PH won't stay down - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-27-2011, 09:31 PM Thread Starter
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PH won't stay down

Hi all,

I have an Eclipse 12 set up with a Flourite base, and some gravel and sand mixed in. There's a big piece of Mopani wood which is no longer leaching tannins, and two porous rocks. They were advertised as Tufa rock and Lava rock. For flora/fauna, I have some wisteria, some java ferns, some Windelov ferns, and a thriving MTS colony.

The tank has been up about 6 weeks or so. I want to add red cherry shrimp soon, so I started checking my water parameters. I was using some strips, but they don't give a numeric reading, so I got a test kit where I mix tank water with these test drops.

The first time I tested the pH, it came up very blue, mapping to 7.6 on the color chart. I added some "pH down" per the instructions on the bottle, and then re-rested. Still blue. I did this a few more times, until it was reading more green, closer to 7.2.

The next day, it was bright blue again.

I re-adjusted and tested my pH multiple times over a week, and then one day got frustrated and squirted in a bunch of "pH down", and left it for a few hours. When I checked again, the pH had dropped to 6.8.

Then I went away for three days, and upon my return, tested the water. It's now bright blue, at least a pH of 7.6 again.

So I have a few questions.

1. Is this white "tufa" rock limestone, and is that what keeps causing my pH to rise?

2. Will it keep rising up and up, or is it stable at 7.6 when I am not messing with it? I'm worried it's even higher than 7.6 but this kit can't display that, and that the pH will keep climbing if I leave the rock in.

3. Where can I get a good test kit for ALL my water parameters? The LFS doesn't have anything besides strips for hardness and such.

Thanks in advance!!!
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-27-2011, 09:32 PM Thread Starter
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P.S. I know I can't mess with the pH this wildly once I add shrimp or other stuff.
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-27-2011, 09:56 PM
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I wouldn't mess with the ph at all. 7.6 isn't going to be a problem. You cannot count the the test strips to give you a reliable answer. Order some API liquid test kits, and do not use ph up or ph down.
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-27-2011, 11:15 PM
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Unless you plan on keeping crystals, just leave it and don't mess with it. 7.6 is fine for cherries, yellows, etc. Some people even get crystals breeding in that high of pH.

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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-28-2011, 12:47 AM
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I'll just add that your pH probably is higher than 7.6, but 7.6 is the max on the normal API pH test kit, so you are just reading the max. You need a API high pH test kit in conjunction with your normal API pH test kit to find your true pH reading.

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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-28-2011, 03:52 AM
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Adding "pH Down" is not a good idea. It only reduces pH for a short time. And, Tufa is limestone, so you are continually adding calcium and carbonates to the water, which raises both the GH and the KH, which raises the pH. Making the pH go down and up that quickly by adding an acidic substance is much harder on everything in the tank than any pH level alone will be.

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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-28-2011, 11:57 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks all! VeeSe, that's just what I am worried about.

So I pulled the Tufa rock. Even if I can keep RCS at that pH, I would rather keep the tank more in the mid-range than at an extreme.

Also, I tested my water from the tap, and it looks to be naturally a pH of 6.8, so if I kept the rock in, I would be causing a pH shift every time I did a water change, no?

Thanks again!
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-28-2011, 02:38 PM
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that would be correct. part of the ph of ur water is due to c02. it will dissipate over the next hour once u put into the tank. however its effect on pH is much more neutral than minerals

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