Well water with pH of 4.1 and almost 0 KH and GH - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 01-21-2013, 07:45 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Maryland
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Well water with pH of 4.1 and almost 0 KH and GH

I noticed when I do my water changes my pH drops almost a full point. My tank runs between 5.10 and 5.75 pH. The water out of my tap is 4.1 according to my probe. I am keeping one GBR, three oto's, a couple of ghost shrimp, and an assasin snail to combat the unknown number of MTS's. I have a flame sword surrounded by HC with eco complete in a 14 gallon biocube with 6500k bulbs, uv sterilizer, pressurized CO2- all controlled with a neptune apex lite. I am regularly fertilizing with Seachem Flourish line of N, P, K, and Comprehensive. I am using the Apex Lite pH probe to control CO2, however my drop checker never turns fully green. I have the pH control set to turn off the CO2 when it gets below 5.10 pH. At night the highest the pH gets is 5.75 (CO2 and lights off). Fish and shrimp seem to be doing fine, plants pearl well but seem to be slow growing. Is the low pH stunting my growth, or should i allow my pH to go lower than 5.10 to achieve higher CO2 levels? Should I add to my hardness/ buffer for a higher pH? What is the best way to do this without constantly chasing my tail.
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 01-21-2013, 08:26 PM
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Join Date: May 2011
Location: Chattanooga, TN
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with 0 kh and gh a little buffer would go a long way
many shrimp keepers would likely love to be in ur position!!
kh to at least 1-2 is ok. for most plants 2-4 range is perfect
gh 3-5 is perfect

also ph will need to drop a little more for a green drop checker. the ideal floating around is a 1.0 ph drop for a green DC
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 01-29-2013, 01:16 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Maryland
Posts: 3
I've been doing water changes premixing 1/2 teaspoon each of Seachem equilibrium, Alkaline Buffer, and Acid Buffer in a 5 gallon carboy and aerating overnight to thoroughly mix. This gives me a pH of 6.7, KH of 3 degrees, and GH of 2 degrees for my makeup water. Changing about 5 gallons a day on 14 gallon tank. German Blue Ram seems to be more vibrant and better appetite ( could just be the daily water change), but HC, and Flame Sword are instantaneously growing at a much faster rate. Is it normal for well water to be so acidic and devoid of KH and GH- I would have thought the complete opposite. I live in Maryland about a hundred yards from the Chesapeake Bay and my soil is pretty sandy is that has any effect. Just curious if anyone has any insight. Thanks.
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 01-29-2013, 01:20 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Maryland
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I should have mentioned, I now have my controller to have a lower limit of 5.5 pH and lights out it goes up to 6.1. CO2 now runs long enough to turn drop checker green at a reasonable pH.
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low co2, low hardness, low ph

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