What is API PROPER PH?
API PROPER PH is a PH buffer that automatically raises or lowers pH and stabilizes it at the pre-set level. Because it is a true buffer, API PROPER PH will automatically adjust and hold the pH at 6.5, 7.0, 7.5, and 8.2. API PROPER PH 6.5, 7.0, and 7.5 powders also neutralize chlorine, detoxify heavy metals, and add electrolytes to the aquarium. API PROPER PH 8.2 is a carbonate/bicarbonate buffer formulated for use in saltwater aquariums and with African Cichlids.
How does API PROPER PH adjust pH?
API PROPER PH formulas are more than pH adjusters, they are pH buffers. pH buffers are formulated to “lock in” the pH at a predetermined pH level. pH buffers compensate for fluctuations in pH, automatically adjusting the pH to the predetermined level. API PROPER PH 7.0, for example, will lower or raise the pH until 7.0 is reached. pH will not “rebound” to the original level.
How many doses of API PROPER PH will it take to adjust my pH?
Normally, one dose will set the pH. Some tap water sources used in freshwater aquariums are strongly buffered at pH 8.0 and above. In this case, two doses of API PROPER PH may be required to overcome the buffer system and reset the pH to a desirable level. Although all artificial seawater mixes use a bicarbonate/carbonate buffer, the final pH of artificial seawater is often below or well above pH 8.2. Proper pH 8.2 will work with the existing buffer to bring the pH to 8.2 – 8.4. Normally 1 dose of API PROPER PH 8.2 is all that is required to adjust and stabilize the pH in saltwater.
How long will API PROPER PH last in the aquarium?
In most aquariums, Proper pH lasts several weeks. As Proper pH works to maintain a stable pH, it gets “used up.” Natural acids formed by the decomposition of fish waste also neutralize API PROPER PH. Aquariums with large fish or heavily stocked aquariums may require more frequent use of API PROPER PH. When you see the pH begin to shift out of the desired range, add another dose of API PROPER pH. Adding tap water or making water changes can cause pH to shift. Proper pH can be added whenever a water change is completed.
How does hard water affect API PROPER PH?
Hard water, high in calcium and magnesium, may cause cloudy water with API PROPER PH, 6.5, 7.0, and 7.5. These formulas will combine with water hardness minerals, rendering them insoluble. This water softening effect can cause a temporary hazy to form. In very hard water, API PROPER PH will make a thick, white cloud in the water. To avoid hazy water, we recommend reducing water hardness to 100 ppm or less. Use the API WATER SOFTENER PILLOW to reduce water hardness.
Is API PROPER PH a phosphate buffer?
API PROPER PH 8.2 is a bicarbonate and carbonate buffer, and contains no phosphate. API PROPER PH 6.5, 7.0, and 7.5 are phosphate buffers. Phosphate buffers are the most reliable buffers for freshwater aquariums. They are non-toxic to fish and easily “lock in” the pH for extended periods of time.
Do phosphate buffers stimulate algal growth?
No. Phosphate buffers combine with essential trace elements, like iron, causing nutrient deficiencies. API PROPER PH 6.5, 7.0, and 7.5 should not be used in aquariums where algal growth is desirable.
Will API PROPER PH increase carbonate hardness?
Carbonate hardness, also known as “alkalinity” and “KH,” is the level of bicarbonate and carbonate ions in water. The KH level is also a measurement of water’s ability to resist pH change. API PROPER PH 8.2 contains bicarbonate and carbonate buffers, and will directly increase carbonate hardness. API PROPER PH 6.5, 7.0, and 7.5 contain no carbonate hardness, but will cause an increase in carbonate hardness as measured with KH test kits. KH test kits work by acidifying the water in the test tube, drop by drop, with a test reagent. When the water sample is adequately acidified, a color change occurs in the test tube. This is called “the end point.” The number of drops of test reagent required to acidify the sample (causing a color change) indicates the level of KH. Phosphate buffers strongly resist pH change and will be measured just like bicarbonate and carbonate buffers. Therefore, API PROPER PH (6.5, 7.0, and 7.5) will cause an increase in KH measurements.
Will phosphate buffers affect carbon dioxide test kits?
Yes. Carbon dioxide test kits work much like carbonate hardness test kits. A water sample heavily buffered with phosphate buffers will resist the pH change required to reach the end point color change. This in turn causes a “false high” carbon dioxide level test result. You will not be able to accurately measure carbon dioxide levels when phosphate buffers are added to aquarium water.