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
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.