Buffer for low ph, what substrate ? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-19-2018, 08:06 PM Thread Starter
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Buffer for low ph, what substrate ?

I am planning a red crystal shrimp tank and would like to buffer the tank to a ph around 6.5. I read the shrimp prefers a little acidic water. The tank will have some driftwood and mosses, which does not care what substrate the tank has. I have RO water readily available for top off and water changes, with supplements to bring the water to desired kh/gh levels. I can also liquid dose a little but from past experience moss requires little to thrive. So the purpose of the substrate is to buffer the ph at the desired level. I see ADA Amazonia is widely recommended here for its buffer capabilities but what actually buffers the water? Do I still need this capability if I use RO water? I would much prefer the eco complete for itís ease of maintenance because itís inert.

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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-19-2018, 09:34 PM
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Eco complete is fine for neos but I wouldn't use it with any caridina species. I'd get the Amazonia if I were trying to raise/breed crystals. KH and GH values should both be kept reasonably low. Eco complete offers nothing for this. R/O water should be used with any active substrate to preserve the buffering effect for as long as possible.
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-20-2018, 01:24 AM
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Are you injecting CO2 into your tank. If not Sea shells will provide all the buffering you need. IF the PH drops the shells (they are made of mostly calcium carbonate) start to dissolve and and neutralize the acid and push the PH up. In my tank I use this approach and PH stays between 6.5 and 7. You do not need to add anything to the water to raise KH using this method.

Unfortunately this method will not work in tanks with CO2 injection. CO2 will cause too much to dissolve and that will push your GH and KH UP excessively.


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I can also liquid dose a little but from past experience moss requires little to thrive.
If you are using Tap water that would be true if your tap is loaded with nutrients. RO however has no nutrients in it and in my experience moss will not do well unless the water is fertilized. At a minimum you heed a GH boster (preferably with sulfate ingredients). and a good all in one fertilizer such as Thrive.
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-20-2018, 03:28 AM
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Originally Posted by newplant View Post
I am planning a red crystal shrimp tank and would like to buffer the tank to a ph around 6.5. I read the shrimp prefers a little acidic water. The tank will have some driftwood and mosses, which does not care what substrate the tank has. I have RO water readily available for top off and water changes, with supplements to bring the water to desired kh/gh levels. I can also liquid dose a little but from past experience moss requires little to thrive. So the purpose of the substrate is to buffer the ph at the desired level. I see ADA Amazonia is widely recommended here for its buffer capabilities but what actually buffers the water? Do I still need this capability if I use RO water? I would much prefer the eco complete for itís ease of maintenance because itís inert.
The point of a buffering substrate is to keep a low but stable pH which will make keeping caridinas much easier for you. It also helps that most breeders use similar soil, so when you get them, acclimation will be much easier. It is not absolutely required, but it is immensely helpful.

As to your questions, there are several shrimp specific soils, but ADA Amazonia can also be used. SL Aqua and Prodibio are two other popular soils choices that last a long time. Fluval's doesn't last as long which is the only downside to that one.

Yes, you still need buffering soil with RO as RO has 0 dKH meaning pH will fluctuate easily. The soil helps maintain this stability.
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-20-2018, 04:44 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you all very much for the explanation and suggestions. Looking forward to get this setup.

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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-28-2018, 02:18 AM
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You could always try fluval stratum its cheaper than ADA, but the quality isnt as good.

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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-01-2018, 05:01 PM
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I have had great results using Mr aqua plant soil .It still buffers to about 6.5 after almost 2 yrs
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