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Ph, Kh Problems


koko

PH page in progress:

Ph (Potential Hydrogen) a measurement of hydrogen Ions in the water.

KH (Carbonate Hardness) is a buffer of your ph.

GH (General Hardness) a measurement of minerals in your water.

Ph is natural at 7.0 anything above that is Alkaline (base) and anything lower than that is Acidic. Goldfish like 7.0 to 7.5 anything lower than 7.0 can cause problems with goldfish.

More minerals and carbonates will increase the ph levels. If you are cycling the tank or have high amounts of ammonia or nitrites in the tank water this will lower the ph level as it uses up the minerals and carbonates in the water. Also organic matter as decaying wood will bind the minerals and carbonates resulting in lowering the ph levels.

Other things to think about when the ph starts to drop down is over stocking and plants. Plants in the day time will produce O2 cause they use Co2 for food this causes the ph levels to go up. Now if you only have one or 5 plants in the tank of lets say a 20-30 gal tank this wont effect the ph levels that much. If you over stock your tank it will lower the ph down to because goldfish produce Co2 all day and night. One good reason not to over stock your tank (one goldfish per 15-20 gallons) or you can produce to much Co2 in the tank. If you don't have enough agitation at the surface of the tank this can cause the ph to lower to cause of the extra Co2 in the tanks water due to the fish.

Now lets say your kh has gotten to low and your ph is starting to drop on you. You could use crushed or slabs of limestone, crushed coral or seashells from your LFS. Now u could either use them as gravel in the tank or use netting and place the crushed limestone, coral and seashells in a filter so that it will be washed into the tank as the water flows through them. When these start to break down they will release minerals such as calcium, magnesium and carbonates this helps keep the KH to be more stable if your KH is falling if the KH is falling it can make the Ph fall. If you get your KH to 100 or above this will stable your ph but if your KH gets above the 300 mark you can hurt your fish's gills. If your KH out of the tap is low you will need to have a buffer to keep it up or the ph will fall with it.

If your ph drops to low you can kill your fish, also you should always check w the LFS were your buying your fish from so you know what the fish's ph is in now compared to yours. If its .5 off either higher or lower u will need to do a slow introduction to your water or the fish can go into ph shock. One way to slowly help them into ur ph if its different is a drip method. This includes a bucket with a rubber airline and a line clamp that controls the flow of the water coming out of the tank, having it drip one or 2 drips a second. This will let the fish slowly get use to ur ph level. The other way if you don't have this is to float the bag in the tank, then every 5 mins let a 1/4 cup of your water into the bag, doing this over again for an hour, then release the fish into your tank. Keep a close eye on the fish for the next couple of days to make sure it doesn't go into ph shock.

So if your ph is dropping and your kh isnt above the 100ppm mark you need to get a buffer, make sure you have plenty of water agitation to help to release the Co2 to help the ph raise in the water.

If you have the GH and KH tests and want to know how much minerals are in the tank you can test both of them, then subtract kh from gh this will show you the levels of minerals in the tank.

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Excellent information, Koko! Thank you so much!

Everything we always wanted to know about water - but were afraid to ask! ;)

Perfect timing, since there have been so many KH/pH issues.

What a great place Koko's is!!! :exactly

Debbie

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I thought this might help people, took some time and research but got it together and easy to understand. :D

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I never knew what PH stood for. Who'da thunk it? :yeah:

I wish I had an easier way to keep my RO water stable, other than spending money on stabilizers, but guess I'm stuck for now. At some point, I'm going to buy some new crushed coral and put in my filters. Maybe the stuff I had before just ran out of oompf.

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I never knew what PH stood for. Who'da thunk it? :yeah:

I've actually never heard "potential Hydrogen". The H is definitely hydrogen though. In the geek world, p means negative log, and pH is calculated as the negative log of the hydrogen ion concentration. So that's what I'm familiar with. Wikipedia also refers to is as "power of hydrogen". Not that it matters too much :)

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A question for you, Koko... or anyone else :)

We're in a slightly annoying situation where we have fairly hard water (GH = ~13 degrees = ~220 ppm), but fairly low KH (3-4 degrees = 50-70 ppm). There really haven't been many pH fluctuations - it always measured at either the lower-than-high-range/higher-than-low-range area (i.e. ~7.5) up to about 7.8. And if anything, I've tended to see it rise a bit over the week between water changes, not drop.

Anyway, I've still been thinking that it'd be nice to get the KH a few degrees higher to be safer. NovAqua is supposed to do this, but seems to have a very small effect (really only 1 degree). I could use baking soda instead, but then I'd be a little concerned about raising pH.

Finally, I know I could use crushed coral - but the downside of this (besides being a bit hard to find), is it is my understanding that since the coral is calcium, it will also raise GH, but our GH is already fairly high. Is this true?

If so, is there anyway to raise our KH, without raising our GH, *and* have it be a longer lasting solution, not something that can wear off easily like a buffer or baking soda? Or am I stuck chosing between imperfect solutions? If so, i'm tempted to experiment with small amounts of baking soda - or just keep using the NovAqua+ - while watching the pH. What would you do?

Thanks so much

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Guest kathykate

Posted

I've just come on the forum looking for a solution to the opposite of low PH.

I've just measured mine and it's 8.2. Is that too high for goldfish? My tank recently cycled and I've just started to do weekly water changes instead of every day. To be honest I haven't tested the PH much, a few times when cycling and it was always around 7.8

I don't have a test for GH or KH.

Should I try and reduce it?

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kathykate, your pH should be fine at 8.2 so long as it's stable. I wouldn't worry about messing with it, as dropping pH can effect the goldies. :)

Debbie

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A question for you, Koko... or anyone else :)

We're in a slightly annoying situation where we have fairly hard water (GH = ~13 degrees = ~220 ppm), but fairly low KH (3-4 degrees = 50-70 ppm). There really haven't been many pH fluctuations - it always measured at either the lower-than-high-range/higher-than-low-range area (i.e. ~7.5) up to about 7.8. And if anything, I've tended to see it rise a bit over the week between water changes, not drop.

Anyway, I've still been thinking that it'd be nice to get the KH a few degrees higher to be safer. NovAqua is supposed to do this, but seems to have a very small effect (really only 1 degree). I could use baking soda instead, but then I'd be a little concerned about raising pH.

Finally, I know I could use crushed coral - but the downside of this (besides being a bit hard to find), is it is my understanding that since the coral is calcium, it will also raise GH, but our GH is already fairly high. Is this true?

If so, is there anyway to raise our KH, without raising our GH, *and* have it be a longer lasting solution, not something that can wear off easily like a buffer or baking soda? Or am I stuck chosing between imperfect solutions? If so, i'm tempted to experiment with small amounts of baking soda - or just keep using the NovAqua+ - while watching the pH. What would you do?

Thanks so much

you know the best thing out there is from goldfishconnection. It will raise your KH and if your ph is fine it will stabilize it :D I love the stuff :D

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you know the best thing out there is from goldfishconnection. It will raise your KH and if your ph is fine it will stabilize it :D I love the stuff :D

Hi Koko. Thanks... I'll consider it! I just fish Goldfish Connection sold their stuff through other outlets, so I could put it in the DrsF&S order I'm about to place :) . I think I'll email Rick and find out if it has any Ca and Mg or anything that effects water hardness. We haven't had any pH problems, but a little bit of KH insurance wouldn't be a bad thing.

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I have hard water like you hun and I been using it since my KH went down to 40 and its amazing its kept my Ph to 7.0 and moved my KH to 130 so Im very happy, it didnt change my GH at all and its so high its up in the 350 mark. Nothing worked before this stuff :(

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here's some quotes from Koko in another thread about kH/gH :thumbs:

Well the buffer works faster and more stable. Coral is great if there is some minerals in the water and will move it up slowly, but I had water that the KH dropped down to 30PPM when it was at 150ppm. I did the coral but it wouldnt move up cause the Ph was taking up to fast. Im thinking that may be your problem to, when it gets so low there istn enough to keep it stable. Coral will work but slower and takes more...

Did that make more sense

Just thought of a way to think about it. You know when your batteries are dead on a remote, the only batteries you do have are almost dead, you stick them in but the remote still wont work right cause there's not enough juice. Kinda the same thing happening here....

Oh I hope Im making sense

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