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    Thread: concernd about ph

    1. #1
      JMorris271's Avatar
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      concernd about ph

      I have a pond that is filtered with 2 bead filters. My PH is reading 9.1. Way to high I know.

      Is there any way to lower ph besides water change ?

      Thanks

    2. #2
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      When are you checking PH and is it stable/always at this number?
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    3. #3
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      Checked it about 3 in the afternoon. Usually runs about 8.5 at that time.

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      Please describe you pond a little more.
      Do you have rocks in it. If so are they basaltic, limestone, granite?
      Does your pond have any waterfalls or streams.
      What kind of aeration do you have.
      Matt

    5. #5
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      Quote Originally Posted by JMorris271 View Post
      I have a pond that is filtered with 2 bead filters. My PH is reading 9.1. This seems alittle high.

      Is there any way to lower ph besides water change ?

      Thanks
      There are ways (Reverse Osmosis, acid injection, carbon dioxide injection, less daytime aeration, etc) but may not be worth the money or effort. Your particulat pH prolly has no detrimental effects on the health of your koi IMO as long as the daily swing is not too significant.

    6. #6
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      J

      I just saw your post on another thread about your water turning green. That is another animal. Check your pH at 4-5 AM to determine the significant shift that is prolly occuring due to photosynthesis activity.

      In this situation I would advise to increase aeration immensely during the dark hours and decrease during daylight. The green water algae will suck the oxygen out of the water during darkness and super saturate it with O2 during the day. Conversely; during darkness the green water will release carbon dioxide (lowering the pH) and consume it during daylight (raising the pH)

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    7. #7
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      okay, i'm going to get pilloried by the folks on this website, so line up and take your best shot. yes, i raise and lower my ph. the "lower" will be intensely criticized because it is "chasing ph". that is a fair criticism. check your tap water or well water, whatever you use, and see what your starting ph is. also make sure your test kit is fresh and accurate. if you have a gunnite or concrete pond that is not sealed, your ph will always be high. if you have limestone rocks in your pond, same story, and in those cases you probably cannot drop your ph; however, those types of ponds usually rise to about 8.4 and hold. yours is higher for some other reason, and someone on this website can probably tell you why.

      that said, 9.1 ph is too high, in my opinion, and there should be a simple scientific explanation for it. ph in ponds normally drop because of the effect of bacteria on the mineral balance of the water. if your local water is that high or higher, the pond should come down a bit over time and water changes will raise it. there are two good koi clubs in your state, charleston and spartanburg/greenviille, and they have members who can tell you more about your local situation. i'm just up the road from you in Charlotte and would be glad to talk to you about it.

      the natural ph of a koi's blood serum is 7.4, so a higher ph can put stress on the fish. supposedly high ph causes split fins, but i can't validate that. higher ph makes ammonia more toxic. in water at 9.1, any ammonia is 10 times more toxic than the same water at 8.1 and 100 times more toxic than the same water at 7.1. i personally prefer water at 7.2 to 7.4.

      lowering ph involves adding an acid to increase the hydrogen ions in the water. ph is shorthand for "potential for hydrogen". the lower the number the higher the potential for hydrogen ions. the acid of choice is hydrochloric acid, muratic acid at lowe's. yes this is an acid with chlorine in it; however, this is the preferred acid, and at the concentrations we need to use, it is safe for your fish. another that is used is vinegar, ascetic acid, and it is not recommended because it is supposed to produce toxic byproducts. i use it anyway and have never had a problem, but then that is my personal choice. if you use hydrochloric acid, dilute it first by adding one cup of acid to two gallons of water. then add a cup or so of the diluted product to a two gallon bucket of pond water, mix in the pond, wait for the pond to cycle once, and test again. for vinegar, dilute it in half and do the same thing. but before you drop the ph, determine what your natural value is first by testing the local water. many municipalities target their ph for 8.0 coming out of the tap. ours comes out at around 7.5 the last time i checked, but there are a couple of local municipalities that use the higher number. your water company should have just published their clean water act data and will tell you their target ph along with other numbers. as for the chlorine ions in the acid, if you have a waterfall, two times over the waterfall, and the chlorine gases off.

      absolutely, positively DO NOT use household bleach to lower ph. household bleach is not made from hydrochloric acid; it is made from a solution of sodium hypochlorite, a different and far more reactive form of chlorine. it will damage their gills, and you won't know it.

    8. #8
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      didn't read Jeff's after he said in the first sentence, he lowered his ph. Don't EVER lower your ph.

      Do you have a kh test kit? If you have a stable kh, your ph shouldn't flunctuate.

    9. #9
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      Quote Originally Posted by jeff reiter View Post
      okay, i'm going to get pilloried by the folks on this website, so line up and take your best shot. yes, i raise and lower my ph. the "lower" will be intensely criticized because it is "chasing ph". that is a fair criticism. check your tap water or well water, whatever you use, and see what your starting ph is. also make sure your test kit is fresh and accurate. if you have a gunnite or concrete pond that is not sealed, your ph will always be high. if you have limestone rocks in your pond, same story, and in those cases you probably cannot drop your ph; however, those types of ponds usually rise to about 8.4 and hold. yours is higher for some other reason, and someone on this website can probably tell you why.

      that said, 9.1 ph is too high, in my opinion, and there should be a simple scientific explanation for it. ph in ponds normally drop because of the effect of bacteria on the mineral balance of the water. if your local water is that high or higher, the pond should come down a bit over time and water changes will raise it. there are two good koi clubs in your state, charleston and spartanburg/greenviille, and they have members who can tell you more about your local situation. i'm just up the road from you in Charlotte and would be glad to talk to you about it.

      the natural ph of a koi's blood serum is 7.4, so a higher ph can put stress on the fish. supposedly high ph causes split fins, but i can't validate that. higher ph makes ammonia more toxic. in water at 9.1, any ammonia is 10 times more toxic than the same water at 8.1 and 100 times more toxic than the same water at 7.1. i personally prefer water at 7.2 to 7.4.

      lowering ph involves adding an acid to increase the hydrogen ions in the water. ph is shorthand for "potential for hydrogen". the lower the number the higher the potential for hydrogen ions. the acid of choice is hydrochloric acid, muratic acid at lowe's. yes this is an acid with chlorine in it; however, this is the preferred acid, and at the concentrations we need to use, it is safe for your fish. another that is used is vinegar, ascetic acid, and it is not recommended because it is supposed to produce toxic byproducts. i use it anyway and have never had a problem, but then that is my personal choice. if you use hydrochloric acid, dilute it first by adding one cup of acid to two gallons of water. then add a cup or so of the diluted product to a two gallon bucket of pond water, mix in the pond, wait for the pond to cycle once, and test again. for vinegar, dilute it in half and do the same thing. but before you drop the ph, determine what your natural value is first by testing the local water. many municipalities target their ph for 8.0 coming out of the tap. ours comes out at around 7.5 the last time i checked, but there are a couple of local municipalities that use the higher number. your water company should have just published their clean water act data and will tell you their target ph along with other numbers. as for the chlorine ions in the acid, if you have a waterfall, two times over the waterfall, and the chlorine gases off.

      absolutely, positively DO NOT use household bleach to lower ph. household bleach is not made from hydrochloric acid; it is made from a solution of sodium hypochlorite, a different and far more reactive form of chlorine. it will damage their gills, and you won't know it.
      Sorry Jeff but with all due respect you are apparently a novice at lowering pH and I surely don't want to sound condescending.

      The truth of the matter is that pH is usually best left alone unless you have extremely high quality gosanke that may require lower pH for outstanding beni.

      Using acid or carbon dioxide injection in a small aquarium may work if well monitored. But in a larger koi pond, IMO the only appropriate method of lowering pH is by reverse osmosis. I have been using that for 7-8 years now. The unit in pic 1 & 2 below outputs 8000 gpd of product water. Make no doubt about it, pH stability is the key and most important thing.

      The higher pH of 9.1 (compared to the normal 8.5 ppm) in this particular pond is due to the photosynthesis activity which results in an upward swing when taken at 3 pm but will prolly be much less if measured at 4-5 AM.

      It is true that higher pH makes the ammonia more toxic but I think in an established pond ammonia should not be a factor needing consideration in most situations. If it it, then the ammonia should be addressed and not the pH.
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    10. #10
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      Listen to Steve. What is your PH early am? i bet it's considerably lower than late afternoon. Your green water is most likely causing a large PH swing from morning to afternoon. This can kill your fish. 1st thing you need to do is add more UV to get rid of the green water, and PH swings. Then we can see where the PH settles out and go from there.

    11. #11
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      Quote Originally Posted by jeff reiter View Post
      okay, i'm going to get pilloried by the folks on this website, so line up and take your best shot. yes, i raise and lower my ph. the "lower" will be intensely criticized because it is "chasing ph". that is a fair criticism. check your tap water or well water, whatever you use, and see what your starting ph is. also make sure your test kit is fresh and accurate. if you have a gunnite or concrete pond that is not sealed, your ph will always be high. if you have limestone rocks in your pond, same story, and in those cases you probably cannot drop your ph; however, those types of ponds usually rise to about 8.4 and hold. yours is higher for some other reason, and someone on this website can probably tell you why.

      that said, 9.1 ph is too high, in my opinion, and there should be a simple scientific explanation for it. ph in ponds normally drop because of the effect of bacteria on the mineral balance of the water. if your local water is that high or higher, the pond should come down a bit over time and water changes will raise it. there are two good koi clubs in your state, charleston and spartanburg/greenviille, and they have members who can tell you more about your local situation. i'm just up the road from you in Charlotte and would be glad to talk to you about it.

      the natural ph of a koi's blood serum is 7.4, so a higher ph can put stress on the fish. supposedly high ph causes split fins, but i can't validate that. higher ph makes ammonia more toxic. in water at 9.1, any ammonia is 10 times more toxic than the same water at 8.1 and 100 times more toxic than the same water at 7.1. i personally prefer water at 7.2 to 7.4.

      lowering ph involves adding an acid to increase the hydrogen ions in the water. ph is shorthand for "potential for hydrogen". the lower the number the higher the potential for hydrogen ions. the acid of choice is hydrochloric acid, muratic acid at lowe's. yes this is an acid with chlorine in it; however, this is the preferred acid, and at the concentrations we need to use, it is safe for your fish. another that is used is vinegar, ascetic acid, and it is not recommended because it is supposed to produce toxic byproducts. i use it anyway and have never had a problem, but then that is my personal choice. if you use hydrochloric acid, dilute it first by adding one cup of acid to two gallons of water. then add a cup or so of the diluted product to a two gallon bucket of pond water, mix in the pond, wait for the pond to cycle once, and test again. for vinegar, dilute it in half and do the same thing. but before you drop the ph, determine what your natural value is first by testing the local water. many municipalities target their ph for 8.0 coming out of the tap. ours comes out at around 7.5 the last time i checked, but there are a couple of local municipalities that use the higher number. your water company should have just published their clean water act data and will tell you their target ph along with other numbers. as for the chlorine ions in the acid, if you have a waterfall, two times over the waterfall, and the chlorine gases off.

      absolutely, positively DO NOT use household bleach to lower ph. household bleach is not made from hydrochloric acid; it is made from a solution of sodium hypochlorite, a different and far more reactive form of chlorine. it will damage their gills, and you won't know it.


      Thats really good Jeff...maybe you should have said something about the KH and how it reacts to that acid. What would you tell this person when they crash out the pH because you didn't mention this..... BTW pH is potential of hydrogen or just potential hydrogen

      JM don't listen to this advice. This is not something that needs to be done or should be done. As Steve mentione the algae is probably causing the swing. Have you checked the KH of your water?

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      i'm a never say never kind of thinker. to simply say never do it flies in the face of reason and sounds like that old doctor joke about the guy who says " my arm hurts when i lift it!" and the doctor replies "well, don't do that!" with all due respect, it's obvious we are agreeing to disagree. ph over 9.0 needs attention, and the underlying problem needs to be addressed. no pond with koi will remain at 9.1 without an agent in existence to drive it up. the natural condition of a pond will drive ph down.

      the biggest issue is to not adjust ph quickly; never more than 0.5 in a period of time like 8 to 24 hours, because ph change is a proven koi stressor. the second issue is to pin down why this pond is above 9.1, and the most common reason is an uncured or unsealed concrete structure. in the interim while solving the underlying problem, he can diligently maintain a ph in an acceptable range and fix the problem. there is always a fix. but saying don't do that is a continued problem and not a solution.

      there is plenty of evidence that ph adjustment is something that can be done safely in any direction if the situation justifies it. the big question for this hobbyist is why is my ph high and not how do i lower it, but in the meantime, he can lower it.

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      You still don't get it. and you still haven't mentioned anything about the KH. The average ponder doesn't understand water quality/chemistry and the buffering ability of that water....I'm not even sure you do.

      As I've said before, for you to come along and tell a hobbyist to dump an acid into thier pond with out knowing thier abilities or the parameters of thier water is wrong!. Then did it cross your mind that maybe the green water that they're experiencing is using all the CO2 up since they may have really low KH and and with all the O2 that it's producing is driving the pH up over 9.

      There have been many ponders over the years around here that have had solid pH's at 9.0 or over without any ill affects to thier fish.

      Following your advice would probably crash out the pH and whatever KH that might be around, killing thier fish. You're trying to tell a ponder to fix a symptom before you even know what the problem is...bad advice!


    14. #14
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      back to the pond and ph. Do you have kh test kit? If not get one, it is the single test kit every ponder should have.

      If the kh is low, it allows the ph to flunctuate. If you have zero ammonia with low kh (total alkalinity) you can do water changes and/or add baking soda to bring your numbers up. It will also help to bring the ph down.

    15. #15
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      There is a wonderful thread on high pH that Gloria L was experiencing where Roddy to great pains in many posts to find and fix the problem. I would never add acid or even vinegar (a dilute acid) to fix high pH. That would be a temporary fix that could have disastrous effects on the entire ecology and balance in a pond, let alone on the fish.

      As said, I would test pH early am and late afternoon and compare. Also test the KH. There might be some very simple solutions to the problem. I have high pH source water and use Baking Soda with water changes to keep the KH up, lower the pH and keep it stable.

      By the way, baking soda will limit upper end of the pH to 8.3 in most cases.
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    16. #16
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      In a green water situation with low alkalinity, the pH swings will be immense and extremely dangerous.

      Green water with an alkalinity of 120 ppm can still be expected to swing well over 1 point in a 24 hour period. For example, the pH in some of my fry tanks (KH 120 ppm) will swing between 8 -9.2 in a 24 hour period.

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      **** Stephen get out the Muriatic Acid and nuke it...................

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      Did you test your PH this am?

    19. #19
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      Reading this thread and the one I posted has been very helpful, I have a UV filter running already and my water is fairly clear. I also have a barley raft in the pond that was introduced about a week ago. String algae is minimal, I did use algaefix to rid the pond of string algae about a week ago as well. My water lettuce and hyacinth are wilting and turning yellow. Probably affected by the algaefix. I have a second uv filter that I am going to turn on to clear the water further in hopes that the floating algae will be eliminated completely. I have a waterfall with the water splashing off bluestone but that's the only place stone should affect the pond. Also have a large juniper bush over hanging the pond that definitely drops sheds when birds etc. shake it. I know I'm identifying my own problems right now,lol but perhaps someone can benefit by noticing that they may be making the same mistakes. My ph is 9.0 kh 166 in the pond with a source of 7.5 and 179kh

    20. #20
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      Sorry I havent gotten back sooner but have been split ithree ways between the pond, work, and the heat;
      I can find no external factors that would cause a 9.7 reading for PH
      My GH reads 25
      KH reads 0
      Source water is 5.3
      The coping is out of the pond and is flagstone.
      I have 2 vortex fillters that are 200 gals each feeding 2 Bead filters in a 4800 ,liner pond
      No2 and No 3 are 0
      Very very small amt of ammonia.
      No runoff has occured that we have seen and I check.
      The koi can be seen swimming around sometimes but moving rapidly

      Thats pretty much all I know at this time.
      Thanks for everyones input.

      To , make matters worse I have just had 3 new koi shipped to me. Thankfully, a friend has an unused tank set up and is letting me use it to do the quarentine .

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