Need to increase my PH - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-22-2008, 02:15 PM Thread Starter
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Need to increase my PH

I know stable is important, but when your stable PH is below what any test out there tests for, I think it is too low. My tank water is KH of 17.9 and a GH or 179 (based on a brand new drop kit). The PH is 6 out of the tap. My tests goto 5.2 and it is below that (I use 2 different tests). I put a cuddlebone in my tank to help with the calcium for the inverts but it hasn't raised PH at all. I have a small piece of coral. I was thinking I should put that in there. I can't tell if my PH is stable if it is below the tests readouts. I could be bouncing around down there. My current fish are ok, but anything new I get never last. I drip them and they still make it about a night. So I am begging for somebody to say that this is a case where it is good to raise the PH and to help me with how. Both my PH test kits are about 2 months old (as long as I've had the tank).
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-22-2008, 02:21 PM
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How old is your test kit, and what type are you using? Have you verified your tank water pH with your LFS?

IMO adding a piece of coral may help, but I'd want to make doubly sure that your pH is that much lower than your tap water first.

I'd also personally be more likely to increase the amount and frequency of my PWC instead of adding anything; this would be the ideal way to keep your tank water as close to your tapwater parameters as possible.





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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-22-2008, 03:12 PM Thread Starter
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I did a 20% WC last night (and a 25% 2 weeks ago) and its still no change in the PH. Would I have to do daily WCs or something to keep it at tap conditions? Both test kits are as old as the tank (2 months and change) and are different mfgs (one is API and the other has a fish who looks like an doctor). My Nitrite is 0, my Amonia is 0 (may be higher, but it is not the next one up which is like .025 or something). I'm really at my end here about this. I've haven't tried to change it for some time because everybody has told me as long as it is stable it is ok, but nobody here is running a community tank that low right? I mean soon it'll start burning holes in my hand when I reach in there . I have not taken my water anywhere. I don't know anyplace that will do it. I have a petsmart, but aren't they just gonna test with the kit I bought in their store?
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-22-2008, 04:07 PM
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I definitely wouldn't be quite as concerned about it as you are ATM. If you have South American fish in there, they might actually be loving the water

What substate did you use in this tank? If you used ADA AS, then that's probably your answer right there- and over time the pH should stablize. Or if you're running CO2 on this tank, that also drops the pH but shouldn't be much of a concern either.

Otherwise, you could do PWC more frequently, and change 50% at a time, perhaps 2x/week and see what that does?





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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-22-2008, 04:16 PM Thread Starter
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I have Flourite substrate. My guess is there is still some tannin coming out of my drift wood. I have Mollies, danios, SAE, oto, cory, RCS and CRD, and mystery snails. I don't know if they are South American.
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-22-2008, 04:20 PM
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Just FYI Otos and cories are the only fish on that list from soft water SA, Mollies are found in SA but typically prefer hard water, and the rest are from Asia.

Your driftwood is probably the reason the pH is dropping. Lots of PWC will also help with the tannins, also adding some carbon/Purigen to your filter will absorb tannins as well. Probably won't do anything to the pH though.

Throw in a piece of coral, keep up the multiple weekly PWC, and over time I'm sure things will level out.





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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-23-2008, 05:32 PM Thread Starter
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After checking around on some of the more respected boards, I decided to add some baking soda. I see I should add 4 teaspoons to raise the KH 3 units. I am doing 1 teaspoon a day though. I have already noticed that I now have a measurable amount of PH again. So my key will be to keep my KH up in my water. Is there a better additive that baking soda that I should use at my WC?
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-24-2008, 05:08 AM
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Baking soda, crushed shells, coral... all different ways to achieve the same goal.

One advantage to baking soda is that you can control the amount/ rate of change.

Don't do anything too quickly- that's really the biggest fish killer.





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