Concerns/questions about rising pH
I have well water and high pH. Out of the tap it used to be around 8.2. I mix the tap water with about 25% distilled and it kept the tank reading fairly consistent at 8.0. Since I only have diffusa/mystery snails and red cherry shrimp, I was never concerned about lowering it any further and they seemed fine. Until lately.
About a month ago I purchased some more young adult mystery snails. A few of them are not adjusting very well to my water. The biggest one floats and slimes constantly. My original snails seem fine, except for one that hangs near the top and siphons air all the time now. I started looking at my pH again. It's now about 8.4 in the tank. Out of the tap it's around 7.8. How can this happen? I know tap water can fluctuate, but why would it be higher in the tank now? Especially since I'm mixing it with distilled water..?
Other parameters: Ammonia and nitrite are both 0, nitrate is 20. I've never tested the KH (should I start?) Copper tested 0. I also have mopani in the tank and gravel substrate. Heavily planted with crypts and anubias mostly. No CO2.
I'm trying to understand pH better and hopefully save my snails, if that is the problem. What factors will cause it to rise in the tank? How about fertilizer? I use Flourish Tabs and Flourish liquid (not Excel). Can the tabs start leeching out of the substrate and affect pH? How can I safely lower the pH just a tad and keep it there? Should I increase the distilled mix to 50/50? Anything else?
ETA: Would calcium tablets affect pH? I feed the snails a lot of Caltrate. When they poop it out it sinks into the gravel and stays there. It's heavy and doesn't suck up well in the gravel vacuum.
Last edited by Snailetta; 11-24-2012 at 01:47 AM..
Reason: added something