Ph Problems

GetItSahn

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I have had problems in my tanks with snail shell deterioration. I tested my tap water and found it had a ph of 7.6 but my tanks both had a ph of 6.0. How could the tap water and tank water be SO different in chemistry. I just did a water change 3 days ago and I can't imagine what would cause this discrepancy.
I would like to start adding baking soda to my tank once a week to boost the ph a little and it seems that if you don't over do it it can work out fine. Any thoughts?
 

Dmbandstef

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Do you have drift wood in your tank? That can affect the pH. Also do you over feed or is the tank over stocked? Other than 3 days ago, when is the last time you did a water change?
 
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GetItSahn

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I have a decent sized piece of mopani wood, yes, I would say my tank is overstocked.
 

Dmbandstef

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Some people use crushed coral to raise the ph.
Well that could be your problem right there. Maybe you should find some fishies new homes, or add more filtration.
 
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GetItSahn

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Dmbandstef said:
Some people use crushed coral to raise the ph.
Well that could be your problem right there. Maybe you should find some fishies new homes, or add more filtration.
I have tried finding coral at our nearest petsmart but its only in 40lb bags unfortunately. I upgraded my filter within a week of getting the tank because it was a cheap model that came with the tank. The thing that still gets me is that I have a 10 gallon that only had a betta and 2 guppies and even that tank had a low ph of 6.0
 

dalios

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Did you test your water after leaving it in a pot, cup etc to stand for 24hours? only as i tested my tap water to be 7.5 after 24hours leaving to stand in a jug it come up at 8.0.
 
A member on here told me to do this as the ph can change?
 
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GetItSahn

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dalios said:
Did you test your water after leaving it in a pot, cup etc to stand for 24hours? only as i tested my tap water to be 7.5 after 24hours leaving to stand in a jug it come up at 8.0.
 
A member on here told me to do this as the ph can change?
I'll have to try that, I scooped it out and tested immediately
 

Dmbandstef

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dalios said:
Did you test your water after leaving it in a pot, cup etc to stand for 24hours? only as i tested my tap water to be 7.5 after 24hours leaving to stand in a jug it come up at 8.0.
 
A member on here told me to do this as the ph can change?
+1 i have heard of this, too.
 

dalios

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I do mean putting your tap water in a pot for 24hours not tank water.
 
Worth a try you may find it could drop after 24hours.
 
I was told not to worry too much about the ph as most fish will adapt to it, its better to keep it as it is than trying to alter it.
 
Was told it is the water hardness which is more of an issue.
 
Hope this helps
 

KrystaK

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pH can in fact change over time. It's called settling. This happens in fish tanks that have a low alkalinity. Alkalinity refers to the ability of a solution to neutralize an acid or base and maintain a stable pH (This is done by equalizing the amount of carbonate to the amount of bicarbonate in the water). By the sounds of it, your tap water has a low alkalinity.  The Mopani wood will lower your pH. 
A simple method to raise your alkalinity would be to add a small amount of baking soda (Sodium Bicarbonate). This will not raise your pH, it will help to maintain the pH you get out of your tap.
 
Most fish get used to the pH they are housed in, the worrying thing is that the pH in your tank drops so drastically (If it drops more than 0.5 on the pH scale in 24 hours then it's noticeable to the fish and they may become stressed by it.)  If your fish aren't stressed then don't worry about it. If they are stressed, try adding some baking soda, or crushed coral, or even some lime stone (As a Canadian, Limestone is very easy to come by, it may be different where you live.)
 

EllieJellyEllie

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You just have soft water, like me. In 24 hours in my tank with no driftwood the pH goes from 8.2 to 6.6
 
I know its much help but just stock your future tanks with fish that enjoy soft waters :D
 

TwoTankAmin

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Lets clear up some of the mistaken or confused information in this thread.
 
The part about pH from the tap changing is correct. Water out of the tap is often either over saturated or under saturated with co2. In the forst onstance this drops the pH and in the second it raises it. When it goes into a tank the surface agitation will cause the co2 to go back into equilibrium and this in turn causes the pH to revert to its natural level.
 
Next, sodium bicarbonate will most definitely alter pH, it will drive water to an equilibrium pH of about 8.2. But there is a more important consideration. With the exception of African rift lake tank, sodium is not a good thing to have build up in an aquarium. It will harm most fw fish over time. (Note this is not the same thing as a short term salt exposure typical when using it as a medication.)
 
Altering pH can be a slippery slope, I know I do it. It is much harder to lower pH than to raise it in terms of holding it stable at the altered level.
 
There is a well written and easy to understand explanation of all this which you can read here http://fins.actwin.com/mirror/begin-chem.html#reference
 

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