pH high... don't know why? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-05-2008, 10:50 PM Thread Starter
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pH high... don't know why?

I'm puzzled as to why my pH is so high in my tank (7.4 - 7.5). I have a 12g heavily planted nano cube with DIY CO2, eco-system complete substrate, 1 piece of driftwood, and I use distilled water for water changes. I also dose excel and flourish. My ammonia, nitrate, and nitrites are very good; it's just my pH that seems high, especially since the water I use has a pH of about 6.4. What would cause my pH to be so high? I thought if anything my pH would be low if I am adding CO2 and my water I use for water changes is low to start with.
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-06-2008, 12:14 AM
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It could be that your eco is buffering the water. Eco has become very variable in its consistency, and in my experience, you never know what you're going to get what you open the bag.

Your driftwood should also be lowering your pH. However, perhaps there are salts in the driftwood? Did you harvest it yourself or purchase it? Is it a new piece, or has it been in a tank for a while?
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-06-2008, 12:27 AM Thread Starter
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I bought it at my LFS. I soaked it for about a week with periodic water changes before I put it in my tank. The tank has been running now for a little over 2 months.

With my pH so high, would I be able to get some CPDs?
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-06-2008, 12:33 AM
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What is your KH? Your CO2 may also not be dissolving very well in the water.


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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-06-2008, 12:56 AM Thread Starter
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I will check on that, but what would cause my distilled water's (which has a pH of 6.4) pH to rise? Is there any information on the affect eco system complete has on pH. I'm starting top think that is the only thing that can be raising the pH so much.
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-06-2008, 06:55 PM
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Distilled water typically has a pH around 6 because of atmospheric CO2 dissolving in the unbuffered water. When you add it to the rest of your tank water, because it has no buffer of its own, it quickly goes to whatever pH your tank water is. And unlike peat moss or drift wood tannins, the carbonic acid from CO2 disappears when the water is agitated and the CO2 off gases. So distilled, RO. or deionized water with a low pH will have a negligible effect on the pH when it's put into your tank.

It is probably high because your KH (Buffering Capacity) is too high which could come from the eco-complete, or your CO2 isn't dissolving enough. I'd buy a KH test kit, then you'll know.


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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-10-2008, 09:53 PM Thread Starter
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Bought a KH kit. My KH is around 6-7 dH (107-124 ppm). My GH is 5-6 dH (89-107 ppm). Should I bother adding an acid buffer to bring the KH down. With my pH around 7.5, it looks like my CO2 concentration may be fine, what do you think?
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