Caudata.org: Newts and Salamanders Portal

Register a free account today to become a member! Once signed in, you'll be able to participate on this site by adding your own topics and posts, as well as connect with other members through your own private inbox!
Did you know that registered users see fewer ads? Register today!

newts in high pH (9-9.5, alkaline) conditions

Izzy10963

New member
Joined
Nov 12, 2016
Messages
4
Reaction score
0
Location
Boston
I live in the Boston, MA area of the USA and our water supplier says the pH of the water it provides is about 9 to 9.5:

https://www.mwra.com/01news/2015/lynn-water/chloramines-qa.pdf

" Here are some tips for those with aquariums and fish ponds.
• Test the pH level of your tank at least once per week and adjust it accordingly
• Most fish prefer a pH between 6 and 6.8, but you may want to find out the preferred pH
of your particular fish. MWRA water will be at a level of 9 to 9.5, slightly alkaline.
• Make sure the additives you buy for your tank remove chloramines -‐ not just chlorine.
Amphibians may also be impacted by these changes so if you have a frog, newt or
salamander, talk to a pet professional. "


I know that the "sticky post" here in the newts section of caudata.org, for "need an answer fast", says that most tap water supplies will have pH that is an acceptable range for newts.

If I need to provide newts with a lower pH I realize I could buy a treatment and apply it each time I do a tank fill or a water change, but this seems like a real hassle-- and also prone to causing unpredictable pH swings (which might possibly be as hard on newts as having a high pH in the first place)-- so I'd like to avoid it. I believe that "spring water" one can buy, for example at the grocery store, has a more neutral pH of about 7.

So here are my questions:

1. Does the "tap water is generally fine" guidance still apply for pH as high as 9 to 9.5?

2. If not, would buying and using spring water (instead of tap water) be a good solution?

Thank you in advance for any guidance you can offer. Love this caudata.org website and community!
 

JM29

Active member
Joined
Nov 16, 2009
Messages
435
Reaction score
65
Location
Brittany
pH 9 to 9,5 !
I'd say : frankly alkaline
To give an idea, french norms say a pH above 9 is not acceptable for tap water.
On a chemical point of vue, the pKa for ammonia/ammonium is 9,25. It means that at a pH of 9,25, half of the ammonia will be free ammonia (very toxic for aquatic life).
Most aquatic plants wont grow well at these values.

That said, to begin, test yourself your tap water pH. My town says our tap water has a pH of 8,2 but I measured 7,5 with a professionnal electronic pH-meter. Water pH can vary a lot within the day or the year.

If the case is hopeless, try rainwater instead.
 

Izzy10963

New member
Joined
Nov 12, 2016
Messages
4
Reaction score
0
Location
Boston
I tested it myself and it was off the top of the scale (admittedly not a high precision test kit, max of 7.6-7.8) which is consistent with what the utility says.
 

Izzy10963

New member
Joined
Nov 12, 2016
Messages
4
Reaction score
0
Location
Boston
Okay I guess nobody else (other than you JM29-- thanks!) is available now to comment on this, who has suitable experience or expertise.
That's fine.

I think for now, unless I hear from others, I will conclude that:
* "tap water is fine" probably does NOT apply to my ~9 pH water, and
* I should use spring water or rain water instead.
 

JM29

Active member
Joined
Nov 16, 2009
Messages
435
Reaction score
65
Location
Brittany
* I should use spring water or rain water instead.
Rain water alone may be too poor, too soft, but you can use it to soften your tap water (try 50/50 in a bottle and measure the final pH).
The GH is probably also very high.
 
General chit-chat
Help Users
  • No one is chatting at the moment.
  • Shane_Yogurt:
    its around 3 small pieces in the tank. Since i've just moved homes, my axolotl is still at my old house. Yesterday i fed him bloodworms and he missed a few. I couldnt get them out without a turkey baster and decided to let them sit because i was gonna move him to the house tomorrow. But now its late and I dont have a car and my dad wont drive me. Will he be fine?
    +1
    Unlike
  • melon:
    I would think so i would just try to get them out tomorrow
    +1
    Unlike
  • Shane_Yogurt:
    yeah, im heading over tomorrow morning to move him to this house and feed him. Thanks for the help!
    +1
    Unlike
  • Shane_Yogurt:
    So my axolotl tank cycle just crashed and while i was in the middle of a water change my bucket overflowed and spilled water all of the ground in my brand new home. This is going super well 👍
    +2
    Unlike
  • the:
    ooff
    +1
    Unlike
  • the:
    good luck recycling the tank!
    +1
    Unlike
  • Roach:
    do the classifieds still exist?
    +1
    Unlike
  • Roach:
    nevermind! off my game tonight
    +1
    Unlike
  • Shane_Yogurt:
    Im so frustrated right now. My axolotl WONT eat and my tank still isnt looking too good. Some extra stress i needed.
    +1
    Unlike
  • John:
    Sorry to hear that Shane. Did you post about it?
    +1
    Unlike
  • Shane_Yogurt:
    No, I havent. Im not really sure why he wont eat. Hes in a 1 gallon tub and still a juvenile. When i offer food he swims away from it. Does he need some extra time? or is this something I should be worried about.
    +1
    Unlike
  • JulMl:
    Hello everyone! I’m new in this world and i need some advices please! I have 2 axolotl babies and currently the water from the tank is from bottled water ( all parameters are good) but i want to change 50% of the water with city tap water. My question is how to change it? Do i need to get axis out, do the change, add the prime, wait (how much?) until its dechlorinated or i can add the tap water directly into the tank with axis in it, and add the prime conditioner? Thank you!!
    +1
    Unlike
  • Asmold1:
    1. You dont need to take them out of the tank to change the water as long as you pour it in slow as to not rattle them around too much
    +1
    Unlike
  • Asmold1:
    2. add the prime to your tap water, for most conditioners the consensus is 5 minutes of waiting time
    +1
    Unlike
  • Asmold1:
    3.After 5 minutes it should be safe to add
    +1
    Unlike
  • JulMl:
    Thank you so much !!
    +1
    Unlike
  • Asmold1:
    I private messaged you a bit clearer instructions just in case
    +2
    Unlike
  • tammyaxie:
    Where can I get blackworms?
    +1
    Unlike
  • John:
    Ebay or Eastern Aquatics
    +1
    Unlike
  • noahc808:
    Does anyone know someone who can ship axolotls to hawaii? I recently did a water change and my axolotl died and there are no axos for sale right now.
    +1
    Unlike
  • Chat Bot:
    GadgetInspector has left the room.
    +1
    Unlike
  • Chat Bot:
    GadgetInspector has joined the room.
    +1
    Unlike
  • Chat Bot:
    Captive Bread has left the room.
    +1
    Unlike
  • Chat Bot:
    Captive Bread has joined the room.
    +1
    Unlike
  • Chat Bot:
    Captive Bread has left the room.
    +1
    Unlike
    Chat Bot: Captive Bread has left the room. +1
    Top