Ph Fluctuations When Changing Water?

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Kiks

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Hello everyone,

My tap water has a pH of 7.4 and my tank has a pH of 8.2. Because of this my pH in the tank fluctuates quite a bit when I do water changes. My tank is a 30 gallon long and usually I replace 5 - 8 gallons every time I do a water change which is once or twice a week. I start out with water at 8.2 and when I've changed 5 - 8 gallons it's around 7.8.

Is this a problem or a cause for concern?
And if so, how do I address this issue?

Any comments, experiences or advise welcome, thanks!
 

Nada Mucho

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Hmm I wonder what's changing it so drastically. My tap water is 7.8 and my tank is 7.8. Are you raising it with Ph Up or something?
 

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What substrate do you have in your tank?
Do you have anything with calcium in your tank?
Do you allow the tap water to off gas before taking the PH test?
Do you know your GH and KH?
 
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Kiks

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Hmm I wonder what's changing it so drastically. My tap water is 7.8 and my tank is 7.8. Are you raising it with Ph Up or something?
No, I'm not doing anything to change it at all. At least not on purpose.

What substrate do you have in your tank?
Do you have anything with calcium in your tank?
Do you allow the tap water to off gas before taking the PH test?
Do you know your GH and KH?
I have some Aquastabil black gravel. I don't know if I have anything with calcium in my tank... What are the most common things I could have that contain calcium?
I do not let the tap water gas off before testing. How long is it supposed to sit out before performing the test? Also, I have no GH or KH test, but I know that my water is very hard.

Thanks for replying!
 

clk89

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No, I'm not doing anything to change it at all. At least not on purpose.



I have some Aquastabil black gravel. I don't know if I have anything with calcium in my tank... What are the most common things I could have that contain calcium?
I do not let the tap water gas off before testing. How long is it supposed to sit out before performing the test? Also, I have no GH or KH test, but I know that my water is very hard.

Thanks for replying!
I couldn't find that gravel with google, did the package say anything about increasing PH? I know some substrates can increase or even decrease ph. My water is pretty hard to so I know how that goes. Things that could potentially have calcium, dissolving shells, and cuttlebone come to mind.

I also agree with jdhef of doing 24 hours with a bubbler with your tap water.
 
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Kiks

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24 hours with a bubbler and you should get your true pH
Unfortunately I don't have a bubbler. Will it work without the bubbler or is it pointless?
I couldn't find that gravel with google, did the package say anything about increasing PH? I know some substrates can increase or even decrease ph. My water is pretty hard to so I know how that goes. Things that could potentially have calcium, dissolving shells, and cuttlebone come to mind.

I also agree with jdhef of doing 24 hours with a bubbler with your tap water.
I think it's this gravel:
https://www.dubaipetfood.com/shop/akvastabil-merkur-black-10898p.html

The package says nothing about it having any impact on the tank at all, so I don't think my substrate is the cause. I also have no shells or cuttlebone.
 

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Unfortunately I don't have a bubbler. Will it work without the bubbler or is it pointless?
I let my water sit for 24 to 48 hours before doing water changes to gas out and let the ph level out. It'll happen on it's own, the bubbler will just speed it up.
 

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What kind of fish do you have?

My little shell dwellers are very sensitive to change and since my tap is much different than their water I do a slow drip change. I also keep a 20 gallon storage bin filled with aragonite and snail shells with water in it so that I have a large amoint buffered for emergency large changes and when there's new fry
 
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What kind of fish do you have?

My little shell dwellers are very sensitive to change and since my tap is much different than their water I do a slow drip change. I also keep a 20 gallon storage bin filled with aragonite and snail shells with water in it so that I have a large amoint buffered for emergency large changes and when there's new fry
I have 2 x BN pleco, 10 x amano shrimp, 8 x RCS and 3 x zebra nerite.
 
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Do you have rocks in your tank perhaps or coral? Some rocks can increase pH?
I do have rocks. I have about four different kinds, but I only know that one of them is dragon stone. Some of the others are white inside with some pretty orange-red colors on the outside and the others look almost like pieces of brown-ish bricks.
No coral.
 

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i struggled with ph too! however mine was low (due to having three pieces of rosewood in my tank). you have to try and get the balance right, I figured to put some ocean rock in there which helped dramatically! ph went up from 6.2-6.6/6.8.
which is exactly what I need for my bolivian rams and angels! hope this helps.
if your struggling from high ph I suggest using some bogwood, this generally softens the water and reduces the ph.
all depends what your stocking though as to what ph limit you should manage.
 
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i struggled with ph too! however mine was low (due to having three pieces of rosewood in my tank). you have to try and get the balance right, I figured to put some ocean rock in there which helped dramatically! ph went up from 6.2-6.6/6.8.
which is exactly what I need for my bolivian rams and angels! hope this helps.
if your struggling from high ph I suggest using some bogwood, this generally softens the water and reduces the ph.
all depends what your stocking though as to what ph limit you should manage.
My fish seem to do fine in the pH of my water. It's only an issue when changing the water since it fluctuates a lot.

Well, this is all starting to make sense... somewhat.
I took a cup filled it with water and let it sit for 24 hours, no bubbler. I've now tested the water and the result looks like this:
Many have a hard time figuring out what this color means (I've read lots of threads), but to me this looks like somewhere between 8.2 and 8.4, since this is the color you'd get if you mixed the two, right?

So my tap water is 7.4, but after 24 hours it's 8.3. The tank pH is 8.2 (when I haven't done a water change within 24 hours). This means that if I was able to let the water sit out for 24 hours before using it in my tank this problem would go away. Interesting.
 

Briggs

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My fish seem to do fine in the pH of my water. It's only an issue when changing the water since it fluctuates a lot.

Well, this is all starting to make sense... somewhat.
I took a cup filled it with water and let it sit for 24 hours, no bubbler. I've now tested the water and the result looks like this:
Many have a hard time figuring out what this color means (I've read lots of threads), but to me this looks like somewhere between 8.2 and 8.4, since this is the color you'd get if you mixed the two, right?

So my tap water is 7.4, but after 24 hours it's 8.3. The tank pH is 8.2 (when I haven't done a water change within 24 hours). This means that if I was able to let the water sit out for 24 hours before using it in my tank this problem would go away. Interesting.
I think this is a sign that you have high co2 in your water right out of the tap. Carbon makes things more acidic, but it gasses off and the ph rises. I'd invest in some cheap 5 gallon buckets from a hardware store just to age your water in. Maybe an air pump with an airstone or two if you want to see if aerating it speeds it up.
 
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Kiks

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I think this is a sign that you have high co2 in your water right out of the tap. Carbon makes things more acidic, but it gasses off and the ph rises. I'd invest in some cheap 5 gallon buckets from a hardware store just to age your water in. Maybe an air pump with an airstone or two if you want to see if aerating it speeds it up.
I already have two 3 gallon buckets - one for each tank. I'll just buy more of those since I know where to get them cheap.

Thanks for all the help!
 

Briggs

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I already have two 3 gallon buckets - one for each tank. I'll just buy more of those since I know where to get them cheap.

Thanks for all the help!
Three gallon buckets will probably be easier to move around, too. For some reason smaller buckets are more expensive than the five gallon ones in big hardware stores, so I just got the big ones and use them for storage when I don't need them. I only have two little five gallon betta tanks, so I just usually just use one gallon plastic jugs to age my water in.
 
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Kiks

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Three gallon buckets will probably be easier to move around, too. For some reason smaller buckets are more expensive than the five gallon ones in big hardware stores, so I just got the big ones and use them for storage when I don't need them. I only have two little five gallon betta tanks, so I just usually just use one gallon plastic jugs to age my water in.
Here bigger buckets are more expensive than small ones, but there isn't much difference at all and if I could carry bigger buckets, I'd buy them. I also wish I could just buy one huge 8 gallon bucket and keep all the water for one water change in it, but it's just not practical when I can't move it around.
 
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