Aragonite and PH? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-29-2018, 09:13 PM Thread Starter
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So I want to do a shellie cichlid tank with some needle and windelov java. My LFS stocks cichlids at 8.2. They are adamant about me raising my ph to at least 8 to the point that they won’t guarantee the fish unless I do. My tap is 7.1 so I was thinking about using Aragonite. I know it’s not a popular substrate on TPT, but many keep cichlids here.

My main question is how much to use. Should I go 100% Aragonite? Will the ph be proportionate to how much I use? If so, maybe I should mix it with some PFS. Also, what dither fish could I keep at a ph of about 8? I need something to fill the top half of the tank.
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-29-2018, 09:58 PM
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Why not just raise your KH with either sodium or potassium bicarbonate? Much easier to target KH and let it naturally raise your pH. Aragonite is just calcium carbonate and it's not particularly water soluble, especially in a neutral pH. I doubt you'll see much of a pH rise, if any, with your water. It's also pretty messy stuff that needs quite a bit of rinsing. It will also cause fluctuations in your water parameters each time you do a water change. It's just not a reliable way to maintain a consistent pH.
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-29-2018, 11:45 PM
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Quote:
My main question is how much to use. Should I go 100% Aragonite?
Aragonite only dissolves in acidic conditions (Ph below 7) If it doesn't dissolve it will have no effect on PH. When it does dissolve it will increase the PH 7 but won't go higher. You will not be able to reach a PH of 8 with aragonite. You could use sodium or potassium bicarbonate to increase the PH and KH.

However there is one alternative you may want to try. Seachem sells a cichlid lake salt that is formulated to match the water conditions in there natural environment. They also sell a buffert that stabilize the PH at 7.8 to 8.4. Note I have never had a Cichlid tank or used these Seachem products.

https://www.seachem.com/cichlid-lake-salt.php

https://www.seachem.com/malawi-victoria-buffer.php
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-30-2018, 10:09 PM Thread Starter
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Not a big fan of diy so I think I’ll go with the Seachem stuff. It’s a small tank so money isn’t an issue. Maybe I’ll skip the Aragonite and just do PFS.
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-31-2018, 05:23 PM
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Yes Aragonite does raises pH, and KH/GH, it's CaCO3 (from coral's and ocean life skeletons). It can raise pH to 7.8 - 8. It's been used for decades for this.

However from my personal point on view, that's not a proper a way to setup an african cichlid tank, even if many people do it.

It will send only calcium in the water and the chemistry of the Great African Lakes is much more complex than that. Magnesium is needed, and many other minerals.

Better use real rocks, like limestone, which will raise pH/GH too, and that will send not only calcium but magnesium and possibly other minerals in the water.


Or better the Seachem products mentionned earlier.

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Last edited by micheljq; 07-31-2018 at 05:34 PM. Reason: details
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-01-2018, 03:06 AM
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Yes Aragonite does raises pH, and KH/GH, it's CaCO3 (from coral's and ocean life skeletons). It can raise pH to 7.8 - 8. It's been used for decades for this.
The PH affect of calcium carbonate (aragonite, crushed coral, sea shells, and limestone) is dependent on its solubility. Inn sea water it is soluble. But in fresh water it is not. The end result is calcium carbonate has a much larger effect on PH in seawater than in fresh water. In fresh water the the highest PH you can get with calcium carbonate is about 7. I have used it to control PH in my low tech tank and the PH is consistently close to 7.

In high tech tanks with CO2 injection it will still push the PH up to 7 but it will also push the GH up significantly. For CO2 injected tanks the only ways to increase PH are to use sodium or potassium bicarbonate which are very soluble in fresh water.
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-02-2018, 04:47 PM
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Surf, aragonite has been used in freshwater african cichlid tanks for decades to raise pH, it can raise it lot more than 7, but it also depends on the quantity used.

One example aragonite sand :

https://www.petco.com/shop/en/petcos...-aquarium-sand

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Last edited by micheljq; 08-02-2018 at 05:05 PM. Reason: details
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-03-2018, 08:26 PM
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I have aragonite sand and I use rift lake salts in my Multi tank, which also has java fern.

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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-03-2018, 09:40 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by reddhawkk View Post
I have aragonite sand and I use rift lake salts in my Multi tank, which also has java fern.
How are things working for you? How is Aragonite ascetically? Does it look nicer than PFS?
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-04-2018, 02:44 PM
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I have not used PFS yet so I can't say which I like better. I do like the aragonite though, I am using it in a Tropheus tank I am setting up. It has worked well for me, the fish are happy and breeding so what more can I say?

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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-04-2018, 11:03 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by reddhawkk View Post
I have not used PFS yet so I can't say which I like better. I do like the aragonite though, I am using it in a Tropheus tank I am setting up. It has worked well for me, the fish are happy and breeding so what more can I say?
Does using Aragonite help with the stability of the tank?
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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-06-2018, 04:51 PM
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I am sure it doesn't hurt but I truly do not know. My ph is pretty high anyway right out of the tap. I actually got it for that tank because I was in my LFS and the bag was on clearance due to being slightly ripped; in other words it was cheap!

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