Ph discrepancy
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Old 08-26-2014, 05:47 PM   #1
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Ph discrepancy


I have 2 recently cycled tanks.

Tank 1. A 3 gallon heavily planted tank with Eco complete. Ph 8

Tank 2. 10 gallon lightly planted tank with driftwood, Mopani wood, petrified wood, black river rock, Eco complete. Ph 7.6

The water is aged tap water from the same source, with Prime added. PPS Pro fertilize used properly dosed. Ammonia and nitrites in the tanks are 0. Nitrates are low.

Am I right in assuming the difference in Ph is due to the stone or wood in Tank 2 .

Is the ph likely to be less stable in tank 2.

I want to provide a stable environment for the betta I plan to buy, and don't want the Ph bouncing around, especially when I do water changes in Tank 2 using tap water with the Ph of 8.
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Old 08-26-2014, 07:21 PM   #2
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Yes, it is probably due to the wood. I would not worry about the pH unless you are trying to breed the betta. They are pretty indestructible.
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Old 08-26-2014, 07:21 PM   #3
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It is almost certainly the wood... Wood readily leaches acidic materials (ie: tannins) into the water.

Rocks/stones either don't affect pH at all, or raise it due to leaching carbonates (ie: limestone) into the water.

If there's enough buffer capacity in the water, neither of these will affect your pH much. However water without much buffering capacity is more easily swayed.

You mention the pH bouncing after water changes... Have you tested the pH after change, and does the pH change to be closer to 8? Does it go back down quickly or slowly?
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Old 08-26-2014, 08:40 PM   #4
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I agree that lowered pH would most likely be the wood. I have some manzanita wood in my 20g that leeched a lot of tannins making the water yellow and dropping the pH from 7.5 to nearly 6 over 2 weeks.
A great way to get rid of tannins and stop pH dropping is to boil the wood! If its too big to completely submerge in a pot of water to boil (mine was), rotate it! I did 1 hour boil, dump water, refill, rotate wood, repeat. No more tannins leaching, no pH flux for me!
Other options people use to get rid of tannins from wood include putting it in a dishwater for several cycles with no detergents(pt member 691175002 did this), or in the oven (low temp, and always keep an eye on it while its in there... wood does burn you know).
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Old 08-26-2014, 09:14 PM   #5
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Thank you all for your help.

I just measured the following: KH. 125
GH 197

I guess the water has enough buffering capacity.

I re tested the ph and had a friend help me compare the colors on the master test kit chart. Some of the colors are so close that it gets confusing.
The swings may not be as dramatic as I thought, but I'm not certain. Maybe I should buy an electronic ph monitor to be sure.

Or do you all think that I'm over worrying it???

Oh, and I must have boiled the wood 8 times. Tannin still came out of it, but not as much.
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Old 08-26-2014, 10:14 PM   #6
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I don't believe you have anything to be concerned about. As others have said, the wood in the one tank will maintain the pH at a slightly lower level than in the other.
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