Dealing with PH drop after increasing light + CO2 - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 23 (permalink) Old 12-16-2003, 07:10 PM Thread Starter
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Hi folks, I took a ph reading now and wow its gone down to 6.4 from about 6.8 (lights still on). I was gonna dose Tetra blackwater tonight but seems like I shouldn't allthough it is not supposed to affect buffering capacity.

This PH drop must have been over the last few hours... (Fish are looking at their best ever, actively searching tank for food and algae)

Should I switch off the lights (what will happen)

Should I disconnect the CO2 (what will happen)

Should I do both (what will happen)

I do not have figures but our water is quite soft (flowing mostly over granite river beds), I do not get any hardwater deposits ever. Comes out of the tap at Ph 7 settles down to 6.8 /6.7 don't know if this tells you anything about my water, but I know there are some guys here who can put the picture together.

Ironicaly now that I need more test kits I'm a bit low on dough, so I'm gonna have to go with your theories and best practices advice.

I'm a good fishkeeper, so I will notice anything wrong with the fish immediatly.

Cape Town, South Africa.

Hi. I'm back.
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post #2 of 23 (permalink) Old 12-17-2003, 04:17 AM
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If i am not mistaken lights does nothing to pH,i think it is about the pH.Disconnect and make a little water change will raise the pH(hopefully)
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post #3 of 23 (permalink) Old 12-17-2003, 04:48 AM
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Could be very dangerous.

Do not leave the CO2 going as you go to sleep, you may have dead fish by AM.

You really shouldn't be adding CO2 until you know what your KH is. You need to know how low is too low on the pH, this will be at CO2 levels that can kill your fish.

When the lights go out additional CO2 will be released into the water by the plants, sort of like them losing some of the CO2 they captured but have not used yet. Plus any CO2 being added will be unused. Plus the fish are still putting out CO2. If you have too much you can kill the fish by morning.

Never tinker with CO2 right before lights out. Do it in the morning, when you are able to observe the fish for a long time to be sure of no overdose.
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post #4 of 23 (permalink) Old 12-17-2003, 05:35 AM Thread Starter
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OK its the next morning, I did disconnect the CO2 overnight, all inhabitants of tank looking super happy this morning.

I can not afford a hardness test kit right now, too many medical expenses after this week, I will disconnect CO2 at lights out in the mean time.
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post #5 of 23 (permalink) Old 12-17-2003, 10:53 AM Thread Starter
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Retested PH now 6.2 to 6.4 (colour very inbetween today).

Should I maybe leave CO2 in overnight, I normaly wake at 3 am to come say hallo to the fishies anyway, I could do another PH test then to see where it goes once plants start using O2 after lights out.

Maybe I should add a simple boxfilter (that works with air) and only connect it when I switch off the light to agitate the surface.

Thanks for the input so far please keep it comming. I don't wanna take out the CO2, so what could I do ?

So far then critical for planted tank;

strong light
CO2 source
CO2 diffuser
fishtank
submerged filter/pump/sump
plants
substrate
heater
Ph test kit
KH & GH test kit
Some scary ferts

Eish, the list keeps growing...
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post #6 of 23 (permalink) Old 12-17-2003, 11:35 AM
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I do the same thing like you nordic.i use co2 at day and o2 at night. this method will keep the ph slightly acidic to neutral.It works for me,it may work on you.


And what do you mean with "disconnect" co2? Do you place lock valves at your co2 generator? Locking it down will prevent ANY co2 air going out from the valve,you can dislock the valve to let the co2 going again.(you will see a BURST of co2 for few seconds)
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post #7 of 23 (permalink) Old 12-17-2003, 11:48 AM Thread Starter
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Nope I simply leak the air from my final bottle with water in into the air.

I went to check out the PH/KH/CO2 table...
Judgeing by that and perfect fish behaviour I think I may be able to reverse calculate... please tell me if I'm getting it wrong...

the line for KH1 indicates

PH 6.2 - CO2 19.0ppm
PH 6.4 - CO2 12.0ppm
PH 6.8 - CO2 4.8ppm

Rested water water is at ppm 4 to 5.
My rested water has PH 6.8
I.e. I estimate KH to be 1 to 1.5.

I suppose if it was this easy everyone would be doing it like that. But hey I'm desperate for knowledge.
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post #8 of 23 (permalink) Old 12-17-2003, 11:55 AM
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I am not good in measuring co2 lvls..perhaps someone else can help.
Consider getting lock valves.They works like a connector/disconnector in the co2 system.( need a pic? )
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post #9 of 23 (permalink) Old 12-17-2003, 12:01 PM Thread Starter
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I would much rather not have any presure buildups
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post #10 of 23 (permalink) Old 12-17-2003, 12:33 PM
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ok.so what are you gonna do?the ph is still low.
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post #11 of 23 (permalink) Old 12-17-2003, 12:40 PM Thread Starter
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I don't mind if its on the low 6's keeping angels and tetra's ther mainly, mollies are doing better than ever actualy too.

Monitoring very closely though.
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post #12 of 23 (permalink) Old 12-17-2003, 12:55 PM
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what fish you have in there?(names)
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post #13 of 23 (permalink) Old 12-17-2003, 12:57 PM
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oops i saw it,silly me ops:
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post #14 of 23 (permalink) Old 12-17-2003, 01:10 PM
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The easiest and best thing to do would be to add a little calcium to your water. It will increase the buffering capacity, stabilize your pH, and let you sleep at night. I use a scatter of dolomite in my substrates to ensure that I have some calcium available, and I use a liquid commercial reef additive every now and again. My crypts really seem to love having some calcium in the water.

Sean

Aquascape? I'm a crypt farmer.

It's a fine line between fishing and standing on the shore looking like an idiot.

That IS an aquascape, it's titled "The Vacant Lot".
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post #15 of 23 (permalink) Old 12-17-2003, 02:19 PM Thread Starter
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Would some seashell gravel help a little? (we live at the coast)
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