Waters Ph Is Higher Than 8.2 In My Tanks

Reaganp1234
  • #1
My aquariums water ph has been pretty high for a while and I have no clue on how to fix it? Even when I do water changes it doesn’t seem to really help. I’m worried that it’s effecting my goldfish and bettas. If anyone has any clues on what to do please give me some advice! It’s much appreciated!
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Omegaman69
  • #2
Usually this is caused by substrate or other additives to the tank. Crushed coral for example with raise the ph as will rocks, sand and gravel that are made using limestone
 
w3amz
  • #3
Well the first thing we need to know is what is the PH? High range tests go up to 8.8.
 
Reaganp1234
  • Thread Starter
  • #4
Well the first thing we need to know is what is the PH? High range tests go up to 8.8.

I can’t exactly tell, the colors don’t really match the chart but here,
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I use the high ph formula because the regular ph always shows up the same.

The purple one is from my tank, the light one is from our tap.
 
Reaganp1234
  • Thread Starter
  • #5
Usually this is caused by substrate or other additives to the tank. Crushed coral for example with raise the ph as will rocks, sand and gravel that are made using limestone

I use caribsea supernaturals crystal river sand substrate, I have some tigers eye rocks in my fish tank along with some black river rocks, although I have no clue on what type of rock the black ones are.
 
w3amz
  • #6
Yeah for certain it's about 8.4 quite high as you stated.

What substrate are you using? [Answered above while I was writing ignore]
Do you have the ability to test calcium hardness KH / Ca2+
 
Carbeo
  • #7
Does your tap gas off? Instead of testing it straight out of the faucet, try letting it sit out in a Tupperware for a few hours and then test the tap. I don't see anything in the tank that I'd expect to buffer it so far.
 
Reaganp1234
  • Thread Starter
  • #8
Yeah for certain it's about 8.4 quite high as you stated.

What substrate are you using? [Answered above while I was writing ignore]
Do you have the ability to test calcium hardness KH / Ca2+

I sadly do not have the hardness test, would it help if I said that we have a water softener that we use with our well water? It runs on potassium salt.

Here is the substrate I use

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Omegaman69
  • #9
I'd put money on it being your sand, sand is silica and silca is a base naturally which would raise your ph you can try and counter act it with cholla wood as that will lower the ph
 
ETNsilverstar
  • #10
What's the pH that comes out of your tap?
 
Reaganp1234
  • Thread Starter
  • #11
Does your tap gas off? Instead of testing it straight out of the faucet, try letting it sit out in a Tupperware for a few hours and then test the tap. I don't see anything in the tank that I'd expect to buffer it so far.

I’ll try that out, cause otherwise I’m pretty confused on why the waters ph is so high.
 
Carbeo
  • #12
Mm picture of the sand bag says it's a ph neutral product. Basically has a warning label that it won't buffer for Africans and salt water
 
w3amz
  • #13
It's not the sand. Package says it's neutral.
Your water softner should be DE buffering your water causing low hardness or soft water which is more susceptible to PH swings.

As Carbeo said. I'd start with a base water test sitting from the tap after about 6 hours.
 
Reaganp1234
  • Thread Starter
  • #14
I'd put money on it being your sand, sand is silica and silca is a base naturally which would raise your ph you can try and counter act it with cholla wood as that will lower the ph

The sand I use says on the bag that it’s ph neutral. There’s pictures above to show people what kind of sand I use
 
Reaganp1234
  • Thread Starter
  • #15
Carbeo
  • #16
I'd start with a base water test sitting from the tap after about 6 hours.
Good news is if you find out that your tap water does swing in ph after sitting out for 6 hours, there is a solution! Let the water rest in a bucket overnight before your water changes. The swinging is probably stressing the fish more than the high ph alone. If you want to buffer, do all that in the bucket and let it sit for hours to make sure its stable for going through with the water change.
 
Reaganp1234
  • Thread Starter
  • #17
Good news is if you find out that your tap water does swing in ph after sitting out for 6 hours, there is a solution! Let the water rest in a bucket overnight before your water changes. The swinging is probably stressing the fish more than the high ph alone. If you want to buffer, do all that in the bucket and let it sit for hours to make sure its stable for going through with the water change.

I’ll definitely try that! I’ve got some water sitting out right now, and I’ll test it in a couple of hours! Is my ph bad for my fish though? I don’t want them stressed over a high ph level.
 
Omegaman69
  • #18
Lol apparently its ph neutral sand never mind
 
Carbeo
  • #19
Ph swings are more dangerous than high ph. The goldfish should do okay with it, not sure how much it impacts the betta. If you do beffer do all that outside the tank and add the water once its stable where you want it. Some driftwood might bring it down a little but I'm not sure how much wood that would take.
 
Carbeo
  • #20
Lol apparently its ph neutral sand never mind
Yea after I replied I looked back was like, whooaoo everyone said it.
 
Omegaman69
  • #21
That ph is too high for both goldfish and bettas. Goldfish are closer with a max just shy of 8 .Betta at a max of 7.5
 
Omegaman69
  • #22
But reaganp is right ph swings are more dangerous than high ph so try and bring it back down gently
 
Carbeo
  • #23
True and my tap does fortunately only run 7.6. This wikihow kind of followed my logic "Goldfish can tolerate a wide pH range, and pH modifying chemicals are not a lasting solution without more consistent monitoring than most people will do. A range of pH 6.5-8.25 is fine." Getting good at buffering is the best option. If OP needs to get all into that.
 
Reaganp1234
  • Thread Starter
  • #24
But reaganp is right ph swings are more dangerous than high ph so try and bring it back down gently

Any ideas on how I could do that? it would be much appreciated! And how slowly should it go down to a proper level?
 
edevingo
  • #25
I wouldn't start messing with anything else, you'll turn your tank into a chemical lab. Well water treated with a softener is never recommended for aquariums. Do you have a way to bypass it? Then go from there.
 
Reaganp1234
  • Thread Starter
  • #26
True and my tap does fortunately only run 7.6. This wikihow kind of followed my logic "Goldfish can tolerate a wide pH range, and pH modifying chemicals are not a lasting solution without more consistent monitoring than most people will do. A range of pH 6.5-8.25 is fine." Getting good at buffering is the best option. If OP needs to get all into that.

Okay so I let water sit out all night and I just tested it a few minutes ago, you’re right. It has changed to 8.2 over the night. Should I try to change to hard water instead? I have a feeling that our garage faucet isn’t softened.
 
Reaganp1234
  • Thread Starter
  • #27
I wouldn't start messing with anything else, you'll turn your tank into a chemical lab. Well water treated with a softener is never recommended for aquariums. Do you have a way to bypass it? Then go from there.

Like getting from our garage faucet? I’m pretty sure that’s not filtered.
 
ETNsilverstar
  • #28
Okay so I let water sit out all night and I just tested it a few minutes ago, you’re right. It has changed to 8.2 over the night. Should I try to change to hard water instead? I have a feeling that our garage faucet isn’t softened.

I'd start by doing the same test with your garage water and see what it does then go from there.
 
Reaganp1234
  • Thread Starter
  • #29
I'd start by doing the same test with your garage water and see what it does then go from there.

Just put some garage water into a bowl, and I’ll check on it in a couple of hours to see if it’s changed. My mom is unsure of the water in the garage being filtered by our softener. I guess I’ll just have to wait until something happens.

Here is the first tests that I did with the garage water with Both the high and regular ph tests.

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ETNsilverstar
  • #30
It's hard to tell for sure, but looks like probably 7.4 or 7.6 for now. If it's stable in a few hours, you might have your water winner! Switching over will take some time though.
 
Reaganp1234
  • Thread Starter
  • #31
It's hard to tell for sure, but looks like probably 7.4 or 7.6 for now. If it's stable in a few hours, you might have your water winner! Switching over will take some time though.

I’m desperately hoping that it’s going to be stable! How long do you think switching over will take? How many gallons should I do at a time?
 
mossman
  • #32
I'd say to do 10% water changes daily for a week.

Do you have cold AND hot water in your garage? If not, you'll need to heat the water (e.g. with a spare heater) before dumping it in the tank.
 
RSababady
  • #33
This is the long version of the answer to your question : Important - Understanding pH, KH, GH in Home Aqauriums

and the short version is:
  1. remove the airstone to reduce CO2 emission from the water. The more CO2 you have in the water, the lower than your nominal value the pH will be for a given KH value and temperature.
  2. soften your water - my guess is that your well water is hard (I also have a softener and it ran out of salt.....and my water suddenly became very hard causing the pH to rocket).
  3. check your water temperature. If it has dropped, then the ph will go up.
 
Reaganp1234
  • Thread Starter
  • #34
This is the long version of the answer to your question : Important - Understanding pH, KH, GH in Home Aqauriums

and the short version is:
  1. remove the airstone to reduce CO2 emission from the water. The more CO2 you have in the water, the lower than your nominal value the pH will be for a given KH value and temperature.
  2. soften your water - my guess is that your well water is hard (I also have a softener and it ran out of salt.....and my water suddenly became very hard causing the pH to rocket).
  3. check your water temperature. If it has dropped, then the ph will go up.

That’s the thing, our water is softened with potassium salt. It comes out around 7.4-7.5 and then changes to 8.4+ by the next day. My goldfish tanks water is 70 degrees.

I’m so stressed about this situation and I don’t know what to do..
 
Carbeo
  • #35
Easy on the stressing out. Did the other tap hold 7.6 after it sat out? Maybe just bypass the water softener and use that other tap.
I'd say to do 10% water changes daily for a week.

Do you have cold AND hot water in your garage?
I'd agree with using the new water source to gradually shift them over 10%a day. Always match temperatures when you do partial water changes.
 
RSababady
  • #36
Does your water softener actually add potassium salt to the water?
If so, then this is the problem as adding potassium salt to water only TEMPORARILY drops the pH - then it jumps back up - exactly what you are seeing.

You may want to source your water elsewhere for a while until you can figure out what to do - however please keep in mind that slightly harder water will not harm your fish as long as the pH is stable.
The problem is that your high pH will reduce your filter efficiency........ maybe a long term solution will be to add peat to your tank.
 
Reaganp1234
  • Thread Starter
  • #37
Easy on the stressing out. Did the other tap hold 7.6 after it sat out? Maybe just bypass the water softener and use that other tap.

I'd agree with using the new water source to gradually shift them over 10%a day. Always match temperatures when you do partial water changes.

No, none of the water sources that I tried held 7.6. I tried the garage, and the furnace room sink. Well there’s another faucet outside of the house that I haven’t tried yet though. We live in an older house so I don’t know if this house even has a bypass.
 
Reaganp1234
  • Thread Starter
  • #38
Does your water softener actually add potassium salt to the water?
If so, then this is the problem as adding potassium salt to water only TEMPORARILY drops the pH - then it jumps back up - exactly what you are seeing.

You may want to source your water elsewhere for a while until you can figure out what to do - however please keep in mind that slightly harder water will not harm your fish as long as the pH is stable.
The problem is that your high pH will reduce your filter efficiency........ maybe a long term solution will be to add peat to your tank.

I don’t really know, I would ask my mom but I don’t think she would know either. Do you have any ideas where I could get proper aquarium water for my goldfish? I asked her if I could shut off our softener for water changes and she gave out a flat stern “NO” it’s likely because neither of us know what we’re doing when it comes to our water softener. Also,Do you think that since my water quality in terms of ph and water hardness isn’t proper, that my fish aren’t growing at the rate they should be? It’s been over a year since I’ve had my goldfish griffin. he hasn’t grown that much even though he has a good diet, And I keep their water parameters healthy.

Also is this the peat that you’re talking about?
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I don’t want to have to buy water since I have a 40 gallon tank with two goldfish that need more constant water changes
That would be pretty costly I’m guessing.
 
Carbeo
  • #39
In this case I'd say rest the water so the ph stabilizes and then do the water changes with the high ph. That you can do right away. If you buffer or add peat later, sure, but still rest your water so the fish don't have the ph roller coaster in the tank.
 
Carbeo
  • #40
I’m worried that it’s effecting my goldfish and bettas.

The ph roller coaster might have been why you saw an effect on them, aside from high ph alone.
 

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