Weird test results

  1. Jayson Initiate Member

    For the past several weeks my tanks water parameters have been giving some peculiar results. My pH has remained at a value of 7.6, even though I've been adding "pH adjust" every two days; supposedly lowering the pH by 0.5 per application. Furthermore, yesterday I did a 30% water change and introduced water with a pH of 6.8; however, this morning my pH was back to 7.6.
        To add to the confusion, my KH reading is 50 mg/L, a value usually associated with a low pH. Should I focus on my KH, since it is rather low and I've heard that pH isn't as crucial as other things, such as temperature. However, if I increase my KH, won't my pH also increase?   

    So, what's going on in my tank?
    Should I increase my KH or decrease my pH or do both?

    Jason S.
     
  2. Isabella Fishlore VIP Member

    Jayson - first of all - you shouldn't be adding any commercial pH adjusters to your water. See how the pH constantly fluctuates? That's exactly what commercial pH adjusters do! And who suffers most? Of course, your fish. Commercial pH adjusters will only temporarily change the pH, and once you start using them, you'll have to be using them with every single water change, etc. Plus, your pH will swing up and down, unnecessarily stressing your fish. As I have said in many of my posts: slightly lower or slightly higher pH than the one that fish have in natural environment is better than constantly trying to adjust the pH. As long as the pH is STABLE, your fish will do well. It is pH swings that cause problems. In addition, ANY chemicals that you're adding to your water, contribute to osmotic pressure - which is very dangerous for fish.
     

  3. Jayson Initiate Member

    ok..so your saying that I shouldn't be using any chemicals, but how else can I get my KH at safe levels for my fish and at levels which are beneficial for my plants?

    What do you use in your tanks?

    I've recently put volcanic rock in my aquarium, supposedly that's suppose to lower the pH.

    thanks for the response by the way

    Jason
     
  4. Isabella Fishlore VIP Member

    I don't know if a pH of 7.6 is that terrible - I think your fish could adjust to that. If it stays at 7.6, with no fluctuations, your fish should be fine. However, if you really want to alter your pH, a more natural way to do this is to filter your water through peat. But as with commercial pH adjusters - you'll have to use peat on a regular basis to ensure that the pH stays the same and doesn't go back to the previous pH of 7.6. Maybe you should ask Gunnie or Butterfly for a better advice - I really wouldn't want to mislead you.
     

  5. Isabella Fishlore VIP Member

    Jayson, another natural way to keep your pH stable and perhaps at lower ranges is to use natural plants. How would this work with plants? Well, plants always have leaves that decay and there are always leaves that grow back in place of decayed ones. What the decaying process does is it releases acids that lower your pH. If you kept the plants growing in your tank, you'd have the pH-lowering process occur naturally in your tank. The best plants to grow under low light are various anubias, java fern, and java moss.
     
  6. Isabella Fishlore VIP Member

    One more question, lol. I assume you're using tap water, right? What is the pH of your tap water before you dechlorinate it and after you dechlorinate it? Thanks.
     
  7. Butterfly Moderator Moderator Member

    Jayson theres nothing wrong with your natural pH or your kh. If you stop fooling around with them by using chemicals your fish will adjust and be perfectly happy. The fluctuations as Isabella said is dangerous for your fish.
    Carol
     

  8. Jon Well Known Member Member

    what type of fish are in your aquarium... lots of fish actually prefer slightly alkaline water... nothing is wrong with 7.6 in fact that is the exact reading of my guppy tank
     
  9. Jayson Initiate Member

    Isabella, I get my water from a local pet store. He provides me with water that has undergone reverse osmosis. The pH is 6.8, and I sometimes add Aqua Plus, to reduce fish stress and protecttheir scales and fins.


                 Jason