best and most stable way to RAISE pH
Planted Tank Forums
Your Tanks Image Hosting *Tank Tracker * Plant Profiles Fish Profiles Planted Tank Guide Photo Gallery Articles

Go Back   The Planted Tank Forum > General Planted Tank Forums > General Planted Tank Discussion


Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 01-15-2010, 08:04 PM   #1
snoz0r
Planted Tank Obsessed
 
snoz0r's Avatar
 
PTrader: (1/100%)
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Brownsburg, IN
Posts: 390
Send a message via AIM to snoz0r
Default

best and most stable way to RAISE pH


I'm interested in finding a way to raise my pH without using chemicals such as ph down and the like.

my test kit only goes down to 6.4, but I figure it's gotta be even lower then that, between the softer water from RO and the acidity, even MTS are dying because their shells are so brittle.
__________________
click above for my tank journal - Eheim Pimp Club #357 - SunSun Pimp #3
snoz0r is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 01-15-2010, 08:08 PM   #2
lauraleellbp
Fresh Fish Freak
 
lauraleellbp's Avatar
 
PTrader: (70/100%)
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Tampa, Florida
Posts: 24,335
Default

"Without using chemicals?"

The most STABLE way will be to use a product such as Seachem Equilibrium and premix water to set parameters each time you do a water change (or better yet, maintain a reservoir tank with premixed water).

Personally, I'd leave the tank water parameters alone. You could feed the MTS some high-calcium foods if you're worried about them.

Though you could always just throw a bag of crushed coral in your filter.
__________________
Tampa Bay Aquarium Society - Next meeting Monday, Sept 8, 2014 @ 7:15pm- See ya there!
TBAS Annual Fish Auction - November 1st!!

lauraleellbp is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-15-2010, 08:14 PM   #3
snoz0r
Planted Tank Obsessed
 
snoz0r's Avatar
 
PTrader: (1/100%)
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Brownsburg, IN
Posts: 390
Send a message via AIM to snoz0r
Default

the attempt in all of this is for kribensis breeding, i had forgotten about equilibrium.. i didn't know that worked with your pH, i had thought it was for hardness only.. the mts i'm not terribly worried about, it was just noting it to the point that the water is definitely acidic.. just not sure at what level
__________________
click above for my tank journal - Eheim Pimp Club #357 - SunSun Pimp #3
snoz0r is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-15-2010, 08:14 PM   #4
Jeff5614
Planted Tank Guru
 
Jeff5614's Avatar
 
PTrader: (52/100%)
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: TN
Posts: 2,707
Default

I don't think Equilibrium will raise the pH although it is a source of Ca, Mg and K which will raise your GH and the additional calcium should help your snails.
Jeff5614 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-15-2010, 08:21 PM   #5
kid creole
Wannabe Guru
 
PTrader: (2/100%)
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Raleigh, NC
Posts: 1,241
Default

I have low KH out of the tap. I have tested it between 1 and 3. I drop a teaspoon of baking soda into the tank when I do water changes, about 30 gallons, just to make sure it isn't reading 0.
__________________
kid creole is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-15-2010, 08:21 PM   #6
bcdudley
Planted Member
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Dallas, TX
Posts: 195
Default

Wow, I want to come trade some water with you, lol. My water comes out of the tap at around 7.6 and I am trying to get it lower for my Apistos. For my Mbuna tank, I do have to raise it slightly and I use cichlid salts. They are designed more for the rift lake cichlids so I do not know if it would help you any. Might be worth looking into.

http://www.cichlid-forum.com/articles/buffer_recipe.php
bcdudley is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-15-2010, 10:19 PM   #7
mistergreen
No more Bow ties
 
mistergreen's Avatar
 
PTrader: (13/100%)
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Cincinnati
Posts: 14,038
Default

crushed coral, shells, limestone (CaCO3) will do. It'll raise PH, KH.
mistergreen is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 01-16-2010, 12:14 AM   #8
Diana
Planted Tank Guru
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Contra Costa CA
Posts: 7,467
Default

Test the GH and KH.
For GH I use Equilibrium or Barr's GH booster.
For KH I use baking soda. 1 teaspoon added to a 29 gallon tank will raise the KH by about 2 degrees and raise the pH from 'bottom of the test' to 6.2

Test in a bucket, and see how much it takes to get the results you want.
Then figure out how to add it slowly so that you are raising the KH (or GH) by no more than about 2 degrees at any one time, and you could do this much about twice a week.

I also have coral sand or oyster shell grit in the filters of tanks where I want the KH and GH higher. I think they help to stablize things. I do pre-mix the new water for water changes to the GH and KH I want in the tank.
Diana is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-16-2010, 02:57 AM   #9
Frogmanx82
Planted Member
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Charlotte, NC
Posts: 199
Default

Baking soda is the safest thing you can use to raise the pH. I would guess vinegar would be about the safest thing to lower it. I never have to worry about lowering pH. Fish waste tends to lower the pH as it is.
__________________
Free the Carbon


55 gallon 2 wpg planted dosing excel with guppies, and shrimp
90 gallon mixed reef with clowns, gobies, and cardinals
150 gallon african cichlid tank with clown loaches
Frogmanx82 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-19-2010, 03:42 PM   #10
Franzi
Planted Tank Obsessed
 
Franzi's Avatar
 
PTrader: (22/100%)
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: CT
Posts: 481
Default

Diana (or if anybody else has insight), how long will that 1tsp of baking soda in 29 gallons buffer the water?

I too am interested in bumping up KH, but always see people saying "just add coral" or throw in some baking soda. Will a bag of coral in the canister filter maintain ph/kh? Do you have to replace it? If using baking soda, do you have to keep adding 1tsp for every 29 gallons replaced?

Thanks!
__________________
65g planted tank - 200W heat - PC 192W/6700K - Eheim 2217 - Pressurized CO2 - EI Dosing
Franzi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-19-2010, 04:34 PM   #11
Diana
Planted Tank Guru
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Contra Costa CA
Posts: 7,467
Default

Each tank, each set up is different. Here are a few of the things that will raise or lower KH, and therefore affect the pH.

1) Some plants are capable of using carbonates as a source of carbon. They can also use CO2, but when the CO2 is gone they will switch to carbonates. This does not make much difference in a tank with high carbonates, the plant use is not much, but if the carbonates are pretty low (like under 3 degrees) the plants can use so much that the carbonates are no longer sufficient to buffer the pH.
2) Some substrates will remove carbonates from the water. I know Soil Master Select will do this. Turface will do this. I understand the ADA products will, also. IME SMS will continue removing carbonates for several months or a year, depending on how much carbonates you keep adding. When I use SMS for a soft water tank I tend not to add more carbonates, and the water usually shows 0 degrees KH. For a Lake Tanganyika tank I mixed coral sand with Turface, and did not have a problem maintaining KH.
3) There is a complex relationship in a planted tank between KH, CO2 and pH. In general, the lower the pH the more carbon will be present as CO2. The higher the pH, the more carbon will be present as carbonate and bicarbonate. This is almost a 'chicken and egg' question: Which controls what?

Things that add carbonates:
1) In my case the tap water has 4-5 degrees KH. If I do a water change on a tank where the substrate has removed the carbonate from the water I am adding carbonate to the tank with every water change.
2) Minerals like limestone, and coral sand, oyster shells and other materials that some people might like because they are 'natural' or 'organic' are sources of calcium and magnesium carbonates. These materials will dissolve faster in acidic water, and slower in alkaline water. Somewhere around pH 8 they pretty much do not dissolve. (It varies for the different materials)
3) 'Chemical' sources of carbonates like sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) and others will raise the KH in the tank. IME carbonate hardness baking soda is stable unless there is something removing the KH (like SMS), but this is not the fault of the baking soda! As long as the other chemicals that come in with the carbonate are not toxic in the levels that would be added to the tank there is nothing wrong with 'chemical' sources of carbonates. Read the label on some of the "pH Up" sorts of products. You might find that some of them actually contain certain carbonates, which in turn raise the pH.

Other materials will raise the pH without adding carbonates. Many water companies do this to keep the water alkaline so the pipes are not corroded by acidic water. Sodium Hydroxide is one such material. (Oops! It is a 'chemical'- does this mean it is bad?)

Basic message: Do not chase pH. Get the GH and KH to levels appropriate for the fish and plants you want to keep and let pH take care of itself.
Each person will have to test their own tanks and tap water, and keep track of things to see what the trend is in their set up. Certainly post the tests here, and explain what is going on, perhaps pick up some pointers.
Diana is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-19-2010, 07:41 PM   #12
Karackle
Woah, I'm a Guru?!
 
Karackle's Avatar
 
PTrader: (16/100%)
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Metuchen, NJ
Posts: 4,187
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by lauraleellbp View Post
Though you could always just throw a bag of crushed coral in your filter.
Quote:
Originally Posted by mistergreen View Post
crushed coral, shells, limestone (CaCO3) will do. It'll raise PH, KH.
I would say that these options are the most stable way to raise your pH, throw a bit in your filter and it will raise the pH and keep it steady without having to add something with each water change, which runs the risk of not keeping it steady and stable. Just my 2
__________________
30g Low Tech Journal, 5 & 10g Low Tech Journal
1 year old Tibetan Terrier named Whisky
8 year old miniature Poodle named Cody
I enjoy having a zoo to care for!
20gH Planted tank,5g Planted Betta Tank
Karackle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-19-2010, 08:22 PM   #13
kid creole
Wannabe Guru
 
PTrader: (2/100%)
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Raleigh, NC
Posts: 1,241
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Karackle View Post
I would say that these options are the most stable way to raise your pH, throw a bit in your filter and it will raise the pH and keep it steady without having to add something with each water change, which runs the risk of not keeping it steady and stable. Just my 2
Adding crushed coral to your tank is going to make each water change a yo-yo. Depending on how often, and how large your water changes are, the difference will be more pronounced. In my experience, it will be a small yo-yo, because crushed coral is very inefficient at changing water parameters.
__________________
kid creole is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-19-2010, 08:33 PM   #14
Franzi
Planted Tank Obsessed
 
Franzi's Avatar
 
PTrader: (22/100%)
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: CT
Posts: 481
Default

Does the baking soda cloud the water?
__________________
65g planted tank - 200W heat - PC 192W/6700K - Eheim 2217 - Pressurized CO2 - EI Dosing
Franzi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-19-2010, 09:19 PM   #15
kid creole
Wannabe Guru
 
PTrader: (2/100%)
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Raleigh, NC
Posts: 1,241
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Franzi View Post
Does the baking soda cloud the water?
No. You can dissolve it in some water prior to putting it in, or you can do what I do, and put it in a high flow area of the tank. I find even the bigger clumps of baking soda are gone in the time it takes for the tank to refill.
__________________
kid creole is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not 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

Forum Jump


All times are GMT. The time now is 01:52 PM.


Powered by vBulletin®
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright Planted Tank LLC 2012