Lake Malawi Species • Tap: PH 6.6 - both GH and KH are 3-need help on buffering

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Tap: PH 6.6 - both GH and KH are 3-need help on buffering

Postby wspanic » Wed Feb 05, 2020 1:35 pm

Hey guys, i am currently cycling a 75g that i want to stock with mbuna. I am on a well with tap at about 6.6 and both GH and KH are at 3 (tested with tap water sitting for 24 hrs), at these number I have to buffer. As there are no fish, do I just add enough buffer to get acceptable numbers and it should stay consistent? My main question is for water changes. If i do a 50% water change, do I immediately add 1/2 the buffer i put in originally and will that be an instantaneous adjustment? My concern is if i have the tank buffered to say 7.8-8.0 then using my Python dump a bunch of 6.6 PH water on top will this be OK if i add the buffer when the python is filling the tank to keep from drastic PH swings?
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Re: Tap: PH 6.6 - both GH and KH are 3-need help on bufferin

Postby wspanic » Wed Feb 05, 2020 5:33 pm

ok - some more info. I tried buffering a bucket of tap well water in a 5 gallon bucket. I have SeaChem Malawi/Victoria buffer (i will probably move to DIY recipe). In a 5 gallon bucket, i have to add 5 TSP to get a 8.0 PH. This also gets my KH to 42 dKH which i assume is high? If I drop the buffer to 2.5 TSPs i get a PH of 7.4 and 24KH. Is this preferred even tho its a lower PH?

I have to add 1 tsp of the Cichlid Salt to the 5 gallon to get GH to 7.

thoughts?
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Re: Tap: PH 6.6 - both GH and KH are 3-need help on bufferin

Postby ken31cay » Wed Feb 05, 2020 6:20 pm

See the following buffer recipe which is in the Library section of the forum:
https://www.cichlid-forum.com/articles/buffer_recipe.php

My municiple water from the tap is pH 6.4 - 6.6, GH 0, KH 0, but flucuates throughout the year.

My recipe to give my tank pH 8.1 GH 14 and KH 8 is:
per 20gal of tap water: ~2 tablespoons baking soda (sodium bicarbonate), 1 cup epsom salts. I also add per 100gal: 1/2 cup Seachem Cichlid Lake Salt.

Hope this helps.
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Re: Tap: PH 6.6 - both GH and KH are 3-need help on bufferin

Postby DJRansome » Wed Feb 05, 2020 8:38 pm

I assume you want to use up the commercial product before moving to the DIY recipe. Are the Cichlid Salt you reference and the Malawi buffer the same product?

I would shoot for KH higher than 4 drops and see what the pH ends up being? Anything between 7.8 and 8 is fine.

Are you saying that you had to add 42 drops to the test tube to get it to turn green?
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Re: Tap: PH 6.6 - both GH and KH are 3-need help on bufferin

Postby wspanic » Wed Feb 05, 2020 8:40 pm

Yes, to get 8.0 PH I ended up with 42 drops of KH to turn
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Re: Tap: PH 6.6 - both GH and KH are 3-need help on bufferin

Postby DJRansome » Wed Feb 05, 2020 8:43 pm

When you got KH=7 what was the pH?
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Re: Tap: PH 6.6 - both GH and KH are 3-need help on bufferin

Postby wspanic » Wed Feb 05, 2020 8:52 pm

Im not sure what the PH was when i got KH = 7. I’m guessing it’s about 7.0. KH=24 got me 7.4 PH. This is all in a 5 gallon bucket, not the tank.
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Re: Tap: PH 6.6 - both GH and KH are 3-need help on bufferin

Postby DJRansome » Wed Feb 05, 2020 10:17 pm

Did you let the bucket sit out of the tap for 24 hours first?
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Re: Tap: PH 6.6 - both GH and KH are 3-need help on bufferin

Postby marten » Thu Feb 06, 2020 12:07 pm

I can offer my experience about water changes. I have similar tap water and I use the diy buffer listed on this forum. The buffer keeps my ph at 8.2.

To avoid ph shock I add half the buffer and wait 5 mins before I start refilling the tank. PH never goes higher than 8.2. I think I’m just raising the alkalinity enough to keep it stable while adding the new water. I add the rest of the buffer shortly after I start refilling. This is how I do a 60% water change.

I’ve tested ph throughout the water change and I’m able to keep it at 8.2 while filling the tank.

When I first started with this tank I added the buffer gradually while refilling, and the fish we’re noticeably having some ph shock. This is why I started adding the buffer earlier.

Hope that helps.


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Re: Tap: PH 6.6 - both GH and KH are 3-need help on bufferin

Postby ken31cay » Thu Feb 06, 2020 1:29 pm

When I do my weekly ~75% water changes I add all the declor (Seachem Safe) just before I start refilling, but I add my buffer at even time intervals throughout the refilling.
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Re: Tap: PH 6.6 - both GH and KH are 3-need help on bufferin

Postby wspanic » Thu Feb 06, 2020 7:56 pm

Marten - thanks for the Info. Do you mind sharing how much buffer you use to to do a 60% water change? How big is your tank?

marten wrote:I can offer my experience about water changes. I have similar tap water and I use the diy buffer listed on this forum. The buffer keeps my ph at 8.2.

To avoid ph shock I add half the buffer and wait 5 mins before I start refilling the tank. PH never goes higher than 8.2. I think I’m just raising the alkalinity enough to keep it stable while adding the new water. I add the rest of the buffer shortly after I start refilling. This is how I do a 60% water change.

I’ve tested ph throughout the water change and I’m able to keep it at 8.2 while filling the tank.

When I first started with this tank I added the buffer gradually while refilling, and the fish we’re noticeably having some ph shock. This is why I started adding the buffer earlier.

Hope that helps.


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Re: Tap: PH 6.6 - both GH and KH are 3-need help on bufferin

Postby marten » Thu Feb 06, 2020 8:58 pm

wspanic wrote:Marten - thanks for the Info. Do you mind sharing how much buffer you use to to do a 60% water change? How big is your tank?



I'd suggest gradually adding the buffer to your tank over a period of days and testing your GH and KH until you have it where you want it. You can use the diy buffer recipe as a starting point. When you know how much you need for the whole tank, then you can calculate how much you need for whatever your water change will be. If your water change is 50% multiply your amounts by 0.50 and if 75% then multiply by 0.75.
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