Way high pH needs to lower

inari

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Hey all,

I know I haven't posted in quite some time. Been pretty busy. Anyway, up until now my fish tanks were doing wonderful, good pH, everyone was surviving just fine...etc. Yesterday I had to move into my summer housing and now my pH (which is normally at 7.5-8 on a water change day) is up to a 9.0 and this water was treated and added yesterday. Any and all help is more than welcome

Brent
 

Luniyn

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Wow now that's a call for using a pH lowering product if I've ever heard one, and I'm usually against messing with the pH. There are a few ways you could deal with this. Some will work better then others, while some will require more work to keep things constant. Chemicals is the quickest way to change the pH. You MUST be careful doing this though. I would highly suggest treating water before you add it to a tank with fish in it and check it to be sure it is stable. Using a (or any brand along these lines) will get you back to 7.0pH. The down side is that if you aren't careful and diligent in your use of whatever chemical you add, you could see a spike in pH which could very quickly kill your fish. If you are careful then chances lessen, but it's always a concern. If you want to stay away from chemicals, then things like driftwood can lower the pH of your water. The problem with this method is that it is not a set amount and can very over time. They all have their positives and negatives which is why I normally suggest no messing with pH, but your 9.0 is just too much for the fish to get use to easily if ever. Good Luck!
 

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I agree with Luniyn....pH spikes are scary.....Driftwood and live plants could be a help as can adding an airstone. Using chemicals can be tricky but you have to monitor your water very closely.
 

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vin said:
...as can adding an airstone.
An air stone will raise the pH. It's pumping CO2 into the tank that would lower the pH. But then you need live plants to deal with the CO2.
 
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inari

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well I know it's definitely the tap water 'cause at my other place it never got above about a 8.0 which is high but a water change corrected that. Thank you for the chemical names, they have been trying to get me to use pH down but the amount that I have to use is so dang much I was hoping for something along these lines I just didn't know names. thanks I'll keep everyone posted

~inari
 

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Luniyn said:
vin said:
...as can adding an airstone.
An air stone will raise the pH. It's pumping CO2 into the tank that would lower the pH. But then you need live plants to deal with the CO2.
Sorry, my bad - I forgot that adding O2 oxygenates the water....However - I run an air stone 24/7 with 7.0 pH straight from the tap....My plants must help hold it stable I would guess...But then again, prior to planting my tank I ran an air stone and had no problems with the pH going up????
 
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inari

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well it doesn't really matter anyway I've tried everything. from my original I have 1 speckled cory, 1 albino bristlenose pleco, and my veil tail betta. Most have died from the freaking pH problem and the oto got attacked my betta I think I don't know exactly. My issue is that my water is horrible that not even pH regulator doesn't work let alone acid buffer. I'm out of ideas someone told me I need to get some RO water and do about a water change a day...anyway thanks
 

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RO water (though expensive) is an option, but it is basically the softest water you can get. You have to actually give it a buffer and dial it in to suit your needs. With it, you wouldn't need to do a water change each day though. In fact if you did that you would have worse problems then just the 9.0 pH. You would get all kinds of ups and downs as you tried to keep the water you were adding each day the same as what was in your tank.

Speaking of water hardness... have you done a test to see how hard your water is? If it's KH is really high, then it's possible that is why you can't get the pH to move even with an acid buffer. I would see what your GH and KH are and then go from there.

Vin... aeration will normally raise the pH when it's removing excess CO2. Properly aerated water (usually our tank water will be aerated enough just by the flow of the filter especially with a HOB filter) won't have enough excess CO2 to cause the pH to rise. Which is probably why you never had an issue with your tank.
 
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inari

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My GH was around 3 degrees and my KH was way above 15 out of the tap my GH was the same and my KH was at 16 I also know that the physical plant is going to flush the the pipes here soon so that might help idk tho I'm going tomorrow and looking for some RO or distilled water, I would prefer RO since it is so freaking soft but we will see. This is assuming that my entire tank isn't dead when I wake up in the morning talkl about a bad day. anway thanks

~Inari
 

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Yeah that's a pretty high KH level, and that is most likely why you are having such a hard time lowering the pH. You would have to probably add 2 or 3 times the normal dosage of the neutral buffer in order to see your pH move at all. But then you are basically using up all of your buffer and could suddenly see a sharp fall in pH. It wouldn't be easy to control. RO sounds like your best bet at this point unless that flushing of the pipes works. Good Luck!
 

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Luniyn said:
Vin... aeration will normally raise the pH when it's removing excess CO2. Properly aerated water (usually our tank water will be aerated enough just by the flow of the filter especially with a HOB filter) won't have enough excess CO2 to cause the pH to rise. Which is probably why you never had an issue with your tank.
Good point - thanks for the tip.
 
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inari

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Well idk about the flushing of the pipes but I think I might have my water back to a stable specs. here is what they are I tested them about 5 minutes ago.

pH 7.5 (significan'tly lower than before)
gh around 3
kh around 10 (still higher than I would like but it's better than it was)

and all it took was 50% distilled water with the usual treatments of course. I couldn't seem to find RO and I was getting extremely flustered so I figured that distilled would work as well. Anyway I'm going to keep looking for RO but I doubt anyone around here has it, and I have another water change coming up in the near future so this will fun to say the least. Getting distilled water so that I can do water changes lovely!!! Any other comments are more than welcome

~inari
 

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Hey that's much better then before. If you can keep that stable then that would work just fine. With RO you will still have to work hard to build up that kind of buffer, so it's not going to be any easier of a choice. The only plus about RO is that you get to dial it in to the specs that you want, which is kind of nice since it is pretty much a blank slate. I normally see it sold in mom & pop type fish stores, the ones that have a lot of saltwater tanks and just a few freshwater tanks. People get those 5 Gal gas tanks and bring them in to be filled with RO water so they have enough to last for a few water changes.
 
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inari

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Alright well the only Mom & Pop store around here is preuss they are pretty good that is where I got a few of my fish and they are very helpful...however I can't get there withoug a car lol. thanks for the Ro advise also I'm wondering, When I do my water changes how should I do it how much distilled water and how much tap remeber that my current tap water is extremely hard. thanks

~Inari
 

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You are going to have to experiment I think to get the best results. I would start at a 50-50 mix in a large bucket and test the water in the bucket. The idea is to find the mix that keeps you at the same pH you were able to achieve in your tank now. Unfortunately it's not an exact science so it will take a bit of experimentation. Good Luck!
 

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