best substrate to drop 8.3ph? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 31 (permalink) Old 11-28-2012, 05:00 PM Thread Starter
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best substrate to drop 8.3ph?

Okay, I'm blessed for neos and some other shrimp, because my RO bounces back to 8.3ph (which breeds REALLY hardy shrimp).

But that is a curse for crs. I think I need ph in the 6's for them. Does ANY substrate drop 8.3ph that low???

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post #2 of 31 (permalink) Old 11-28-2012, 05:06 PM
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RO does not "bounce" to 8.3.
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post #3 of 31 (permalink) Old 11-28-2012, 05:14 PM
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+1. RO water stays at single digit TDS until influenced by something else.

If you have rocks leeching TDS, remove them immediately.

If you have something pushing your PH that high, something needs to be changed.

Figure it out, then you can get CRS with no qualms in mind!


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post #4 of 31 (permalink) Old 11-28-2012, 05:17 PM Thread Starter
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Ah! This is why I love this board. I learn sooooo much! Okay, so I just tested my RO and it is around 6.9

The only things I have in my tanks are inert substrate (black blast), moss, heater and air driven sponge filters. No rocks or anything like that.

Guesses?

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post #5 of 31 (permalink) Old 11-28-2012, 05:19 PM
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Agreed. If you are using pure RO and reconstituting only a little GH you should not have a pH that high. Something is buffering it.

But since you ask, Soil Master Select, Turface, and ADA Amazonia all buffer the pH to be lower.

In the D.C., Maryland, or NOVA area? Come check out The Greater Washington Aquatic Plants Association! www.gwapa.org
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post #6 of 31 (permalink) Old 11-28-2012, 05:21 PM Thread Starter
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I forgot, I also have cuttle bone in some tanks- but I doubt that is making much difference because even the ones without them are still 8ph or so. This ph is in all 20 tanks.

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post #7 of 31 (permalink) Old 11-28-2012, 05:36 PM
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yes, you'll want amazonia substrate and such if you want to be in the 6s for CRS. i find its really amazing with plants and especially moss too.
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post #8 of 31 (permalink) Old 11-28-2012, 06:08 PM
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Do you have a TDS meter? What is the TDS of your RO water? Would be good to test it for GH and KH to understand where the buffering ability of your water is coming from (either the RO water directly or once it is in the tank). Your RO should have low to no tds/GH and KH. If you can rule out the RO water then need to figure out what in the tanks is buffering it up.

I have a tank with Up aquasoil with CRS and so far it is doing very well at keeping the PH low and shrimp are doing well. It is not commonly used and was told it breaks down after a year. ADA aquasoil is by far more commonly used but can be hard to get at times.
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post #9 of 31 (permalink) Old 11-28-2012, 06:41 PM Thread Starter
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I have low water pressure, so I don't get full "0" on my RO. My TDS reading is consistently 12 or so from 465 tap (that's my tap on a good day).

It prob is something in my tanks, but beats the heck out of me what. there's literally NOTHING that could push it up item wise. I'm testing the substrate in a cup now. So far, no ph change.

My tap today is 7.6. No idea what it has been though. I wonder if the 02 is pushing the ph up? I do aerate my sponge filters pretty liberally.

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post #10 of 31 (permalink) Old 11-28-2012, 07:43 PM
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This baffles me... Try taking the Cuttle bone out.... Only for a while..

Do large water changes.

What do you reconstitue the RO with?

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post #11 of 31 (permalink) Old 11-28-2012, 07:45 PM
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I have this problem in two tanks with buffering substrate. And nothing that would raise it. There is a lot out there saying aeration raises ph but then argument against it. I happen to wonder if shrimp and snail poop raises it as well. Hoping for good solid answers from the experts. I'm switching to all RO water from here on out to try to get it down. One substrate buffers to 7 and the tank got up to 8.2 a few weeks ago. The other should buffer at 6.8 and is still at 7.4 after doing about 60% worth of water changes with RO at 6.4

It's starting to bug me. Both tanks have been running less than 6 months.
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post #12 of 31 (permalink) Old 11-28-2012, 07:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ravensgate View Post
Hoping for good solid answers from the experts
Amen. Lol. Even though they refuse to be called experts. :p


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post #13 of 31 (permalink) Old 11-28-2012, 07:49 PM
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I'll take anyone smarter than me with this which is most of the members here. Lol!!
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post #14 of 31 (permalink) Old 11-28-2012, 07:58 PM
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have you done the 24/48 hour test to see what you tap and ro are at. i would test strait out of the tap and then let some water sit for 24-48 hours and test again. it is amazing what can happen in that time with it just sitting. i would do the same with the ro since all the tanks are that high. might be something wrong with the ro unit or over minerlizing. or what ever your using to test with could be incorrect. i know things some times need recalibrated or liquid test kits can go bad. also by testing the water after it sits it might help to find out if its the black substrate that is causing the spike. just cause its "suposed to" be inert dont mean it is. i have good luck with fluval shrimp stratum. it takes my ph from 7.5 down to 6 and i have even tested my tank where it read ph was 5
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post #15 of 31 (permalink) Old 11-28-2012, 08:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Soothing Shrimp View Post
Ah! This is why I love this board. I learn sooooo much! Okay, so I just tested my RO and it is around 6.9

The only things I have in my tanks are inert substrate (black blast), moss, heater and air driven sponge filters. No rocks or anything like that.

Guesses?
What is the current TDS in these tanks? What is the KH?

My guess is that the pH-raising culprit is whatever you are adding to your RO water to re-mineralize it.

If you are just mixing RO with tapwater to achieve a balance for your tanks, I would switch to using 100% RO and then adding minerals to raise your TDS to between 150 and 200. This should lower your KH enough so that an active soil could lower your pH. You could achieve this by mixing different amounts of tap water with RO, but it is much easier to get right when using mineral additives.

Good products to add minerals to RO water that will not raise your pH are:
Kent RO Right or Salty Shrimp GH+.

Once you have your KH low enough (0-1) so that an acidic substrate can lower pH, the best substrate to use, in my opinion, is ADA new Amazonia. I have also had good results with ADA Malaya, but prefer Amazonia.
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