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High pH tap water and tank water


Michelle

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I have four Ranchu goldfish in a 36 gallon tank, and have had them about a year.
When I tested my tank water a few days later I noticed the pH had increased to 8.6! So I tested the water from the tap and it was 8.8! :(
In the past, the water from my tap had always been ok, so I got lazy and didn't test it this time. Lesson learned.
Over the past three days the pH has been dropping on its own, and is now 7.6.

To prevent this from happening in the future, when I do a water change, should I add pH down to the tap water after treating it with water conditioner, before adding it to the tank?
I have been reading about RO/DI filters. Does anyone have any suggestions on a good brand? Do they help lower pH coming out of tap water?
I have heard pros and cons on drift wood and peat moss. Has anyone had any experience with them?
I welcome any suggestions. I love these fish and really want to keep them safe.
I actually just did an international goldfish grooming competition with one of them which was a really fun learning experience. :) 


 

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:hi

and :welcome

Lets do a test. Get a Jug and fill it with the water you use for water changes. I want you to test that then let it sit for 24 hours and test it again. If you have an air bubbler put that in there. This way we can see what this water is doing.

Do you have a KH tester ? This will tell us if the PH will be steady or if its going to drop. Low KH in water makes the ph drop over time. 

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OK, thank you! :) 

I just filled a jug of water from the tap and tested the pH and hardness.
I ran three pH tests. The API Freshwater Master Test Kit read 8.2.
The other test strips (used for a hot tub) read pH 9 and pH 8.4.

So I would guess its between 8.2 and 8.4.

The API kit doesn't have a hardness or alkalinity test, but the hot tub strips do.
I used two different brands and for both I got  a hardness of 0-100 and an alkalinity of 240.

I also let the utility company know that there water is suddenly expressing a very high pH (historically it has been 7.2). They replied that I am "basically a observing an alkalinity issue-pun intended". So, despite the humor, I don't think the high pH concerns them. So, I might be dealing with high pH tap water for the foreseeable future. :(

20210630_153333.jpg

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Well lets see what it does over night. Its that drop that concerns me. Not the fact its so high. Goldfish can take a wide range of PH but only if it is stable, Make sure it doesn't drop down drastically. 

If you can lets see the whole tank, to make sure we dont have something in there that may be dropping the PH. 

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The tank is a 36 gallon bow front with black gravel, four fake plants, one live plant and a ceramic cave. I have a Penguin double biowheel filter that has a carbon filter in each chamber. I also have a filter sponge that has air flowing through it. I have a heater set at 78 degrees, a single power head, and a second air stone that is attached to a bubble wand.
 

Historically the pH has been around 7.4 or 7.6 with no ammonia and low nitrites and low nitrates. I try to clean 30% of the water every other week. This is the first time that I know of that my tap water has had such a crazy high pH. Im glad the pH in the tank is starting to come down on its own, but I want to be proactive for the next water change.

whole tank.jpg

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Yup I don't see anything in this tank that would effect the ph.

You could take a sample of water to the Pet store and ask them to test the KH for you. Most Petsmarts and Petcos will do that for you. But make sure you ask them for the number. Don't let them say its in the safe zone. That doesn't help at all lol

 

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The tap water that I left out now has a pH of 8.0. So it dropped a little. 
I am pretty sure its the high pH tap water that is making my tank pH high after a water change.
Do you recommend a RO/DI filter so that I can filter my tap water before adding it to the tank. Do those help with the pH?
Or should I treat my tap water in a bucket with pH Down to get the pH to drop a little before adding it to the tank?
I will also go to the pet store to get the hardness tested...those test strips are not super accurate.

 

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On 9/9/2021 at 7:16 AM, Michelle said:

The tap water that I left out now has a pH of 8.0. So it dropped a little. 
I am pretty sure its the high pH tap water that is making my tank pH high after a water change.
Do you recommend a RO/DI filter so that I can filter my tap water before adding it to the tank. Do those help with the pH?

No RO water is not the best IMO for goldfish because it doesn't have the minerals that they need. So you would have to replace it in the water. 

On 9/9/2021 at 7:16 AM, Michelle said:


Or should I treat my tap water in a bucket with pH Down to get the pH to drop a little before adding it to the tank?
I will also go to the pet store to get the hardness tested...those test strips are not super accurate.

 

Goldfish can live in ph from 6.8 to about 8.8 so dont worry to much about it being high. The issue is its dropping. That makes me think that your KH is to low. That's what you need to get tested. If its low that means that it can't keep the PH stable and that will cause problems in the long run. Goldfish can tolerate some swings in there water, but what bothers me is if the ph drops to low and to fast it can burn them.

So lets see if we can find out what your KH is. Also you can get some Crushed coral or Crushed oyster shells. Put these in a nylon bag or a panty hose and put it in your filter system. This will keep your KH more stable which will make your Ph stable. :) 

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koko
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I would recommend much larger and weekly water changes. Four goldfish in a tank like yours can cause issues with the water quality. Make sure  you vacuum the gravel with each water change. So long as the ph moves slowly over time there is little to be concerned about as previously stated goldfish have a very high ph range. However a sudden drop in ph is indicative of a nitrogen crash which can lead to high ammonia and nitrite levels very quickly

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