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kapp

pH down chemicals and phosphate removal - impact on shrimp

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kapp

Hi all,

Starting another thread to concentrate on phosphates and chemical reduction of pH.

With my tap water coming out at such a high [unexpected] pH I may have to try chemical reduction of the pH once the natural remedies @jayc and @Zoidburg suggested are exhausted.

Other than the negative impact large and quick pH changes may have on any livestock (not that I intend to do it large and quick), I understand the other main con of using chemicals to reduce pH is the residual phosphates that result. A quick search shows a few phosphate removal options. I had thought AC may remove it but looks like the phosphate removal properties of AC maybe minimal.

So my question is then, are the phosphate removal options safe for shrimp? (eg Resins, pads) Are some better than others? Anything else I need to be aware of?

Thanks in advance.

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Zoidburg

(repost)

I honestly wouldn't recommend trying to use a product to lower the pH because all it does is create pH swings and raise the TDS. Actually tried using some Discuss Buffer, and all it did was lower the pH by several points, raise the TDS by ~25, then the next day the pH was higher than prior to adding the Discuss Buffer... granted, I did test the pH of the water straight out of the tap, but with it being winter, it is reading lower than normal (because the GH and KH are also lower, as well as the TDS).

 

The tap *usually* reads 3-4 GH and Kh with a TDS of ~50 (give or take). Usually reads 7.6 pH on the low pH scale.

Right now, it's reading 2-3 GH & KH (closer to 2 than 3) with a TDS of 35-38. Looks like it's reading 7.2 pH on the low pH scale.

 

I add Discuss Buffer, and lowered the pH down to maybe 6.4? However, the TDS went from like 35 to 60. Waited several hours and retested the pH and it was up to 7.6 (from 7.2).

 

Another issue with a product like this is that it removes calcium and magnesium out of the water, which shrimp need in order to molt. This means that you may need to re-add these minerals back into the water.


What it all comes down to is huge swings in pH and rising TDS. You wont get what you are looking for in a product like this.

 

 

You're best bet is trying to use rain water if you live in a "clean area" (i.e. clean air, not full of smog or other chemicals), or try a buffering substrate, which may lower the water's pH below 7. If you add KH to the buffering substrate to raise the pH (through water, baking soda or a remineralizer), you will exhaust the soil faster, thus losing it's buffering capacities, and you are back to square one.

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kapp

Thanks @Zoidburg

Lots of heavy info there, very much appreciated. Doesn't necessarily make me feel any better about my situation though. I guess next step is to get Strata approval to realign the guttering to capture rainwater into my water tank. ? Oh this is going to go on for ages...

 

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Zoidburg

Sorry it's not what you wanted to hear. :(

I often wondered why shrimp people never really mentioned using these products. I even had an Asian guy in a fish store in San Francisco recommend using Neutral Regulator and Discus Buffer to lower the pH. He has *tons* of tanks full of plants, too! He also gets high pH out of his water. I'll be honest... the shrimp didn't look happy in their tanks... Saw several dead shrimp. I don't know why they were dead.

I decided to take his advice and try the products out. Needless to say, no matter how much I experimented with them, I could never be satisfied with the results. (and I tested this on an empty tank)

After trying various things, I decided it just wasn't worth it.... doesn't help that I already have soft water to begin with, so I need to make it harder for the shrimp in some way or another, which kind of defeats the purpose of using the products....

 

I don't even recommend trying to use driftwood, leaves and alder cones to lower the pH because even if you are able to accomplish the pH you desire in the tanks, you are going to cause a problem when doing water changes, unless you have a backup drum or water storage unit where you can replicate the tank water. Thus, what goes in is the same as what comes out. This then requires having a large supply of whatever it is you used to lower those parameters in the first place...

A light staining of tannins may not be enough to affect the pH of the water, so a truly dark tannin enriched aquarium may be required just to get to the desired pH levels. However, this also affects how the tank looks, and not too many people like a true black water tank.

 

 

If there is 0 KH in the water, then the pH should be around 7 or lower. That said, because there is no KH, it could just as easily be higher.

 

 

I can't get lower than a 7.4 reading of pH on my tanks. I would *LOVE* to have a 6.8 pH reading, but I have no interest in using buffering substrate to achieve the desired results, and the shrimp I'm keeping prefer a little KH anyway... I haven't tried keeping them without KH, so I don't know how well they'd do without it, but generally speaking, it's preferred.

 

I have and use driftwood, indian almond leaves, alder cones and mulberry leaves. Even with dark water, still had high pH. Right now, I even have some peat granules tossed into the filter and it's been in there for at least a week. Other than some staining of the water, I haven't noticed any changes.

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revolutionhope

Have you considered pre-treating your water with peat or a peat-based product?

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kapp
4 hours ago, revolutionhope said:

Have you considered pre-treating your water with peat or a peat-based product?

Actually that's exactly what I was looking to do next. Got some appropriate bags coming in to put some peat into and will put them into my water tank and monitor the outcomes. If that works, I'll just need to set up a process and timing for treatment before water changes. Obviously will need to assess what actual pH reduction comes about versus discolouration of the water, etc.

 

@Zoidburg Thanks so much. I feel lucky to be able to get the benefit of your hours of testing and patience.

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Zebra
On 28/12/2016 at 1:46 PM, kapp said:

Hi all,

Starting another thread to concentrate on phosphates and chemical reduction of pH.

With my tap water coming out at such a high [unexpected] pH I may have to try chemical reduction of the pH once the natural remedies @jayc and @Zoidburg suggested are exhausted.

Other than the negative impact large and quick pH changes may have on any livestock (not that I intend to do it large and quick), I understand the other main con of using chemicals to reduce pH is the residual phosphates that result. A quick search shows a few phosphate removal options. I had thought AC may remove it but looks like the phosphate removal properties of AC maybe minimal.

So my question is then, are the phosphate removal options safe for shrimp? (eg Resins, pads) Are some better than others? Anything else I need to be aware of?

Thanks in advance.

Naturally and gradually is the best way to go like others have said- however,

Is the phosphate build up your worried about from phosphoric acid? 

Generally in hydroponics we interchange this with nitric acid, some people say this is more with the seasons, but can be done to prevent this type of thing.

Already all these Chems are sounding pretty chronic, but in theory I guess like said above it depends what your kh is originally as whether your ph will swing back up again, and as long as it doesn't then maybe it's ok?

Where as peat etc is naturally neutralising ions.

I do this with plants not shrimp but I don't see why I can't, generally speaking most aquarium products like ferts etc are weak as so it's no surprise to me a ph down product doesn't work so great, where as I'm talking straight acid used at your own discretion.

I imagine having a decent amount of plants in your tanks would suck up any left over N or P if you lower ph chemically like this rather then naturally, but yeah I guess if possible the natural option is usually better.

When I use phosphoric acid to drop ph it's a major effect that lasts. A few drops can change 20L of water from 7 to 5.5 easy.

Once again it's something I've been thinking about for shrimp and doing with plants only not livestock.

I have a tank with no live stock ATM maybe I could use it to start a new thread on the effects of chemically altering ph using phosphoric acid.

Hydrochloride acid I said apparently sworn by in the aquaponics industry. After further research I'm going to start altering my water in advance with acids and see how my 1 tank of CRS go. Starting a new thread on it too. 

http://aquaponics.net.au/forum/threads/reducing-or-dropping-system-water-ph-safely.6056/

Edited by Zebra

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