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Volume and ratios of water influencing pH
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Jimbob
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Joined: 27 Feb 2004
Location: London, England

PostPosted: 2010.10.16(Sat)23:14    Post subject: Volume and ratios of water influencing pH Reply with quote

In brief if I am mixing equal volumes of RO water and tap water can I expect the resultant pH to remain the same as the total volume of water increases?

So; if a mix of 15 litres of RO water and 15 litres of tap water produces an overall pH of 7.0 could I expect the same outcome if I mix 18 litres of RO and 18 Litres of tap water under the same conditions.

I ask because I am finding that in the example described above I end up with a pH of 7.2 when I mix 18 litres but 7.0 when I mix 15 litres. Is there a 'tipping point' at which the harder tap water resists the effect of the demineralised RO water?

Base readings are:

Tap water: pH 7.4, KH 8, Gh 10, TDS 290
RO Water: coming out with a TDS reading of zero

I have posed this question over on the freshwater section and wondered if there was specific expertise on this side on the board.
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SoS
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Joined: 16 Feb 2003
Location: PA, USA

PostPosted: 2010.10.18(Mon)11:53    Post subject: Reply with quote

There are about 5 million things that effect your pH.

Are you mixing inside or outside the tank?
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Jimbob
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Joined: 27 Feb 2004
Location: London, England

PostPosted: 2010.10.19(Tue)2:10    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Are you mixing inside or outside the tank


Outside - I am using a seperate tank to mix equal volumes of Tap and RO water, circulating using a powerhead, adding dechlorinator for the tap water and heating to match the tank temperature (25c).

The circulation/heating process takes about 90mins to get the water up to temperature then I pump it into the main tank.

I understand that different ratios of RO and tap water will effect the pH. I don't get why equal ratios but an increased volume changes the outcome; although I do see the difference in water hardness:

30Ltrs (15 litres of RO and 15 litres of tap): pH 7.0 KH 2, Gh 6, TDS 120

36Ltrs (18 litres of RO and 18 litres of tap): pH 7.2 KH 4, Gh 7, TDS 122
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SoS
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Joined: 16 Feb 2003
Location: PA, USA

PostPosted: 2010.10.19(Tue)7:22    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am nowhere near an expert but you might want to look up the "titration curves" of pH.

It gets into two solutions of the same concentration, you would have to use twice the volume of acid to reach the equivalence point. And adding a high pH to a lower pH causes the liquid to form a buffer as it does its Ion exchange.

What happens when you mix differant pH's at the atomic level is pretty complex stuff. That I do not fully understand.

My guess would be that the larger volumes of water mixed 1:1 create a larger buffer which takes the water longer to exchange ions. Which would account for the pH differance after 90 minutes.

Have you noticed that the pH comes back down if you let the larger amount of water sit longer? Maybe let it sit overnight and see if the pH comes back down.
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Jimbob
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Joined: 27 Feb 2004
Location: London, England

PostPosted: 2010.10.24(Sun)1:55    Post subject: Reply with quote

Update following this week's water change:

36Ltrs (18 litres of RO and 18 litres of tap): pH 7.2 KH 4, Gh 7, TDS 122

This was after letting the water sit from 09.00 Saturday to 4pm Sunday heated to 25c and circulated throughout with a powerhead and airstone.

Will be trying the 30Ltr mix next week.
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