Hard water low ph - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-08-2014, 04:22 PM Thread Starter
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Question Hard water low ph

I have a 92 gallon planted freshwater tank. My tap water ph is 7.6 My tank parameters are gh 180, kh 40, ph 6, nitrite is now 1 and nitrate is 40, my ammonia is now .25. My tank has been up for 5 months I have sand substrate with gravel around the edges, a fluval 406, 5 airstones and a lot of plants currently my fish are: rubber nose pleco, 5 glass cats 3 cories, 4 angels, otto, scissor tails 2, danios 3, 4 neons, serpea tetras 7. Why is my ph so low I have added coral to the filter and after a week my ph still is only 6.4. I currently have a large snail issue. I want a clown loach but am worried about the ph as the lps water is 7.2.
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-08-2014, 05:05 PM
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You may need a new pH test kit. If you aren't using CO2 it is very unlikely that your pH will be that low, even with your relatively low KH. You also should not have any measurable nitrite or ammonia after 5 months. It's possible all of your test kits are too old, or not being used right.

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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-08-2014, 05:09 PM Thread Starter
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I just bought another. It is still testing 6 I cant figure out what is going on. I don't use CO2. my plants are growing like crazy which with ph this low I wouldn't expect.

I do a 20% water change every week. This is making me crazy. My nitrites were 0 until 2 weeks ago. could it be the snails?

Last edited by Darkblade48; 03-09-2014 at 05:54 AM. Reason: Please use the edit function for back to back posts to keep threads cleaner
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-08-2014, 05:28 PM
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your tank is 5 months old and nitrite & ammonia are showing up on your testing?....... that's not good...... your filters bio media is bad / overloaded / you do have good flow coming from your filter? correct........As long as your filter is working properly and you have NO Nitrite & Ammonia and you do weekly water changes, the PH is going to be what it is? (with no co2) also adding seashells / woods in your tank will also alter the PH

Last edited by Rob in (ca); 03-08-2014 at 05:39 PM. Reason: spell
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-10-2014, 02:05 AM
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KH of 40 ppm (2 degrees) is quite soft, and will allow the pH to vary according to what else is in the tank.
Organic processes like decomposition tend to be acidifying.

Nitrifying bacteria do not do well when the KH and pH are so low, thus the ammonia and nitrite problems.

Add potassium bicarbonate SLOWLY until the KH is closer to 3-4 German degrees of hardness (about double what it is now). Raise it about 1 degree every few days. This will raise the pH.

CAUTION: While the pH is low, most of the ammonia is in the less toxic form of ammounium.
When you raise the pH the ammonium will start turning into ammonia.
Use a good dechlor that locks up the ammonia, and give the nitrifying bacteria time to grow so it can remove the ammonia for you. Prime is a good one.
Keep up the water changes to keep the ammonia < .25 ppm and the nitrite <1.0ppm.
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