View Full Version : ph level question?

11-29-2004, 06:11 PM
what causes your ph levels to be high?

Matt V
11-29-2004, 09:00 PM

z rock
12-06-2004, 04:19 PM
Having no bi-carbonate buffering.

12-07-2004, 12:05 AM
Need more info shsjr89, what would you consider a high pH?

The pH scale<0-14> is a measure of the concentration of hydrogen ions in a solution, say your tank water. A higher PH has a lower concentration of hydrogen ions <basic7-14>, while a lower pH has a higher concentration <acidic 0-7>.

Then there is buffering, achieved by disolving bicarbonates into the tank water, bicarbonates counteract the hydrogen ions, there by increasing pH.

If you were looking for a malawi pH <8.0 - 8.4ish> you might use crushed coral or texas holey rock. If you were after a lower ph such as tang<8.6-9.4?> you would probably want something like argonite sand.

12-07-2004, 12:05 AM
No offense meant here Zroc, but your info is a tad off. Having no bicarbonate buffering will allow pH to crash if a tank is cycled or going through the cycle. I have done a fair bit of research on this topic in recent weeks and am working on a paper to fully explain pH.

I have a paper attached in this section that covers pH in a fair ammount of detail.

12-07-2004, 10:57 AM
my ph is like 8.0, is this good for fish like parrots?

12-07-2004, 11:50 AM
I'm not american expert but I think it may be a bit high

seems low to mid 7s would be better, could try to slowly bring the pH down to around 7.4 or so might be a bit better for them. If you do reduce the pH do it slowly over about two weeks, not all at once.

May help if some one versed in the new world stuff chimes in.

12-07-2004, 12:21 PM
It's always easier to match fish to your water than it is water to your fish. Stable ph is more important than ideal ph for most fish, imo.

12-07-2004, 12:40 PM
... just to add... toying with ph will not do your fish any good. Raising and lowering is extremely stressful to them. If you must alter it, consider using rocks or driftwood or media to gently and naturally raise or lower ph over time.

What do you have for rocks in your tank? Substrate?

z rock
12-07-2004, 05:12 PM
There are no shortages of "papers" on the net about Ph, buffering, and alkalinity. They all say the same thing. There's really not a need for another. But if you must.


Those parrot fish will be fine in 8.0 water. Parrot fish don't exist in "the wild" who knows what water conditions they prefer? Probably about anything they can get, as long as it is wet! If any body wants to make there fish keeping more complicated, then try fighting the water parameters that come out of your faucet. It WILL be a never ending battle and be of no benefit to the fish if not in fact detrimental to their well being.

Above pH 8.3, alkalinity is mostly in the form of carbonate (CO32-); below 8.3, alkalinity is present mostly as bicarbonate (HCO3-).

With 8.0 water limestone or coral will not dissolve in the water and become soluble. It will raise the GH but have no effect at all on the PH.

Konings "Tangayikan Cichlids in their Natural Habitat" page 202;

"The shell of a freshwater snails degrades (in fact dissolves) rather rapidly after the animal has died. HOWEVER, in lake Tanganyika the high PH (alkalinity) of the water PREVENTS rapid degradation of the empty shells.
ON THE CONTRARY, MORE calcite is DEPOSITED ONTO those shells that are exposed to lake water making them thick and hard. Buried shells remain unaltered for very long periods of time .......THOUSANDS OF YEARS ........AND ONLY mechanical degradation of shells occur."

If somebody lives in a soft water low PH area. Then by all means throw some limestone in and put coral sand in the filters, it will probably raise the GH more than anything. Even then it will need baking soda for bicarbonate because it is possible in a low Ph the carbonate can dissolve and make the PH go beyond 8.3 A carbonate wants to level out at about 12PH!

If someone lives in a 8.0 area. Limestone or coral is obviously not required as long as the water changes are maintained. If the water changes are not maintained the PH and KH will drop. The bacteriological filtration consumes carbonate's for the carbon. Carbon is a building block of life.

Now, to clarify shsr89's question. I keep Africans so I assumed by you asking why your Ph was high you were talking about over 8.5.

It all boils down to where you live. Colorado has granite. It doesn't dissolve. Rocky mountain spring water from snow and rain. Low PH. Up in Canada is where the peat bogs are where the peat we buy from the store comes from.Low Ph .
If you have limestone in your area Higher Ph. Florida coral sand. High PH. Depends on where your at in Florida. They get a LOT of rain. Rain water PH is in the 4-5 ph range. Way low.

Thats one way of looking at it. Another is America puts so many cleaning products and grease down the drain that is Bicarbonate (baking soda) probably has more to do with it than anything.

What me and Glaive aren't in agreement over is I say a 12PH can be LOWERED to 8.3 by adding enough baking soda. I did some experiments with sodium carbonate PH UP for swimming pools. This stuff is dangerous for fish. The PH goes through the roof! But if enough baking soda is added to Lock in the Ph at 8.3 it will remain at 8.3.

All this is about equilibrium. Bi-carbonate is the stabilizer. Once it it used up it's possible for the Ph to go either direction.Depending on the amount of acid or carbonate buffer.

12-07-2004, 05:55 PM
i have assorted rocks form fish store and playsand as substrate.

12-08-2004, 07:50 AM
... there is a really pretty turquoise green parrot cichlid, Hoplarchus psittacus, that exists in the wild ... But I understand that you are talking about the common hybrids that are normally sold as blood parrots... I just wanted to clarify.

I'd leave the ph alone and he will be better off than trying to alter your water. I don't change my water ph. My mbunas get crushed coral substrate, my americans get driftwood. That's all I do. As long as your ph is stable, your fish are healthier. Most fish (not all) will adjust to your water.

12-12-2004, 06:25 PM

12-12-2004, 11:28 PM

12-13-2004, 02:36 AM
ack noooooooo

SGM I blindly followed that d@mn link and after reading some of the thread it brought it all back now my head hurts..


z rock
12-13-2004, 08:28 AM

This is a wild possibly so called "parrot" cichlid.

This mutant on the bottom is a man made cross that does not exist in the wild. And is not related to Haplarchus psittacus.

My tap water is 8.0ph. My storage tank outside I do water changes out of is 8.0. Water sets a week in this tank before I use it, so it's not Co2 lowering the Ph in my fish tank. I haven't added baking soda in my 125g in over a month cause I got tired of dealing with it. The Ph in my 125g full of fish in at this moment 7.5 ph

I have limestone in this thank. I've had coral and oystershell substrate in this tank. and I've had coral in the filters. The Ph always dropped.

My Gh is 500ppm. Limestone or coral does "NOT" dissolve in hard water. That is a wife's tale perpetuated probably at that "Other-Forum" thats got everybody droolling over holy rock.

I will add that the Ph in the 125g has never dropped below 7.5 My fish do fine there so why fight it?

z rock
12-25-2004, 03:26 PM
Quote from article on Chucks planted aquaria:

There is one case I've seen where the addition of CO2 resulted in an increase in KH. This can happen when you have something in the tank that dissolves carbonate into the water. Seashells, crushed coral, and many gravels and rocks will do this. With the addition of CO2, the water turns more acidic, which will increase the dissolving of the minerals. It appears that increasing CO2 raises the KH, which isn't really the case. The dissolving minerals raise the KH, and the increase in KH results in an increase in pH. In a system using a pH probe and controller to regulate CO2 levels, this can have fatal consequences, since the pH controller will keep trying to lower the pH, but as more CO2 is dissolved, it lowers the pH, which raises the KH, which raises the pH. So you now have more CO2, but the same pH. So the controller adds even MORE co2. And it will keep going. So it's important to know your KH whenever using pH to judge CO2 levels.[End quote]

This is in a situation where Co2 is being intentionally added to a plant tank.The acidic Co2 dissolves the calcium substance and releases carbonate into the water.


For a fish only tank with a Base Ph above 7.0, and no decaying plant matter the water would have to be rather polluted for it to start producing the Co2 and acids from fish waste to begin dissolving Limestone or coral shell.

If we are doing water changes with 8.0 water every week or so adding limestone or coral is pointless.