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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
is PH really that important to recreate? i have a tank full of tangs atm and just dont see any hard evidence to suggest i should alter it besides the fact that they come from a high ph lake. problem is last time i went messing around i ended up with mass die off. so im curious, is it really beneficial to try playing with the ph. or should i just leave it at 7.0 3-4 GH outta the tap? i want these guys to be healthy but at the same time i dont wanna go killing em off. any advice is appreciated.

PS: if this is posted wrong feel free to move. i couldnt figure out where best to place it.
 

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I think you'll find some add buffers some dont,but most will agree a stable ph is important,also that might mean adding sodium bicarbonate to help maitain ph levels
 

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Stable ph :thumb:
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
out of the tap it is! when i dont go messing with things they tend to breed :p. keep up the responses. looking for more info to base this thesis on :p
 

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For my answer-- go with the tap and then if there is trouble breeding, you can consider changing a bit slowly. These are hardy fish that have been adapting to conditions for millions of years and they have proven quite good at it. I don't mess with Mother Nature unless I really get kicked in the pants.
 

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check your KH, though. If that is low, it might lead to a pH crash, and that does kill fishies. Otherwise, I'm with stable :)
 

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Nina_b said:
check your KH, though. If that is low, it might lead to a pH crash, and that does kill fishies. Otherwise, I'm with stable :)
+1

My tap pH is 8.2 -No need to mess with it at that level, ha! I just add backing soda and epsom salt to keep my kH and gH in check.
 

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pH is one of the most misunderstood and overemphasized things in this hobby... when we finally figured out how to test GH and KH with simple and cheap tests, the old "pH" test should have gone the way of the dodo. I am not a chemist (though I do at least have a minor in Chemistry) so any time I try and explain the nuances of when to worry about pH and when not to, I often make at least one or two mistakes. :lol: Let me just cut to the chase and say, I've not owned a freshwater pH test kit for around 15 years... I bought a salt water one, and used it once on my reef tank... it has just expired so I'll be throwing it away.

Measure GH and KH, buffer your water with DIY buffer recipes until you are within desired target range and then do plenty of water changes! End of story...
 

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That may have worked for you in your water and your area but since PH/Gh/Kh are all interconnected, looking at all of them when you have trouble seems to be required. When I accidentaly crashed my daughter's tank with acid residue after cleaning, the testing for all three was worthwhile to see what was happening. Maybe not required when things are going right but I think we need to know when things are going wrong. I use testing to verify that things are much the same as normal. When the readings are not normal, it is time too look for a cause before the fish begin to die. Almost like checking the speedometer when I drive. I keeps me out of a lot of trouble. When my local water company suddenly begins pumping from a different source, I feel I need to know and PH is one of the first things I spot. Maybe it is the way they treat surface water vs. underground but there is a definite jump at times.
 

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pH, GH and KH are not interconnected.

It is possible to have water with a KH of 0, a pH of 8.0 and a GH of 0

How is that interconnected?

I think many folks assume it is interconnected because it is rare to add KH without raising the pH of tap water. GH is independent as it is just a measure of magnesium and calcium. You can have a high GH with a low KH and pH.

Pfunmo, you use it to make educated guesses as to what's happening in your tank. It's use as an indicator measurement could be handy to some, not handy to others (like me). For me, the KH of the tank you cleaned with acid would have told me all I needed to know.

So... if pH can be a useful indicator, then why do I rail against measuring it? Simple... more new aquarists kill off their fish with chasing the pH dragon than the number of new aquarists that lose a fish due to pH. I need no further reasons than that to make me recommend that people stop measuring or concerning themselves with pH. :thumb:
 

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I recommend they read and understand how each affects the other and then with more knowledge they can better see what they are doing. I agree that only looking at PH without understanding it, is dangerous. For the total novice, I recommend leaving the PH alone until they do have a reason for changing it more than just knowing people do it. Doing things for our fish just because others do will certainly kill many fish. There is just too much difference in the water we use to make any standard method of how we treat it. In the North, it is still safe to drink some of the water without treating it but I certainly would not do that in most places in the South. We just need to know what we are dealing with before we make decisions that could kill our fish--- or us. To me PH is a small part of that knowledge.
 

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If your fish are doing very well and happy why would you try to change it?
 

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PfunMo said:
I agree that only looking at PH without understanding it, is dangerous.
With a minor in chemistry, I still don't understand it very well... I mean, the day I found one of my tanks with a plummeting KH and a rocketing pH, I realized that this was a very complicated topic and no "fish forum" knew enough on the topic to be trusted. Turned out, my live plants were consuming carbonates in my tank and giving off OH- . I didn't even know plants could do that till a good friend pointed out what was happening.

PfunMo said:
For the total novice, I recommend leaving the PH alone until they do have a reason for changing it more than just knowing people do it.
I cannot think of a single legitimate instance in my entire fish keeping career where there was EVER a need to adjust the pH. There were many times that the KH had to be adjusted, but not once the pH.

As a test... I took fish and placed them in water that ranged from a pH of 5 to 8 and plopped them back and forth, back and forth... no fish was harmed no matter how long the fish were exposed to a low pH or a high. The ammonia, nitrite and nitrate in the tanks were all 0.00 and maintained at 0 artificially. KH and GH were same in each tank no matter what the pH was at.

So... since fish never sense nor react to pH, what are we adjusting it for?

The only instance where I ever found pH (alone) to have some sort of impact was with gender determination in some species of cichlids.

I apologize if my soap box is annoying or I'm coming across as argumentative but it's just frustrating to see some myths persist no matter what.

KH is what every aquarist should be paying attention to... not pH!!! :thumb:
 

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Once again I have to agree with Number6. The unimportance of pH was told to me years ago by Joe Gargas. He was of the belief that TDS was the important factor that told the story of the water. that coincides exactly with what Number6 has stated. There was an article on an online aquarium magazine a number of years regarding the myth of pH shock killing fish. The article went on to say that there was never an authenticated case of pH shock killing fish. I haven't tested for pH for years either. If you look at what happens in a CO2 injected planted tank, the pH varies greatly every day, rising at night and lowering when the lights and CO2 are on. It doesn't kill fish.
 

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BillD
I own a TDS meter and often use it to check tap water, R/O water and freshwater tank water. :thumb: A very handy device indeed!
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
wow. thanks so much for all the advice. keep it coming as more develops but i definitly appreciate the honest banter here. helps me form a better opinion on what i should be doing and what i shouldnt be doing. as number6 has noted *** chased the ph dragon before with terrible results. thanks again guys!

(this is what i hoped would come of this post)
 

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There was an article on an online aquarium magazine a number of years regarding the myth of pH shock killing fish. The article went on to say that there was never an authenticated case of pH shock killing fish.
I wish I could find that article. pH shock is indeed a long standing myth that won't go away. Focus on KH, so pH is stable and let pH fall where it will. There are probably several comments made here on CF weekly on the importance of avoiding pH shifts. Ideal pH ranges have been given for fish for decades. I don't think it'll go away any time soon.

Question about TDS meters for those that use them. How, specifically, do you utilize the results that it gives you? How do you interpret them and what do you do to make any necessary adjustments?
 

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prov356
I use my TDS meter in 3 ways...

One, check my R/O unit to make sure it's working well... when it climbs up to 7ppm then it's time to change prefilters.

Two: fresh water planted tank. When the TDS of the tank clibs up to nearly 500, it's time for a water change of 50%.

Three: checking my tap water to see how "dirty" it is lately...
 

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I searched for that article, but could not find the on line magazine that presented it. I thought I had it book marked but that was a number of years ago on a previous computer. A member of one of the other forums I frequent did a test similar to what Number6 did, using RO water and radically different pHs transferring a fish back and forth with no ill effects. people with large numbers of tanks don't concern themselves with pH as they don't have the time, and their fish survive and generally thrive. They live with the water they have and so do the fish.
 
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