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Thread: pH buffering

  1. #31
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    Default Re: pH buffering

    Like Dan and Steve said, soft water will mess with an electronic pH meter and a pinch of sea salt will rectify the situation.
    It sounds like you are working with almost pure water which is a great start for discus but I think that your crushed coral is doing a lot more than you think! It might have been preventing you from a catastrophic crash without you knowing it.

    I would start from the beginning and use/get a chemical pH test kit to verify the electronic one:

    Add a pinch of sea salt to your tap water (test)
    Add a pinch of sea salt to your aged tap water (test)
    Add a pinch of sea salt to your tank water (test)

    The same test Al suggested but with an electrolyte (sea salt) for the electronic pH meter to work with.

    If I were in this situation I would get a boat load of arm and hammer bicarbonate soda and make a saturated solution in a 5 gallon bucket (full bucket but with solid still present on the bottom) then start adding the same amount with every water change. Gradually increase it until you get yourself into a place with a reasonable margin of error/safety (Stendker have a KH of 8). Everyone loves doing water changes but sometimes life gets in the way and it'll only be made worse by coming home to a tank full of dead discus because you had a pH crash.

  2. #32
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    Default Re: pH buffering

    Hi James
    What chemical test can verify a digital pH meter?
    The API kit won't measure below 6
    How much baking soda would you dissolve in the 5 gallon bucket?

  3. #33
    Moderator Team RogueDiscus's Avatar
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    Default Re: pH buffering

    I'm interested in this reply. I assume distilled water should read 7.0, but what solutions to use for other calibrations. Most digitals come with calibration powders to make into solutions.

    Note, he mentioned the saturated solution would still have solid on the bottom. You could just start adding until that happens. The water would then be saturated.

  4. #34
    Moderator Team Paul Sabucchi's Avatar
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    Default Re: pH buffering

    Quote Originally Posted by wsdiscus View Post
    Hi James
    What chemical test can verify a digital pH meter?
    The API kit won't measure below 6
    How much baking soda would you dissolve in the 5 gallon bucket?
    JBL wide range goes 3-10
    https://www.jbl.de/en/products/detai...ph-test-30-100
    So does the wide range LaMotte, for about 4 times the price but probably more reliable by the same margin
    https://www.forestry-suppliers.com/p...32713&itemnum=

  5. #35
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    Default Re: pH buffering

    A chemical test is less sensitive to the conductivity of your water. It wouldn't be used to calibrate your pH meter just to confirm the measurement.

    Saturated sodium bicarbonate is 1.56M, 5 gallons is 19L, so you get ~ 30 mol. Double that so you can saturate and keep using it, 60 * 84 *2.2 to get to lbs gives ~11 lbs of sodium bicarbonate.

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    Default Re: pH buffering

    11 pounds of sodium in one 5 gallon bucket?

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    Default Re: pH buffering

    Yes. Costco sells 13.5lbs for less than $10.

    It'll be about half salt and half water mix it a couple times and let it settle and after that you should be good to go. Often it is easier to measure liquid accurately vs solid so it allows you to be more consistent in dosing with your WC. Top it up after each water change.

  8. #38
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    Default Re: pH buffering

    Well that's convenient
    I work at Costco!😂

  9. #39
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    Default Re: pH buffering

    Any update on the pH's of your unaged, aged and tank water after adding some table salt?

  10. #40
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    Default Re: pH buffering

    pH reading doesntSeem affected by the table salt I have ordered a chemical test kit that will test pH down to 4.5 so I'm hoping to confirm the readings with that I am using a seem affected by the tablesaw I have ordered a chemical test kit that will test pH down to 4.5 so I'm hoping to confirm the readings with that
    Right now I am doing daily water changes to Reduce the chances of any pH crash

  11. #41
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    Default Re: pH buffering

    Just buy some pH buffer standard solution. I use these but most people buy liquid versions. They're everywhere on eBay, Amazon, and even your local hydroponics store.

  12. #42
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    Default Re: pH buffering

    You will be fine if you change water more often. I've kept Discus in straight RO which is 0 kH and 0 gH for long periods of time with no ill effect, but I changed 50% daily. You don't have to do that because you have some buffering in your water. I think that you will be fine with30% daily. Your gH numbers are fine. What you need to do, IMHO, is find a place for water storage in the house. Be creative. You can find a way that works for you. If there isn't some way to camouflage it so that is not noticed, make it appear to be a part of your decor.

    If you care about your Discus, you will find a way. People do use coral but it is the second choice because it has to be monitored all the time. The best way is to change your water more often.
    Mama Bear

  13. #43
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    Default Re: pH buffering

    What if Morgan goes on vacation? Gets sick? Travels for work? Needs to visit a relative?

    Aging doesn't seem to be the problem, it is the low KH that is overwhelmed that leads to the drop in his pH after a couple of days.
    If daily water changes are required to avoid a pH crash that'll kill his discus I don't think that's a great situation to be in and suggesting he doesn't care about his fish because he isn't doing 50% daily water changes or have space for an aging barrel is pretty ornery.

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