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Old 07-05-2012, 01:34 PM   #1 
LizzyP's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2012
Exclamation pH drastic changes?

Okay, so I kind of have a weird question.

We haven't had power so the well water was kinda cloudy when we did eventually get power back 4 days later. So I boiled water to use for the 100% water change so no funky things could get in my fish tank. I tested the water parameters before I put the boiled water in my clean tank, the pH was normal, but when I tested for the High Range pH it was an 8.8, a 1.4 jump from when I tested the old fish tank water the night before. So I got some tap water and tested pH and HRpH, pH was lower than the 7.6, more like a 7.0-7.2 but the HR was back to 7.4. So I just used plain tap water for water change, added some conditioner & clarifier and everything is fine.

What in the world happened? I normally use just plain tap water w/water conditioner for water changes and never boil it. Why did the HRpH shoot up so high and pH stay the same after boiling? I'm so glad I tested the water first...Poor fish would've died of shock.
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Old 07-06-2012, 02:52 AM   #2 
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Join Date: Jun 2011
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You were very alert and attentive, Lizzy. Might not have killed him, but he would not have been happy.

Wells are funny, sometimes. I get overnight pH drift (from 7.4 to 7.8/8.0) just from CO2 outgassing. When the well isn't used for a few days, the CO2 and the pH can really drift. I think this is what you were experiencing.

I'm surprised that your boiled water didn't show high pH.

The overlap between pH and high-range pH can be irregular. Pick one or the other.
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Old 07-06-2012, 11:45 AM   #3 
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So I don't have to test for High Range pH? Well that makes things a little easier...

I also got a new plant last night, first live plant. How will this change my water parameters? Just so I don't shock myself when I go to test it later.
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Old 07-06-2012, 11:51 AM   #4 
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Plants won't change your water parameters at all (pH, GH, or KH). They'll use Ammonia and help with that, but there is no negative consequences.

The reason for the huge pH shift is when you boil water, you remove the KH (Carbonate Hardness) which is what buffers the pH.
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