WHY DO PH LEVELS IN NATURAL SOURCES OF WATER CHANGE ALL DAY?
Q & A GRANDSON ASKS GRANDPA:
Question: Could you please tell me why the pH level in natural water sources is low in the morning and high in the evening? I’m curious!
Answer: Sure! Before answering the question, let’s get to know the pH first.
Answer: pH is the measurement of water quality. It shows the acidity or alkalinity of a liquid, which is a chemical reaction of hydrogen ions (H+).
pH is a scale from 1 to 14
pH 1-6 (Acid pH)
pH 7 (Neutral pH)
pH 8-14 (Alkali or Base)
pH levels in natural sources of water can vary depending on how the water interacts with environmental factors. For instance,
- Some water sources are naturally alkaline. When the water passes over the layers of granite, the alkalinity increases.
- Natural processes by aquatic plants, aquatic animals, and planktons. These aquatic organisms live together in a balanced ecosystem. During the daytime, aquatic animals breathe oxygen from plants and release it as carbon dioxide. Plants use carbon dioxide in photosynthesis and transform it into oxygen and simple sugars.
Conversely, at night time, plants and phytoplankton release carbon dioxide. Aquatic animals and zooplankton breathe out carbon dioxide as well. When carbon dioxide interacts with water, it forms carbonic acid, which accumulates until the early morning. That’s why pH becomes the most acidic in the morning.
Before plants and phytoplankton get the sunlight, they use acidic carbon in their photosynthesis. When the process is powered by the sun, it interacts with water and forms accumulating bicarbonate until reaching the afternoon. Carbonic converting to bicarbonate is a result of the carbon cycle. Therefore, the pH level changes from the highest to the lowest because of the carbon transformation.
The change in the pH level from the highest to the lowest is a part of the balance in nature – a constant interaction and ongoing exchange of elements. When we use the water to raise fish, a fish tank becomes a closed biological system. Therefore, the natural processes to balance the ecosystem will no longer exist.
It’s not practical to change pH levels in the water, especially in a fish tank. What we can do is avoid a drastic change in pH levels during the day. To maintain a safe living condition for your fish, you need to keep the pH in a range of 6.5 – 9.
To adjust the water for raising a fish, consider Tantanic. It releases Tannin, which functions as a buffer to prevent the pH from changing drastically.