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[Done] Adjusting pH in the Freshwater Aquarium
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MarkLehr
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Joined: 09 Dec 2004
Location: Taylorsville, KY

PostPosted: 2004.12.15(Wed)20:24    Post subject: [Done] Adjusting pH in the Freshwater Aquarium Reply with quote

Final text moved to the Articles section:

http://www.aquahobby.com/articles/e_adjusting_pH.php
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Marcos Avila
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Joined: 05 Feb 2003
Location: Hiroshima (JP)

PostPosted: 2005.02.07(Mon)6:38    Post subject: Reply with quote

OK, time to get this one up on the permanent page. I just took a good look and it looks fine, I made a few very minor suggestions in the text, marked in green.

I do have one question though: you mention that a build up of phosphates will end up destroying the buffering capacity of the water, but my understanding has always been that phosphates are themselves buffering ions, so wouldn't it be more accurate to say that an accumulation of phosphates will tend to buffer the water at a lower level?

The difference is that a phosphate-buffered water in the wrong pH should be just as hard to correct as a carbonate buffered one, in contrast to the idea that a water that lost its buffering capacity is easy to correct.

My most painful peronal aquarium disaster occurred several years ago when I decided to use a phosphate remover in a 4 year old planted tank with some of the favorite fish I've every kept in there, just to help me with algae control. It turned out that over the years the water had been buffered at about 6.5 by the phosphate and when the resin removed it the pH swung to 8.5 or more overnight, killing nearly all of my 4 year old fish Sad
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MarkLehr
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Joined: 09 Dec 2004
Location: Taylorsville, KY

PostPosted: 2005.03.28(Mon)22:14    Post subject: Reply with quote

Marcos,

Sorry to take so long to respond to this. I just now noticed your question.

I realize phosphates can provide limited buffering. However, in cases with higher hardness levels, phosphates ions can actually bond with calcium ions and precipitate from solution. This is a direct removal of buffering ions from the system, as a result of phosphate buildups. As complex as the buffering system can be, especially when considering the differences in tap water and types of buffers being used by different aquarists, it is best to focus on the side of caution and do what is possible to reduce phosphate buildups altogether.

I appreciate you bringing this up. I have written similar articles on several occassions, and this never occured to me before as a possible source of confusion.

I want to assure you that before moving forward with this article, I researched the issue of phosphate ions & calcium ions very carefully with multiple sources, including my personal favorite fishkeeping genius Martin Moe.

Mark
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