PH drop for no apparent reason - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 06-30-2011, 05:21 AM Thread Starter
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PH drop for no apparent reason

Im perplexed. My water comes out of the tap at PH of 8.3. Ive cycled a tank over the last month or so using a mix of ammonia, fish food and the odd shrimp and raised the temp to 88 - 90 degrees. This is standard for how I cycle without fish. Well...today I thought id check the params and my PH has dropped t0 7? Theres no fish or plants, nothing extra added except Prime. What could cause this? Im loathe to put the fish in there I originally wanted as they are hard water cichlids.
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 06-30-2011, 05:31 AM
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Many things, such as low oxygen, high nitrates, driftwood, all can change pH.

Since you just recently cycled using ammonia, I'm sure your nitrates are through the roof, have you tried a 100% water change and oxygenation? I'm thinking that would raise your pH pretty good. And it'll stay high with an airstone and keeping the nitrates low.
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 06-30-2011, 05:38 AM Thread Starter
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of course!!! nitrates! my tapwater contains 30ppm nitrates and with the ammonia i used of course. Im about to do that water change. Im always battling nitrates and have yet to find a solution. Even in my (now) heavily planted tank the nitrates are never less than 40ppm and usually closer to 60. I didnt realise nigh nitrates would cause a Ph drop though.
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 06-30-2011, 05:51 AM
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Happens to me, when my nitrates get super high (from bio filtration, not dosed nitrates), the pH drops down.

Are you using a canister filter? If you are, and haven't invested a lot in biomedia, I suggest Seachem Matrix, which will harbor anaerobic bacteria (which eats nitrates). It won't lower them quickly, but over time the bacteria will eat through the nitrates.

The whole cycling process is a bit acidifying, which is good in a planted tank, but not as good in a african cichlid tank, haha
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 06-30-2011, 02:01 PM
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And what is your substrate?

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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-09-2011, 08:41 PM Thread Starter
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aquatic sand, no live plants as yet
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