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!!!