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Soft alkaline water


Guest elphinstone
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Guest elphinstone

My problem is alkaline pond water. The only advice I get is how to reduce the hardness, but my water is soft. I added KH up to help stabilise the pH but this also increased the pH. I then added pH down which also lowered KH. KH is currently 6, but pH keeps creeping up to 8.0, then I add another dose of pH down. I read that pea soup algae make water alkaline by using up all the CO2, so I installed a UV light. Now I have crystal clear water which is still alkaline. The fish (comets and swordtails) don't mind but the plants hate it.

I have a 950L Universal Rock fibreglass pond with about 10 plastic pots full of plants, planted in sand and vermiculite. Nothing in the pond increases the pH, I have tested everything. Tap water is pH 6.8 which increases to 7.4 on standing. Tap water KH is 2.

I made CO2 with yeast and sugar for a few weeks. This kept the pH at 7.4 - 7.6, but as soon as I stopped it went up again.

Does anyone out there know how to increase the KH and lower the pH to about 7.6 and keep it there? I need help! :)

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Just quickly, I would stop using the pH and kH up and down products, or you'll just have it swinging all over the place.

All I can suggest is to try filtering your water through peat, or submerging some Indian Almond Leaves in the water. And maybe add some shell grit to buffer the acidity.

Are you sure the sand doesn't affect the pH? How did you test it?

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Guest elphinstone

Hi Lilli

Please tell me more about Indian almond leaves. What do they do and where can I get them from?

I tested the pH of the washed sand by putting it in a bucket with water and taking a sample every day for a week. It remained neutral. Everybody uses sand, I have never heard that it makes water alkaline.

The shell grit is a bit of a puzzle to me. Every time I tell someone that I have alkaline water, the first question is, do you have shells or shell grit in the pond? So they all seem to assume that it would make the water alkaline, it's calcium carbonate after all. Are you telling me to use it to increase the KH? Then I would still need something to lower the pH.

This pond is only 8 months old. I had a very much larger pond for 11 years in the same position where the little one is. The water was always near neutral in that pond. I never tested KH because I had no problems. This was a plastic lined hole in the ground, with clay leaking into the pond through the torn liner!

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Indian Almond Leaf is from the tree terminalia catappa. You probably have them all around you in NQ! Or you can order in bulk from one of our members in Thailand, Jeff (and his wife Wan). He has a thread in classifieds.

I suggest a forum search for Indian Almond Leaf, should bring up plenty of info.

IAL act much like peat in that they acidify the water. They are also seen to have anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties.

I suggested the shell grit as you said the water is soft. With no buffers, whatever you add to acidify the water, you risk a pH crash and water as acidic as lemon juice. . (This happened to me once).

In my bettas' tanks I use IAL and shell grit. None of my tanks go alkaline, or scary-acidic.

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Guest elphinstone

I do have shell grit because I sometimes raise orphaned pheasant coucal babies. It's used in their food. I'll do a bit of pH testing first.

Some people say that the IAL make the water brown. That wouldn't be so nice if I have to use them permanently.

There is a piece of wood in my pond as well, but it's obviously not big enough to make a difference. Must look into that.

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