pH off the chart - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-18-2017, 08:10 PM Thread Starter
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pH off the chart

Set up a new 10g tank - I used CaribSea Eco Complete Black Planted Aquarium Substrate and National Geographic Black Sand on top of that for a cleaner look. Both bags mention that it may raise the pH. Is this something that stables out over time? My pH is like 8.3 -8.4 and it wont come down with driftwood, water changes with RO water that tests at 6.4 pH or chemicals. I even went as far as a 95% water change with water that tested 6.4 pH and it comes back up to 8.2. I'm afraid to put in any fish.

Tank has been running with just substrate, plants and driftwood for about 3 weeks.
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-18-2017, 08:43 PM
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True RO water is ph neutral, or 7.0. I suspect there is something wrong with your testing or your RO water if it's testing at 6.4.

Now, DI water can test very acidic if left to age in ambient air. It can absorb Co2 from atmosphere and carbonates will lower the ph. It will eventually stabilize back to 7.0 though.

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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-18-2017, 09:03 PM
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Originally Posted by mp52dave View Post
Set up a new 10g tank - I used CaribSea Eco Complete Black Planted Aquarium Substrate and National Geographic Black Sand on top of that for a cleaner look. Both bags mention that it may raise the pH. Is this something that stables out over time? My pH is like 8.3 -8.4 and it wont come down with driftwood, water changes with RO water that tests at 6.4 pH or chemicals. I even went as far as a 95% water change with water that tested 6.4 pH and it comes back up to 8.2. I'm afraid to put in any fish.

Tank has been running with just substrate, plants and driftwood for about 3 weeks.

all my tanks "age" to a lower ph (esp. when CO2 injection starts) but it will depend on your buffering capacity.. Would help to know gH and kH..
for the most part and w/ a fair amount of acclimation it isn't too bad except for more sensitive fish..
https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/29...substrate.html

I wonder if they don't mix the cichlid "juice" up w/ the planted tank stuff..

Seems to be a common problem and hit and miss..

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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-19-2017, 12:34 PM Thread Starter
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Ok - so I tested the water for GH and KH. GH was 3 drops with the API test kit which indicated a 53.7 - The KH also API test kit was 2 drops at 35.8.

I was able to get the pH to finally move down and I think its only temporary becasue over the last 24 hours its slowing creeping back up. I used the API pH down chemicals - which I hate to do - but I wanted to see if the pH would move at all.

P.S. no fish in the tank - only some plants and rocks
I'm using a Hang on filter - Fluval AquaClear 50

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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-19-2017, 12:49 PM
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This is what aragonite and carbonate rocks do to water. I ddint think ecocomplete had any. More likely it is slow release of bound ammonia and other basic amines from the substrate. This would also act to raise pH. IF it is the former your KH kit should show the change. If it is the later it shouldb e less of a problem in a cycled tank and should be less of a problem with plants added.


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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-20-2017, 11:56 AM
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Something that should be pointed out is that RO water has very little mineral content, ie no buffers. This means that it's not going to effect the pH of your tank very much. This is why you tank stays a a pH of 8.2 or so. This is also why you get a pH reading of 6.4 from your RO water. It's really not a problem. Aquarium grade test kits are not that accurate.

Test the GH and KH of your water and let us know. With the RO water changes you have been doing these numbers might be extremely low, and you may need to adjust those before you attempt to alter pH.

Also, most fish and plants can adapt to a wide range of water conditions, so I don't think you have anything to worry about unless you plan on something very unusual.
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