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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Often the water in my P's gets way too acid.
I believe that it is due to loss food and/or their waste.
I figuer this because everything else like GH, KH, Nitrates, Nitrites, and Ammonia are AOK.

Normally I fix the problem by added a little sodium bicarbonate (AKA baking soda).
My question is: how can I naturally buffer the water to keep the PH higher?
I know some rockes like Holey Rock or Crushed Coral will raise PH.

But I "think" Lava Rock will too, can anyone verify this?
I seem to find alot of mixes answers online.

help........
 

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Nurses Do It Better
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I don't think lava rock will affect pH. It's worth a try though. If you have room in your filter for some lava rock it will add to your bio filtration.
 

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Lava Rocks will not buffer your PH. They can be used for bio-filtration though.

What is your Ph currently? You state that it is to low, but how low is it?

Remember, that a stable Ph is much better than one that is constantly being adjusted or swinging up and down. What is the Ph of your water source?
 

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LeT gO mY EgGs GRoLL
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Lava Rocks will not buffer your PH. They can be used for bio-filtration though.

What is your Ph currently? You state that it is to low, but how low is it?

Remember, that a stable Ph is much better than one that is constantly being adjusted or swinging up and down. What is the Ph of your water source?
Agreed with Coldfire...
for your FYI if you want to lower your ph you can add some driftwood in your tank to lower it down.
 

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My question is: how can I naturally buffer the water to keep the PH higher?
Crushed coral contains CaCO3, which does not very easily dissolve into the water.
Sodium bicarbonate (NaHCO3) is a natural way to buffer the water, it dissolves immediately.
But, you see NaHCO3 is the same as KH, so your KH is actually not OK if the water is too acid.
BTW what is the pH of your water+

Harry
 

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Often the water in my P's gets way too acid.
I believe that it is due to loss food and/or their waste.
I figuer this because everything else like GH, KH, Nitrates, Nitrites, and Ammonia are AOK.

Normally I fix the problem by added a little sodium bicarbonate (AKA baking soda).
My question is: how can I naturally buffer the water to keep the PH higher?
I know some rockes like Holey Rock or Crushed Coral will raise PH.

But I "think" Lava Rock will too, can anyone verify this?
I seem to find alot of mixes answers online.

help........
2007-01-12

You can use Crushed Coral or Oyster Shell (although I suspect that Oyster Shell is high in phosphate - - not because I have tested it [which is the only way to go] but I had an algae bloom on one occasion when I used it - - but I repeat, I don't know with certainty if the Oyster Shell was the cause). I am not familiar with "Holey Rock" so I can offer no comments there. Lava Rock can be alkaline or acidic, so the Crushed Coral would be the better way to go. Also, you could use crushed Dolomite. No matter which way you go, I recommend that you put the product in a mesh bag (knee high stocking works okay, but it will rip more readily than a commercially available bag) and put the bag in your filter. That way, if pH goes too high, you can easily remove the bag & put it back in later when the need arises. I've seen people mix Dolomite or Coral in with their gravel substrate and then having to chuck it all when the pH got out of control.

Hagen also produces a product called kH Booster / pH Stabilizer that will help to correct your pH. Because it is a water hardener, it will help to hold the pH better than Sodium Bicarb.

You may also want to check out the current ongoing topic titled "SOS - Ammonia 8.0". It's a lot of reading, but it may serve to forewarn you of some dangers that you may encounter if you do not get your pH under control. Be aware that raising pH above 7 will make any existing ammonia very toxic. Your kH and ammonia may be okay at the moment (some test kits are more accurate than others, so it's a good idea to have your LFS test your water with a different brand than what you use, just to be sure - - on the other hand, I've found the API kits to be pretty good) but because piranha are very messy fish, you will be walking a very fine line once your fish are at the maximum size for the aquarium.

I hope this helps.

Terry
 

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My question is: how can I naturally buffer the water to keep the PH higher?
Crushed coral contains CaCO3, which does not very easily dissolve into the water.
Sodium bicarbonate (NaHCO3) is a natural way to buffer the water, it dissolves immediately.
But, you see NaHCO3 is the same as KH, so your KH is actually not OK if the water is too acid.
BTW what is the pH of your water+

Harry [/quote]

2007-01-12

Generally what you say is true. However, if Carbon Dioxide is high, one can actually have a very high kH with a very low pH (in high concentrations, Carbon Dioxide forms Carbonic Acid). I've tested well water samples where the kH was 10 Degrees while the pH was 6.5. Once the well water entered the tank and the Carbon Dioxide dispersed, the pH sky rocketed.

In the tank in question, he/she may be at the population level whereby Carbon Dioxide may be a little high, so I guess what we really need to know are the actual numbers.

I hope this helps and/or stimulates further discussion.

Terry
 

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LionHart
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Why would you want to RAISE pH?

When you state that it's "Too acid," what do you mean?
What's the pH?

You need to state these parameters before you ask for help.
How can we tell you how much to raise it if we don't know the numbers??

Proper pH for piranhas is between 6.0 and 6.8.

I prefer 6.2-6.4 personally.
 

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Why would you want to RAISE pH?

When you state that it's "Too acid," what do you mean?
What's the pH?

You need to state these parameters before you ask for help.
How can we tell you how much to raise it if we don't know the numbers??

Proper pH for piranhas is between 6.0 and 6.8.

I prefer 6.2-6.4 personally.
2007-01-14

Unfortunately, this is a situation where my comment is a little out of context.

I've been writing a lot in the "Ammonia 8.0 !!!! S.O.S." Post - - Kyle has a situation where the pH has been below 6. The nitrifying bacteria do not work as efficiently in the lower pH range and they also need Calcium Carbonate (kH) to complete the ammonia/nitrite break down process. My comment here was intended, in part, to clarify the difference between kH & pH, while still trying to relate their interconnection. So, to answer your question more directly, we need to raise pH if it is extremely low & causing problems with other very critical parameters, such as ammonia. Forgive me if my explanation was a bit too brief, but I have been spewing so much in the "Ammonia S.O.S." I guess I forgot where I was
. . .

. . . give me half a point at least, as I did say "what we really need to know are the actual numbers".

Anyway, let's keep at it. Maybe we need a banner or something on the Home page to encourage newbies (especially) to include all the info that we need in order to provide helpful answers. I've been doing fish for 40 years, but I'm rather new to these Forums so I have no idea as to how to make suggestions to the "Powers-That-Be" - - - let me know what my options are here


Terry
 

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Thank you everyone, for al of your help
It's unbelievable the stuff I have learned with this post
.


A lot of you wanted to know what my water quality was.
Here is the breakdown:

Ph 7.0 (on purpose - see my note below)
Nitrites 0
Nitrate 0
Ammonia 0
Gh 71.6 dKH
Kh 35.8 dKH


My Ph often goes down to 6.0 - 6.2, which normally is fine for Piranhas
I do however notice that my P's get very skiddish when ever the Ph goes below 6.8
Believe it or not - the seem to act at thier best at 7.0 - 7.2

I have tried adding Crushed Coral to my community tank, but it spikes to Ph up too high to about 7.6
I like TerryMik's idea of getting into a mesh or sack.

TerryMik said Carbon Dioxide may be the issue, you post was very informative.
I have never seen a Carbon Dioxide test, where can I find one of these?
Additionally, if CO2 was the problem, how can I resolve this (with more air injection in the tank?).
It's possible but I however doubt it since I only have 7 P's averaging 4" - 5" inches in a 135 gallon tank.

Thanks again everyone
 

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Thank you everyone, for al of your help
It's unbelievable the stuff I have learned with this post
.


A lot of you wanted to know what my water quality was.
Here is the breakdown:

Ph 7.0 (on purpose - see my note below)
Nitrites 0
Nitrate 0
Ammonia 0
Gh 71.6 dKH
Kh 35.8 dKH


My Ph often goes down to 6.0 - 6.2, which normally is fine for Piranhas
I do however notice that my P's get very skiddish when ever the Ph goes below 6.8
Believe it or not - the seem to act at thier best at 7.0 - 7.2

I have tried adding Crushed Coral to my community tank, but it spikes to Ph up too high to about 7.6
I like TerryMik's idea of getting into a mesh or sack.

TerryMik said Carbon Dioxide may be the issue, you post was very informative.
I have never seen a Carbon Dioxide test, where can I find one of these?
Additionally, if CO2 was the problem, how can I resolve this (with more air injection in the tank?).
It's possible but I however doubt it since I only have 7 P's averaging 4" - 5" inches in a 135 gallon tank.

Thanks again everyone
2007-01-16

I need you to confirm this for me, but when you did your kH test, did you add just two drops to the test vial to make it change from blue to yellow? That would indicate 2 Degrees of kH which translates to 35.8 ppm (the number that you have posted). I don't usually test for GH so I don't know if the translations are the same.

In any case, Tetra did have a Carbon Dioxide Test Kit @ one time, but I don't know if they still produce it. It seems to me that it only indicated CO2 above or below a certain concentration, so it wasn't all that valuable. Try a LFS that specialises in plants as people who use CO2 injection may want to monitor precisely. So that brings up one option for reducing CO2 - - plants. Just remember that they produce CO2 @ night.

The two best ways to reduce CO2 would be to limit your population and your feeding (remember that the bacteria that are nitrifying and breaking down solid waste consume Oxygen and produce CO2 so the less waste you have the more Oxygen/less CO2 that you will have. You are on the mark regarding air injection reducing CO2. An air stone on the bottom of the tank is the best way to maximize the gas exchange (we're adding Oxygen as well as dispersing CO2) as the longer the bubbles are in contact with the water, the better the exchange. Finer bubbles work better than coarse ones.

I have to head to work, but I will write more later if I come up with any more thoughts. Remember that high CO2 will reduce pH - - you may also want to read the "AMMONIA 8.0 !!! SOS!!!" post as it has some related info.

Cheers,

Terry
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Terry,

Yes confirmed, my KH test only took the two drops to change color.
I will hunt for a CO2 tester and review that article your suggested.

thanks for your help
 

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my ph is at 7.2 always, that is the case in most city waters. i have tried to lower but its
the nature of the beast with out adding chemicals which i dont like doing
 
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