Can't get PH balanced, CO2 keeps lowering PH
So I'm not new to nano tanks but I am new to CO2. I've done a number of DIY setups now, but just recently put a DIY setup in my work 5.5 gallon planted tank.
All my parameters are well within proper ranges except for hardness (my water is very very soft) and my PH keeps bouncing around.
I have RC Shrimp and snails in the tank as well as micro sword and 3 java moss walls. I just tore out the anacharis last week because I'm so tired of the damn weed. I have more stems that I will be putting in sometime this week. They just need to come to work from one of my home tanks.
Anyway, the issue is that I'm trying to do anything I can to get these java moss walls to fill in (I put them in about 2 weeks ago I think). Right now they have extra light and I wanted to put DIY CO2 but here's the rub.
Every time I put the CO2 in I have about 2 hours before my shrimp freak out and hangout at the very top of the tank and if I don't catch it quick enough and change water they will die. And of course the reason is that my PH dropped dramatically in the last few hours. It'll drop from 7.8-ish down to 6-ish
So, knowing my water was very soft and I had essentially no natural buffer, I went to the store looking for crushed coral, but all they had was aragonite. So I took out about a quarter of my substrate and replaced it with aragonite.
Well, my hardness hasn't improved that much yet and I tried the CO2 again with the same result.
WHAT SHOULD I DO?!
I really want to put CO2 in here but I can't seem to keep my shrimp alive if I do. Is it just time for my shrimp to move to a different tank? I don't have another one that's well suited for them for at least the next 2 weeks. (my next tank is under construction and my others would not be very hospitable to shrimp).
Bump: Oh, and I've been fixing the problem by doing partial water changes and removing the CO2 bubbler. My tap water ph is between 7.5 and 8.5. I've yet to get a consistent reading from it.
Last edited by <NAME>; 08-04-2015 at 02:08 PM.