Low pH and Ammonium - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 10-06-2016, 02:50 PM Thread Starter
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Low pH and Ammonium

I dose liquid ferts, inject CO2, and have a fairly heavily planted tank.
My degassed pH is 6.5, and I am lowering the pH with the CO2 presently to about 5.9. The nearly worthless dropchecker is always green, never gotten close to yellow.
Other parameters:
dGh- 6
dKh- 3
Cu- 0
NO3- 20-40ppm
NO2- 0
NH3/NH4- 0
TDS about 200

I currently have to CO2 come on about an hour before the lights come on, with a 6-1/2 hr photoperiod, shutting off when the lights go off. I do this to save CO2, and allow the pH to climb to allow the BB the ability to process the NH3 at the higher pH when the lights are off, as they wont do much with the NH4 with the low pH for about 7 hours per day.

Would it be best to simply run the CO2 all the time and not stress my shrimp and fish?
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 10-06-2016, 11:00 PM
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The .6 pH drop means the CO2 ppm is about 4 times what it was with the degassed water. So, if it started at 3 ppm, you would have about 12 ppm. As long as you don't have high light that is enough to do the plants a lot of good. And, running it 24 hours a day shouldn't harm the fish or shrimp. You could increase the pH by adding baking soda to raise the KH, but you would have to adjust the KH of the change water each time you do a water change.

Hoppy
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 10-06-2016, 11:12 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hoppy View Post
The .6 pH drop means the CO2 ppm is about 4 times what it was with the degassed water. So, if it started at 3 ppm, you would have about 12 ppm. As long as you don't have high light that is enough to do the plants a lot of good. And, running it 24 hours a day shouldn't harm the fish or shrimp. You could increase the pH by adding baking soda to raise the KH, but you would have to adjust the KH of the change water each time you do a water change.
Thanks, Hoppy!
I hate to adjust the pH at every water change, since it seems to me to be a never ending process of adjustment.....i.e.: add baking soda, check pH, adjust, check again, etc....each week......
I guess what I'm asking is, is it best to inject the CO2 all the time, thusly having a more stable pH, even when lights are off, or, only run the CO2 while the plants can benefit from it, when the lights are on. This would save CO2, but result in those pH swings our shrimp don't like.......
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 10-07-2016, 03:50 AM
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As far as I have ever heard, the pH drop that results from adding CO2 to a shrimp tank is not harmful to the shrimp. But, the CO2 itself is a problem for some shrimp, and if you are trying to breed the shrimp CO2 isn't a good idea. It is best to stick with lower light and do without the CO2.

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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 10-07-2016, 03:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hoppy View Post
The .6 pH drop means the CO2 ppm is about 4 times what it was with the degassed water. So, if it started at 3 ppm, you would have about 12 ppm. As long as you don't have high light that is enough to do the plants a lot of good.

High light, <10mg/L of CO2.
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