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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok, so several years ago I bought an API freshwater test kit. It was manufactured on 08/06. I tested my water when I moved into my house 3 years ago. From my memory it was somewhere around a Ph of 7.5. Yesterday I pulled out my pH kit because I am setting up my Malawi tank today and tested my pH to see if I needed to use crushed coral in the filter and my test kit showed a pH of 8.8. This doesn't seem right at all! From the tap the test kit showed a pH of 8.2. Is it possible my test kit is bad? Or is it possible my city's water has changed that much in 3 years?
 

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I would say both, although looking at my API High Range pH test kit, I can't find an expiration or "best if used by" date anywhere on it.

A couple options for you:

- Try a new kit, or bring a water sample in to a LFS and have them test it for you. Or both...

- Call your city water department and ask them what the pH of the water is. You also mention using crushed coral... this would be a good time to ask them about other tap parameters as well (pH, general hardness, carbonate hardness, chlorine/chloramine, etc)
 

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Hello

I use some PH-test liquid wich is best before 06.07, but it still works perfect!

But I can´t tell if the other liquids (kh, ph, no²) of the same box will do it, too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
bought a new master test kit...pH out of tap 7.4...pH out of tank 8.2...this is going to be a problem at water change time isn't it? should I still use crushed coral??
 

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KH is something you should really be looking at as well. Check both your tap and tank. Depending on those values, it can be determined if you should buffer with baking soda during water changes. You may not need to, but KH is really good to know as it stabilizes pH. Crushed coral is more of a long term solution as it needs to dissolve to buffer the water and stabilize KH.

So, anyway, bottom line is get a KH reading of tap and tank. If the tap KH is very low, then it can dillute the tank KH and result in an unstable tank pH that could drop. Post readings.
 

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aquagirl900 said:
bought a new master test kit...pH out of tap 7.4...pH out of tank 8.2...this is going to be a problem at water change time isn't it? should I still use crushed coral??
Won't be a problem. Your Malawi would be fine at 7.4 anyway, despite what you'll hear from others. A slow adjustment is best, but it'll be fine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
prov356 said:
KH is something you should really be looking at as well. Check both your tap and tank. Depending on those values, it can be determined if you should buffer with baking soda during water changes. You may not need to, but KH is really good to know as it stabilizes pH. Crushed coral is more of a long term solution as it needs to dissolve to buffer the water and stabilize KH.

So, anyway, bottom line is get a KH reading of tap and tank. If the tap KH is very low, then it can dillute the tank KH and result in an unstable tank pH that could drop. Post hreadings.
unfortunately I do not have a gh/kh test kit and neither did my lfs when I went there...so I'm limited to ph, high range ph, ammonia, nitrite and nitrate
 

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Without knowing KH, it's really hard to say what your pH is going to do when you change water. If your tank is sufficiently buffered (KH is 4-5 or so) then the water change won't affect the pH much, but if KH is really low, and so is the tap KH, then the water change could bring the pH way down. KH is the stabilizer. Not a huge deal right now, but I'd try to get hold of the GH/KH test kit. Until then, go easy on the water changes, and test to see the effect. Now having said all that, the fact that the tank has a pH of 8.2 suggests that it's sufficiently buffered, but doesn't necessarily guarantee that it's so. I know I'm waffling all over the place. :) There's a good article in the forum library called Practical Water Chemistry that explains the relationship between pH and KH pretty well.
 
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