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PostPosted: Mar 21st, '15, 21:23 
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Current ph is around 8.1, and I want to adjust to 7.6. What's the best way and over how long so I don't kill my goldfish? Was thinking aborting adding dosing tank to sump, then bringing it down slowly over 3-4 days.


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PostPosted: Mar 21st, '15, 23:58 
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As Doc said to Marty, “ You are not thinking Fourth dimensionally”
Use this as a test of you system.
Assume gold fish are infected. Isolate or remove, adjust PH to required level.
Re-introduce when appropriate.
Just a bit, tongue in cheek. Good Luck

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PostPosted: Mar 22nd, '15, 03:33 
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We don't really know the buffering capacity of your water so there is no way to tell you specifically how much to add. Different acids will work but I like HCl, here are a couple of ways you could do it.

Option 1 - This is probably the best way to make the change since it does it gradually, letting the fish, plants, and bacteria adjust. Your trying not to change the pH more than 0.4 pH points at a time.

Hydrochloric acid (HCl)(aka muriatic acid) - Add to topup water - adjust this to 6.0 to 6.5 and let stand several hours (sometimes the pH will drift back up and you'll need to add more acid and wait some more) before adding to system. This will lower the system pH gradually over time.

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Option 2 - Take a known amount of system water and figure out how much acid it takes to move it into the desired pH and then calculate the amount of acid needed to do the same for the entire system. For example - Say it took 5 drops of acid to move 6 gallons to the correct pH -

5 is to 6 as x is to 6000 or 5/6 = x/6000 then just solve for x

X = 5/6 * 6000 = 5000 drops

You'd be pushing it a bit past the 0.4 change so add the acid gradually (over several days is fine for the amount of change you're after just don't add a big bunch all at once or part of the system may have a pH problem before it gets mixed in well). It's possible to have a rapid pH drop if you don't get this right and there is some risk of your fish or bacterial filter taking a hit.

Take appropriate precautions working with acid (find out what they are if you don't know)

One other thing I should mention is the buffering capacity changes over time so don't assume you'll always need to add the same amount of acid to make the same change. Seems obvious but I had to say it in case someone else doesn't know.


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PostPosted: Mar 22nd, '15, 05:56 
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Occasionally wondered if Sulphuric Acid would be OK... Sulphur , I understand is good as a trace element, but like with using Bicarb Of Soda as pH up, and the undesirable build up of Sodium... what will a build in Sulphur do..?
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PostPosted: Mar 22nd, '15, 07:50 
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i asked about adding trace elements ages ago, joel came back saying not to add it because it contain sulfates, i wouldnt add sulphur anything to the system.


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PostPosted: Mar 22nd, '15, 08:10 
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I've got close to the same amount of water as you, and adding it to the top up water didn't do that much for me, I don't think the size of my top up water tank was big enough.

So I just add it directly to the part of the system right after the fish. So it's got the longest amount of time before getting back to the fish.

Seems to work quite well so far. No fish problems.

My adding isn't very scientific either, I pour a little hydrochloric acid in, wait a few days, check, come back and add a little more, add more in the pour if it hasn't changed. The large water volume gives you a bit of a buffer if you add too much.

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PostPosted: Mar 22nd, '15, 10:18 
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I added 1 cup, and checked it after about 6 hours. It went from 8.1 to 7.97. I'll check again in AM, and continue to slowly bring it down.


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PostPosted: Mar 22nd, '15, 10:31 
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Has anyone used the API ph Down? From the MSDS it looks like 10% sulfuric acid.

http://www.apifishcare.com/product.php? ... Q4onGR4q2s

Also, does anyone use phosphoric acid to bring pH down? As long as it's not excessive for the plants, I would expect any phosphate in solution at pH 6 to 7 would buffer the pH in that range (as effectively as carbonates buffer around 8). While I don't have any first-hand experience, I see hydroponic recipes that call for around 30 ppm of phosphorous, which is about 100 ppm phosphate.

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PostPosted: Mar 22nd, '15, 10:41 
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Why do you want to lower it CC? Bacteria prefer the higher pH and the fish will be fine with it. Is it because of TAN?

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PostPosted: Mar 22nd, '15, 22:08 
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My research on gold fish, says they prefer a 7.2-7.6 PH. I'm almost 10 times more alkaline then that now. I know tilapia are very adaptable to PH changes, but it seems like goldies aren't. If anybody has first hand experience with goldies, please let em know.


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PostPosted: Mar 23rd, '15, 05:33 
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Yavimaya wrote:
i asked about adding trace elements ages ago, joel came back saying not to add it because it contain sulfates, i wouldnt add sulphur anything to the system.


So add sulphates and nitrates to the preferred NOT list..

BUT interestingly, I think that I recall the suggestion of using Potassium Carbonate to raise the pH and Potassium Sulphate to LOWER the pH... I don't recall comments of no Sulphates..

It's interesting how opinions vary, with commercial supply of Sodium Bicarb as pHUP and now we are told that a pHDown uses Sulphuric acid.. :dontknow:

It's clear that there is diverse opinion, but then aquarium businesses are not overly worried about how or what elements affect different plants... :cry:
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PostPosted: Mar 23rd, '15, 06:58 
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Most of these things are added in small enough quantities that the occasional addition shouldn't make much difference. If they get used by the plants they eventually wind up leaving the system. Adding things to the system that aren't going to leave the system could eventually cause problems. For example, I could see where with Sulfates and recurring additions and buildup over time, if part of the system became anaerobic you could run into problems with toxic effects on plants and fish from H2S produced by bacteria in the system.


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PostPosted: Mar 23rd, '15, 09:24 
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Get a KH (calcium hardness) aquarium test, you MUST KNOW buffering capacity before attempting to adjust pH. The pH change/ acid added will change drastically once buffer capacity is exceeded and you can plummet the pH quickly. We likely have the same water parameters, my KH readings are ~100ppm and GH ~115ppm

I'm also currently dealing with this. Here's an article I found helpful:
http://theaquaponicsource.com/rules-of- ... ponics-ph/

My strategy will be to halve the hardness by draining and filling with rainwater incrementally. Afterwards, I will adjust pH extremely slowly with very dilute HCl over time. HCl is available at pool stores as Muriatic acid.

My goldfish are fine in 8.2, and my tilapia too. My plants definitely do not like that water though


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PostPosted: Mar 23rd, '15, 13:17 
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Stonewall wrote:
Get a KH (calcium hardness) aquarium test, you MUST KNOW buffering capacity before attempting to adjust pH.


Personally I don't think this is necessary given the methods suggested, especially if you're adjusting it outside the fish tank first by essentially doing a titration to a final pH. It's true that the pH changes rapidly once you hit the point where the buffering is used up and this can be a concern if you aren't reasonably careful so just be careful but no need to buy another test kit if this is all you want to do.


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PostPosted: Mar 23rd, '15, 23:34 
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.25 ammonia. .25 nirtrites. 1st nitrite showing. Going to add some tilapia this week to algae tank and keep track of things. Weird how the PH has only dropped to 8.3 (from 8.4 the day before. I tested Gh and KH. Gh was 8, 143 according to chart, and KH was 3, 53 according to chart. Does that mean I need a different approach to changing PH? Water levels seem fine, but I do need to add appx 20-25 gallons per day from a few minor drips and evaporation. very difficult to treat top off water, due to the fact that it's so much and it coming off my well. I guess I could set up another IBC next to sump and pipe it in and have a ball valve on it and that way I could adjust the top off water. I don't think with talapia if will matter, but I had hopes of being able to raise koi as well. Thoughts, comments?


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