Rock effects on PH overblown? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 12-06-2008, 05:21 PM Thread Starter
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Rock effects on PH overblown?

So I picked up some rocks locally from a garden center and decided to test them with vinegar. After smashing them open I added some vinegar and heard some fizzing - which online research would say is bad for aquariums. I decided to test my seiryu stone and that fizzed just the same, if not a little louder and that's been fine in my tanks.

Do PH raising properties even matter considering planted tanks usually have a 30 or 50% water change weekly? I can see being fearful of copper in the rock, but is some calcium carbonate that dangerous?


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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 12-06-2008, 06:39 PM
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In my case I use crushed coral as a substrate and have some limestone rocks in the tank. This is to intentionally raise the PH and KH of the water for the African Cichlids in there. My PH from the tap is 7.4, the rocks and the substrate raise it to 8.0 over the course of couple of days.

You want to see how much affect your rocks have, test it... fill a bucket with water and let it sit overnight then test the PH and KH. Put your rocks in and let it sit a week or so and test those again and see how much if any it changes.

The initial letting it sit overnight is to let any CO2 in the water off-gas in case it artificially lowers the KH reading. Some places have this problem, others don't.

If you have very soft acidic water I would expect a pretty good affect, if you have very hard basic water I wouldn't expect much affect at all.

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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 12-06-2008, 07:30 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the response. I considered a test like that, although the effect will be different with a larger volume of water. (bucket size vs. the actual tank)

I might just set it up with no livestock and see how much the PH swings, then pick tank inhabitants accordingly. I just don't anticipate there being much of a problem with a few rocks. Now with an entire subtrate and a rock heavy scape that's a different story!

I think my water out of the tap is about 7.2 so it shouldn't be a wild swing.


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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 12-06-2008, 07:51 PM
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There's also the surface area of the substrate/rocks to consider. A few large rocks will have much less surface area than the equivalent weight in substrate. While the rocks will also change your PH they'll have less effect than substrate would.

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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 12-06-2008, 08:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by prototyp3 View Post
Thanks for the response. I considered a test like that, although the effect will be different with a larger volume of water. (bucket size vs. the actual tank)
I think the water would reach equilibrium at some point and the PH and KH would stop being affected... in a small volume of water this would just happen quicker. Same as you would expect warmer water to speed the chemical reaction of dissolving the calcium. If you test every few days you should see it rise then level off.

In my case it takes roughly 48 hours and the PH stops rising... with the higher surface area of the crushed coral it is probably a much quicker reaction than rocks alone would be.

46 gallon bowfront, Dalmatian Mollies, Swordtails, Otos
75 gallon Lake Malawi African Cichlids
3 gallon nano desktop with Betta at the office
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