Eco complete ph swing - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 01-09-2016, 02:47 PM Thread Starter
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Eco complete ph swing

So I had a leech problem in my spec 3. I decided to do a complete reset about two weeks ago. It had previously had mgops capped with a thin layer of Eco complete for substrate. I decided to go with all Eco complete this time around. The first week was fine. The second week the ph dropped from its normal resting 7.1 to 3.8 killing every cherry shrimp I had. I dosed a teaspoon of baking soda in the tank and it has been a steady 7.8. I am topping off with distilled water for now.

Has anybody had this happen? How long does this effect last?
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 01-09-2016, 03:31 PM
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That is an extreme drop!
Are you sure it was the EC? What else could do this?
Were you monitoring the KH through the episode?

EC used to have a problem with raising the pH, but that was many years ago, I have not heard of such a problem lately. The manufacturer probably removed whatever buffers they were adding that raised the pH. Fine, as far as it goes, but then there would have been nothing to counteract whatever caused the pH drop in this instance.

Distilled water also has no buffers. If you had initially filled the tank with DI, then a small amount of acidic material (peat moss, IAL, alder cone, oak leaves) could drop the pH. I would not think it would go that far, though. I have had peat moss take the pH down to about 5.0.
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 01-09-2016, 03:36 PM
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No way it was eco I replaced all my travel with it and my ph didn't change

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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 01-10-2016, 04:04 AM Thread Starter
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This was a very old bag of Eco totally dry and nothing else changed. It was all tap water on initial fill. Nothing drastic has happened to my tap water. Same exact plants and fauna. No dirt this time. I basically had a leech problem so I dumped the tank cleaned, cleaned it out, put ecocomplete an old opened bag I've had laying around for ages. Two days later the ph dropped like a stone. I literally changed nothing but the substrate. Washed the plants and replanted them and called it a day.

As of right now I am using baking soda as a buffer. It stabilized the ph at 7.8 and hasn't changed since.
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