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mountain
splitted from thread here.
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I think for PH crash it might be misleading to have SODIUM BICARBONATE as 1st line of treatment .. SODIUM BICARBONATE is for buffering water, and not for treatment of fish's health smile.gif plus if the PH crash, HB wouldn't advised you to dump 2 teaspoon of BS into the water immediately smile.gif
goldrush
QUOTE(mountain @ Thu, 07 Oct 2004 4:44 pm)
I think for PH crash it might be misleading to have SODIUM BICARBONATE as 1st line of treatment .. SODIUM BICARBONATE is for buffering water, and not for treatment of fish's health smile.gif plus if the PH crash, HB wouldn't advised you to dump 2 teaspoon of BS into the water immediately smile.gif
*



Hi Mountain

I agree with you that sodium bicarbonate is an excellent buffer..Never dispute that.But in event of pH crash which to me is an equivalent to medical condition of SHOCK,we have to address the problem with urgency.pH is prone to crash in unbuffered aquasystem.The fall may be attributed to the following reasons
1)accumulation of CO2,
2)decay fishes and plants not removed
3)Other waste products(feces ,,rotting uneaten food)
4)oxygen depletion(due to increase increase intro of fishes,night falls)

The chemistry of nitrification can be best summarized by simply:
Nitrifying bacteria comsume O2 and gives off CO2 which converts to Carbonic acid and lower pH.Concurrently the reduction process of NH3(Ammonia)to NO2(Nitrite) gives off H+ ions which inevitablby reduces pH.Another contributing factor to CO2 addition comes from normal respiration process of fishes and its aqua inhabitants.Thus the over all effects of all the above factors,if not sufficiently offset by other components in the the aquaculture causes pH CRASH
You simply don’t have time in case of ph crash to make change gradually.Remember it is equivaleny to an EMERGENCY..A teaspoonper40 litres is a good start and don’t worry too much of over dosing.Check the pH after ½ hr and it should be rising.Maximum
achievable is probably in the region of 8.
In conclusion pH is the among most important test to run when trouble surface.Watch out,be prepared.for it

Cheers
Goldrush
wink.gif
HappyBuddha
Good write-ups Goldrush!

I'll try to summarize it for those too lazy to read it in full or can't comprehend it. Correct me if I'm wrong:-

EVERYBODY WHO USE BIO-FILTRATION MUST BUFFER YOUR WATER. PERIOD.

biggrin.gif

I should add one should raise the pH gradually. It's said thaT goldfish can tolerate a sudden decrease in pH better then a sudden rise, both of which are considered "pH Shock" but the sudden rise can be lethal.

I have the misfortune of losing (quite a few) of my precious collection due to pH crash. I didn't pay much attention to pH then and never buffer at all. The old water's pH was probably in the low 5s and after water changed, raised to well over 7.0. The 2.0 level difference is a very significant difference since a 1.0 change translate to ten fold changes in acidity. My fishes sunk to the tank's floor like a rock the moment they entered the new water, and never recovered. Learnt my lesson, and started buffering my bio-filtered tank. Unfortunately, I didn't know the pH was still dropping gradually despite my routine weekly water change habit. The same thing, death due to pH shock, happened again. It was then that I carried out tests and to my shock found out I need to top-up baking soda once every 3 days!

Since then I have not lost any fish.

So....

EVERYBODY WHO USE BIO-FILTRATION MUST BUFFER YOUR WATER. PERIOD.

IPB Image

IPB Image

cry.gif
goldrush
Thxs for the compliment good_very.gif unsure.gif
Especially for those who use very limited filtration techniques(eg sponge filter)

PLEASE BUFFER SO AS NOT TO SUFFER.(LOSS)

wink.gif wink.gif wink.gif
desireless
One more point to note is, one of the reasons why pH crash is so lethal, is because of the ammonia-ammonium transition.

At low pH (depending on temperature too), ammonia is in the form of ammonium, which is harmless to goldfish. So if you change like 50% of water or something after a pH crash, the average pH will be risen. This caused about the harmless ammonium to change to ammonia, which is lethal to goldfish.
The Matrix
QUOTE(goldrush @ Fri, 08 Oct 2004 11:36 am)
Thxs for the compliment good_very.gif  unsure.gif
Especially for those who use very limited filtration techniques(eg sponge filter)

PLEASE BUFFER SO AS NOT TO SUFFER.(LOSS)

wink.gif  wink.gif  wink.gif
*


What is Limited Filtration Techniques ?
Other than sponge filter which you have mentioned, what other form of filters, in your definition, falls under this mentioned technique. What are the other techniques ?
CP
Hmm.. would the administrator help to split this buffering discussion into another topic.

Frankly,I have either not buffered my water before or have been doing it without realising. thinking.gif
I have not heard of buffering till recently. blush.gif
After reading the threads I conclude that it meant stabilising the pH (in our case preventing the pH from dropping as goldfish prefer slighlt alkaline water) so that the fishes will not experience a sudden rise in pH during water change.
My pH has been quite stable ranging from 6.8 to 7.5 for the past year.80L per goldfish,3 feeds per day,80% water change per week.
I also understand that most bros use baking soda.I have corals and oyster shell in my filtration.My question is,are these "alkaline" items acting as a buffer (raising pH)?They were put in during my tank setup at the recommendation from my friend who keeps koi.(koi and goldfish same family).I noticed that oyster shells will dissolve in the water over time.So,can baking soda be substituted by these items?
cktan
QUOTE(HappyBuddha @ Fri, 08 Oct 2004 10:41 am)
I should add one should raise the pH gradually.  It's said thaT goldfish can tolerate a sudden decrease in pH better then a sudden rise, both of which are considered "pH Shock" but the sudden rise can be lethal. 
*


Err, i think goldfish can tolerate a sudden rise in PH than a sudden fall in PH. Same thing goes for temperature.
desireless
QUOTE(cktan @ Fri, 08 Oct 2004 7:44 pm)
Err, i think goldfish can tolerate a sudden rise in PH than a sudden fall in PH. Same thing goes for temperature.
*

I would agree for temperature. Rule of thumb is not to go beyond +/- 5 degree celcius change.

But I cannot agree with you on your pH part. I have already explained why, in my earlier post in this thread. Goldfish can take pH drop better than pH rise, mainly due to the ammonia-ammonium transition
HappyBuddha
QUOTE(cpiw2002 @ Fri, 08 Oct 2004 7:17 pm)
 
I also understand that most bros use baking soda.I have corals and oyster shell in my filtration.My question is,are these "alkaline" items acting as a buffer (raising pH)?They were put in during my tank setup at the recommendation from my friend who keeps koi.(koi and goldfish same family).I noticed that oyster shells will dissolve in the water over time.So,can baking soda be substituted by these items? 
*

Although koi and goldfish are in the same "family", they are vastly different when it comes to how we keep them. Koi thrives in large deep pond with massive amount of water that is measure by the tonnage instead of litres. Sometimes it's best not to follow Koi's keeper's advise. For instance, they prize PP as a general treatment while we prefer salt. This is understandable as PP is very economical to use compared to raising the salinity to 0.5% for a 2 tons pond, ie, 20KG of salt for a "small" koi pond! ohmy.gif

Also it's important to remember not many koi keeper can afford to do 100% water change ever so often much less once a week like we do. Whatever they use in their filtration system need to last.

Realizing above, it's easy to see why goldfish keepers don't use coral chips to buffer their tank's water. It works but the chip dissolve too slowly. Before it actually start working it's time for us to change the water again. You're wasting your money even though the chip is relatively cheaper than baking soda. It works for koi keeper since they seldom change their water completely.

My advise is to use Baking Soda to buffer your goldfish tank's water. It works instantly. The kH is changed almost instantaneously, a fact you can verify by testing it seconds after blending in the powder and makes adjusting the dosage quick and easy.

To me, having some coral chips in your goldfish tank is... fine as an inexpensive bio-media to house BB! biggrin.gif But then I don't appreciate fine dusts settling at the bottom and risk damaging the impeller of the water pump. I also have this problem that seeing a bag of coral chips in a tank reminds me of a typical louhan setup. sad.gif
goldrush
QUOTE(The Matrix @ Fri, 08 Oct 2004 4:18 pm)
What is Limited Filtration Techniques ?
Other than sponge filter which you have mentioned, what other form of filters, in your definition, falls under this mentioned technique. What are the other techniques ?
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Hi Matrix

By my defination,simple and limited filtration system may lack in one component in a complete filtration set- up which inevitably would be the chemical component(mechanical and biological are two which are totally indispensable if any filtration is used)Because of these missing component which can be vital to offset any changes in pH we have to add “ chemically” through NaHCO3 religiously and periodically during water change.I hope I need not go thro details as to what the chemical components are.

Regards happydance.gif
Goldrush
cktan
QUOTE(desireless @ Fri, 08 Oct 2004 11:48 pm)
But I cannot agree with you on your pH part. I have already explained why, in my earlier post in this thread. Goldfish can take pH drop better than pH rise, mainly due to the ammonia-ammonium transition
*


I nv tried this but i believe if one put a goldfish from 7.0PH to water of 5.5PH as compared to putting that goldfish to water of 9.0PH, i think the latter goldfish will survive.

Need not wait that long for ammonia-ammonium transition. Perhaps a day or few hours one will know the answer.
supzfier
does it mean that >

1 as time goes by, biofiltration makes water more acidic > ph goes down.
2 ph needs to be maintain at 7.5
3 sudden change of water without buffering = sink to bottom? = bad
The Matrix
QUOTE(supzfier @ Mon, 10 Jan 2005 12:43 am)
does it mean that >

1 as time goes by, biofiltration makes water more acidic > ph goes down.
2 ph needs to be maintain at 7.5
3 sudden change of water without buffering = sink to bottom? = bad
*



1 - Yes. If the filtration media chosen does not take care of buffering capacity.
2 - Yes. For goldfish and any others that require a higher pH.
3 - Yes. Sudden change of water can cause stress to fish.
supzfier
blush.gif

have been buffering but really dont know if im doing rightly.

1) add in the BS to the unchanged-yet water so that the pH goes up first before changing the water?
2) how much do i add BS into the my tank per time? assuming a 4ft tank. i understand i must check the pH after awhile, but how much do we add in the first time round? i dont want to overdo it
mountain
rule of thumb is 1 teaspoon per ft , but this is with assumption that the current PH is in the region of 7. therefore, you should always get a PH reading before and after you add BS. this is also tied to the PH of the water that u added from the tap.

btw, buffering purpose is not just to make to ph goes up .. i am sure u have read a lot on PH buffering these few days .. watch your load + amount of water change and after a few test and trials i am sure you can get the amount to add correct . smile.gif
CP
QUOTE(supzfier @ Tue, 11 Jan 2005 11:12 am)
blush.gif

have been buffering but really dont know if im doing rightly.

1) add in the BS to the unchanged-yet water so that the pH goes up first before changing the water?
*


That is assuming that the old tank water is of lower pH,say 5 or 6 and you intend to use tap (say pH 7) as your new water.Not too sure if you can raise your old tank water this way and even if you do,you have to raise the pH gradually.(Can other bros advise on this).That is why it is important to buffer the water and prevent the pH drop in the first place.


The idea is for the fish to experience the same pH in old and new water.Suppose the fish is in green water pH 8 before water change and your tap (the new water that you want to use)is pH 7,use baking soda to up the pH of tap water to 8 before introducing the fish back into the tank so that the fish will not experience the pH shock.

Bros correct me if I am wrong.
desireless
BS will raise pH a little but that's not the way to bring back pH of water back to normal. And this act will be FATAL. Ammonia at low pH will be in ammonium form, which is harmless to fishes. But when you raise old water of pH say 5 or 6 back to above pH7, the ammonium in the old water will convert back to ammonia which will poison and kill the fishes in less than 1 day. So if you experienced a pH crash in your aquarium, it is mandatory to do a 100% water change. pH crash itself will not kill the fish, but rather what you do later, will (like changing 50% for eg). Dispose all of the old water to be sure when you experienced pH crash.

As for pH buffering, its purpose is not to raise pH but rather, maintaining pH for a longer time before it starts dropping. That's why the term "buffer". As to how much powder to add, there is no DIRECT way of testing "how much buffer is enough". BUT as Sodium Bicarbonate (baking soda) will increase the Bicarbonate Hardness (kH) of your water, we can use this to gauge how much of SB to add. Some smart bro already worked this out: the ideal Bicarbonate Hardness level for goldfishes is 5 or 6 degrees of bicarbonate hardness (5dkH). You'll have to use a kH Test Kit to find out how much of SB is to be used to raise, say 10 litres of water, to 5 degrees hardness (5dkH).

Help from bro ET and a further test to confirm, about 8 months ago (and I am still using this gauge) is 1 oxycure level spoon (or 2g) of SB to raise 20 litres of water to 5dkH. So work out your maths.

I hope this is not too difficult to understand.

A point to note: Different countries will have different INITIAL dkH to start with. So just stick with what's being mentioned here that, "ONE teaspoon of baking soda added to 50 liters of water can raise the kH of the water by approx 4 deg dH".
The Matrix
Correct some of your mistakes hor ...

BS will raise pH a little -> a lot !!! saturation of 8.5 depending on temperature and other chemicals.

pH crash itself will not kill the fish -> IT WILL !!!

there is no DIRECT way of testing "how much buffer is enough" -> isn't kH the direct way of measuring buffering if you are referring to the use of sodium bicarbonate ? Unless other chemical used, then different equation.
goldrush
To add further to this interesting discussion

If I find a pond or aquarium where the pH has dropped into the 5 to 6 range, with ammonia at levels of 2 to 10 PPM, then I make a 90 to 95% water or even a 100% change as described by Desireless This means I take out water until the fins of the fish are barely covered at the bottom of the pond or aquarium, then add sodium thiosulfate dechlorinator and refill the pond or aquarium with clean tap water.

Also, some of you still seem to think that a pH of 7 is desirable. It is not desirable(can I use Desireless?) since the biological filter (if you are not using green water) can not function very well at this pH value, requiring much more investment, time, and energy in biological filtration than would be required at a pH value of 8 to 8.5. I agree that a lower pH makes the ammonia less toxic, but then it also generates a higher ammonia level by retarding the biological filtration function. Also, if there are plants and light present, there is a natural pH swing, low in the morning, high in the evening. Plants give off carbon dioxide at night, lowering pH, and consume it in the daytime, driving pH up. If you buffer the pond or aquarium containing plants with baking soda sufficiently, these pH swings will become much smaller, giving less stress to the fish.

Hope I makes some sense to all bros here

good_very.gif
goldrush
There seems to be a lot of confusion in the terms being used here esp with regards to water measurements and values.So let me try to evaluate each meaning of this term to ease the confusion esp newbies who may not be familiar with these jargon.
Don't confuse soft water with acidic water and hard water with alkaline water. Just know that soft water is water without anything much dissolved in it. It is low in cations and anions and almost anything else. You may think of it as purified water. A Reversed Osmosis (RO) unit produces soft water by filtering away the dissolved solids. You can't get soft water by adding something to make the water acidic.

Hard water is rich in cations, mainly calcium and magnesium ions. Most natural water sources and even some municipal water have a rich mineral content. This makes the water hard. To make hard water soft, use a RO unit.

kH or carbonate hardness. It is a measure of the amount of carbonates and bicarbonates in water. The higher the kH, the higher the pH or alkalinity. kH has nothing to do with real hardness. So it is really a misnomer.

gH or general hardness. It is a measure of the amount of minerals like calcium and magnesium in water. This is real hardness. You can raise the hardness of water to dangerous levels by adding only calcium and magnesium ions but that does not mean that the pH or kH will rise along with it. This is because Ca and Mg does not affect pH or kH. It is the carbonates attached to the minerals that will increase pH and kH.

So hard water does not necessarily mean alkaline water and soft water does not necessarily mean acidic water.

To sum up, baking soda will not raise gH. It will raise Total Alkalinity (TA) or kH and pH. kH is not real hardness. It is a misnomer. gH is real hardness and is a measure of calcium and magnesium in water of which baking soda has none.


enough confusion

goldrush
The Matrix
hahahahahaha .... newbies will get suck into the dark deep cyclonical black hole.
The Matrix
Goldrush, add more confusion, Total Hardness is a sum of General Hardness and Temporary Hardness and other impurities. Therefore, a true measure of hardness of water is by the a Total Hardness test kit or the combine equation of a General hardness + Temporary Hardness based on the condition of measure.
desireless
QUOTE(The Matrix @ Tue, 11 Jan 2005 3:49 pm)
Correct some of your mistakes hor ...

BS will raise pH a little  -> a lot !!! saturation of 8.5 depending on temperature and other chemicals.

pH crash itself will not kill the fish -> IT WILL !!!

there is no DIRECT way of testing "how much buffer is enough" -> isn't kH the direct way of measuring buffering if you are referring to the use of sodium bicarbonate ? Unless other chemical used, then different equation.
*


Substantiate my post a little

I have tested this before but now I have re-do the experiment for you. (Other bros please do not follow blindly. If you have the needed test kits, please counter check me. My pH pen might be out of calibration after using it for so long.)

This is 10 litres of dechlorinated water, pH read 8.3
IPB Image

This is half 'oxycure' spoon to raise it to 5 dkH (actually after seeing this pic, I realised that I have added more than half)
IPB Image

15 mins after stirring the tank, I used the kH test kit to test for Carbonate Hardness. This is the colour after the 5th drop (at 5dkH). It is still not bright yellow.

IPB Image

Bright yellow achieved after the 6th drop, I also added a 7th drop to make sure this is the correct colour. Meaning to say, the water is at 6th degree Carbonate Hardness (6dkH). As evident, I have added a little more than half-spoon. Half spoon at level should yield 5dkH in water.
IPB Image

This is the pH reading: pH8.4. The bottle by side as proof. The pen was left there for more than 5 mins before I took this photo.
IPB Image

Maybe to you a 0.1pH difference is "a lot!!!". To me it is only "a little".


As for pH crash, I always credit deaths (after pH crash) to ammonia posioning. Reason why I say it is not deadly (instantly), is because I ever left my fishes in water of pH5+ for more than 2 days (before I understood the concept of pH buffer) and they are still alive to date biggrin.gif. Of course, anything below pH 5 would be TOO acidic for goldfish to survive. And this would be fatal and fast, I supposed. The fish would then die of being in acidic water instead of ammonia poisoning. Reason as spoken before, ammonia at low pH is harmless to goldfishes.


Another point. There is no UNIT for "pH buffer". Hence I say there is no direct way of measurement. To me, from I learn in Science, if there is no SI unit for a certain "base quantity", then there is no way of measuring it. The measurement of Carbonate Hardness kH hence to me is, an indirect way of measuring this "pH buffer".
goldrush
Yo matrix, enough liao too cheem to understand.Newbies will be put off by this exchange.I’m sorry if I sound too complicated but I’m trying to address the confusion but sorry if you end up having to undress your minds .A thousand apologies



goldrush
CP
Supzfier,
Dont worry.This is easier to understand.Example of matching the pH of old and new water during water change.

http://www.RafflesGold.com/forums/index.ph...w=findpost&p=17
CP
QUOTE(desireless @ Tue, 11 Jan 2005 5:21 pm)
Correct some facts back hor...

I have tested this before but now I have re-do the .................way of measuring this "pH buffer".
*


For sake of discussion.

If the experiment is to prove that BS raises pH marginally,it is not very convincing if Matrix's statement of "saturation at 8.5" holds true as you had started off with a pH of 8.3.

I interpret "saturation at 8.5" as the max pH obtainable by BS is 8.5 no matter how much you dose.Am I right?

Desireless,can do us a favour by add BS to a lower pH say 7?
desireless
Sorry I misread the post.

Somehow, it doesn't occur to me that (or rather, it is near to impossible to occur) that:
(1) someone who buffer his water and doing regular water-change routine, would encounter a pH drop to below 8.
(2) and, that somehow it happened and he realised the pH drop, he would quickly add BS to up the pH back.

(1) has never happened to me (after I buffer my water). By common sense, a water change would be better than (2).


The water in my area is always pH 8+
peter porker
although highly not recommended, I have, out of desperation, raised my PH from acidic levels (5.2) to normal levels (8.0) with my fish still inside.

It is an adult fish , approx 5.5 inches long. I say desperation because I have experience crashes before and I could tell that the fish was going to go already.

So, baking soda in, fish experienced PH shock, tilted on its side but 30 minutes later, recovered fully and has been healthy (touch wood) ever since.
desireless
Re-did the experiment. There's a 0.5pH shift. To me it is still "a little"

I intend to pH down to 7. But it stablise at 6.9 .
IPB Image

After the buffering, pH is 7.4.
IPB Image
The Matrix
Ah ken, you want me to start the shooting gallery har ...

from 8.3 u buffered to 6 deg, then the measured pH is 8.4. 0.1 only mah, sounds so little.

From 6.9 u buffered the same amount (assuming u have digitally measured to the exact), the pH and kH measured 7.4 and 6 deg respectively. 0.5 only mah, also little.

You have just proven 1 important factor - pH is not directly proportional to kH. And also, a big question i hv in mind is what acid did you use to bring the pH down from your usual 8+ pH to 6.9 ? What make your water high pH ? how did the acid bring it down ? how much buffer did u really add to make 6 deg, same as before u add the acid ?

Why is there such a big different in pH when carbonate is added at different ph of water initially ?

0.1 might not be significant to you for the time being. Period.

Have fun!
The Matrix
QUOTE(goldrush @ Tue, 11 Jan 2005 5:38 pm)
Yo matrix, enough liao too cheem to understand.Newbies will be put off by this exchange.I’m sorry if I sound too complicated but I’m trying to address the confusion but sorry if you  end up having to undress your minds .A thousand apologies
goldrush
*



hahahahaha doc, dun apologize. Just my shooting machine lost control. hahahaha. This level is discussed in a higher technical arena. There are a few others here quite well verse in all these. kekekeke .... silent readers only mah.
desireless
QUOTE(The Matrix @ Wed, 12 Jan 2005 12:17 am)
Ah ken, you want me to start the shooting gallery har ...

from 8.3 u buffered to 6 deg, then the measured pH is 8.4. 0.1 only mah, sounds so little.

From 6.9 u buffered the same amount (assuming u have digitally measured to the exact), the pH and kH measured 7.4 and 6 deg respectively. 0.5 only mah, also little.

You have just proven 1 important factor - pH is not directly proportional to kH. And also, a big question i hv in mind is what acid did you use to bring the pH down from your usual 8+ pH to 6.9 ? What make your water high pH ? how did the acid bring it down ? how much buffer did u really add to make 6 deg, same as before u add the acid ?

Why is there such a big different in pH when carbonate is added at different ph of water initially ?

0.1 might not be significant to you for the time being. Period.

Have fun!
*


Ah Kenn, the important issue to address here is, how much SB powder is to be added to fresh water to attain the required buffering, given a certain amount of water. Although the pH in the tap water is quite different for different areas in Singapore, the buffering amount for same volume of water should be roughly the same.

Why would anyone bother what the PUB do to make the pH in water in my area high?

Why would anyone bother how much pH will rise per degree kH raised at isolated pH range like below 5 or above 10?

Why would anyone bother the mechanism behind how acid brings down pH? This is science. Acid brings down pH, Alkaline pulls it up. That's all I need to know.

0.1 or 0.5 to me is small value change. In the end, the maximum BS you can add into the water is to make it ideally at 5dkH also. So why bother how much more powder can make anymore difference?

No point drilling at bull's horn if all that's needed to be known is already known.
The Matrix
It's okay. Just an advice, dun limit yourself to a small confine space and only to understand what you think you see is correct and unimportant. Those tests you have conducted were only the tip of the iceberg, the mass below is a hugh one. A 0.1meter increase in the height of the iceberg is a few times larger where you do not see at all.

Good luck.
supzfier
QUOTE(peter porker @ Tue, 11 Jan 2005 7:33 pm)
although highly not recommended, I have, out of desperation, raised my PH from acidic levels (5.2) to normal levels (8.0) with my fish still inside.
*




away from the discussion...

assuming that the tap water is of pH 7.5 and my unchanged-yet water has a lower pH of 6.0

can i just add in BS into unchanged-yet water slowly, over a period of time, until the pH reaches 7.5 with the fishes inside? (that's how it's done right?)
peter porker
QUOTE(supzfier @ Wed, 12 Jan 2005 10:02 pm)
away from the discussion...

assuming that the tap water is of pH 7.5 and my unchanged-yet water has a lower pH of 6.0

can i just add in BS into unchanged-yet water slowly, over a period of time, until the pH reaches 7.5 with the fishes inside? (that's how it's done right?)
*




I'm not sure BS works the same way as those products that do 'PH Up'.
desireless
Why would you want to buffer your old water for? As mentioned before, pH buffering is to make sure the water will maintain longer at a certain stabilized pH. It's purpose is NOT to raise the pH of your water. This act is dangerous

Ok, assuming that you do that...

The most amount of SB that you can add to your water, is the amount that will bring the dkH of your water to max 7dkH. Anything more than that might not do good for your fishes. So for example, if your old water pH is already at 6 and you buffer the water to 5dkH. And assuming that 0.2 rise per dkH increased (for that pH range), the pH in your old water will stablize at 7pH (6 + 5x0.2pH rise = 6+1). This might spell danger, depending on the temperature of the old water. Please refer to this chart on the toxicity of ammonium at different pH at 25 degrees celcius. The graph will shift for other temperature. But you can see the trend that at lower pH, the ammonia in the form of ammonium will be harmless to your fishes. At 25 degree celcius, if you do this, your fish are lucky to survive if it happened that the ammonia level is at a level of 4ppm and below (refering to that chart)

Upon seeing your old water is already at pH6, you ought to change the water 100% to be safe. Then having buffer the new water, the 100% water will be maintained at pH7.9 (7.5 from tap + little more due to SB) for a long time (say, one week). Meaning to say, the water will maintain at maybe pH7.9 for a steady one week. That's the way you should buffer your aquarium. Don't worry about the small increase in the pH of your new water at this point of time.

Things to take note of:
- If you never have the habit of buffering your water and want to start now, then do a 100% water change and buffer the new water to 5dkH accordingly.
- Do not buffer old water as much as possible. Meaning, buffer only new water.
- Observe water change routine as strictly as possible. 100% ought to be done regularly too. For eg, you do 30% change every wed and 100% change every Sunday.
- So for that 30% change, you only buffer the new 30% water.

pH Buffering will STABILIZE your pH. The main usage of SB is NOT TO RAISE pH. I personnaly see the "increment of pH" due to buffering, as a "side-effect". But there's no worry for this because the increment is always very little.

---

Take another example. Same setup. But your old water is already at pH7. so you add SB to the water. The pH of the water rises due of this "pH increment side-effect of SB" to say, 7.5pH. Read the chart again from the 4.0 ppm down. You'll reach an "orange" area. At this point of time, it spells danger to your fishes.
The Matrix
4 ppm of ammonium ions measured at pH of 6 does not equate to 4 ppm of ammonia ions at pH 7 if buffering is added. NH4+ and NH3(aq) is not the same !!!
desireless
It's just for comparison lah.

A mastro like you might find this comparison faulty. But my intention is to explain a not-so-easily-understood theory to a newbie.

There's no need for obscure findings/bombastic words to scare newbies away.

pH buffering is a must. Period.
jhansolo
QUOTE(desireless @ Thu, 13 Jan 2005 12:28 am)
Things to take note of:
- If you never have the habit of buffering your water and want to start now, then do a 100% water change and buffer the new water to 5dkH accordingly.
*



Won't that subject your fish to extreme pH swing up. I thought (For the first time) it is better to raise the pH slowly of the old water over 2 days before the water change i.e. raise from 6.0 to 6.5 on day 1 and 6.5 to 7 on day 2 and on the third day change water and add buffer
desireless
The ammonium/ammonia is in the water.

So if you change 100%, a pH shock to the fish is better than ammonia poisoning, instant deaths like HB's past case.

For BB:
The optimum pH range for Nitrosomonas is between 7.8-8.0.
The optimum pH range for Nitrobacter is between 7.3-7.5

So at lower pH, I supposed your BB might be struggling. Or might already have collapsed. Ammonia/ammonium naturally is very high at this point.
jhansolo
I'm not too convinced that BB is not there at pH6. Arowana keepers maintain their water at that level as well. Although I have never encounted this situation, but I do think that pH shock is stressful especially 2pH jump.
CP
I think 2 pH jump can kill.Thats 100 times difference in acidity / alkalinity.
CP
QUOTE(jhansolo @ Thu, 13 Jan 2005 6:28 pm)
I'm not too convinced that BB is not there at pH6.  Arowana keepers maintain their water at that level as well. 
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I share the same sentiments,though my example is at the other end,marine tanks.
Their pH are always above 8,and BBs are thriving as well.
mountain
supzfier .. how are things?
desireless
QUOTE(jhansolo @ Thu, 13 Jan 2005 6:28 pm)
I'm not too convinced that BB is not there at pH6.  Arowana keepers maintain their water at that level as well.  Although I have never encounted this situation, but I do think that pH shock is stressful especially 2pH jump.
*


I won't dare to say for sure that at pH6 there's no BB. That's why I use 'MIGHT'.

What we have is only a chart of 25 degrees celsius. Who knows at a certain temperature, the ammonium-to-ammonia conversion point is at pH6.5? At the right ammonia ppm, your fishes will say bye-bye in the process of you tuning up your pH. Why would you want to subject your fishes to this danger? Like I say, your fish could be stressed by the pH shock. but ammonia poisoning is FATAL.
desireless
QUOTE(cpiw2002 @ Thu, 13 Jan 2005 7:11 pm)
I think 2 pH jump can kill.Thats 100 times difference in acidity / alkalinity.
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Like I say, before I knew about pH buffer and BB stuffs, I only have this pH pen to determine the pH. And I ever left my fishes in below pH6 for 2 days. But "good thing" was, I practise 100% water change whenever my water turns murky. And the fishes are still alive today. Imagine the shock the fishes were under-going. From pH5.5 to pH8.3. That's more than 2 and it bypass the neutral from Acidic to Alkali.
QUOTE(cpiw2002 @ Thu, 13 Jan 2005 7:24 pm)
I share the same sentiments,though my example is at the other end,marine tanks.
Their pH are always above 8,and BBs are thriving as well.
*


Nitrosomonas and Nitrobacter are just a general name for 2 groups Beneficial bacteria. There are many many types of bacteria under the Nitrobacter group and many many type under the Nitrosomonas group. What I have quoted in my previous post is for GOLDFISHES. Not Cichlid, not aro, not koi, not chicken.
supzfier
As one of those who dont practice buffering because i dont even understand the concept, i decided to try "buffering" (the one i assumed it is) for myself in my old tank because i saw the few fishes i newly bought for hundred bucks sink to the bottom when i introduced them into the quarantine tank. (i assume they are affected by either pH or the journey)

Althought i never buffer, i never have any problems with my fishes, maybe cause i do wc regularly?

After i read the forums and dug up old posts to check the contents of buffering, i was given the impression that due to the sudden change of pH level due to the difference pH between the new water and old water, the fishes will experience a shock. What i understand was that BS is added to up the pH to stabilise the pH level to similar levels for the new water. unsure.gif . So prior to the further discussions that followed 2 days ago, i was determined to join in the practice of "buffering". slowly, i added BS into my old tank (not QT) slowly over a few hours slowly to up the pH. from pH 6.0 to pH 7.5. Over the period, i took notice of any reaction to the fishes, but fortunately i do not see any much difference in their reaction. Although im not sure if there will be no reaction anyway. Afterwhich i changed the water, (pH of my water is around 7.5)

Thus, after reading the posts that followed, this poster is still pretty puzzled that we should buffer the new water to higher levels instead of the old water, which will cause more pH difference? unsure.gif thought buffering was to stabilise the pH

my fishes are well currently, still continuing to read posts in this topic to clarify myself
jhansolo
QUOTE(supzfier @ Fri, 14 Jan 2005 11:09 am)

my fishes are well currently
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That is good continue to monitor, but your method of raising pH slowly on the same day is not much of help as most product recommend the pH difference of not more than 0.5 per day.

As for desireless method ... I just like to stress that I'm just speaking my mind as that is what I'll do as seriously there are so many variables so there is no really a right or wrong method.

peace.gif
desireless
QUOTE(supzfier @ Fri, 14 Jan 2005 11:09 am)
....
What i understand was that BS is added to up the pH to stabilise the pH level to similar levels for the new water. unsure.gif  . So prior to the further discussions that followed 2 days ago, i was determined to join in the practice of "buffering".
...
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Hi supzfier,

You see, I kept stressing some points:

- Purpose of pH buffering is to STABILIZE the pH in your water, not to raise it. Meaning you can keep the pH in your water at it's original value for a long time.

- You can add SB as much as you like from pH5 to pH9 or whatever, but can your fish take it? For 1, there's a pH shock. For 2, there's a possibility of ammonia poisoning. For 3 (and I see you keep overlooking this), you are adding TOO MUCH SB such that your kH could be as much as 10 degrees and over. This is why I keeping mentioning, "at most you can add is up to 5dkH" in my previous posts. From the test that I did with photos, IF you add the correct amount of SB to raise the Carbonate Hardness kH to 5 degrees, there's only a raise of 0.5pH from pH6.9 to pH7.4. So meaning to say, if you have added SB to make your old water from pH6 to pH7.5, you're adding too much SB already!

- Don't mix up "pH boost" with "pH buffering". The former (which is so not recommended for goldfishes) is achieved by adding coral chips and it will boost up your pH. The latter, is achieved by adding SB and it will maintain your pH at same value for longer time, than without buffering

- 1 oxycure level spoon level or 2g of SB raises 20 litres of water to 5dkH. To buffer 10litres, use half spoon. To buffer 100 litres, add 5 spoons. To buffer 150 litres, add 7 and half spoons. For 250 litres, add 12 and half spoons. Doing any of these, your final water will be pH-buffered at Carbonate Hardness of 5dkH.
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