View Full Version : Aragonite in freshwater

11-16-2006, 12:14 AM
Yay or nay? Will it change the pH of the water? Discuss.

11-16-2006, 02:47 AM
Yes it will raise pH and carbonate hardness, I think general hardness as well. Good for fw fish that like that, like african rift lake cichlids, and most central american cichlids.

11-16-2006, 03:14 AM
pH is one of those enigmatic things that I don't think I really ever understood. I put a buffer in the water like the n ice fish man told me to, but I don't know why. Ammonia and nitrates and nitrites oh my, all that I get. But not pH. I'll have to read again.

11-16-2006, 03:17 AM
You can try the Complete Idiot's Guide to Freshwater Aquariums. I read the sw version but haven't had time for the fw one yet. Should have a simple breakdown to help non-chemists understand pH (as well as it's interaction with carbonate hardness, which is the same thing as alkalinity, but not the alkalinity that has to do with pH, which is the same as basic).

11-16-2006, 08:10 AM
Are you insinuating that i'm a complete idiot?


I've read about pH, and I know what it IS, but there's so much conflicting information that it's hard to discern what's accurate and what's personal speculation.

11-16-2006, 12:49 PM
I needed the Complete Idiot's Guide to Saltwater Aquariums for some of the stuff, there will always be things we just don;t grasp right away.

What is it that is throwing you off? Maybe we can help.

11-16-2006, 06:01 PM
Mostly what's throwing me off is how important LOW pH is, instead of pH stability.
See, here's what happened.. I wanted sand in my new tank. What I was given, was aragonite. Now, I know NOTHING about aragonite, mainly because I don't have a reef tank. Now that the tank cycle is settling down, the pH is still high- I suspect because of the aragonite. I can get it doown to a little below 8, from like a 9 (!!!), but no lower. From a lot of things i've read, pH can be adjusted to, as long as it's stable. So i'm thinking of just leaving it alone instead of fooling with it any more. They might get used to the sand..

11-17-2006, 02:00 AM
It depends on the fish. Many fish will do fine in a pH outside of ideal as long as it is ideal, although they may not truly thrive as well as if the water was ideal. For example I was looking into freshwater stingrays, and although they are ideal within 6.5-7.0, higher pHs are fine as long as they are stable. What fish were you planning on? You may hate this, but is removing the aragonite an option? Estes makes a marine sand that will not affect pH or hardness at all. The aragonite is basically limestone, so it is calcium carbonate based. That means it raises the carbonate hardness of the water, which means you can't really get the pH to come down and stay down in your tank. Tryign to bring it down and it continuously popping back up will be much worse for almost all fish than if it was outside of the ideal range. I have numerous fish that live in 7.8 and should be around 6.6 (including discus) that are doing fine. However I would highly discourage you from keeping fish that are not ideal in your water parameters. The goal should always be to thrive, and keeping fish outside their ideal parameters is not the way to do that. I would not have gotten the fish I have if I had known how high the pH was holding in my tanks. That is why I did african peacock cichlids instead of the fw rays. What size tank is it? You may also want to take a bucket of water from your tap and let it sit for a few days and then test it. That way you will know what your water holds at, not just what it comes out at. That is how I made the mistake of thinking I should get discus.

11-17-2006, 06:48 PM
What i've got in it now are corys, kuhlis, tiger barbs, and rainbows. It's a 30 gallon, and at this point, removing the substrate is an option, but only a last resort.
I took one of the airstones out of the tank, and you know what? The pH was down to 6.8 by the next morning. Something I found somewhere pointed to excessive aeration as a possible cause. So i'm testing daily, morning and evening, to see if there's a pattern or if it'll hold.

11-18-2006, 02:25 AM
Interesting....didn't know over aeriation can raise PH. I have basically given up on trying to keep mine down...I saw it cont to rise no matter how hard I tried to keep it down. So far all are doing well so in my home, stability is better for us!

11-18-2006, 06:05 AM
I wish I could fins where I saw that. I figured it was worth a shot.
We're back up to 7.5 today. I'm leaving it alone from now on. Everyone is doing fine, so that's good enough for me.

Lady Hobbs
11-18-2006, 06:14 AM
I've often read that aerating the tank will cause the pH to rise. Tried it in my tanks and found it does but not enough to keep me from aerating. I don't feel the bubble wands have that much effect but it's when the surface water is turbulated such as an air pump will do. When I use the sponge filter, I keep the plug in the air pump so I don't get that turbulance.....just the suction.

Lady Hobbs
11-18-2006, 06:16 AM
Mine comes from the tap right at 7.6. I used to worry about it but don't even think about it anymore. As long as you have a stable pH and not one that jumps around they should be OK.