Question: Water Acidity Problems

Spartacus

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Help!
Im trying to get my new tank set up but I cant seem to make the water less acidic.
My tank is around 121x46x35cm
Its been at a current 6.4ish pH. I dumped in a least 3/4s of a 250g container of "Proper pH 7.0", gradually of course, not all at once. And a little of some other pH stuff. It didn't change every time I tested it so I left it to sit for a few days and the acidity is still high.
What do I do?
Im worried about dumping too much chemicals in the water because I already feel I've put way too much in.
Do I buy more pH adjusting stuff or is something else wrong?
 

Jacquie

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Hello Spartacus,

Axolotls will tolerate a wide pH range from 6.5 to 8.

Please don't use chemical pH uppers and downers as these are 'quick fix remedys' that cause wild fluctuations in pH which is even more dangerous to the axolotls than leaving the water at an imperfect pH level. Stability is key for axolotls, fluctuations are stressfull.

Most chemicals do not agree with axolotls, it's best to avoid adding unnecessary chemicals to the water when it can be avoided.

There are safe natural methods at your disposal that you can use to raise your pH such as shell grit, coral sand and limestone. The beauty of these is that they keep the tank water at a consistant pH level which is what you want to aim for.

You can buy some shell grit from most pet stores. Put the shell grit in a stocking and add stocking to the tank. I would put in a cup at a time, let it sit for a few days as the change is very gradual, test the water and if there is no difference add another cupful to the stocking and repeat until the pH is where you want it.

You can use the same method with coral sand.
 
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Darkmaverick

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Hi Spartacus,

Another note to add. Firstly test your tap water source and check if its acidic. If your water source is neutral, the main cause of acidity in the tank is due to presence of high levels of nitrogenous wastes - detritus, uneaten food, rotting plants, axie poop and wastes etc.

Usually a good filtration system, regular chemistry checks, frequent 20% water changes with clean dechlorinated water and regular siphoning up of visible wastes will keep the water rather stable. There shouldn't be a need to adjust pH in most circumstances.

Cheers.
 

Spartacus

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Its a brand new tank, all it has in it is the water and the filter.
It's the exact same water source that I used to fill my tiny tank, and that seemed to reach a suitable pH easily. I checked the tap water and its closer to nuetral than my tank.
I can't seem to get it off about 6.4pH.
Should I buy more pH stuff and see if adding more works, or is too much chemicals dangerous?
Or am I going to have to empty and refill it?
I really hope not >.<
 

Darkmaverick

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Hi Spartacus,

Since your tank is new and there is nothing in there, i would personally tip off all the water in there that has chemicals added, and restart. Do not use any chemical pH adjusters as adviced by Jacq. It just makes things so much more complicated and makes monitoring so much harder as well. We want to avoid interference by chemicals in the monitoring.

Empty the new tank, give everything a good rinse, including the new filter and fill it with clean dechlorinated water again. Do not add anything else at all. Take a look at this two links. You can try fishless cycling.

http://www.caudata.org/cc/articles/waterquality.shtml
http://www.caudata.org/cc/articles/cyclingEDK.shtml

Continually monitor the water parameters and note down in a notepad the changes. Axies can still tolerate a pH of 6.4, but i think the issue here is also to find out why your water turns acidic so quickly despite being neutral at the tap source and nothing in the tank.

What type of filter do you use? What type of chemical filtration do you have?

Cheers
 
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Spartacus

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Lol aw, damn. Back to the bucket and shower filling method. I takes so long but is worth it.
Alright, I'll empty and start again.
My filter is a Hailea HL-BT1000, in tank filter. It possibly excretes black partices, theres been a slight build up on the tank floor. I rinsed the tank before filling so I assume its coming from the filter and the black stuff in it. I dont know much else about it, its mostly in a foreign language.
I don't yet have chemical testing kits cause I'm poor but I plan to get at least one each week.
So water conditioners should be avoided? Just go completely natural?
 

Darkmaverick

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HI Spartacus,

Chemical testing kits are really important to have. You can buy them as individual tests or in a master test kit. If you have to get 1 at a time, i suggest you get ammonia test first.

Water conditioners (dechlorinators) are important whenever you perform water changes, especially if your water source contains chlorines, chloramines and/or heavy metals. This is another must have item.

You can leave tap water in a bucket to stand overnight. It would allow chlorines to dissipate but chloramines and heavy metals will remain. Ultimately a dechlorinator is still essential.

I am surprised there are 'black particles' being thrown out from your filter. This shoudn't happen. There is a possibility that the black particles you see in your filter, are activated carbon used to absorb toxins and harmful substances in the water. That is part of chemical filtration and is normal. Have you fixed your filter properly? Filters as the name suggest, filter the water, not throw debris into the water.

Cheers
 

Spartacus

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Inside the filter is a wee bucket thing of pellet-like things, that are black. I assume its something to do with filtering the water. I think it possibly comes from whenever they've been bashed together being transported and its made lots of little bits break off and crumble.That's my guess anyway. I gave it all a good wash out so hopefully it wont spit out anymore if I move it gently.
Okay, water conditioner/dechlorinator and chemical testing kits, got it. I always just thought dechlorinator and pH adjusting stuff were the same thing. I am more wise now :D thank you
Commence water removal.
 

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Sounds like carbon, this shouldn't be able to escape from the little bucket and the particles could damage the pump's impellor on their way through.

Best bet would be to remove this and install some coral gravel in it's place, as has been said, this will place a 'floor' on your pH as it will dissolve in your acidic water and slowly lift the pH back up. Different materials dissolve at slightly different pH values and the best material for the job would be the Aragonite favoured by reef aquarium keepers, as this dissolves at a much higher pH than coral gravel/sand.

Some (most!) pH buffers that are solid powders contain phosphoric acid and this can give you high phosphate levels even before waste from your animals adds to the problem! As well as acting like nitrates and distressing sensitive species, they are also the number one factor in algae problems so hopefully this will make disposing of all that water seem even more worthwhile :D
 

Darkmaverick

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Thats a fantastic tip tappers, i was thinking along the same line of using coral gravel when i asked about the filter.
 

Spartacus

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Thanks a bunch everybody :)
I'm going into the pet store today so hopefully they have coral gravel or aragonite
You guys are life savers!
 

SludgeMunkey

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Is your tank decorated with any sort of wood? I ask as some types of wood will throw your pH all out of whack.


Have you made repairs to the tank in the past with a sealant? I ask this as ALL silicone and RTV type sealants can also throw your pH off ( via pure acetic acid leachates). Only aquarium approved sealants/adhesives should be used.
 

Spartacus

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I bought the tank of trademe, I was told it had been resealed but I cant recall how long ago that was.
Also it is completely barren of any decorations at the moment
I've cleaned and refilled the tank now. I'll go test the pH...

Im happy to say it is at 7-7.2 level :D. Perhaps it was just from adding way too much pH fixing stuff. I filled it last night and added the dechlorinator this morning, so all is looking well for cycling

Thanks again everybody
 

tran

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I filled it last night and added the dechlorinator this morning, so all is looking well for cycling

So you fill the tank with tap water and THEN add dechlorinator to the tank the next morning?

Hopefully I'm reading it wrong. Maybe you already know you should always dechlorinate your tap water with water conditioner in a separate container BEFORE adding it to your tank :happy:
 

Darkmaverick

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Hmm actually considering it is a new tank with nothing in it, putting the dechlorinator after letting the water stand overnight is actually fine. The standing overnight will allow chlorine to dissipate and the addition of the dechlorinator after would rid of chloramines and heavy metals as well as any residual chlorine.

On that note, once there are animals in the tank and you have the tank cycled, you would have to add declorinator immediately to the tap water before adding to your tank. Any traces of chlorine or chloramines could kill off beneficial bacteria populations as well as harm your axie.

Cheers.
 

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Glad to hear your pH is back on an even keel!

While we're on the subject, the other factor in stopping a pH crash is aeration. Gentle aeration can keep the pH of soft water higher by driving off CO2. In water this is dissolved in the form of carbonic acid and this can cause problems if there's not enough buffering capacity in the form of carbonates and bicarbonates. If you're testing your hardness, the key parameter to measure is KH or carbonate hardness as this is the stuff that keeps your water alkaline.
 

Spartacus

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It's good to know not to put it straight into the tank water with the animals in there. I havent yet, I always let it sit in a container for a while when doing water changes but I'll make sure I definitely don't ever do it.
 

Pop Alexandra

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It's good to know not to put it straight into the tank water with the animals in there. I havent yet, I always let it sit in a container for a while when doing water changes but I'll make sure I definitely don't ever do it.
That's a good practice for any chemical analysis, though you could check the tank water directly to see what's the impact that the animals have.
 
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