cause of pH drops - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-17-2009, 04:29 PM Thread Starter
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cause of pH drops

Im kinda confused...my water comes out of my tap at pH 8.4. I dont adjust the pH but I only add chlorine remover (Tetra Aquasafe) Im kinda curious...what lowers the pH in my tank to 6.6? I have Activ Flora substrate, dose with Aqueon complete liquid fert. (only about 5 drops in a 20gal tank- every other day) and then some plants and animals.

My fish dont seem to mind, but my snails shells were dissolving pretty badly until I started adding sticks of blackboard chalk to my filter (CaSO4...I figure it will dissolve slowly into the water and the plants to can use the calcium and sulfur anyway), now the shells are growing back but jus wonder what I should do to stop it the pH drops. I do inject DIY CO2 with a reactor...but even then I dont think I have use enough to make the pH crash like that.
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-17-2009, 04:36 PM
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It might be a composition make up of the activ flora. I know with flora base and AS it lowers ph pretty drastically. Do you have driftwood?

My tap comes out at 7.8 - 8.0 and once in my tank for a few days my ph is a stable 7.2 and once co2 starts to push I can see that 7.2 drop to 6.8ish. I believe it is a combination of driftwood, peat (I use this in the filter as yours might be mixed in the substrate) and diy co2 at a stable 10bpm.

Standard 30 gallon aquarium.
Low-tech: Flourite (reg), Marineland Millenium Filter, Jebo Canister Filter (cheap knock off of Ehiem) DIY co2 yeast w/ powered intank DIY reactor, 42 watts power compact in suspended aluminum dome.
Plants: Mainly Anubia and Java ferns.
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-17-2009, 04:42 PM
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You have to let tap water sit for 24 hours and then test it to know its true PH. Someone correct me if I'm wrong.

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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-17-2009, 07:07 PM Thread Starter
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yes, I do have a big piece of driftwood in the tank...but I wouldnt think that its that because people have driftwood in shrimp tanks...

theyre the same way...get pH too low and it dissolves their shell away and they die.

and Ill try and see if I get a different reading from teh water after 24hrs...I have pretty hard water so I wouldnt think that that would matter...but well see. Who knows, I may jus buy something (dolomite or powdered CaCO3) to do an experimental liming treatment on my tank (sounds dangerous)
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-17-2009, 08:30 PM
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Ok, Agree with letting the tap water sit before using a liquid fresh dated test kit!
Also test for GH, more important then KH
I am in NY GH very low in the tap and it brings the PH down
I have to use corals in the HOB to keep the PH at 6.5
I do use the baking soda method also.
CC will keep your PH stable.
get the Gh reading then will know what is going on.
A large DW will bring down the PH, but not a lot.
Test your kit on a bottle of spring water and then the tap water.
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-17-2009, 08:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anastasisariel View Post
You have to let tap water sit for 24 hours and then test it to know its true PH. Someone correct me if I'm wrong.
Correct. Most tap water is high in CO2, which is going to give a false reading. 24 hours is usually long enough for it to have dissipated.

But I'm not familiar with the pH of tap water lowering after sitting out. That's strange to me.
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-17-2009, 08:42 PM
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pH 6.6 is not a pH "crash". It is well within the normal range for aquatic creatures and plants. Increasing the GH with a GH booster or with calcium chloride and magnesium sulfate might help by keeping a good supply of calcium and magnesium available.

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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-20-2009, 12:21 AM
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Quote:
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test for GH, more important then KH
No, KH measures bicarbonate and carbonate ions that act as buffers in the water to prevent the pH dropping, not GH.


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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-20-2009, 02:46 AM Thread Starter
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well...interestingly enough...I decided to completely rescape my tank on a whim yesterday (cuz before it was jus kinda thrown together...this time I drew something up that should look nice when it grows in--> well see/journal coming soon!)...and so...I moved my fishies (neon tetras with otos) safely to a storage tank...uprooted all my plants and threw them in with the fishies....churned all my substrate to get rid of the string algae that settled on it...and started working. A few hours later (kept getting sidetracked) my fishies were still alive and thrown back in there...needless to say...they werent happy...I got rid of the "corner" that they loved to hide in (until feeding time). Did an extremely aggressive trim on all my plants...and removed the DW

anywhoo...jus for the hell of it...decided to test my water parameters today after work...

tap water pH 8.3 after 24hrs (checked city water reports as well- 8.39 ATT)

pH 7.2
NH3/NO2 0ppm
NO3 0~5ppm

so I dont know...removing the DW made the value go up...but I think something is funky with that cuz even a big piece shouldnt affect water that much IMO...but what do I kno?
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-20-2009, 05:18 AM
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Originally Posted by killacross View Post
well...interestingly enough...I decided to completely rescape my tank on a whim yesterday (cuz before it was jus kinda thrown together...this time I drew something up that should look nice when it grows in--> well see/journal coming soon!)...and so...I moved my fishies (neon tetras with otos) safely to a storage tank...uprooted all my plants and threw them in with the fishies....churned all my substrate to get rid of the string algae that settled on it...and started working. A few hours later (kept getting sidetracked) my fishies were still alive and thrown back in there...needless to say...they werent happy...I got rid of the "corner" that they loved to hide in (until feeding time). Did an extremely aggressive trim on all my plants...and removed the DW

anywhoo...jus for the hell of it...decided to test my water parameters today after work...

tap water pH 8.3 after 24hrs (checked city water reports as well- 8.39 ATT)

pH 7.2
NH3/NO2 0ppm
NO3 0~5ppm

so I dont know...removing the DW made the value go up...but I think something is funky with that cuz even a big piece shouldnt affect water that much IMO...but what do I kno?
I disagree. Driftwood can have a huge effect on the pH in a tank. I have a 75 that the manzinita driftwood really drags the ph down. Starts at about 8.1 and ends at 6.2. I think you have found your problem.
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