water parameter question with RO water and high PH - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-16-2012, 10:32 PM Thread Starter
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water parameter question with RO water and high PH

hi everyone,

last week i replaced the eco complete substrate to MR. aqua substrate (similar looking as the amazonia grain size) i did this because i wanted to colonize crystal red shrimp community and figure it would be better using this substrate rather than the eco complete or fluval stratum. anyhow i've been cycling the water for a week with some moss and ada drift wood sitting in the 9 gallon tank which was previously in the tank. i am using full RO water .. coming out of the 5 gallon water jug ph test shows 6.0 - 6.4. today i test my tank water these are my water parameters.

ammonia-0
nitrate-0
nitrite-0
gh-1-2 turned light green
kh- first drop turned light yellow
PH- 7.6
i also added two large pieces of indian almond leaf inside the tank
currently DIY c02 system is off for the entire week of cycling.

my question why is my PH so high? i am afraid to acclimate and introduce the crystal red shrimp because of that.. i dont understand why RO water inside the jug is 6.0-6.4 ph and the same RO water inside the tank has a ph of 7.6 any advice would be appreciate it greatly!

do i have the raise the GH ? if so how do i achieve this without having to add the RO right by kent?

thank you guys! much appreciated!
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-17-2012, 01:02 AM Thread Starter
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additional information

additional information: i dumped all the old water which wasn't RO (it was dechlor) as well as trashing the eco complete substrate prior to adding the mr aqua shrimp substrate. i did not change the old media filter or clean the sponge because i didn't want to get rid of the bacteria. after i inserted the new substrate i used all RO water and begin cycling with the old filter media.

would this have anything to do with shift in PH? from 6.0 to 7.6?

thank you!
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-17-2012, 07:47 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blue planter View Post
additional information: i dumped all the old water which wasn't RO (it was dechlor) as well as trashing the eco complete substrate prior to adding the mr aqua shrimp substrate. i did not change the old media filter or clean the sponge because i didn't want to get rid of the bacteria. after i inserted the new substrate i used all RO water and begin cycling with the old filter media.

would this have anything to do with shift in PH? from 6.0 to 7.6?

thank you!

can anyone help? there is gotta be some experts out there who can answer my question or help out
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-17-2012, 02:59 PM
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I have heard the certain RO membranes will give you this odd pH result. Here is what I would do:

Run some RO water into a glass. Test the pH right away, the moment the RO is exposed to air, then let it sit overnight. Test it at 24 hours and at 48 hours.

Similarly, take a handful of your substrate and put that in a glass of water (aged water, if you have some- has been exposed to the air for a day or two). Again, test the pH right away, and at 24 hours and 48 hours. You might have to run this one out a few more days. If you have any rocks or any other decor in the tank you can do the same, but I would start with the substrate and the water itself.

Goal: See if the pH change you are seeing is something to do with the RO water itself, or if there is something in the tank (for example, the substrate) that is doing this.

For fish the most important parameter is the mineral level of the water, not the pH. I do keep hearing about the pH when people are keeping shrimp, though, so maybe that is more important for them.

I hope by cycling you mean you are adding ammonia. That is how you feed the bacteria and keep them growing.

The bacteria will grow best with more minerals in the water. They use the carbon from carbonates, and need some phosphorus at least. Perhaps more things.
While you are raising bacteria I would make the water optimum for them (raise the GH and KH to at least 3 German degrees of hardness and add some plant fertilizer that supplies phosphate). You can change the water right before you add shrimp, and the bacteria will be OK, though they will not grow very much if the water does not have the minerals they need.
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-17-2012, 09:45 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Diana View Post
I have heard the certain RO membranes will give you this odd pH result. Here is what I would do:

Run some RO water into a glass. Test the pH right away, the moment the RO is exposed to air, then let it sit overnight. Test it at 24 hours and at 48 hours.

Similarly, take a handful of your substrate and put that in a glass of water (aged water, if you have some- has been exposed to the air for a day or two). Again, test the pH right away, and at 24 hours and 48 hours. You might have to run this one out a few more days. If you have any rocks or any other decor in the tank you can do the same, but I would start with the substrate and the water itself.

Goal: See if the pH change you are seeing is something to do with the RO water itself, or if there is something in the tank (for example, the substrate) that is doing this.

For fish the most important parameter is the mineral level of the water, not the pH. I do keep hearing about the pH when people are keeping shrimp, though, so maybe that is more important for them.

I hope by cycling you mean you are adding ammonia. That is how you feed the bacteria and keep them growing.

The bacteria will grow best with more minerals in the water. They use the carbon from carbonates, and need some phosphorus at least. Perhaps more things.
While you are raising bacteria I would make the water optimum for them (raise the GH and KH to at least 3 German degrees of hardness and add some plant fertilizer that supplies phosphate). You can change the water right before you add shrimp, and the bacteria will be OK, though they will not grow very much if the water does not have the minerals they need.
thank you diana, i will go ahead and try what you have suggested and get back to you with the results.. hopefully i can find out whats going on.. understand the fact that RO water may lack minerals .. should i get something like RO right? i never used this product and dont know if i absolutely need it if i am just using PURE RO water for my tank.. or should i EI does to get some nutrients in there?

thank you! appreciate your advice!
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-17-2012, 10:03 PM
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While you are growing the nitrifying bacteria you should keep the water in the optimum ranges to grow these bacteria. After they are well grown you can alter the water to suit shrimp, fish, plants or other things. Some of the bacteria may die, but the plants are part of the bio filter, too, so that is OK.

Optimum conditions for cycling the tank:

GH and KH at least 3 German degrees of hardness, and higher is not a problem The original tests where they properly IDd these bacteria used water that was very hard with high KH. These bacteria use the carbon from carbonates. RO Right or Equilibrium or GH Booster for GH, baking soda or potassium bicarbonate for carbonates.

pH in the upper 7s to low 8s. I am not sure if this is a side effect of keeping the KH way up, or if these bacteria actually need the higher pH.

Add some phosphorus to the water, such as plant fertilizer, KH2PO4. Just a bit. These bacteria need some phosphorus. Just to be sure that they are not lacking something I would also add some trace minerals. Sure do not need to add nitrogen fertilizer, though! The ammonia can be used by any plants that you are getting started. Sure, that leaves less for the bacteria, but the end result is a plant-and-bacteria biofilter.

Warm water, good circulation for high oxygen levels.
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