PH Keeps Rising

brandonbittinger

Hello, I have been lurking around the forum for a while but today seemed like the day to make an account and get more involved. I recently got back into fishkeeping and at my current house I am on a well. Because of the well water quality I have an acid neutralize in place as well as a water softener and UV light. Naturally the water softener provides me with a GH reading of basically zero and I have verified that the water has basically negligible salt content. The acid neutralizer uses calcine to raise the PH of the water. When you first test the water right out of a tap you get a PH of 7 every time but if you allow the water to sit it will rise to a PH of about 8.2. I am assuming this PH raise is attributed to CO2 off gassing and causing the PH to rise. The acid neutralizer also doubled the KH of the water from about 71ppm before it and about143ppm after it. I was attempting to use Seachem's Acid Buffer and Alkaline Buffer products to level things and have been able to successfully drop the KH but I can't seem to get the PH to stay low. I come back the next day and the PH has risen again.

I quickly realized that my water was probably not ideal so I decided to start filling some tubs with reverse osmosis water from my RO filter. I did all the math and added in the buffers as appropriate to hit my desired KH of 5 and PH of 6.5 as well as added in Seachem's Equilibrium to remineralizer the water. The tank in question is 55 gallons and currently the only inhabitants are some Valisanaria, Anubius, 5 mystery snails, and some bladder snails and shrimp that must of hitched a ride on some plants. So far the plants seem to be thriving and are multiplying and growing new leaves. Once I had the Ro water ready I took about 40 gallons of water out of the 55 and a replaced it with the RO water. I just took the PH today and we are back to a PH of 8 already the next day.

Is there something I am missing here? Why would my PH still be rising after replacing most of the water with RO water that was set to the parameters I wanted. I understand the mixing would result in a combination of the two PHs but it appears to be rising right back to where it was. I know it is not ideal to use buffers unless necessary but I would like to really understand the water chemistry. I apologize for the rambling I just wanted to make sure that you had all of the details. Any thoughts are appreciated. Thanks!
 

ProudPapa

Hello,

I'm afraid I can't help with your question. I'm also on well water. To be honest, I've never tested my pH straight from the tap, but when I check tanks it's always around 8.2. I just go with it.

I don't generally respond if I don't have any relevant information, but I wanted to welcome you to the forum. I'm sure someone else will be able to help.
 
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brandonbittinger

Hello,

I'm afraid I can't help with your question. I'm also on well water. To be honest, I've never tested my pH straight from the tap, but when I check tanks it's always around 8.2. I just go with it.

I don't generally respond if I don't have any relevant information, but I wanted to welcome you to the forum. I'm sure someone else will be able to help.

Thanks for the info its good to know that I am not alone! From my research it seems most underground water contains a lot of co2 that once off gassed causes the steep rise. Like I said I mostly just want to understand the watcher chemistry but I would like to look into some breeding projects down the road once I have more experience and a better understanding of the effects of the additives.
 
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LowConductivity

Here's my 2 cents for what its worth. I play with gh/kh/ph fairly extensively

My source water is pretty soft. 35ppm KH. I still have to let my acid buffered water rest for 24 hours after dosing. Takes some time to settle in a place where the acid is done being buffered by the KH, and the CO2 from the acid/KH reaction gasses out. Unless you've got a bunch of limestone in the tank, you probably just need to let the water rest/re-dose for your target pH in the 24-48 hour range
 
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Motherlovebetta

Welcome. I am also on well and have 8.2 tap water. My ph gets down to 7.6 or 7.8 with RO/tap mix. What fish are you planning on putting in your tank? If you are able to keep shrimp alive in there I’m guessing most fish would be just fine as long as you don’t have big swings in your ph.
 
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brandonbittinger

Thank you for the feedback. Just an update the earlier today (a day after adding in the RO water) I triple doses the acid buffer. The direction said that you can use an elevated dose if necessary. Prior I was doing single and double doses and was not able to break through the KH. I am going to check the KH and PH later tonight but when I had checked it about 2 hours after dosing the KH was at 5dKH and the PH looked to be a 6.8 or a 7. That was a huge swing for sure and I am interested to see if it holds. The snails do not seem bothered by the steep PH swing luckily. The shrimp are really tiny guys and o only see them darting around on occasion so hopefully they are okay….

I am planning on keeping a large school of neon tetras mostly. I have 2 of them that a rescued (a guy was gonna release them into a lake…) in a 10g quarantine tank.Those 2 are on tap water with some Equallibrium mixed in mineralize the water and they have bounced back substantially. There colors are good and they appear to be healthy. They are a bit duller than they should be and they don’t swim to high up but I attribute that to there only being 2 of them. I’m gonna get them some friends soon so hopefully that resolves that.
 
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