Low PH and low KH - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-05-2009, 06:06 AM Thread Starter
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Low PH and low KH

I replaced my substrate with Oil Dri not knowing the full extent of what it would do with the tank.

Before the Oil Dri I had the tank running on seachem neutral regulator so it's softer than tap and neutral.

Now my tank has under 1 degree of KH and I'm doing water changes every other day to bring the PH from under 6.0 up to 6.0 my gh is about 8 degree's

My tap water is PH 7.6 KH 3 GH 10+

I'm thinking of adding baking soda into my water changes but I'm uncertain of how much to use.
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-05-2009, 06:09 PM
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Hide the pH test kit. Then, the problem goes away.

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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-05-2009, 06:21 PM
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Agreed, I have soft water too (pH normally ~7 gH 3 and kH ~1). In my CO2 injected tank with AS, my pH is usually too low for my test kit to measure, but the fish love it. As long as everything is doing well, you're fine.
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-06-2009, 04:24 AM Thread Starter
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I don't know if I agree with that, my angelfish are acting odd and barely eating. Something is definatley not right.
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-06-2009, 04:30 AM
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I don't know if I agree with that, my angelfish are acting odd and barely eating. Something is definatley not right.
Is this a planted tank? With CO2? How do you fertilize? And, do you do weekly water changes?

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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-06-2009, 05:09 AM Thread Starter
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it's a community tank and all I've done is swapped the substrate with oil dri

I can guarantee the problems are related to the substrate or the water parameters
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-06-2009, 06:08 AM Thread Starter
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if my ph can't stay over 6.0 imagine what's going to happen when I add pressurized CO2
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-06-2009, 04:27 PM
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Oil dri is a baked clay substrate material similar, if not exactly the same as Soilmaster. Both are made by the same company, I think. Soilmaster is known to drop the KH when first used, but I think it eventually stops doing that. Some have said this is due to its high CEC, but I'm not sure. In any case, what probably happened when you switched substrates is that the KH dropped rapidly, and that isn't good for the fish. You can add baking soda a little at a time to gradually bring the KH back to normal.

If I were doing this I would just try for a KH of about 2-3 dKH, no more. Fish will acclimate to that level very easily. But, rapid changes in KH are a problem.

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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-07-2009, 03:53 AM Thread Starter
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I've been working with my angels today and after watching them last night have come to the conclusion that it's a combination of things affecting them. The frequent changes in surroundings, the parameter changes from the substrate and also the fact that I haven't had as much cover for them to hide from the mated pair. I haven't noticed the mated angels acting up much until last night but I think that has alot to do with it.

I'll try out the baking soda and try to stabelize the tank as well as get some frozen food to the angels that aren't doing so well.

Are you familiar with how long it takes for the substrate to reach a normal PH? How long am I going to have to wait before going with CO2 is my concern, I don't want it to drop to something like 5.0
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-07-2009, 04:10 AM
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if my ph can't stay over 6.0 imagine what's going to happen when I add pressurized CO2
I've run my pH in the low 5's before with no problems (~5.11)...The CO2 induced pH shift won't have any negative effects on your fish.

Don't fight with your water; you're chasing your tail.
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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-07-2009, 05:26 AM
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I WISH I had your problem
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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-07-2009, 06:15 AM Thread Starter
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Don't fight with your water; you're chasing your tail.

I think your right, I just added some baking soda and my kh didn't rise at all. Then I added about the same amount and bam it's up to 7.5
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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-07-2009, 03:50 PM
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Put some crushed coral in your filter

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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-08-2009, 06:34 AM Thread Starter
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well the night before last my ph was at least 6.5 and my kh was at least 7.5, tonight my kh is back to 0-1 and my ph is under 6.0 again

I'm going to pull this substrate out and let it soak in baking soda water, no other way around it
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