pH Potential of Hydrogen

pH Potential of Hydrogen is often misunderstood

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pH Potential of hydrogen is the most misunderstood of all the parameters. The definition of these words apart, and what they mean together is argued by experts, and may always well be. You may see it written that the neutral zone is 7. ppm, with levels below meaning the water is acidic, and anything above being alkaline, but only carbonate mineral readings should be measured to see how base or acidic water is, and this is because pH potential of hydrogen is a measurement of oxygen and carbonate mineral combined. pH is not actually a water parameter, however, it is the parent of two parameters; O2 and KH

Carbonate mineral (KH) alone is responsible alkalinity, giving water the ability to support oxygen by breaking down the O2 molecule, so that the fish is able to utilize it in the bloodstream. A carbonate mineral reading of 70 ppm should be considered as neutral, with a reading above 70 ppm being alkaline, and a reading of less than 70 ppm being acidic

KH and pH parallel each other’s performance if oxygen is not being blocked from entering the water

KH               pH
50 ppm      6. ppm
60 ppm      6.5 ppm
70 ppm      7. ppm (neutral zone)
80 ppm      7.5 ppm
90 ppm      7.8 ppm
100 ppm    8.0 ppm
120 ppm    8.2 ppm

pH potential of hydrogen

Carbonate mineral give water the ability to support oxygen, although it’s up to us to make certain the body of water is free to absorb it. There are many things that block oxygen, or take up space in water. At the top of the list are gases created from waste; mostly carbon dioxide, but green water algae, supersaturated gases and even a bacteria bloom have the ability to fill water, pushing oxygen out. In a natural body of water, the surface is much broader than deep, and always moving, pushing gases out, and pulling oxygen into the water

pH and KH, closely related

Water movement alone is responsible for clearing water. The deeper the water, the more movement required. If the water has healthy carbonate levels and is free, it will absorb oxygen if the surface is exposed to fresh air and even slightly agitated, which makes for a healthy pH; potential of hydrogen

KH comfort zone for goldfish; 70 to 120 ppm with the higher side of the zone being preferred for optimum health. Acidic water leads to sickness and disease

Healthy pH readings alone do not oxygenated water make. The levels in your tank or pond may be depending solely on KH for the measurement. Those living in regions with high concentrations of carbonate mineral in their water may be fooled. Cities or towns close to the ocean may have too high of levels, making conditions dangerous for our fish

pH comfort zone for goldfish; 7.4 to 8.4 ppm however, your goal should be the top of zone; never settle for less. Some experts say leave well enough alone. Some may say a fluctuating pH is is more dangerous than a consistently low one, but such is not the case. This parameter indicates potential of hydrogen, and if we understand how it works, it’s the fish keeper’s best friend. Low or mediocre pH levels lead to low or mediocre fish health

In some cases a low pH indicates the water doesn’t have enough movement, and in some cases a low pH reading indicates the carbonate levels are too low, and in some cases both low carbonate levels and lack of action is to blame

What is a pH crash?

When pH levels drop severely and suddenly, this is referred to as a ‘pH crash. Sudden causes are typically due to pond pumps and filters suddenly shutting down, however, in most cases the pH drops slowly, the fish keeper unaware. To support life; water must have a reading between 6.0 to 9.0 pH. When reading drop to six, fish will be seen gasping at the surface, in a feeble attempt to get oxygen

Carbonate hardness stabilizes pH by contributing to the waters buffering ability

Avoid using drift wood. These items can leach harmful tannin (acid) into the water; toxic to goldfish dropping KH and pH along with it to deadly levels

Can bottled water be used in goldfish aquariums?

Bottled or R.O. (reversed osmosis) water which has no mineral content is not recommended for standard use in goldfish tanks or pond. Use R.O. water to lower GH and KH levels if necessary

What is KH?

If KH levels are within the comfort zone, but just a little low, learn how to gently lift GH, KH and oxygen, boosting overall water quality by reading Water Parameters
If KH levels are on the high side of the comfort zone but pH is low, use Oop Boost to lift oxygen levels

Sick goldfish benefit from pH levels on the higher side of the comfort zone

Step 6: Oxygenating Water

As CO2 (carbon dioxide) levels increase, oxygen levels decrease

Test KH and pH levels regularly. If your levels are dangerously close to the high or low end of the comfort zone; test frequently. Carbonate mineral builds to dangerously high levels as tank or pond water evaporates during dry weather Aquarium pond water evaporation

Step 9: Test H20 Parameters

Beware of new ponds with fresh mortar between rock or brick and concrete product in general. These materials contain chemicals for concrete curing; and waterproofing which leach toxins into the water, capable of poisoning our fish and raising KH to deadly levels allow six months to one year drying time depending on your region’s humidity

If you have a lid on your tank or aquarium; remove it to expose the surface to fresh air

Use sea shells, which are made up of carbonate mineral and calcium in substrate to help stabilize and buffer pH. Using these items in water high in KH may result in levels that are too high, and poison the fish

The test results below show the lowest to the highest measurable range of pH. Hopefully, you’ll only see the mid-range results in your fish house. Levels over 8. ppm may be the results of high KH levels, where levels lower than 8. ppm could be due to low oxygen and or low KH. Always test KH first when determining if the value needs buffering. In most cases of a low pH, low oxygen levels are to blame due to poor water movement or an enclosed fish house

ph potential of hydrogen

If you believe your goldfish has suffered oxygen deprivation; low pH levels or pH crash
Try reviving it with a Sea Salt Remedy.  If this doesn’t work, read about oxygen deprivation and try the re-oxygenation procedure detailed in the article. Goldfish have been known to be resuscitated after 36 hours without oxygen. If your goldfish is suffering from low oxygen levels in the tank, reduce water temperatures to buy time; goldfish use less oxygen in colder temperatures

The best method of keeping water clear is installing a pond pump in your fish house. No fish house is complete without one, as they push water from the bottom to the surface, expelling gases in the process

Oxygen Deprivation Anoxia

Goldfish Care

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Author: Brenda Rand