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Thread: Water Source Change, How to Manage Transition

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    Registered Member Clawhammer's Avatar
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    Default Water Source Change, How to Manage Transition

    Hi water experts, I have a pressing question:

    My water company switched to groundwater about a month ago due to finding a parasite in our typical water source (bull run reservoir). The water properties are quite different, with Bull Run being much softer and lower in pH.

    Bull Run - 6.8 pH, <1 dKH, 2-3 dGH
    Ground Water - 8.2 pH, 6 dKH, 7 dGH

    When the change to groundwater happened, it stressed my discus for a couple days as I did 50% daily changes. My concern now is, how to change back to Bull Run considering this time I will be going to a much lower pH, which I understand to be much more stressful for the fish.

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    Registered Member Clawhammer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Water Source Change, How to Manage Transition

    bump...

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    Registered Member Clawhammer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Water Source Change, How to Manage Transition

    Maybe just a series of small water changes throughout the day?

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    Registered Member Clawhammer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Water Source Change, How to Manage Transition

    I went ahead and did a 50% wc. I added a little baking soda in the middle of the refill to ease the stress and bump up the KH. The fish acted just fine throughout.

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    Registered Member Jack L's Avatar
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    Default Re: Water Source Change, How to Manage Transition

    just saw this, but you did what i would have done.
    small changes to ease the transition

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    Default Re: Water Source Change, How to Manage Transition

    Sorry for a delayed response here Eric .
    I wonder how did the transition end up ?
    To tell you honestly with a PH diffrrence with a downward swing of 1.4 degree I would have gone with a lot less water changes than your initial 50% , but it seems that your discus ,on my amazement , have accepted the pH drop of 0.7 degrees just fine .

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    Registered Member Clawhammer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Water Source Change, How to Manage Transition

    Quote Originally Posted by Filip View Post
    Sorry for a delayed response here Eric .
    I wonder how did the transition end up ?
    To tell you honestly with a PH diffrrence with a downward swing of 1.4 degree I would have gone with a lot less water changes than your initial 50% , but it seems that your discus ,on my amazement , have accepted the pH drop of 0.7 degrees just fine .
    Hi Filip.

    Yes, they were absolutely fine, swimming in the new water during the change. I did add two 1/2 tbsp doses of baking soda as I refilled the tank, which is my standard practice to add some KH to my tank. I think this helped.

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    Default Re: Water Source Change, How to Manage Transition

    Eric,
    One tbsp in how many gallons added. That is a significant fact you left out. So what was the tank ph before and after the 50% water change?
    Ron

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    Registered Member Clawhammer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Water Source Change, How to Manage Transition

    Quote Originally Posted by alron2 View Post
    Eric,
    One tbsp in how many gallons added. That is a significant fact you left out. So what was the tank ph before and after the 50% water change?
    Ron
    I didn't leave it out (post 4). My tank is a 120, and I did a 50% WC, so 60 gallons. pH in the tank right now is 7.0

    I have found that my normal water (Bull Run) much more stable if I add baking soda as my kh out of the tap is non existant (< 1 dKH)

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    Default Re: Water Source Change, How to Manage Transition

    People often make incorrect assumptions in regards to pH.

    Many would think the following:

    50% water at a pH of 6.0 + 50% water at a pH of 8.0 would equal a mixed value of a pH at 7.0.

    However, this is not the case at all. Quite often mixing the two will result in a pH much higher than this, if there is a change at all.

    I am actually quite surprised in this case it worked out that way, are you sure?
    Last edited by nc0gnet0; 03-25-2017 at 08:15 PM.
    SOS Crew-Michigan
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    Registered Member Clawhammer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Water Source Change, How to Manage Transition

    Quote Originally Posted by nc0gnet0 View Post
    People often make incorrect assumptions in regards to pH.

    Many would think the following:

    50% water at a pH of 6.0 + 50% water at a pH of 8.0 would equal a mixed value of a pH at 7.0.

    However, this is not the case at all. Quite often mixing the two will result in a pH much higher than this, if there is a change at all.

    I am actually quite surprised in this case it worked out that way, are you sure?
    Quite right, since pH is logarithmic, the pH dropped slowly, especially adding the baking soda. 7.0 is where I have stabilized (its been a week since the OP), and where I typically ended up after adding 1 tbsp of baking soda per 60 gallons before the temporary water source change. This is why the fish tolerated it so well, the pH did not drop dramatically despite regular size water changes.

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    Default Re: Water Source Change, How to Manage Transition

    Quote Originally Posted by Clawhammer View Post
    I didn't leave it out (post 4). My tank is a 120, and I did a 50% WC, so 60 gallons. pH in the tank right now is 7.0

    I have found that my normal water (Bull Run) much more stable if I add baking soda as my kh out of the tap is non existant (< 1 dKH)
    Sorry Eric I missed it.
    Ron

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    Moderator Team Filip's Avatar
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    Default Re: Water Source Change, How to Manage Transition

    Quote Originally Posted by nc0gnet0 View Post
    People often make incorrect assumptions in regards to pH.

    Many would think the following:

    50% water at a pH of 6.0 + 50% water at a pH of 8.0 would equal a mixed value of a pH at 7.0.

    However, this is not the case at all. Quite often mixing the two will result in a pH much higher than this, if there is a change at all.

    I am actually quite surprised in this case it worked out that way, are you sure?
    This is an eye opener for me Rick .
    I guess KH values play an important role on the final PH value when 2 different level PH water sources are mixed and it doesn't comes down to just doing a simple Math.

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    Default Re: Water Source Change, How to Manage Transition

    When you mix water having a strong acid and a strong base, and there are no buffers involved, adding half pH 6 and half pH 8 would result in pH of 7. The H and the OH would combine to form water.

    But natural water is different, it is buffered by carbonates and (mostly) bicarbonates. As you add the acidic water to the higher pH water, the carbonate alkalinity (KH) within the more alkaline water consumes the acid so that the pH will only go down slightly.

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    Moderator Team and Platinum Member RogueDiscus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Water Source Change, How to Manage Transition

    Quote Originally Posted by DJW View Post
    When you mix water having a strong acid and a strong base, and there are no buffers involved, adding half pH 6 and half pH 8 would result in pH of 7. The H and the OH would combine to form water.

    But natural water is different, it is buffered by carbonates and (mostly) bicarbonates. As you add the acidic water to the higher pH water, the carbonate alkalinity (KH) within the more alkaline water consumes the acid so that the pH will only go down slightly.
    I'll actually get a white precipitate on the bottom of my tank if I go more than a couple days without a WC. I've always assumed it was the neutralized carbonates falling out of solution.
    Formerly smartinich

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