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pH regulation question

Discussion in 'Tropical Discussion' started by Machine213, Jun 19, 2019.

  1. Machine213

    Machine213 New Member

    Mar 17, 2019
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    I have some sensitive and skin fish and I want to treat the water as little as possible, but I’m concerned about the water conditions. The water in my area is pH 7.8, and the fish I have suggested pH between 6.7-7.3, I know that is their natural habitat, and can probably adapt to the higher pH, but I would like it to get as close to neutral as possible. I would rather not use pH down and have used Seachem Neutral Regulator in the past but haven’t always had the most consistent results. Besides buying gallons of R/O water, I have a 130 gallons tank, the buffer seems like the best bet, but I was wondering if anyone had any other suggestions. I want the water to be as stable as possible and avoid fluctuations in the pH, but I don’t want to add a lot of chemicals to achieve this.
  2. Byron

    Byron Member

    Feb 25, 2009
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    Several things to comment on here, starting with the species preference ranges. These are guide ranges, and so long as you are not considerably outside the range the fish should have no difficulty. Stability in pH is more important. Fish must keep the pH of their blood the same as the water in which they live, so fluctuating pH will cause considerable stress, internal problems, and weaken the fish making it susceptible to other problems and a shorter lifespan as a result. This is why you must never use pH adjusting chemicals with fish in the tank. Let the pH sort itself out naturally (it is part of the GH and KH parameters, along with the CO2 in the water) and this should be stable with regular substantial water changes (assuming the parameters of the fresh water are similar to those of the aquarium). The lack of stability you mention with the Regulator is due to the factors I mentioned. The whole kettle has to be dealt with, not just one aspect.

    The pH of 7.8, is this your source water when CO2 is out-gassed? What is the pH in the aquarium? Testing pH should always be done at the same time each day, as there is a diurnal fluctuation that is normal and if you want to ascertain the stability from day to day the pH should be tested at the same time each day you test. Preferably in the early morning after the tank lights come on, as this is when the pH will be at its lowest; near the end of the day it will be at its highest. Use diffused daylight, not direct sun or artificial light, to read the test results. Artificial light can alter colours.

    Yu mention RO water...what is the GH and KH of your source water? And does this pass through some softener or similar?

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