Need help with rising pH - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 2 (permalink) Old 08-15-2016, 07:01 PM Thread Starter
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Need help with rising pH

Hello, I am new here but have been in the hobby for a few years now.
I have a 60 and a 10 gallon tank, both planted with eco-complete and DIY clay+osmocote root feeders. No CO2 injection. 2 good size Malaysian driftwoods, nothing else in the tank that would alter pH.
The 10g has 4 amanos, 5 neons and 2 small platies while the 60g has 5 angels(2.5" body) and maybe a dozen of rummynose, some ottos (maybe 4-7) and a SAE.
What I am noticing is that my tap water comes out with the below parameters
pH 7.6
GH 0
KH 9*
But after sitting in a cup for 24 hours the pH goes up to 8-8.2.
My aquariums tested with pH 8.2 when the lights are off, 8.4+ when the lights are on. I would describe both aquariums as medium planted, the 60 do have tons of vallisneria plants but all of them are quite small. My assumption is that the plants are taking up all the CO2 during the day which raises the pH, and at night when plants give back CO2 the pH goes back to the same pH as the tap. But when I get lazy and skip my weekly water change, the pH goes above my testing capabilities, if I must guess, I would say it is 8.8 or 9 while the lights are on. So just if anyone needs to know, I have my lights on about 7 hours a day, the lights are LED on the 60g, CF on the 10g. nothing fancy, not doubling or tripling light strips.
So I think I need help to understand how high can the pH go up to? I am a bit concerned about how high the pH peaks at each day and if that would be harmful to the fish with the swings and all.
I also would like to know is there a way to keep my tap @ 7.6? and how can I keep the pH swing minimal?
Ideally I would want to keep pH as low as possible given the stock that I keep, especially in the 60g. I have done CO2 in the past but am scared to death about reliability. I had a tank setup with CO2 and it ran perfect for 8 months and then 1 day the regulator gave so it injected everything overnight which of course killed everything Is peatmoss a long term solution, how long does a sock full of peatmoss last?
I guess that is all of the questions I have, thank you very much for reading and helping.
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post #2 of 2 (permalink) Old 08-15-2016, 08:40 PM
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Your tap water most likely has some CO2 dissolved into it, hence the pH 7.6 After it gets at atmospheric equilibrium it reaches a stable pH of 8.2. With a KH of 9 you should not see alot of swings in pH in a non-co2 enriched aquarium. However the pH might increase or decrease for many reasons besides CO2. Anything that changes the H+ conc. will play a role. Hard to say what those substance are for your aquarium and how they might affect your fish and plants. Perhaps your gravel is a source of carbonates and the KH increases over time? Evaporation ?

In most cases and within reason, the pH itself does not affect fish. It used to be used as proxy value for other things that were hard to measure. Rapid TDS, GH, KH does affect your fish, but as I said above it is hard to say why the pH drifts. The fish you list might benefit from water with a lower KH, pH will also be lower in this case. You can use osmose water to lower the KH of the aquarium.

If you absolutely need to keep pH constant, a CO2 system controlled by a pH probe is a good way to go.

I would double check if GH is indeed 0 and if KH is constant throughout the week. Plants need minerals, Ca and Mg ( what is measured by GH) are both macronutrients.

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