Regarding Tap PH & Aquarium PH

Discussion in 'Freshwater Beginners' started by Antonr90, Aug 3, 2014.

  1. Antonr90New MemberMember

    My tanks PH is roughly 7.0-7.2 (hard to tell between the two shades), whereas my taps PH if tested straight out of the tap is in the mid-high 8's. Now I've read that the proper way to determine your tap waters PH is to let it sit overnight, preferably with an airstone to let the water oxygenate. I went ahead and did that, and it tests at about 7.6 after sitting for roughly 12 hours.

    My question is, is it safe to perform PWC's straight from the tap (I'm concerned since its PH is significantly higher than my tank, until the water sits for a bit that is) or should I be letting it sit for 24 hours before performing water changes.. I definitely wouldn't want to cause a rapid PH change and have my fish go into shock.

  2. MortishaValued MemberMember

    Antonr90 you could add some crushed coral to the tank to bring tank ph up to more closely match your tap water that way you don't have to wait. Also when you say PWC exactly how much water? What size tank do you have? What kind of fish? You could also put water in a bucket with air stone like you did and then take out the percentage of water that you would be taking out of tank then add tap water back to it and test to see how much the ph raises and that will give you an idea how your tank ph would raise.

    Last edited: Aug 3, 2014
  3. poeticinjusticesWell Known MemberMember

    I would age it. Assuming your fish would prefer the lower value. That's a fairly significant change in pH and even a small WC could produce some serious shock issues. Even without the air-stone would be okay.

    Crushed coral works,though it's experimental and, in my opinion, it's just easier to go with what you have if your fish will take it. Good luck!

  4. Antonr90New MemberMember

    Its a 29 gallon, was planning on changing roughly 20% (5 gallons), currently only have 3 zebra danios, I just recently finished cycling the tank, now slowly stocking it.

    Is it typical for the PH to be so different between the tank itself and the tap? After all it was originally filled from the tap. And from the reading that I've done, not too many people have to let their water sit before pwc's, then again I'm new to all this so I could be wrong.

    Nonetheless, I'll definitely go ahead and age my water, just to be on the safe side.
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2014
  5. MortishaValued MemberMember

    My tap is 7.6 but it would drop once in tank so I added crushed coral to match my tap. When I had my 29gal I added about 2 cups cc to bring it to match. I've done it with my 55gal and my 10gal I have now. I think my ph after being in tank was almost nonexistent. I use API master test and it would hardly turn yellow. Most fish can adapt to ph level. When you say mid to high 8's what is the actual reading because if you were to raise it to say 8.2 or 8.3 the fish would be fine but keep in kind mind it depends on what you meant by on the mid to high range. I personally think trying to closely match your tap ph is the best way to go and the reason I say that is because what if you take out more than you intended to or if you need to do emergency PWC but I would wait till more members can weigh in on the subject.
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2014
  6. Antonr90New MemberMember

    Went ahead and re-tested everything, and yeah.. my tap is off the charts high:


    After being aged, it looks like its inbetween 7.2 and 7.6


    And last but not least, my tank, which looks to be like 6.8-7.0 at this point


    Don't know if it matters, but in terms of PH altering decorations, like driftwood, I have none of. Just 4 real plants, rest plastic, along with a fairly large, but fake driftwood decoration.

    Attached Files:

  7. MortishaValued MemberMember

    When you test tap with low end ph bottle what is the reading?
  8. Antonr90New MemberMember

    Tap with the low end test end ups bright blue (7.6)
  9. MortishaValued MemberMember

    Wow your tap is really high. Try shaking the high range bottle and see if it gives you a different reading. Sometimes even though it says nothing about shaking bottle it can make a difference. I had an issue with the nitrate one time, when I tested it said 0 and I knew I had nitrates so I tested again and still 0 so I researched it and found out that you need to shake the #1 bottle sometimes so I did it and I had nitrate reading of 10.
  10. Antonr90New MemberMember

    Yeah, I've tried testing it before multiple times, shaking the high range ph bottle doesn't make much of a difference. If I pull it straight from the tap and test it right away, it always comes out deep purple like this.
  11. MortishaValued MemberMember

    Antonr90 I really wish I could give you a solution to this but with the ph being so high out of the tap then lower once it gases out then even lower in tank I'm at a loss, hopefully other members will have the solution.
  12. Antonr90New MemberMember

    Thanks Mortisha,I appreciate you trying to help, hopefully someone has some answers. I definitely don't want to accidentally murder my danios during my next water change (it will be the first water change since picking them up).
  13. troyvscWell Known MemberMember

    With my limited knowledge on the subject and with your High PH coming out of the tap and the low PH in the tap water it sounds like you need something to buffer the water like crushed coral that someone suggested.

    The reasoning for the Ph drop has something to do with the KH and GH in your water. I haven't done much research because my own water is very hard and starts with mid 8s out of tap and stays low 8s anytime i check it. I use quartz sand and have granite rocks in my tank so not sure if they help buffer the water at all. Good Luck.
  14. junebugFishlore LegendMember

    You should definitely age your water before adding it to your tank. It looks like something dissolved in the tap water is causing a pH change as the water sits. A few questions for clarification:

    Did you use water conditioner on your tap water prior to testing?
    Did you use water conditioner in the aged water prior to testing?
    Does your tank contain anything that might lower the pH even further, such as driftwood, leaves, or soil substrate?
  15. Antonr90New MemberMember

    No conditioner used in either the new tap or aged tap, obviously the tank water is primed.

    No soil, no real drift wood, 3 anubias plants and a java fern is all I have for live plants, the rest are fake. For substrate I just have blue colored gravel, nothing special.
  16. Ben3721Well Known MemberMember

    My tap water is 6ph right of the tap and overnight goes up to 7.6ph but my water has off the chart nitrates so I buy deer park spring water which is 6ph and then us buffers to get it up to 7ph.

    Water PH is very complex and when your playing with well tap water you never know what's truly in it. I would let you tap water age before you use it. Then test it for GH and KH and go from there. I mess with buffers but they are risky if your not watching over the KH.

    Also if your just beginning to use tap water test the nitrates right out of the tap. Good luck!
  17. Antonr90New MemberMember

    Yeah, it seems every post I've read regarding tap water PH differences versus their aquarium PH is always talking about tap PH being lower and going up, but it seems my problem is the exact opposite.

    I've tested my tap for nitrites and nitrates, both come out a 0. It does have some ammonia though, about .50pp, they use chloramine in the water system. Don't have a KH test kit at the moment, I'll pick one up tomorrow though, will also try to find some coral.
  18. MortishaValued MemberMember

    Yeah we def don't want that. Danios are so adorable. Best of luck.
  19. MortishaValued MemberMember

    I have a huge bag of cc, if you want to pm me your zip code I can see how much it would cost me to send you a few cups. If it's not insanely expense.
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2014
  20. junebugFishlore LegendMember

    I honestly wouldn't be trying to buffer the water in the tank... it's still going to have pH swings if the tap water is messed up.

    Age the water for 24 hours, then test it, and if the water is around your tank pH after 24 hours, just age all water change water for that amount of time before water changes. Aging water has other benefits too - you can dechlor it while it's in the aging bucket, and it lets gasses built up in the water out rather than exposing your fish to them.

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice