Malaya and low ph - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 07-03-2015, 07:12 PM Thread Starter
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Malaya and low ph

Hi,
I know this isn't related to fertilisers but it is water chemistry. Please point me in the right direction of where to go if theres a better place..

I have ada Malaya and its giving me a ph of 6, even the ramshorn snails are dying because of this.

Any ideas how I can raise this naturally at a constant as the tank is for shrimps and so won't tolerate swings of ph.

Thanks
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 07-04-2015, 01:47 AM
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Test the GH and KH.
I know many of the ADA substrates remove the carbonates, and this allows the pH to drop.
Add carbonates, and this will keep the pH up.
I do not know if they remove the minerals we measure as GH- calcium and magnesium.

I would use a 2-part correction.
1) When doing water changes, make sure the new water has plenty of carbonates, and is the right pH. You may need to add potassium bicarbonate or Sodium Bicarbonate (Baking soda) to raise the KH. If the substrate is also removing the minerals such as Ca and Mg, then correct these, too, with something like Seachem Equilibrium, or perhaps a specialty shrimp mineral supplement (I do not know much about these- do some research)

2) Add something to the filter. Any of these materials will dissolve and add minerals and carbonates to the water.
Limestone sand or fine gravel, Coral sand, Oyster shell grit, Dolomite and similar materials have both carbonate and the minerals calcium and magnesium.
If your GH is already OK, and the substrate is not removing these minerals, then maybe you do not want to use these materials. Depends on what sort of range of GH your livestock can handle.
By adding these to the filter in a nylon stocking you can remove them if they are not working out.
They will dissolve more in low pH water, and less as the pH rises. It is a matter of equilibrium. The less minerals in the water (removed by the substrate) the more these materials will give to the water. The reaction is slow, so it is not to be depended on when you are doing a water change with too-soft water. If the water starts off good, then these materials can help keep it OK.
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 07-04-2015, 04:03 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks Diana for the advice, my gh and kh are good at 6 and 1, the plan is to have crystal shrimp so these are the parameters that are the best. I also have a tds of 180 and adding carbonates would make this and the GH rise to less favorable conditions if I'm correct.

If I added something to the filter to help rise the ph how long approx. do you think it would take to reach equilibrium? Weeks, Months?
Honestly I have been playing around with this tank for so long to get the water chemistry correct before adding the shrimps and its starting to become a very long process indeed. I'm regretting the Malaya hugely but its too costly to replace now...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Diana View Post
Test the GH and KH.
I know many of the ADA substrates remove the carbonates, and this allows the pH to drop.
Add carbonates, and this will keep the pH up.
I do not know if they remove the minerals we measure as GH- calcium and magnesium.

I would use a 2-part correction.
1) When doing water changes, make sure the new water has plenty of carbonates, and is the right pH. You may need to add potassium bicarbonate or Sodium Bicarbonate (Baking soda) to raise the KH. If the substrate is also removing the minerals such as Ca and Mg, then correct these, too, with something like Seachem Equilibrium, or perhaps a specialty shrimp mineral supplement (I do not know much about these- do some research)

2) Add something to the filter. Any of these materials will dissolve and add minerals and carbonates to the water.
Limestone sand or fine gravel, Coral sand, Oyster shell grit, Dolomite and similar materials have both carbonate and the minerals calcium and magnesium.
If your GH is already OK, and the substrate is not removing these minerals, then maybe you do not want to use these materials. Depends on what sort of range of GH your livestock can handle.
By adding these to the filter in a nylon stocking you can remove them if they are not working out.
They will dissolve more in low pH water, and less as the pH rises. It is a matter of equilibrium. The less minerals in the water (removed by the substrate) the more these materials will give to the water. The reaction is slow, so it is not to be depended on when you are doing a water change with too-soft water. If the water starts off good, then these materials can help keep it OK.
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 07-05-2015, 01:12 AM
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ANYTHING you add to stabilize the pH will add to the TDS.

KH of 1 degree is not stable, and generally means a low pH unless something else is in the water to alter the pH. I would add more carbonates in whichever form the shrimp are OK with. The 2 most popular chemicals are sodium bicarbonate and potassium bicarbonate. A KH of about 3 degrees will stabilize the pH a bit higher, though there will still be a swing through the day with CO2.

The other materials (limestone, coral sand etc) dissolve at different rates in different pH. It is also dependent on the particle size. The equilibrium point is quite far into the hard and alkaline direction. It would always be a balancing act of getting the water close, then watching it change through whatever range the shrimp are OK with, then a water change before it goes too far. But the reaction is slow.

If you reduce the amount of pH lowering things going on in the tank, then the pH will come up some. No CO2, no humus, no decaying vegetation. All these are acidic reactions, lowering the pH.
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