PH measurement

Discussion in 'General Discussions' started by RobK, Jan 11, 2018.

  1. RobK

    RobK

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    Hi all, I bought a new liquid PH tester kit from one of the LPS used strips previously. 1515700517172399632245.jpg Im either doing something stupid or it doesn't work. It always gives the same reading of a light green no matter what I do ...like add bicarbonate etc. Has anyone else tried this product and are there any recommended products.
     
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  3. SalmonAfrica

    SalmonAfrica Batfish

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    I haven't used that specific product, but have used liquid tests before.

    Bear in mind that these tests aren't 100% accurate, and that some brands are more accurate than others. Some kits test acidic water (less than pH 7) better, while others are better suited for highly alkaline (pH 8+). Some don't say which they're for - you can assume it's a "middle ground" one, but that's not entirely true. It is a good way to get a general idea on where you tank is sitting on the pH scale, though, should your fishes have particular requirements.

    Most fishes you get from the store these days, and I'm talking about those that are captive bred in particular, aren't too fussy about getting the pH exactly to that which they'd experience back in the wild. They're a few generations removed, so getting the value approximate to where it would be in the wild is normally good enough. Tap water, unless it is in the extremes, will usually be good enough too.

    On that note, it is best not to fiddle with pH too much. Putting the right amount of additive to your tank is very much a science - based on volume, temperature, current pH, hardness, etc. It can take a while to show up on a test kit (as may be the case here, where you're repeatedly getting the same value), all the while the pH is indeed changing according to how much additive you've put in the tank. Hopefully, you haven't put too much in, which would result in a dramatic pH swing that can be pretty rough on your fish.

    A good rule of fishkeeping is "If it's not broken, don't fix it". If your fish were not showing any signs of discomfort, and everything was otherwise going off well, keep to whatever you were doing.

    Regards,
     
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  4. OP
    RobK

    RobK

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    Thanks Salmon, I wasn't adjusting the ph in the tanks only in the test tube to see if it changed because the colour it gave didn't correspond 100% to the colour swatch, so I wanted to adjust it to see what happened. Are liquid tests better than paper strips?
     
  5. SalmonAfrica

    SalmonAfrica Batfish

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    Good call on not adjusting the tank.

    As a general rule, yes, liquid tests tend to be better than the strips, primarily because (at least I've found) the strips have a very limited shelf life. Of course, there are good brands of strips out there, and correct storage can help prolong their life, but in general I've felt a lot safer with liquid tests.

    There are other methods of measuring pH, such as pH pens (and a couple of other newer 'digital' testers that work on similar principles), which are probably the most accurate. These do cost more, however, and have specific maintenance requirements in order to maintain that accuracy.
     
  6. OP
    RobK

    RobK

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    Thanks, maybe I must take this back and get them to show me some other options... I'm investigating going the cichlid root and so far most of my LPS's seem to think that PH is important for them and they keep ocean sand in their tanks to increase the ph.
     
  7. Jwh

    Jwh

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    Have your tap water tested, most LFS will do this, or for a simple pH test even pool shops can do this, you may well find you are already within the target range of the fish. If you need to adjust, then I would suggest a pH pen, easier to use, more accurate.
     
  8. BoelderBeestie

    BoelderBeestie

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    I use one of these, the brand name is different but looks the same. They work but the colour changes ever so slightly so you have to look very closely. Bicarbs will only raise the ph to just above 8 so the colour change between 7 and 8 is very very slight with these tests. When it turns orange you have problems, I had that experience a while back, not fun.

    If you want to monitor your water more accurately(which is fun) invest in a kh test kit and compare those readings with your ph, you will get a very good "feel" of what your water does and reacts when your kh is very low. Remember water always wants to be neutral and will want to go to ph7 without ouside influence. Adding a buffer the ph moves less as you need an acid to "hammer" at it. Very pure water like RO will be close to 7 but gas it with an air pump and watch the ph drop because of co2 in the atmosphere, the co2 forms carbonic acid and it's this acid that makes the ph slide down, then gas the same RO buffered with bicarbs and it will hardly move if any at all.

    Sea sand, shells or coral as an substrate is a nice and easy way to ensure a nice stable ph as it brings the kh of the water up. a Shop here uses mussel shells instead of sand, but that looks a bit too much like a lobster holding tank haha.
     
  9. OP
    RobK

    RobK

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    @BoelderBeestie, thanks I am looking into the sea sand option but I want to see what the PH is accurately so if I introduce fish I can ensure they are properly aclimated. But I don't want to go through all this trouble if it's not necessary for malawi cichlids.
     
  10. BoelderBeestie

    BoelderBeestie

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    Sea Sand will sort you out. Pool test kits are cheap and fairly accurate too if you don't trust this one you have.
     
  11. OP
    RobK

    RobK

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    Thanks BoelderBeestie, will check with the pool tester.
     
  12. Hendre

    Hendre Polypterus freak Comp Coordinator

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    Depends what cichlids you're keeping. Rift lake cichlids like harder water, which has a high PH too
     

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