reading.
 

The2dCour

Member
Wakin1062 said:
The pH was 6.2 last night, showed 7.4 on the high range pH test. I have tested the tap water before it is all over the place one day it's neutral the next day it's low
Isn.t 7.4 the lowest on the high range test? Meaning you could have been 6.2 but the high test cant show that low?
 
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Wakin1062

Member
I live just south of Nashville tennessee, here is the test of my tap water, the one on the right is the low ph it was blue first and went to clear, the one on the left is the high PH range it was orange now it is a totally different color
And no I do not run my tap water through a softener
 

The2dCour

Member
So you only need the low test if your tap water come out that low, unless you are trying to boost it over 7.6 the high test isn't going to be useful.
 
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Wakin1062

Member
Here is the tap water test low range high range
 

mattgirl

Member
Just for information I just ran both test on some distilled water. Even with it I am still seeing a pale yellow for the pH and pale orange for the high range.

I have to wonder if there could be a problem with the test itself. Before we start doing anything to try to "fix" this we need to be certain it needs to be fixed. I suppose almost zero pH is possible but I've just never seen it. Is it possible to take some of both tank and tap water to your LFS and have them test it for you? If not this would be one time strips may help if you could get some.
 
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Wakin1062

Member
I'm going to take a sample up there today, I'm wanting to get some live plants for my tank, here is a picture of the tank
 

mattgirl

Member
Wakin1062 said:
I'm going to take a sample up there today, I'm wanting to get some live plants for my tank, here is a picture of the tank
It never hurts to get a second opinion. If they are seeing the same thing you are seeing we will at least know your test is accurate. I really wouldn't let them talk you into buying products to "fix" the problem if there actually is one until you have had time to research your best options.
 
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Wakin1062

Member
Here is the test of my high range pH test on my tank water it looks really low too
So will crushed Coral help regulate the pH if I put it in there
 

mattgirl

Member
Wakin1062 said:
Here is the test of my high range pH test on my tank water it looks really low too
So will crushed Coral help regulate the pH if I put it in there
The high range test really can't tell us anything. When our pH is as low as yours the high range isn't needed at all. First we need to find out of the pH straight out of your tap is really as low as you are seeing. If it is water changes are going to be an issue and something will have to be added to the water before doing water changes.

You may want to look into getting a TDS (total dissolved solids) meter. Once I got one I discovered the TDS in my tap water was almost nothing, meaning little to no minerals in it. Once I figured that out I started adding Equilibrium to add the necessary minerals. Between that and the crushed coral I run in my filters I am able to keep my TDS up to about 100/150 and my pH at a constant 7.2

Crushed coral will normally raise and stabilize the pH but if the pH of your tap water truly is this low CC alone may not help a great deal. In my case it helps but it may take more than that in your case.
 
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Wakin1062

Member
Ok thanks, I do appreciate your help.
 

mattgirl

Member
Wakin1062 said:
Ok thanks, I do appreciate your help.
I am happy to help. If you and I can't get to the bottom of this I will try to call in some reinforcements to help us out.
 
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Wakin1062

Member
Awesome, thanks. Hope you have a wonderful day.
I have a 45 gallon tank with the 3 Wakin goldfish in there, I have a marineland 220 canister filter and a hang on the back Marineland double bio filter running as well. I did have a power head running as well, I just turned it off to see if too much agitation on the surface might be a problem. PH still showing 6.0, ammonia 0.50, nitrite less than 0.25, nitrate 20ppm. Tank has been running for 3 weeks, 2 weeks with the fish in it.
 

mattgirl

Member
Wakin1062 said:
Awesome, thanks. Hope you have a wonderful day.
I have a 45 gallon tank with the 3 Wakin goldfish in there, I have a marineland 220 canister filter and a hang on the back Marineland double bio filter running as well. I did have a power head running as well, I just turned it off to see if too much agitation on the surface might be a problem. PH still showing 6.0, ammonia 0.50, nitrite less than 0.25, nitrate 20ppm. Tank has been running for 3 weeks, 2 weeks with the fish in it.
At least with the pH that low the ammonia isn't at a dangerous level so not doing a water change to get it down isn't going to be a problem.

I'm not sure whether or not the power head moving too much water would cause issues but in this case I think it is happening because of your tap water. If the pH is really as low as the test is saying it is I have to think it is almost totally devoid of minerals.

Lots of folks recommend getting the test to check your gh/kh level in the water. I have to think you will find they are at or close to zero. Mine are low but there is some there. The TDS straight from the tap is 21. Folks tell me my water is close to RO water. Yours appears to be even closer. If that is the case you are going to have to add the minerals that are lacking.

As I said before I take care of mine with crushed coral and Equilibrium. A TDS meter will help you determine how much equilibrium you will need to add with each water change.
 
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Wakin1062

Member
Thanks for all the info today, I am going to test for minerals and put some crushed Coral in the tank and see if that helps.
 
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Wakin1062

Member
Hey mattgirl, hope you are doing well today. I tested my tap water and tank water this morning, both were at 6.0, I put a small media bag of crushed Coral in my filter and just checked PH again. PH is at 7.0 now after being in the tank for 6 hours. I believe this will solve my problem for the low PH. Thanks for recommending the crushed Coral...
 

mattgirl

Member
Wakin1062 said:
Hey mattgirl, hope you are doing well today. I tested my tap water and tank water this morning, both were at 6.0, I put a small media bag of crushed Coral in my filter and just checked PH again. PH is at 7.0 now after being in the tank for 6 hours. I believe this will solve my problem for the low PH. Thanks for recommending the crushed Coral...
You are so very welcome. I know it has been a life saver for me and lots of other folks. I try to take the natural route whenever I can. I forgot to mention earlier. I also have seashells in my tanks. Like coral they very slowly dissolve and help when our tap water lacks the necessary minerals.
 
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Wakin1062

Member
Good to know, I will keep a eye on it and if necessary I might add some shells.
 

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