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Ph Question


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Hi everyone!

I started my fishless cycle yesterday, and so far have lots of ammonia! (seems like I really had to add alot to get it above 1.0) right now it's 2.0

Anyway....my question is I have high Ph. out of the tap it is about 8.0.

I just tested my tank and it's about 9.0. I think I may be confusing myself since I added Buff It Up to my tank yesterday, because I was excited and wanted to see what would happen. Well, I was so excited, that I didn't test before I added the Buff It up. duh.

Could the Buff it up raise it that much? Could something else be raising it? Should I try to lower it? I have no fish, and am just starting the cycle, so I have plenty of time to figure it out. But any thoughts. If it is high, should I lower it for the future fish? Or will adding buff it up keep it steady in the future? Am I making any sense?

:testkit:

Edited by sweetshannon
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Yes go ahead and lower it for your future fish. You can also add crushed coral to the filter to keep the pH stable. What's your tap pH and regular tank pH without buff it up?

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pH of 8.0 is perfectly fine for goldfish, my pH is actually 8.3 and I have no issues with it. So don't worry about lowering it with anything, and obviously you won't need the Buff-it-up! lol

Since you added the Buff-it-up and the pH is so high in the tank right now, I would do a large water change and add back ammonia to 2.0 ppm because cycling does take longer at higher pH's. So I'd do a water change to bring it back down to the tap water pH level.

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Ok, I will do a water change tomorrow. I also will add crushed coral to my filter. Thanks for your answers. I will test after water change, and keep testing to see how stable it is. Can I add anything chemically to lower it, since there are no fish in it? Or is the water change the best way to go?

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Water change is probably best. Those chemical pH lowering products are not very reliable I don't think. It's probably not worth fiddling with, when you could just do a water change and know for sure the pH will go back to normal. Just my opinion. :)

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There are strip tests as well as drop tests that give you a measure of kH and GH. With these you can judge what your water hardness.

I also wouldn't advise to try to change your pH with chemicals, especially if it isn't needed (and with a pH of 8.0 there is no need). The reason is that a stable pH is at least as important as a pH is a good range. Even without/before fish, it's best to try to get a stable pH in your tank. That way, you can be more certain that it will remain stable once your fish are in there.

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pH of 8.0 is perfectly fine for goldfish, my pH is actually 8.3 and I have no issues with it. So don't worry about lowering it with anything, and obviously you won't need the Buff-it-up! lol

Actually, buff it up is for kH which in turn regulates pH, so it might be needed. To know if it is or not, you really need to measure your kH, as others have suggested. If that is fine, you won't need buff it up or crushed coral.

kH gives a measure of water softness. A stable kH buffers your water, which basically means it keeps the pH stable and prevents crashes. So if you have a very low kH, your pH of 8 could potentially drop to 6 over night, which would be very bad for your fish!

I also wouldn't advise to try to change your pH with chemicals, especially if it isn't needed (and with a pH of 8.0 there is no need). The reason is that a stable pH is at least as important as a pH is a good range. Even without/before fish, it's best to try to get a stable pH in your tank. That way, you can be more certain that it will remain stable once your fish are in there.

:exactly

Right now you have no fish in there, so I wouldn't worry about messing with the pH. It will come down on its own once the buff it up gets used up and as you do water changes. The most important thing right now is to find out how stable it is. If it's going to stay at 8.0 where your tap water is, that's great!

Edited by Chrissy_Bee
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Actually, buff it up is for kH which in turn regulates pH

Thanks Chrissy. That's good to know (I always get those US product names mixed up :blink:).

Shannon, do you have any idea what your kH/GH is?

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:goodpost we don't often get thorough explanation of how KH & GH work, i enjoyed reading your post chrissy.. thank you.

Thanks :)

I have a kH of zero in my tap water, so I've become very well acquainted with the issue over the years. Koko has too, she's suffered with the same problem. Here's a great post she did on the topic http://www.kokosgoldfish.invisionzone.com/forum/index.php?/topic/65745-ph-kh-problems/

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I still don't understand the KH issue. I will go buy that test today and let you know what it says. Is a high KH good? And that means my Ph will be stable?

And thanks again!

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I still don't understand the KH issue. I will go buy that test today and let you know what it says. Is a high KH good? And that means my Ph will be stable?

And thanks again!

Try this this link. It gives a nice explanation of what KH and GH are and do.

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I did a 80% water change yesterday after I posted my question. My ph in my tank is still sky high. It is currently 8.8....the highest number on my high range Ph test kit. Is it possible for the ph to go UP? My tap water was 8.0 yesterday when I was doing water change.

Does my high ammonia have anything to do with it? It is currently about 4.0.

Thanks for any insight. I added nothing with my WC except prime.

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I did a 80% water change yesterday after I posted my question. My ph in my tank is still sky high. It is currently 8.8....the highest number on my high range Ph test kit. Is it possible for the ph to go UP? My tap water was 8.0 yesterday when I was doing water change.

Does my high ammonia have anything to do with it? It is currently about 4.0.

Thanks for any insight. I added nothing with my WC except prime.

The relevant chemistry maths seems to have escaped me, but I would think it very likely that extremely high ammonia concentrations will have an effect on your pH. Ammonia (NH3) would/should take up H+ and form NH4+, thereby reducing the concentration of H+ in the water, which means it turns less acidic (i.e. higher pH) as long as the ammonia is in there, but should become more acidic again (i.e. lower pH) once the ammonia is gone. This however assumes that the ammonia actually enters the tank as ammonia (NH3) rather than as ammonium (NH4+). So I would like to ask: 'is there a chemist in the house?' :rolleyes:

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Oh wow, this is taking me back to all those chemistry courses I had to do! (but I did like them..I'm such a geek!)

I did a 80% water change yesterday after I posted my question. My ph in my tank is still sky high. It is currently 8.8....the highest number on my high range Ph test kit. Is it possible for the ph to go UP? My tap water was 8.0 yesterday when I was doing water change.

Does my high ammonia have anything to do with it? It is currently about 4.0.

Thanks for any insight. I added nothing with my WC except prime.

The relevant chemistry maths seems to have escaped me, but I would think it very likely that extremely high ammonia concentrations will have an effect on your pH. Ammonia (NH3) would/should take up H+ and form NH4+, thereby reducing the concentration of H+ in the water, which means it turns less acidic (i.e. higher pH) as long as the ammonia is in there, but should become more acidic again (i.e. lower pH) once the ammonia is gone. This however assumes that the ammonia actually enters the tank as ammonia (NH3) rather than as ammonium (NH4+). So I would like to ask: 'is there a chemist in the house?' :rolleyes:

I think this is correct. Very technical for sure, but in short high enough concentrations of ammonia might make the water more basic (lower the pH).

What is the difference between ammonia and ammonium? I am using pure ammonia from smart and final.....my brain is sweating now!

Whew

Ammonium is just ammonia that has taken up a hydrogen from water, many compounds do this in solution :)

Edited by Chrissy_Bee
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