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jyoti411

Salt Affects Ph..

15 posts in this topic

This is something I have been waiting to do for quite sometime...Today I have all the readings and is absolutely what I doubted was happening..I treat my water with Prime only:

When Sunshine was in her tub for popeye/dropsy treatment with Epsom salts (1/4th teaspoon per 10 gallons)..following are my pH findings:

Tap Water pH - 7.6 which of course would be the tub water pH as well :)

After 24 hours just before a 100% water change, QT tub water pH - 7.4

At that time Chikoo was in the main tank with Prazi (on and off for flukes) and Main tank water pH was always a stable 7.6

Now I have moved Sunshine to the main tank...she got flukes too and red blood stains on her throat...so now I am treating the main tank with Prazi and for the first 4 days 0.05-0.1% salt

Tap water pH - 7.6

After 24 hours tank water - 7

For the past 2 days I did not use salt in the main tank as the red marks on Sunshine are completely gone, but the Prazi treatment is still on

Tap Water pH - 7.6

After 36 hours and a feeding of orange at the 26th hour out of 36, the main tank water reads a stable pH of 7.6

My betta tank has pure water (no salt) treated with Prime..and always has a stable pH of 7.6 even after a week.

How is this possible??...Anyone experienced this..I should be receiving the order of Buff it Up today..but I think..am gonna observe the main tank more before using it...Suggestions are always welcome.. :)

This is also good info for people treating with salt..you might wanna be more wary of pH while treating with salt...

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That's interesting. I haven't heard of the pH going down with salt before. I notice you said Epsom salt, which is different from aquarium salt. Epsom salt is magnesium sulfate, and aquarium salt is sodium chloride. Epsom salt is usually recommended for dropsy, to help with fluid retention. Aquarium salt is for healing and some parasites. Exactly what sort of salt are you using?

As for the buff-it-up, I think testing the KH would be the best way to know if you need it. The fact that the pH is stable in your tank is good. The worry if your KH is low is as the fish get bigger and produce more waste, you could have a pH drop.

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That's interesting. I haven't heard of the pH going down with salt before. I notice you said Epsom salt, which is different from aquarium salt. Epsom salt is magnesium sulfate, and aquarium salt is sodium chloride. Epsom salt is usually recommended for dropsy, to help with fluid retention. Aquarium salt is for healing and some parasites. Exactly what sort of salt are you using?

Its strange..I was unaware too.. :unsure: ..but seriously I was worried I really wanted to find out what was happening so all these readings and a log.. :) .I am glad I will at least be a bit cautious in future..

As for the buff-it-up, I think testing the KH would be the best way to know if you need it. The fact that the pH is stable in your tank is good. The worry if your KH is low is as the fish get bigger and produce more waste, you could have a pH drop.

Ahh..thts a good idea...My Kh drops are on their way..so I ll check out all that next week...but the info with the fish getting bigger which might cause a possible low pH is really awesome..it did not occur to me at all..thanks Claire...I will definitely look out for that.. :) ...I will update this thread with my findings with the Kh and Gh tests.. :) ..I hope I find out what is it exactly that the salts hurt to cause a drop in the pH.. :)

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Because of my little salt incident I did some reading on salt today and learned that too high of salt can make your water too hard, so it can affect PH. I wish I knew were I read that from. Hmm.

Found it:

"Salt also tends to make water harder. If you already have hard water, you are adding to his stress. Through what is called "osmosis" your goldfish already maintains a normal high salt concentration in his body fluids and needs to absorb freshwater into his cells to keep in balance. By adding more salt to his water, you are overloading his system and putting him under osmotic stress. This can be fatal. It saps their energy and strength and weakens their immune system, or can even kill them. This is probably why your fish is spending a lot of time "sleeping" at the bottom of the tank. Give him some fresh oxygenated water w/o the salt. Save the salt for only when he is sick or there is a problem with your water. Happy fishing!!"

From: http://www.goldfishinfo.com/salt.htm

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This is interesting piece of info Amy.. :)

But according to this theory..Salt increases hardness, means definitely Gh and Kh are affected..means they are raised..Kh when increased should actually increase pH but mine drops...which is weird..I would expect it to rise as well..but I have no clue why it drops... :( ...

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It is because your PH is weird...well, I have no idea. That so strange.

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Hello,

Cometgirl is quite right that epsom salts are used differently. As I understand it, different foms of salt, chlorides, bicarbonates etc will in solution produce different pHs. I can't remember if epsom salts will cause pH to go down, but if that is what you have found, then it could be the case.

I'll have to do some more reading to find out what causes the different pHs. (chemistry lessons are a bit hazy :) ) I'm guessing it is when the salt molecule temporarily splits into ions when in solution, that it affects hydrogen ions, but am not sure.

Could anyone else help?

Regards

Slugger :)

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Interesting. I've never noticed either type of salt change my ph, but this is still interesting to think about and look into...

Sounds like you may not need the buff it up JC! But we'll see when you get your Kh test..

Is there anything different about it , like a different filter, or extra aeration that could have made a difference? The more bubbles the more oxygen and usually the higher pH.. Was anything different before?

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It is because your PH is weird...

yes it is...thts exactly what I am trying to find out here what is it tht its acting so weird... :)

well, I have no idea. That so strange.

yeah it is strange..but thnks for the input Amy..I definitely learned from the article and a couple others.. :)

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Interesting. I've never noticed either type of salt change my ph, but this is still interesting to think about and look into...

Sounds like you may not need the buff it up JC! But we'll see when you get your Kh test..

Is there anything different about it , like a different filter, or extra aeration that could have made a difference? The more bubbles the more oxygen and usually the higher pH.. Was anything different before?

yes I am looking fwd to the Kh tests...

No...frankly nothing is different...esame filter, same airstone...even if we take only the main tank into consideration...with regular salts the pH drops but without salts and a feeding of orange does not change it a bit...It was quite horrifying for me to leave the fish without a water change last night..especially since they had orange... :unsure: ..but I really wanted to find this out..I checked on them twice at night..but they were fine..phewwwww...and no wonder they were fine..the pH was absolutely rock solid...but then that kinda makes me think..what aspect of the pH is it that the salts are hurting...its the API salt...but the brand and type of salt should not matter..cos even the epsom did that to the water...I am just curious...and maybe if I find out the cause I can be cautious in future.. :) ..you totally know what I mean Sue.. :D

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This is what I found out from http://www.lenntech.com/water-softener-faq.htm

"What is water softening?

When water contains a significant amount of calcium and magnesium, it is called hard water. Hard water is known to clog pipes and to complicate soap and detergent dissolving in water.

Water softening is a technique that serves the removal of the ions that cause the water to be hard, in most cases calcium and magnesium ions. Iron ions may also be removed during softening.

The best way to soften water is to use a water softener unit and connect it directly to the water supply.

What does a water softener do?

Water softeners are specific ion exchangers that are designed to remove ions, which are positively charged.

Softeners mainly remove calcium (Ca2+) and magnesium (Mg2+) ions. Calcium and magnesium are often referred to as 'hardness minerals'.

Softeners are sometimes even applied to remove iron. The softening devices are able to remove up to five milligrams per litre (5 mg/L) of dissolved iron.

Softeners can operate automatic, semi-automatic, or manual. Each type is rated on the amount of hardness it can remove before regeneration is necessary.

A water softener collects hardness minerals within its conditioning tank and from time to time flushes them away to drain.

Ion exchangers are often used for water softening. When an ion exchanger is applied for water softening, it will replace the calcium and magnesium ions in the water with other ions, for instance sodium or potassium. The exchanger ions are added to the ion exchanger reservoir as sodium and potassium salts (NaCl and KCl).

3.1 Which types of salt are sold for application in a water softener?

For water softening, three types of salt are generally sold:

- Rock salt

- Solar salt

- Evaporated salt

Rock salt as a mineral occurs naturally in the ground. It is obtained from underground salt deposits by traditional mining methods. It contains between ninety-eight and ninety-nine percent sodium chloride. It has a water insolubility level of about 0.5-1.5%, being mainly calcium sulphate. Its most important component is calcium sulphate.

Solar salt as a natural product is obtained mainly through evaporation of seawater. It contains 85% sodium chloride. It has a water insolubility level of less than 0.03%. It is usually sold in crystal form. Sometimes it is also sold in pellets.

Evaporated salt is obtained through mining underground salt deposits of dissolving salt. The moisture is then evaporated, using energy from natural gas or coal. Evaporated salt contains between 99.6 and 99.99% sodium chloride."

Basically softening water means replacing sodium ions in place of magnesium and calcium ions that impart water the property of hardness (Gh and Kh)...This means salts actually tend to soften the water..which means drop in Kh and Gh...this affects a drop in pH....

The moral of the story..if your water is extra special like mine..then the salts will definitely affect the pH...keeping a close eye on pH during salt treatment is essential.. :)

Edited by SunshineGurl

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Hello,

Interesting reading, but I don't quite understand it :)

The hardness of water (alkalinity) doesn't have to be linked to pH, ie you can have hard water with low pH or high pH. What a water softner does is mess around with the alkalinity of you water. This means that by hardening or softening your water you won't necessarily be moving the pH. I believe that water softening (adding salts) can both move your pH up and down.

I found a link on wikipedia that explains it a bit:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salt_(chemistry)

Hope this is useful.

Regards

Slugger :)

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Hi Slugger..

yes you are right..it might or might not affect pH....pH is directly linked to Kh...which means if salts lower Kh..it might have an effect on the pH...and I do understand hard water with low pH..but again here I think the Kh has to go below a certain limit before the pH is affected..in my case it is..maybe my Kh is not that high to sustain salts but good by itself... :)

In my case..like I said my water is special...I have no idea what my Kh is..apparently salts are affecting my pH...and after reading the article I posted...am sure the salts are hampering my Kh which again is bringing my pH down...This is just my case..and I ll try some testing with the Kh tests next week...may not be true for everyone..just something useful I wanted to share..thnks for reading.. :)

Edited by SunshineGurl

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Keep us posted, :)

I'm interested to see the results of your KH/GH tests. In the past I have had trouble with low KH water which I had to buff up with sodium bicarbonate, which also raised my pH. Don't have these troubles now!! I have water that furs up the kettles :)

Regards

Slugger:)

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Sure I will.. :) I am so curious myself to find out whats going on.. :D

Thanks once again.. :)

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