Completely stuck with dropping ph. - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-31-2015, 04:46 PM Thread Starter
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Completely stuck with dropping ph.

So somehow my ph just keeps dropping. I have a heavily planted 37 gallon tank with pressurized co2 running off a ph controller. The tank was established and working fine prior to adding co2 and a eheim 2215. Now months later I'm having this issue. Water changes are the only thing that really brings it back up. It just drops and the co2 will never even kick on. It goes as low as 5.6 and just hangs there.


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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-31-2015, 05:52 PM
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What's your kh running?


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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-31-2015, 06:46 PM Thread Starter
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What's your kh running?

I don't have anything to test it (yet). Can the canister now having been running a few months and be well established bacteria wise be playing a part?


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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-31-2015, 06:50 PM Thread Starter
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Also in the middle of all this BBA has started to pop up that wasn't previously an issue.


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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-31-2015, 10:10 PM
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With CO2 I'd say your bottoming out your kh and thus letting your ph drop. I have this issue in my 40b. What kind of substrate is in the tank?


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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-31-2015, 11:16 PM Thread Starter
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With CO2 I'd say your bottoming out your kh and thus letting your ph drop. I have this issue in my 40b. What kind of substrate is in the tank?

Florite.


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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-01-2015, 02:10 AM
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Get a kh test kit and find out where your kh is. I have issues with my kh on my CO2 injected tank and have to use baking soda to stabilize the ph of the tank.


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Last edited by FatherLandDescendant; 06-01-2015 at 03:05 AM. Reason: to correct gh to kh.
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-01-2015, 02:59 AM
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Originally Posted by FatherLandDescendant View Post
Get a gh test kit and find out where your gh is. I have issues with my gh on my CO2 injected tank and have to use baking soda to stabilize the ph of the tank.
I think he means kh.
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-01-2015, 03:03 AM
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I think he means kh.
Yea I meant kh I had just woke up from one of those naps that leave you wondering what year it is


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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-01-2015, 03:10 AM
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Ahhhh, the best kind of nap!
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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-01-2015, 10:40 AM Thread Starter
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Lol thank you!


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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-01-2015, 01:10 PM
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GH and KH tests are often sold together. Do both while you are at it.
The KH is the one that acts like a buffer for the pH. The GH measures some important minerals.
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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-07-2015, 02:52 PM Thread Starter
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Ok so I tested and KH is showing low at about 40ppm and GH is almost topping out the charts between 180-300 ppm. It weird because dumping in just enough water to top off starts to counter act whatever is dropping my ph. On the other hand I really do want to be doing water changes every other day.


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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-07-2015, 03:23 PM
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Test the tap water.

GH is calcium and magnesium. Can come from tap water, but some fertilizer regimes suggest adding Epsom salt or GH booster. If your tap water already has enough calcium and magnesium, then do not add more with the fertilizer. This might be the reason it is so high in the tank.

KH at 40ppm is pretty low, and if it is dropping through the week then I could sure see the pH crashing several days after a water change. 40 ppm is just a little more than 2 German degrees of hardness. This level works in some tanks, not in others.

The nitrifying bacteria can take the carbon from carbonates, and there is an interaction between CO2 and carbonates. Some high CEC substrates remove the carbonates, too. I know Safe-T-Sorb and the ADA products do this. I do not know if any of the Flourite product line do.

Here is what I do to fix this:
Add baking soda or potassium bicarbonate to the tank in between water changes.
1 teaspoon of baking soda added to 30 gallons of water will raise the KH by 2 German degrees of hardness, or 36ppm.
Potassium bicarbonate would be dosed at 1 tsp per 48 gallons = 1 dKH.
I would dump these into the tank right in the flow of the filter, or else shake them in a jar of water to dissolve, then dump them in the tank (again, right into the flow from the filter). They dissolve easily.

You could also add some material to the filter in a nylon stocking.
Coral sand
Limestone sand
Aragonite
Dolomite sand
Oyster shell grit (sold for caged birds)
The problem with any of these is that they will also raise the GH, and I do not think you want to do that.
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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-07-2015, 04:58 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Diana View Post
Test the tap water.

GH is calcium and magnesium. Can come from tap water, but some fertilizer regimes suggest adding Epsom salt or GH booster. If your tap water already has enough calcium and magnesium, then do not add more with the fertilizer. This might be the reason it is so high in the tank.

KH at 40ppm is pretty low, and if it is dropping through the week then I could sure see the pH crashing several days after a water change. 40 ppm is just a little more than 2 German degrees of hardness. This level works in some tanks, not in others.

The nitrifying bacteria can take the carbon from carbonates, and there is an interaction between CO2 and carbonates. Some high CEC substrates remove the carbonates, too. I know Safe-T-Sorb and the ADA products do this. I do not know if any of the Flourite product line do.

Here is what I do to fix this:
Add baking soda or potassium bicarbonate to the tank in between water changes.
1 teaspoon of baking soda added to 30 gallons of water will raise the KH by 2 German degrees of hardness, or 36ppm.
Potassium bicarbonate would be dosed at 1 tsp per 48 gallons = 1 dKH.
I would dump these into the tank right in the flow of the filter, or else shake them in a jar of water to dissolve, then dump them in the tank (again, right into the flow from the filter). They dissolve easily.

You could also add some material to the filter in a nylon stocking.
Coral sand
Limestone sand
Aragonite
Dolomite sand
Oyster shell grit (sold for caged birds)
The problem with any of these is that they will also raise the GH, and I do not think you want to do that.

Thanks for the help and great info! I'm going to stay aggressive on water changes and I just gave a friend a massive compacted bag of Java Moss that was pretty much out of control.



I'm going to wait and see how the tank adjusts after a this trim in plant life and go from there.


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