PH questions. - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-29-2016, 11:44 PM Thread Starter
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PH questions.

So right now I currently have setup a GLA GRO system with a Milwaukee PH controller. For the past few weeks I have been monitoring my PH and noticed that my tank after water changes tends to be around 6.2-6.4.

My concern right now is two fold. I feel like because my PH is already so low, setting my co2 to automatically go even lower to say 6.0 would not sufficiently pump in enough to keep a constant rate for growth/keep algae under control.

It also makes me nervous to keep the PH so borderline for keeping fish/CRS and run the risk of killing off my beneficial bacteria. Am I just being paranoid and 6.0 PH is okay. Or should I do something raise my ph a bit? If so what would be a safe consistent way to do so?
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-29-2016, 11:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Octopoda View Post
For the past few weeks I have been monitoring my PH and noticed that my tank after water changes tends to be around 6.2-6.4.
What is the ph days later? Have you ever "degassed" your tap water and then tested the ph?

The reason I ask is that tap water can have a high level of co2. My tap water is about 6.85 out of the tap, but about 8.25 after it has degassed overnight. That lower ph out of the tap is due to a high level of co2.

I'm just saying your actual ph might not be as low as you think.


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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-30-2016, 03:19 AM
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... because my PH is already so low, setting my co2 to automatically go even lower to say 6.0 would not sufficiently pump in enough to keep a constant rate for growth/keep algae under control. It also makes me nervous to keep the PH so borderline for keeping fish/CRS and run the risk of killing off my beneficial bacteria. ...
pH 6.0 will not keep algae under control? I find it hard to believe that algae would grow at all in a pH 6.0. Is it exposed to direct sunlight?

"beneficial bacteria" ... sounds like an oxymoron

CRS supposedly like pH 6.5 - 7.5 Crystal Red Shrimp .:. Caridina cantonensis sp. "Crystal Red" .:. Freshwater Aquarium Shrimp Species Information Page

what species of fish are mixed in with them?

I notice a troubling trend in modern aquarium keepers, where the measure of welfare seems to be steeped solely in terms of survival: if the fishes live, things are good, if the fishes die, things are bad. It is an inappropriate position to take. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-30-2016, 05:48 AM
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If you test the pH before adding CO2 then test again several hours after adding CO2 the pH should drop by one unit. For example, from 7.2 to 6.2.
This means ther is 30ppm CO2 in the water.

When you are setting up the water for any fish, shrimp or snails, look at the mineral levels first.
Make some test batches and carefully measure what you are adding.
Make sure the GH is correct for the species. I use Seachem Equilibrium for GH, or you can make your own GH booster.
Then test the KH and pH. Adjusting the KH will almost always alter the pH. You can start with the KH the same as the GH and see where that sets the pH. To raise the KH and pH add sodium bicarbonate or potassium bicarbonate.
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-30-2016, 06:02 AM Thread Starter
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What is the ph days later? Have you ever "degassed" your tap water and then tested the ph?
I have not tried that. I will do so now and report back.

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Originally Posted by jaliberti View Post
it exposed to direct sunlight?
"beneficial bacteria" ... sounds like an oxymoron
CRS supposedly like pH 6.5 - 7.5
what species of fish are mixed in with them?
It is not but this tank is freshly cycled so I'm currently going through growing pains as I balance out everything.

"beneficial bacteria" ... sounds like an oxymoron
Beneficial Bacteria is what breaks down your ammonia and nitrite in a successfully cycled tank. Nitrifying bacteria and the breakdown of waste in the aquarium - Algone

CRS supposedly like pH 6.5 - 7.5
what species of fish are mixed in with them?
My mistake, I meant RCS not CRS. Currently there are only a school of 6 otocinclus with them.

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If you test the pH before adding CO2 then test again several hours after adding CO2 the pH should drop by one unit. For example, from 7.2 to 6.2.
This means ther is 30ppm CO2 in the water.
.
Thank you for the information. I will check my KH and GH and adjust if need be. If I am EI dosing should i be supplementing on a weekly basis after a water change as well?
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-30-2016, 06:13 AM
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Here is how I do this:
Make a blend of tap water + RO or whatever blend gets the GH and KH in the right range without going over.
Then add whatever is needed to make these right. GH booster for GH or potassium bicarbonate for KH.
For black water fish I also add peat moss.
This way the new water for water changes is just the way I want it in the tank.
Monitor the GH and KH through the week. If something in the tank is changing these parameters you may need to do something.
If the plants and animals are taking a lot of calcium and magnesium out of the water (GH is dropping) then you may need to add GH booster mid week.
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-30-2016, 12:51 PM
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Beneficial Bacteria is what breaks down your ammonia and nitrite in a successfully cycled tank ... I meant RCS not CRS. Currently there are only a school of 6 otocinclus with them...
no wonder Beneficial Bacteria sounds like an oxymoron to me, there's no
ammonia or nitrite in my tanks. cycled hmmm... is that like the water that surrounds the excrement that gets cycled out the siphon each morning, or would it be the fresh rainwater that gets cycled back in? cycled... .. .

pH as low as 5.5 with O. macrospilus and 6.5 with Neocaridina Heteropoda

I notice a troubling trend in modern aquarium keepers, where the measure of welfare seems to be steeped solely in terms of survival: if the fishes live, things are good, if the fishes die, things are bad. It is an inappropriate position to take. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-30-2016, 04:25 PM
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jaliberti:

1) Ammonia is produced both by fish and by microorganisms that decompose organic matter. The decomposer microorganisms are beneficial in that they are part of the group that is removing fish feces, fallen food, dead leaves etc. This group includes heterotrophic bacteria, fungi and other organisms. If these beneficial organisms (including bacteria) were not present the waste would not get broken down into plant fertilizer.

2) Ammonia is removed by microorganisms that are still being studied for ID, but seem to be in a different group of organisms called Thaumarchaeota. These are not the same as bacteria, but for aquarium keeping purposes are still referred to as beneficial bacteria. They remove ammonia, and oxidize it into nitrite. Would you rather have ammonia in the tank?
PLOS ONE: Aquarium Nitrification Revisited: Thaumarchaeota Are the Dominant Ammonia Oxidizers in Freshwater Aquarium Biofilters

3) The nitrite from AOA (Ammonia oxidizing Aechaea) is removed by organisms related to Nitrospira species of bacteria. These also are beneficial bacteria. They oxidize the nitrite into nitrate. Would you rather have nitrite in the water?

In all three of these there certainly may be more than one organism that are doing the work. But in common terms the whole group is referred to as beneficial bacteria (even if many are not bacteria).

The organisms in points 2 and 3 grow stuck to surfaces such as biological media, sponges, substrate particles, and the surfaces of all the things in the tank such as driftwood and ceramic merpeople. They grow in a complex structure called bio film with many species of organisms. The decomposing organisms may be found with their food, the organic matter that is commonly found at the bottom of the tank, in all the nooks and crannies. Even if you did a very good job of removing as much of this debris as you can, as often as you can there will still be food for these organisms, and you will not remove them all from the tank. If you did (perhaps by sterilizing everything) more microorganisms would land in the tank and begin growing. (These are the organisms that can cloud the water, they can grow so fast). There are plenty of them living in the filter media, too, so not matter how well you clean (vacuuming out the organisms with the things they are eating) there is a good supply of them ready to eat the new waste.

The term "Cycled" has several meanings in aquarium terms, but the most common use is in the 'Nitrogen Cycle'. This is the growth of organisms in meanings 2 and 3 that remove ammonia and nitrite and turn these into nitrate. It takes time to grow these organisms, and this time is called 'Cycling the tank'.

The growth of organisms in meaning 1 above is not really called cycling, though these organisms also increase in population along with the nitrifying organisms. When a fish species is said to require an established tank, the overall concept is that the species that decompose stuff and the nitrifying group are well established and are keeping the water parameters in good, stable condition.

The opposite of 'beneficial bacteria' are the disease causing organisms. These are the 'bad bacteria' (and virus, fungi etc.)
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