Rising Ph Slowly Over 1 Week

Discussion in 'pH' started by Celestialgirl, Aug 1, 2017.

  1. CelestialgirlWell Known MemberMember

    Sorry to post about this but it's really perplexing me. I set up my tank over 5 months ago and my pH has fluctuated from 7.4 to 8.2 over a week's time ever since. It is not a quick rise, rather gradual over 7-10 days. In the beginning, I had gravel and plastic plants. I now have black sand, a few real plants and 2 plastic plants. I also added mopani driftwood about a month ago.

    My water is moderately hard (18-19 drops de GH, KH is about 7 drops). When I sit my water out for 24 hours it rates 7.4.

    I can keep the pH stable at 7.4 by changing the water twice per week, but I just went camping and it's now back to 8.2 because I wasn't around to change it for 6 days. I'd just like to get a bit of control, if possible. Any thoughts?

    Edit : I've been cycled for a month, so it's not that.

  2. fishlover44New MemberMember

    I know that driftwood can change your ph level alot.

  3. CelestialgirlWell Known MemberMember

    I've only had it for a month but it hasn't made a change, my water is doing what it was doing before. I heard it usually lowers pH too, which hasn't happened.

  4. CelestialgirlWell Known MemberMember

    I was thinking... Is it possible that my water requires more than 24 hours to gas off? I'm not sure that really makes sense but I thought I'd throw it out there.
  5. CelestialgirlWell Known MemberMember

    Anyone else have any thoughts? When I google it just GH/KH and tap water issues arise, I'm not really seeing any other potential causes.
  6. CelestialgirlWell Known MemberMember

    My pH drops with water changes (8.2 to 7.4) ... but I have weird water.
  7. 6666666666Well Known MemberMember

    Your tank is 8.2 and drops to 7.4 when you do water changes?
  8. CelestialgirlWell Known MemberMember

    I do a water change, my pH is 7.4. Over a week it rises to 8.2. I do another water change, it drops to 7.4. I have hard water with moderate KH. My water seems to be an anomaly.
  9. sfsammWell Known MemberMember

    Not an anomaly at all, you have something in your tank that is raising your values precisely as described above. Whether it is coral, argonite, limestone, tufa rock, Texas holey rock, several substrates both sand and gravel are commonly available and high in calcium carbonates, seashells, and a myriad of other items can increase the values and therefore as described above increase your pH. Many items that will raise the pH in your aquarium are not advertised as such either, it's much more difficult to stumble into items that lower your pH than those that raise it.

    Honestly though with weekly swings as dramatic as you are describing.... You're apt to see significant losses in stocks just as regularly...
  10. 6666666666Well Known MemberMember

    Is there anything you can recommend so it doesn't swing so much? I would try to give some advice but I don't want to give the wrong info..

    You should make a post about this and see if someone can give you some advice on how to get your PH stable..
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 7, 2017
  11. CelestialgirlWell Known MemberMember

    I have Tahitian moon sand (pH neutral) , real plants and just added mopani drift wood a month ago. No rocks. Pretty plain. I only have platys and just added sterbai corys. I've figured that if I do twice weekly water changes I can keep the pH stable at 7.4, but started doing that about 4 weeks ago (tank has been set up for almost 5.5 months).

    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 7, 2017
  12. NightShadeWell Known MemberMember

    Can you post a pic of your tank?
  13. sfsammWell Known MemberMember

    First thing to know.... What is your kH and gH at the tap? What is the pH straight after a pour from the tap and after aging with a bubbler for 24 hours? What is the kH and gH from the tap? Probably best to start a new thread and not hijack this one when you get those numbers. :)
  14. 6666666666Well Known MemberMember

    I'm not sure if it will help but just in case I always fill up the tap water I'm going to use for my water changes at least one night before and let it sit. Could be worth a shot..
  15. CelestialgirlWell Known MemberMember

    Pretty simple. sorry for the bad glare.

    You're actually posting in my old thread now, they moved my comments. You may want to read my original post if you haven't.

    Tap water: KH: 7, GH 16. I don't know the levels after sitting out for 24 hours, as i only checked pH last time I tried it but I suspect it's similar, as these numbers are close to my tank water. As stated in my original post, pH is 7.4 both straight out of the tap and after sitting out for 24 hours. I also don't have a bubbler. Should I sit it out for longer?

    When you do this how do you get your temp back up?
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 7, 2017
  16. NightShadeWell Known MemberMember

    Sorry! Didn't realize this was an older thread!

    One suggestion: if you need to leave the water out overnight, you can use a small spare heater in the bucket to get it close to/or at temp :)
  17. CelestialgirlWell Known MemberMember

    No apologies necessary! At least I'm not talking to myself anymore. :)
  18. CelestialgirlWell Known MemberMember


    Super interesting water results. See my post #4... I wondered if maybe 24 hours wasn't long enough to gas off so I tried again after 48 hours.

    Tap water: pH 7.4, GH 16, KH 7
    Water sitting out for 24 hours: pH 7.4, GH 17, KH7
    Water 48 hours: 8.2, GH 17, KH 8

    It seems like it's just taking longer to gas off. Should I add a bubbler to my tank to gas it off faster or will that hurt the fish more? I don't really want to have a bunch of 5 gallon pails around my house between dogs and a 3-year-old. I'm surprised that a 25% water change drops my entire tank from 8.2 to 7.4.
  19. sfsammWell Known MemberMember

    Well wow lol

    OK so yes it's a large gas off and here's my thoughts... You're not experiencing huge losses of fish because your kH and gH isn't fluctuating. The co2 from the tap is exceptional lol its keeping that pH very low until it gasses off. So although the pH changes its like a high tech planted tank... The co2 during the day drops pH and over the course of the night pH rises back up. The reason these fluctuations aren't harmful is because the kH and gH are stable. The kH especially is important to prevent fish from experiencing osmotic shock which is nearly always the cause of fish illnesses from pH changes.

    I would not add a bubbler to your tank. If anything I'd add that bubbler to the bucket of water the evening before your water changes and it should rather quickly gas off the excess by the time you do the wc.

    If you cannot have the buckets sitting around (I completely understand I have a two dogs, a cat that isn't phased by being wet, and an 8 year old son whom if he's near a potential mess it's a mess lol), then try to do your twice weekly wcs if you're concerned. But honestly I think your fine to carry on.

    It could become an issue if you want to keep sensitive species later, and you'd have to age the water... But with the stable hardness it really will probably be alright.
  20. toolmanWell Known MemberMember

    Hope this helps, so many times these mystery issues do not get great results. Have been following for a while, but didn't know the answer. I think @sfsamm is absolutely correct and with the test results I agree, although not an expert by any means.

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