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Old 07-04-2012, 03:17 PM   #1 
RainbowSocks
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Exclamation pH swiiiiiings! D:

I have really soft water. I really, really hoped I wouldn't have an issue with pH, but in the past week, my pH was at 7.2 before and after a water change, was at 6.8 two days later, then between 7.0-7.2 two days later, between 7.4 and 8.0 two days later, and after a little water change and new decoration(s) is down to 6.6. I'd blame the new decoration or water change, but the pH went down earlier in the week, and not after the water change... My tap water's pH is between 7.2 and 7.6.

This in a 10 gal. filtered, heated, cycled. Ammonia and nitrites are zero. Nitrates were always 0-5ppm. There's a few floating plants (wisteria, java fern, mondo grass), gravel substrate, and one wee betta fish.

So far, Iv seems his usually self. I know maintaining a constant pH is important--versus what that pH is.

I added one Jungle Correct pH only because I kinda freaked at the 1.0 swing, and it says it buffers the water... and I had some on hand...

Last edited by RainbowSocks; 07-04-2012 at 03:22 PM.
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Old 07-04-2012, 04:58 PM   #2 
LittleBettaFish
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A small (you do not need much) amount of crushed coral in a stocking in your filter will increase your KH and buffer your pH long-term.

I use it in all my cycled tanks as otherwise my pH drops and my beneficial bacteria start to suffer.

Also not sure if you know, but Mondo grass is not a true aquatic and will eventually rot if kept submersed for an extended period of time.
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Old 07-04-2012, 05:14 PM   #3 
RainbowSocks
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I was thinking about coral, I'm glad to have some reinforcement for that. I'll just have to wait until tomorrow since everything is closed for the 4th (<3 for our country, </3 for my fish). So far he looks good...

I unfortunately had never heard of mondo grass when I went plant shopping at Petsmart. x_X I just keep cutting the dead stuff off...
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Old 07-04-2012, 07:32 PM   #4 
Silverfang
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you want to be careful with products that alter the Ph, they often have phosphours that will cause algae blooms. As well altering the ph is tricky, it's often best just to leave it, bettas can handle a wide range of ph (6-8) better than they can swings in the ph. I was in your situation, my ph kept dropping, at one point it was so low there wasn't a reading on the card, I know it hit 5.5 at one point. Crushed coral is a safer way, but even that didn't last long term for me. Of course that tank was plain weird.

What you want to check is the Kh/Gh. These will tell you how hard (or more likely soft) your water is, and what your buffering capacity is. The softer the water, the less buffering capacity, meaning your water will tend to go to the more acidic side of things. (Personal experience...)
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Old 07-04-2012, 09:05 PM   #5 
RainbowSocks
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Before I had a fish (and was just growing bacteria lol) the pH stayed 7.2-7.4ish. I know the swings are bad, and that's why the sudden dip to a lower pH (for my tank, anyway) freaked me out. The pH is up to 6.6. I have to keep telling myself to leave it alone--that he's had enough pH change for one day (or several). I wouldn't mind investing in coral, even if I keep having to add it to my filter (though I haven't seen the price tag yet, lol). I just figure that's better than chemicals.

When I moved here, I noticed immediately how soft the water is compared to aquifer water, and later learned that the city adds softener to it (weird, right?). During cycling, adding 5ppm ammonia raised the pH by 1.2 "points." That's when I started hoping pH swings wouldn't be a problem.

Thank you guys for all your experience and advice! It's helping me not do anything drastic and/or irrational (like quarantine my poor betta to his cup or add vinegar to his aquarium... D:).
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Old 07-04-2012, 10:08 PM   #6 
Silverfang
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crushed coral or aragonite. In a 10G one tablespoon in a nylon bag (pantyhose!) in a hob filter should be sufficient. OF course close monitoring is needed.

I can't speak for anyone else, but my LFS sells it by the pound, so like 2-3 for one pound of the crushed coral.
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Old 07-04-2012, 10:32 PM   #7 
RainbowSocks
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Wow, that's not bad at all! :D There are two reef shops in all of this capital city (go figure), and one just added "and freshwater fish specialists" to their website so I'm pretty excited to go check it out tomorrow.
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Old 07-04-2012, 10:40 PM   #8 
jeffegg2
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Cool

Your water lacks carbonate hardness HK. That is what is causing the ph swings. The crushed coral will help.

Jeff.
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Old 07-05-2012, 07:42 AM   #9 
Silverfang
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Byron (tfk) is really knowledgeable about ph, kh and gh and the relationship. Not to mention how to tweak it. He suffers from it himself.
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Old 07-05-2012, 06:38 PM   #10 
RainbowSocks
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Just got my water tested. My GH is less than 1, and my KH is 2.

I just had a thought: if I change the hardness of my aquarium's water, will my betta be able to acclimate to partial water changes, since my tap's water will be extremely soft?
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