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 Matching pH

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enrgizerbunny
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Join date : 2014-02-27
Location : Powhatan, VA

PostSubject: Matching pH   Thu Dec 11, 2014 1:27 pm

Alright, here is my situation:

55g lightly planted with 1 Kissing Gourami, 1 Bristlenose Pleco, and 1 Rainbow shark

Ultimately, I want to change to a sand substrate and add 5 angels. This will take me from being way understocked to way over and water changes will become much more important than they do now. The problem is that my tap comes out with a pH that bottoms out my test at 6.0, but after several hours of aeration the pH rises to 7.0 and the water has virtually no buffers, so I use crushed coral in my filter. My pH in the tank is very stable, with no changes over the last 10 months apart from water change days where it moves a little. Also, I live in Powhatan and the entire neighborhood has this problem, so it is definitely related to the water in the ground. (Every house has had the copper pipes replaced because of it.)

My guess is dissolved C02, but is there anyway to solve this so that I can change water without letting it sit a day ahead of time? Any ideas?
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gerald
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PostSubject: Re: Matching pH   Thu Dec 11, 2014 3:55 pm

You could mix in a little baking soda or pickling lime in a bucket or barrel before adding the water to the tank, to neutralize the CO2.  Try 1/2 teasp of soda or 1/4 teasp lime in 5 gal, stir vigorously, and see if that gets the pH to where you want it.  You'll probably need to experiment a bit to find the right amount for your water. Pickling lime will also add calcium; B-soda won't.
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Fward
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PostSubject: Re: Matching pH   Thu Dec 11, 2014 6:10 pm

I use baking soda with great success as well. Just have to figure out the mix. Get a bucket with your water and add a little baking soda till you get your results. Then you can figure how much to add per bucket
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enrgizerbunny
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PostSubject: Re: Matching pH   Fri Dec 12, 2014 9:56 pm

I have 13lbs of baking soda, so I'll experiment, but I think last time I tried the pH just rose even higher because it has a higher starting point. I'll get a couple buckets and experiment though. Would potassium carbonate work? I also have that, which would add potassium, and the crushed coral in my filter adds calcium.
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enrgizerbunny
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PostSubject: Re: Matching pH   Sat Dec 13, 2014 12:45 pm

Experimenting today:

2 5-gallon buckets

1st bucket:
I added 1/2tsp baking soda (Sodium Bicarbonate)
This raised the pH to 6.4

2nd Bucket:
I added 1/2tsp pot ash (Potassium Carbonate)
This raised the pH to 7.4

I'm currently aerating the 2nd bucket since that appears to be the simplest to measure right now. If pH remains stable I will have a solution! I suspect that the pH will remain stable in the 2nd bucket, but rise to 7.0 in the 1st bucket.
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gerald
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PostSubject: Re: Matching pH   Sat Dec 13, 2014 5:06 pm

Carbonate ion is a stronger base than Bicarbonate ion, so you need less of it.  (It takes two H+ to neutralize carbonate, and only one H+ to neutralize bicarbonate.  Not sure about the potash; you might get the desired pH, but too much K (relative to Na) might be toxic.  KCl is used for killing nuisance zebra mussels.
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enrgizerbunny
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PostSubject: Re: Matching pH   Mon Dec 15, 2014 6:05 pm

The results are in:

Potassium carbonate: pH 7.6 after aeration KH 8

Baking soda : pH 7.4 after aeration KH 4

Tank pH and KH are 7.4 and 7 respectively.

I think I have my solution, which works out well because my filter has crushed coral (calcium carbonate) that had been serving as a buffer all this time.
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JohnnyAMH
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PostSubject: Re: Matching pH   Thu Dec 18, 2014 7:13 pm

Cool...Cool
I have never had a water problem of that type. It emphasizes the fact that there are many different circumstances encountered in our hobby. It's always good to hear about positive results...Cool

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