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Old 02-19-2013, 06:52 PM   #16
Calebh21
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High Tech Iwagumi


I tested the water from the tap after I let it sit for a day and its still at a pH of 7.3. I live next to the Rockies so all my water comes from snow melt. It's a good suggestion though. It must be something in the tank. Since its not the plants the only two things left are AS or the rocks and I've never heard of granite decreasing pH. If anything it would raise the pH. In my mind it has to be the AS but it amazes me that it would still be decreasing the pH so quickly after I've done so many 50% WC's.

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Old 02-19-2013, 07:10 PM   #17
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What is your dKH? Are you adding baking soda? i would imagine your water is really soft. When was the last time you cleaned your filter? Decaying organics can drop your PH if your dKH is low. HTH.
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Old 02-19-2013, 07:20 PM   #18
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I haven't had my kH tested yet. The LFS does it for free. I've been meaning to take a water sample to them but haven't gotten around to it. I don't add baking soda. Not sure if my water is soft or not, although it seems like it would pick up some minerals running through the mountains. I clean the canister pretty often, usually every week and a half so I don't think that's the problem. I have a little time so I think I'll take a water sample to the LFS. I really appreciate the response. I can use all the suggestions I can get at this point.

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Old 02-19-2013, 09:03 PM   #19
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Went to the LFS and got my water tested. My kH is really low, 1.5, so that's probably why my pH has been fluctuating so much. All other parameters are within acceptable levels. The store manager recommended Aquavitro Carbonate. He said it was more stable than baking soda because it's potassium based and not sodium based, more stable bond I guess. Hopefully this, along with a few more WC's will fix the problem. I also asked about water parameters from the tap and he said it's medium soft with a kH between 3 and 4.

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Old 02-19-2013, 10:52 PM   #20
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Good to hear, your PH will likely come up with your KH I doubt you need to do any more water changes. You should get a test kit so you will know how much KH to add in the future. Amazonia lowers KH and is eating up your buffer.
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Old 02-20-2013, 12:50 AM   #21
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Yeah, I did one last WC before I added the Aquavitro. I'll switch back to the weekly WC to let everything level out. When I went to the LFS I purchased a kH tester so I can keep better track of it. I raised the light another 5" as well. Should decrease my par by about 25%. From 160 to 120. It might help slow algae growth a little, but I don't know. 120 micromols is still a ton.

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Old 02-20-2013, 05:03 AM   #22
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I've been meaning to post a pic of the equipment under the tank so here it is.
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Old 02-26-2013, 01:44 AM   #23
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Even with the addition of the Aquavitro Carbonate my kH has remained between 1 - 2. My pH has also remained extremely low, around 5.7. The lack of CO2 has resulted in slowed plant growth and a boom in algae. Lately there's been a new type of algae growing on the substrate and over the HC, it's kinda like BGA but it's brown. Today I decided to completely clean the tank. I removed all of the plants and vacuumed the substrate. Then I did a 50% WC. I'm going to clean all of the plants and rescape the tank tomorrow after I vacuum the substrate again. Hopefully this will help. If it doesn't I'm out of ideas.
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Old 02-26-2013, 06:07 AM   #24
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The kh of the tapwater in my area is quite low just like yours. I have been using seachem reef buffer in my planted tanks for a few years to maintain my kh/ph. I use the dry form so I can precisely dose how much I need.

I would strongly suggest investing in a kh test kit. With kh as low as yours you will need to monitor it regularly. You can't just "fix it" once, its going to become part of your routine maintenance.

Once you figure out how much you need to buffer your water you can just make sure to replenish that amount with your weekly water changes or as needed. Its actually a good problem to have, its really easy to harden water, keeping water soft can be more challenging.
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Old 02-26-2013, 06:13 AM   #25
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Also, I would urge you to use dry kh boosters. Liquids are typically very dilute and are packaged as such to encourage frequent purchases. You get much better bang for your buck with powders and can be easily measured. Stick with it, once you get a routine figured out its pretty straightforward.
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Old 02-26-2013, 08:33 AM   #26
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I do have a kH test kit and have been testing it regularly. The dkH of the city water is around 4, which although on the lower end of good should be adequate to keep the pH stable. In fact my friend has been maintaining planted tanks in the same city for many years without an issue. The problem I'm experiencing seems to stem from the ADA Aquasoil. I believe that with time and more water changes the problem should correct itself but until that time my only option seems to be adding a kH booster like the Aquavitro I've been using. Thanks for the post!
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Old 03-01-2013, 04:18 PM   #27
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kH has been slowly rising over the last week. dkH is now around 3 most days with the Aquavitro. pH is still low though, 6.3 without co2. 2 snails died due to low pH. Re-calibrated the pH meter because it was .3 lower than it should have been. I'm tempted to add a chemical pH up product even though I know I shouldn't.
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Old 03-01-2013, 06:47 PM   #28
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Love the scape. I am dealing with the opposite issue that you are my PH and KH are high.

What kind of fish are you going to put it?
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Old 03-02-2013, 04:25 AM   #29
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I'm planning on turning it into a shrimp tank once I get the water parameters in check.
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Old 03-05-2013, 08:59 PM   #30
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I've been having a bio film forming on the surface for the last week or two. I have 2 - 400 gph fans that provide quite a bit of surface agitation so I'm not really sure why its there. Any ideas?
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