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Old 05-13-2013, 04:34 PM   #1 
Rana
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Exclamation PH Madness- help!

I initially thought that the drop in pH in my betta's tank was from adding rooibos tea, but I checked my other tank and the pH was super low there as well! Then I wondered if maybe my tap had fluctuated, but when I checked it was solid. I also thought maybe the StressCoat+ I had recently started using as a water conditioner was lowering the pH so I tested that as well, but the pH was spot on.

I have no idea what is going on and I really don't want to stress out my fish any more than I have to. Jude in his 5g has a pH of about 6.6 (raising it via frequent water changes from <6.0), when normally it is 7.5, and my danios in a 10g have a pH of <6.0! I added a terracotta pot to my 10g recently, but I have extra pieces soaking in old tank water (haven't gotten around to putting them in the filter as extra media) and that water tested just fine. Otherwise there have been no changes to decorations, water change schedule, additives, etc.

Should I just buy a bottle of Perfect pH or whatever it's called and hope it will increase the buffering capacity of my water? I don't want to stress my fish nor disrupt the cycle in my 10g with a 100% change, but I've heard mixed reviews on chemical additives for pH.

Attached is a photo of three of the tests I took, in natural diffuse sunlight. Left is Jude's, middle is the 10g, right is tapwater.
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Old 05-13-2013, 05:04 PM   #2 
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Do you know the hardness values for your water? Water with a low carbonate hardness value (or buffering capacity) can be very prone to sudden drops in pH. I have very soft water here, which comes out of the tap at around 7, but will drop to around 6 if left to sit in a bucket overnight.

One way of naturally increasing the KH and pH of your water, is to add some crushed coral in a stocking or filter bag to your filter. This is a much more gradual and therefore, safer option than trying to mess around with chemicals and quick fixes.
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Old 05-13-2013, 05:52 PM   #3 
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From what water reports I can pull up, it seems like I have pretty soft water. "[City] water is monitored continuously and has a hardness of 20 to 40 ppm, and is considered soft."

I did a pwc on the 10g, added a pinch of baking soda and changed out the carbon in the filter and that tank's pH seems to be back to around 7.5. I didn't want to risk stressing Jude by adding baking soda to his tank as well, and now there's none left thanks to my cat even if I did want to. His pH is still around 6.7, better but still not perfect- I guess I'll just keep up with the water changes.

I'll definitely look into coral, thanks!

Last edited by Rana; 05-13-2013 at 05:55 PM.
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Old 05-13-2013, 05:57 PM   #4 
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Baking soda tends to be a short term fix. I used to use baking soda in my previous goldfish tank and you had to be careful as it would shoot the pH up quite fast but then not be able to hold it stable over a long period of time.

You don't want to raise the hardness or pH too quickly, as you have to remember that on the pH scale, each whole pH value is 10 times more alkaline than the previous one.
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Old 05-14-2013, 03:15 AM   #5 
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Roiboostea...?? What the heck?? Who told you this rubbish? Did you try to put milk and sugar too??
Make a 50% waterchange , a teapoon of salt on 10 ltrs of water and you will be fine.
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Old 05-14-2013, 05:16 AM   #6 
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You can use rooibos tea as I believe it is caffeine free. Many people on this forum use it or have used it in the past.

Why would you need to add salt? How is that going to do anything to address the OP's question?
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Old 05-14-2013, 05:30 AM   #7 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LittleBettaFish View Post
You can use rooibos tea as I believe it is caffeine free. Many people on this forum use it or have used it in the past.
That doesenīt really qualifies it for me
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Why would you need to add salt? How is that going to do anything to address the OP's question?
I donīt even answer that...its too stupid
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Old 05-14-2013, 05:45 AM   #8 
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Well seeing as bettas are freshwater fish and the OP is asking about how to change the pH value of their water, I don't see any need for aquarium salt to even come into the equation.
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Old 05-14-2013, 05:52 PM   #9 
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Originally Posted by LittleBettaFish View Post
Well seeing as bettas are freshwater fish and the OP is asking about how to change the pH value of their water, I don't see any need for aquarium salt to even come into the equation.
Exactly. Do a search for controlling hardwater and ph. There are a few different things that can help IIRC substrate can help also. Sorry, im so vague, its been a while since i researched this. But do not add salt =)

Found in a fast search:

"There are several different ways to influence your water's pH. There are chemical additives you can add directly to the water which will either raise or lower the pH. Natural agents can also be used to alter water pH as well. Adding peat in the tank or filter will acidify the water. Mineral salts like calcium (found in limestone or in some shells) will increase the alkalinity and pH."

Another:
'The easiest is to provide a carbonate-containing substrate. Such materials are readily available at your local fish store (LFS). Examples are crushed limestone, crushed coral, and crushed oyster shell. The carbonate-containing material reacts with the acids produced from living and decay, thus removing these acids and maintaining the pH.

You can also maintain the pH by monitoring and adding either sodium bicarbonate, that is sold as baking soda in grocery stores, or by adding hydrated lime which is also called calcium hydroxide, slaked lime, slack lime or pickling lime and is sold in garden centers in 5-pound bags. Bicarbonate will get the water to about 7.8, while hydrated lime will easily get the pH above 8."

Last edited by Aahnay; 05-14-2013 at 06:11 PM.
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Old 05-14-2013, 06:14 PM   #10 
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Also from the last quote above "You can do all three things together: use the substrate, add bicarbonate and add hydrated lime, or you can do any one of them. The substrate is easiest because it will continuously neutralize the acids formed and you do not have to monitor the pH frequently. With the other two you will need to monitor the pH frequently until you learn how often and how much to add."
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