New Manzanita -> pH crash - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 09-17-2012, 03:15 PM Thread Starter
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New Manzanita -> pH crash

I just added 2 fairly large branches of manzanita to my 90 gallon tank yesterday. I woke up this morning to see cloudy water ... which is not a big deal to me ... I understand that new driftwood leaches. I have Purigen in one of my canister filters ... but it probably needs to be regenerated.

What alarmed me was that all (I mean ALL) my fish were rapidly opening and closing their mouths. They were not at the surface ... I checked the pH and it was low (below the color chart). I use gH booster and baking soda to buffer my water.

I dropped a bag of carbon into the tank and did a 50% WC with buffered water (as usual). The fish seem fine now.

What can I expect going forward? WC everyday until leaching slows down? Should I increase gH/kH buffering?

Thanks
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 09-20-2012, 05:49 AM
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What are the test results for your GH and KH
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 09-20-2012, 06:55 AM
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Crushed coral to bounce the ph back.


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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 09-20-2012, 10:45 AM
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i just added 4 pieces of manzanita yesterday to my 40 gal with no change at all today strange?? sounds like a silly question but did u boil/rinse the dw

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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 09-20-2012, 03:33 PM
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If the KH is really low to begin with (under 3 German degrees of hardness) then adding something like peat, driftwood of any sort, or other organic matter can indeed crash the pH.

I would remove the wood and soak it in several water changes, boil it if possible. You might get an idea if this really was the problem by checking the GH, KH and pH of the water you are soaking it in.

Then check the KH of the tank. If the Manzanita is continuing to reduce the KH in the soaking water, even after several water changes (like a week with twice daily water changes) then you will have to monitor the tank very carefully, adding baking soda for a quick fix, but adding the coral sand to the filter would be a better solution. Slow release of the minerals, and the coral sand dissolves faster when the pH drops, then slower as the pH rises, which is exactly what you want.
Other materials that do the same thing are limestone sand or gravel, and oyster shell grit. This is sold for caged birds like Budgies. I use a blend or one bag of each coral sand and oyster shell grit in my hard water tanks.

I have several substrates that do the same thing: Remove all the KH, that allows the pH to hit the bottom of the test. The fish are fine as long as they are acclimated, and the change takes place slowly. I think it was the sudden onset, and the removal of the minerals from the water not the actual endpoint of the pH that caused the problems. I have soft water fish in these tanks (many species- Tetras, Barbs, Loaches, Cichlids, Cats and others).
In my hard water tanks (Live bearers, Rainbows, Lake Tanganyikan fish) I do not allow that to happen. I use GH booster and baking soda, but also coral sand and oyster shell grit to keep the minerals high for these fish.
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