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Proper Ph


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  • Regular Member

It's that time again and I'm going to do a mail order of pet (mostly goldie :P ) supplies. I wanted to get the buffer at goldfishconnection but I can't seem to find a Canadian supplier. Instead I was thinking of getting Proper pH as I've heard others mention it on this forum. Anyone have any reviews for it?

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  • 6 months later...
  • Regular Member

RE: API pH Stabilizer (phosphate buffer). i see this was from a long time ago but maybe its time for you to order again. :)

i do!! i do!! my tap comes out btwn 7.0-7.6, the variance is probably due to low kH (comes out btwn 20-40). as you know, low kH=pH instability. for 7 months, i had problems keeping the pH of the tank(s) up. i'm not sure how Swimmey managed to survive the nonstop fluctuating pH, but he did!

for about 3 months, i used API's pH up. it didn't provide much consistency as the pH still fell, regularly. i told a petstore guy that my pH kept falling and he said, "oh dont worry about it, you just want your pH to match your tap. anywhere from 6.5-8.0 is good for goldfish". (yea, i know bad advice but i hadn't learned yet that 99% of the petstore people are kids who don't know any better. knowing what i know now-->if he had listened to what i was saying, he would have realized that i was having stability problems and not low pH out of tap problems.)

after 7 months of having a fishtank, i had two pH crashes (7.2-6.0) on two different tanks within a week of each other. i soon discovered the importance of kH. i was checking the pH two times per day on BOTH tanks (30-gal and 10-gal) and doing water changes if it started to drop. (what a pain that was!)

i tried baking soda on both tanks. not good. not good at all. it is such a strong H+ bonder (or H+ piggy) that it raised the pH up way too much, despite following the dosing instructions to increase the pH only 0.1 or 0.2. i guess it works better if your kH is above 100 but if it hovers btwn 20-40, its too strong.

in my smaller tank, i had a sick fishy so needed the pH to stay put. i added some API pH 7.5 stabilizer, thinking that i had nothing to lose. the kH started at 20 and the next day, the kH was up at 90. the best part, the pH stayed the same!! the dosing instructions said that i could add again so i did. kH was up to 120 the next day. it's been over two weeks and the pH has stayed stable. when doing water changes, i add enough API 7.5 stabilizer for the new water. currently, the kH is at 220. the nitrates dropped 15ppm (from 20 to 5)-->more on that below.

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MEANWHILE ....

ON THE LARGER TANK (30-gal), i wasn't ready to add the API Stabilizer. i decided that i needed to give up on the baking soda as it was causing too much of a pH increase, even when i added HALF the recommended amount.

i tried coral. maybe it works, i dont know but there was no difference in the kH. i'm gonna guess that's bc coral works SL OWLY. probably something good for when your kH is higher, too. i still have it in the tank, knowing that someday it will be helpful.

i tried cuttlebone. maybe it works, i dont know but there was no difference in the kH. after a week or so, i did notice an increase in the gH. (makes sense bc cuttlebone is calcium.) the cuttlebone still wasn't helping my problem.

i got fed up with the twice daily stat checking, emergency water changes and worrying about the pH crashing so i added the API 7.5 Stabilizer. the kH was raised from 40-90 overnight. again, the pH remained stable. the next night, i added half the dosage and it raised the kH from 90 to 110. 2 days later, i added the standard dosing and the kH was raised from 110 to 190. again, the pH remained stable. the nitrates have also dropped to 5 from 20.

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what?! "that's amazing stuff!" you say. oh but wait, you didn't expect there to not be a catch, did you? the labeling says, "do not use with planted tanks". i called API. the rep said that is because the buffer will eat up all the plants' nutrients. (you know, Iron, Nitrogen, etc.) the good news is that this is a goldfish forum. who/what do you think will kill the plants first? the goldfish or the buffer?

i was surprised when the nitrates DROPPED from 20 to 5 on the first tank. (the nitrates in my tap come out anywhere from 20-40.) the nitrate drop should not have surprised me bc Nitrates are NO3+ so if the API Stabilizer is a strong nitrogen bonder, then its going to break apart the bond between the Nitrogen and Oxygen. i was worried that would cause a crash in my cycle but so far it has not. i mentioned it somewhere and people didn't believe that the API stabilizer could drop the nitrates. so, i second-guessed my knowledge in science until i used it in the 2nd tank and the same thing happened. maybe it has to do with the exact composition of my water or maybe it does that everytime.

if you have stability problems due to low kH, API's pH Stabilizer is definitely worth it!

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