PH Increasing! - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-26-2020, 06:57 AM Thread Starter
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PH Increasing!

HALP PLZ! I have a 55 gallon planted with a low stock of other fish, 6 kuhli loaches, and 5 RCS. I have two pieces of DW/no rocks. Parameters were 0 nitrites, 0 nitrates, 0 ammonia, ph 7.6 consistently, kh 6, gh 4.5. Do a 25% water change once a week and lights on for 3 hours in the morning with a 4 hour break and 3 hours in the afternoon. Plant growth was slow but steady. Dose with thrive 2-3 times weekly and have some brown algae but that's going away. No CO2. Water has also been consistently yellow (assuming tanins) and have a sponge filter and canister filter.

At the beginning of this week my ph jumped up to between 8.0 almost 8.2 and has stayed there all week. My plants are not thriving as much and I cut back my lighting strength from max to try and help. My other 2 planted tanks aren't having this issue. I still dose with thrive but now I'm feeling I should stop? And I know keeping it stable is more important but I just don't understand the change in ph... can someone explain? I'm worried it's going to continue to increase.
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-26-2020, 12:47 PM
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First off, welcome to TPT. I hope you find this a helpful community.

In order to help answer your question a little more information is needed
  • How are you measuring pH? Liquid test kit or calibrated pH probe?
  • What is your water source? Tap, well, RO, bottled, other?
  • What type of substrate are you using?
  • Anything specific that was done different before you noticed a pH jump?

If you can get us the answer to those questions it may be able to shed some more light on the situation.
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-26-2020, 06:45 PM Thread Starter
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I use api liquid test kit and api test strips (which I know the strips can often times be inaccurate). I'm on well water and out of tap ph measures 7.4 & usually settles at 7.6-7.8 when left out. I use back diamond blasting sand as substrate as well. I had added RCS but that is it.
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-26-2020, 07:44 PM
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Good plant gowth can result in the plants depleting the water of CO2 in tanks without CO2 injection. When that happens PH will increase. At one time before I started injecting CO2 I did see my PH increase to 9. Have you checked your PH in the morning before lights turn on? When I saw this issue I was using a new light that was brighter than my old one and plants were doing well. The PH in the morning was about 7 but after lights turned on it would start to increase., peaking at 9 before lights turned off. I solved it by dimming the light and increasing aeration of the water.

Generally in CO2 tanks you do not want a lot of aeration to conserve the CO2 being injected into the water. However in a tank without CO2 injection your only source of CO2 is your fish and the air outside the tank. So getting more CO2 in the tank means increasing aeration or reducing plant growth by dimming the lights.

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My other 2 planted tanks aren't having this issue. I still dose with thrive but now I'm feeling I should stop?
I don't see a reason to stop dosing thrive. . Most manufactured fertilizers (Thrive included) con't have calcium and many do not have enough magnesium. So you might gt better results by increasing your Gh from its current level to 6. Or you might just need a little magnesium sulfate (Epsom salt).

Tannins are organic acids that typically come from dead wood or dead plants or too much fish food. It doesn't sound like any of those are present in your tank. So I doubt it is tennis but I could be wrong. Maybe try and increase the size of your water change and or look for another cause of the water color. Dirty light, failing light or an additional cleaning of the glass?
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-26-2020, 07:55 PM
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Acidental double post.
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-26-2020, 08:10 PM Thread Starter
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In the morning before lights the PH is about 8.0 and after having the light on for 3 hours it goes to maybe 8.2.

In terms of aeration I only have the one tennis ball size sponge filter that creates water disturbance. My filter head doesn't produce much if any for the water that's coming back into the tank.

The light is only a couple months old and is cleaned weekly. I also have no glass top but the tank or anything obstructing the light.

The well water changing is something that can always happen because it's a well. It could possibly be seasonal since we're in our winter months right now but that's the only thing I could think of. Maybe if I increase the aeration in the tank that would solve some problems?
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-27-2020, 02:05 AM
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Well water absolutely can be seasonal, and may indeed be the culprit. The KH and GH have been steady this wholetime for certain? Also, a calibrated pH pen will be much more precise than the liquid kitsch. Can get one on amazon for around $20 if you are interested.



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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-27-2020, 06:24 AM Thread Starter
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The kh and gh has been the same for the last 2 months weekly measurements. This week ive been testing daily sometimes bi-daily and there's been no change.

On that note if I do start seeing a change what could that indicate? Is there a better way to get exact readings on those as well, other than the test kits from the left store? Because I'm definitely going to get a ph probe
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