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Base Rock not affecting pH or hardness?

Thu Feb 13, 2020 12:45 pm

Hey All,

I've recently set up a new cichlid (soulosi taiwanee reef) and want to increase the pH and hardness of the water to accomodate the fish's natural habitat.

I thought that, instead of buying buffer, I'd use base rock which I've heard will up the hardness and pH of a tank's water.

So I bought 10 pounds and put them in a clean bucket of water for a week. However, the hardness and pH don't seem to be affected.

Did I buy bad rock? Do I need to aerate the bucket? Right now the goal is to age water in the bucket for top-offs so that it is "pre-buffered".

Should I just go ahead and use a buffer?

Re: Base Rock not affecting pH or hardness?

Thu Feb 13, 2020 1:23 pm

manwithoutaname wrote:Should I just go ahead and use a buffer?


Yes I think you should do that, if you need to. What is the pH of your water from the tap? The buffer (solution) will be many times more effective since it is already in the form of a solution. Your rocks will increase pH only to the extent that the compounds break down/disolve into your water.

Re: Base Rock not affecting pH or hardness?

Thu Feb 13, 2020 2:56 pm

Personally I am not a fan of buffering. Most fish unless wild caught have been tank born/raised which means they are use to water that is not what you see in species profiles and such. Unless you have a very low ph or hardness then IMO it is best to shoot for a stable PH & hardness rather than chase a certain higher level. That's just my .02 though we all have our opinions based on what works for us :)

Re: Base Rock not affecting pH or hardness?

Thu Feb 13, 2020 3:18 pm

What is the pH of your water from the tap?


pH is around 7.4 Calcium hardness is low but total hardness is pretty high.

Your rocks will increase pH only to the extent that the compounds break down/disolve into your water.


Yea, I expected a little increase but it doesn't seem to be doing that.

Re: Base Rock not affecting pH or hardness?

Thu Feb 13, 2020 3:19 pm

Unless you have a very low ph or hardness then IMO it is best to shoot for a stable PH & hardness rather than chase a certain higher level.


That's why I wanted to go the rock route to be more consistent. I guess if I'm careful with dosing the regular buffer would be fine. Are there any effects to breeding?

Re: Base Rock not affecting pH or hardness?

Thu Feb 13, 2020 3:27 pm

Are you using test strips or liquid reagent test kit?

I always suggest taking a sample of your tap water in a clean glass container and leaving it out on the counter top to off gas for 24 hours and then testing pH, GH and KH. This gives you a better idea of your tap water numbers.

Re: Base Rock not affecting pH or hardness?

Thu Feb 13, 2020 3:29 pm

manwithoutaname wrote:Are there any effects to breeding?


Not that I have personally found. It seems like there's always someone holding in my big tank.

Re: Base Rock not affecting pH or hardness?

Thu Feb 13, 2020 3:33 pm

Steve C wrote:Personally I am not a fan of buffering. Most fish unless wild caught have been tank born/raised which means they are use to water that is not what you see in species profiles and such. Unless you have a very low ph or hardness then IMO it is best to shoot for a stable PH & hardness rather than chase a certain higher level. That's just my .02 though we all have our opinions based on what works for us :)


+1.

I use a buffer recipe since my tap water is ~pH 6.5 and very unstable. What is your KH? If I had your water's pH and even a low KH of at least 4 then I would do nothing unless I was buying wild-caught fish and the supplier I was getting them from did not acclimate them to close to my tap pH.

Re: Base Rock not affecting pH or hardness?

Thu Feb 13, 2020 3:40 pm

Deeda wrote:I always suggest taking a sample of your tap water in a clean glass container and leaving it out on the counter top to off gas for 24 hours and then testing pH, GH and KH. This gives you a better idea of your tap water numbers.


+1 good advice.

Re: Base Rock not affecting pH or hardness?

Thu Feb 13, 2020 10:00 pm

I have never found aragonite or crushed calcium or anything else to raise KH and pH other than baking soda. Avoid it if you can. But there ARE vendors who raise Africans at 7.8 and even higher,

See what happens when you do the test Deeda suggested.
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