Is pH 5.5 too low? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-04-2014, 05:16 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: San Francisco, CA
Posts: 128
Is pH 5.5 too low?

I've had RCS and PRL CRS for about 4 months now with random deaths; maybe one every month or so on average (2 RCS & 2 CRS). They seem to be eating and breeding well, but the random deaths still disturb me and I would like to minimize it.

Recently, I purchased a digital ph meter and found that my ph is 5.5. Is that too low? Should I intervene and somehow buffer it with something? Maybe mix in tap water?

Below are some tank specs:

Just moss & plants
No rocks, wood, leaves, or ornaments
ph 5.5
KH 0
GH 5-6
TDS 125
68-70F
Nitrate 5-10
Nitrite 0
Ammonia 0
100% RO/DI Water
ADA Aquasoil

~20 RCS
~20 CRS
larns576 is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-04-2014, 05:28 PM
Planted Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: cary, NC
Posts: 294
You might need to make sure your PH meter is correct using solution to calibrate it. In my experience using Amazonia soil, I have not had my PH dipped below 6 with my R/O water PH around 6-5-6.8
Do the deaths occur after top off or WC?
If I let my water evaporated too much, I'll make sure to drip R/O water when top off. Too drastic change in TDS and water temp would stress them to the point of death the next day or so.
steakman is offline  
post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-04-2014, 05:29 PM
Wannabe Guru
 
NeonFlux's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 1,568
Yeah a pH of 5.5 is definitely very low, I'd say. You should increase the pH to about 6.5 for your RCS. Mixing with tap would work, if it is hard. The sudden deaths could be a molting issue. O: What are you feeding them? Make sure they get enough calcium in the food they get. Good luck, sorry to ehar about the random deaths. It has happened to me too rarely every now and then.

55 gallon Rainbowfish species/Harlequin rasboras community Dutch scape low-tech planted tank
60 gallon Bala shark low-tech planted tank
250 gallon Community Tiger Oscar/Red hook silver dollar/Silver dollars/BR Parrots/ PB Jack Dempsey/Clown loaches/Tinfoil barb/Roseline sharks/Barbs Monster fish tank
NeonFlux is offline  
post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-04-2014, 05:39 PM
Planted Tank Obsessed
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Eugene, Oregon
Posts: 304
You can also use baking soda to buffer your water and bring the PH and KH up.
Tzac is offline  
post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-04-2014, 05:40 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: San Francisco, CA
Posts: 128
I will use the packet to calibrate tonight and remeasure it. The reading does seem to be correct as it measured my other tank correctly against the API kit at ph 7.2.

My RO/DI water comes out at ph 6.0 using the API kit. Perhaps that is the cause... Low ph water with a buffering substrate? My tap water isnt very hard though. ~35 TDS with KH/GH 0, but ph is ~76 out of the tap

I usually top of using ~10oz of RO/DI water twice a day by pouring it over the spray bar. At most, that amount of water would change the TDS by 2-3. I've been assuming that little change wouldn't really affect them. Normal water changes are dripped in at the rate of 1 drop per sec over the course of ~10hrs.

For the time I've had the shrimp and the number of deaths, it doesn't seem like they are dying of natural causes, which worries me

Food wise they've been eating everything from Jake's variety, Mosura, Shirakura, to the German foods. No fresh veggies tho =(

Last edited by larns576; 01-04-2014 at 05:53 PM. Reason: foods
larns576 is offline  
post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-04-2014, 08:31 PM
Planted Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: cary, NC
Posts: 294
I feed all my shrimps blanched veggies (zukini, yellow squash, cucumber, kale, and spinach), and they seem to like kale and yellow squash the most.
The CRS particularly are eating the veggie eagerly.
I feed them a lot more veggies than commercial foods in the ratio of 4 to 1.
steakman is offline  
post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-04-2014, 11:56 PM
Planted Tank Enthusiast
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Virginia
Posts: 902
Quote:
Originally Posted by larns576 View Post
I will use the packet to calibrate tonight and remeasure it. The reading does seem to be correct as it measured my other tank correctly against the API kit at ph 7.2.
Before doing any adjustment try to test the water with the API kit you mentioned above, you have to calibrate the digital PH meter before initial use and once in a while after that. you also need to hold the meter at the right water level for few seconds until the reading becomes stable.
shrimpo is offline  
post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-05-2014, 12:02 AM
Planted Tank Guru
 
xmas_one's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Long Beach, CA
Posts: 3,337
Your parameters are ideal for CRS and fine for RCS. I wouldn't change a thing.
xmas_one is offline  
post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-05-2014, 12:54 AM
Wannabe Guru
 
plamski's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Boca Raton,FL
Posts: 1,168
Biggest mistake what you can do is to DO thinks without thinking much.
First , most of the people who created PRL and PBL lines have their shrimps in PH 5-5.5
I have all my PRL ,PBL and TBs in PH 5.2-5.7.I have random dead too. Especially my berried females.
Some babies have hard time to make it too but I still growing and multiplying my population.
I start with GH 4 now Im at 6 still not much improvement. My WC are 10-12% every 2 weeks.
Interesting is that any kind of supplements like Mosura: mud,tonic pro,white, BW :gravidas,TB-9 ,BW stout,shield are triggering problems and there are much more dead shrimps.
Something else strange to mension. Last summer I tried for 4 months little experiment. Month 1 GH4,next one GH6,Month 3-GH4,forth FG-6 again. WC was done for 2-3h with slow pumps. In those
4 months I have very few dead and a lot of berried and babies.
My RO come PH6 if I keep it the bucked for 2 days PH become 4.8.
With New Amazonia tank only I easily can have PH 5,5 with RO water changes only.

For RCS go for PH7 and up.
plamski is online now  
post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-05-2014, 05:47 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: San Francisco, CA
Posts: 128
I just recalibrated the meter and it now measures ph 5.8. I guess that's a fair enough ph for them. I think I would end up making everything worse by over thinking and attempting to constantly balance the ph
larns576 is offline  
post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-05-2014, 08:51 PM
Planted Tank Enthusiast
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Virginia
Posts: 902
What you need to do is improve your filtration, at lower PH there is not much bacteria to handle the nitrogen cycle fast enough.
shrimpo is offline  
post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-06-2014, 03:12 AM
Planted Tank Enthusiast
 
Fiftymeatballs's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Astoria, NYC
Posts: 512
Quote:
Originally Posted by shrimpo View Post
What you need to do is improve your filtration, at lower PH there is not much bacteria to handle the nitrogen cycle fast enough.

I agree with having sufficient filtration. I had my ph crash recently and the sponge filter was not able to keep up with ammonia produced. My case being a bit more extreme I def had bacteria die off. Just keep in mind a low ph will effect nitrifying bacteria, they can run half speed and go dormant. A ph of 5 is on the verge of being dangerous, just keep an eye on it and make sure you have some KH in your water for a buffer. The aqua soil in my tank did not buffer enough. I now keep a KH of 1 using baking soda and my CRS and TBS are back to normal.
Fiftymeatballs is offline  
post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-06-2014, 04:10 AM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: San Francisco, CA
Posts: 128
I think I have plenty filtration for a 10gal; Eheim 2213 with two dual sponge filters modified into intake pre-filters.

Im told aeration is also important, but am unsure if it can be improved. I have 2 spray bars making quite a current on the surface. Would O2 pumps make any difference? I don't want any addtl noise from bubbles tho.
larns576 is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the The Planted Tank Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in









Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome