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post #1 of 22 (permalink) Old 02-17-2011, 02:21 PM Thread Starter
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PH Bounce

I am setting up a 55g, hopefully for discus. My tap water down stream of out water softener is very nearly dead soft but high PH upper 7"s. I have been trying since last Sat to get the PH down. I will get it to 6 but 12-24hrs later it is back up to over 7. Yesterday I rechecked my tap water and and filled a container and adjusted it to 6. This AM it was still 6 so there is something in my tank that seems to be causing the problem.

I have a canister filter with only foam and bioballs, the first 1.5" of substrate is a mixture of washed playsand ( looks like a silica type)and peatmoss. Then I put an inch of fine FLOURA MAX
gravel on top with some live plants. There are also a couple of new clay pots in there as well.

Any ideas as to what could be buffering the water to the high side? Has anyone had problems with the Flora Max causing a PH shift?

I have about a gallon of water I set to 6.4 and it is holding steady for 48hrs so I can assume the tap water is stable and something in the tank is causing the problem.
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post #2 of 22 (permalink) Old 02-17-2011, 02:27 PM
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Have you checked your kH and gH?

Are you using RO water?

And where are you getting your discus? Do you know the pH, kH and gH of the water they're coming from?





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post #3 of 22 (permalink) Old 02-17-2011, 02:38 PM Thread Starter
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If I remember the figures from the tap GH <20 ppm KH 120, NO RO. What has me baffled is why the gallon container is stable but water in tank is bouncing around, same water, different container.
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post #4 of 22 (permalink) Old 02-17-2011, 03:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrbprint View Post
My tap water down stream of out water softener is very nearly dead soft but high PH upper 7"s.
What kind of water softener?


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post #5 of 22 (permalink) Old 02-17-2011, 03:50 PM Thread Starter
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Ion exchange resin But again, the 1 gal container stays stable, tank bounces
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post #6 of 22 (permalink) Old 02-17-2011, 03:57 PM
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If it's a salt regen it will cause problems for the plants and also the water is still just as hard just altered by the ion exchange so the GH test chemicals give a false value.
O2 level in the tank is probably higher than the container.

Edit; how is the pH adjustment being achieved? what are you using?


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post #7 of 22 (permalink) Old 02-17-2011, 04:46 PM Thread Starter
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I am using sulferic acid
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post #8 of 22 (permalink) Old 02-17-2011, 05:51 PM
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You should not try to lower your pH by adding chemical buffers to the aquarium.

The only real way you will achieve a consistently lower pH without it bouncing is using RO water.

In addition, adding things like sulfuric acid to your water will just cause the TDS to increase.

Anthony


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post #9 of 22 (permalink) Old 02-17-2011, 06:11 PM
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Quit worrying about pH and focus on GH and KH. You are getting a bounce using chemcials because your KH is high. "Softened" water does not equal low KH, usually. It is just replacing the calcium with salt, which in the end is worse for your plants and fish.

I'd get an RO unit and mix RO with tap to get a stable KH/GH/TDS. Doing what your doing is going to continue to have the same result over and over and over again.
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post #10 of 22 (permalink) Old 02-17-2011, 10:59 PM Thread Starter
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I truly appreciate and agree with all the reply's, but it seems everyone has lost track of my question.

A bucket of tap water, couple of drops of acid= 6.4PH NO CHANGE after 48hrs. Aquarium- same water, same acid=6.4PH IN 12hrs BOUNCES back to upper 7's, not just once but4-5+ times. What is in the tank changing the water? I fully agree that it is not good to keep throwing stuff in, compounding the TDS aspect of the water, but if the tank would react as the "control" bucket did it would not be a problem. PLEASE look at what I have in the tank and let me know if any of these things have affected PH for you. I am suspecting the Flora Max.
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post #11 of 22 (permalink) Old 02-17-2011, 11:06 PM
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I think the Flora Max is probably suspect, too. IDK much about FM and haven't ever used it personally, but I know Eco Complete has the tendency to do the same.

I also agree with everyone else that going with an RO unit is going to be a much safer/more stable way to alter your water for discus.

You can keep going with sulfuric acid if you want, I know some others who do it, but they also maintain very large reservoirs of pre-mixed water on hand for emergency water changes. That's quite a bit of space and energy to maintain in comparison to using an RO unit.





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post #12 of 22 (permalink) Old 02-17-2011, 11:37 PM Thread Starter
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I agree about the RO but it is not an option right now because of the high amount of waste water. Only have a shallow well(20ft) and a septic system that could flood with all that water. If I could get the tank to settle with just 1 application of acid as the bucket of tap does, all would be well, as it doesn't take very much.
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post #13 of 22 (permalink) Old 02-17-2011, 11:42 PM
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The trouble is for fish the pH is MUCH less important than KH and GH. I think you said you want to keep discus, and the KH being soft is much more essential than the pH being "right".

So you could get the pH to whatever you want to, but if you don't fix the KH you will never have great success. LIke said before, the sodium ions from your softener aren't going to do anything to help you or your fish in this setting.
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post #14 of 22 (permalink) Old 02-17-2011, 11:48 PM
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Sulfuric acid will break down kH, too. It can work- it will just be quite a bit of work to maintain a stable supply...





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post #15 of 22 (permalink) Old 02-17-2011, 11:48 PM
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Sorry not to have directly answered your question.
The fact does still remain that a salt regen conditioner will cause problems for the plants and your fish. Again the water is still just as hard just altered by the ion exchange so the GH test chemicals are giving a false value. Na instead of Ca and with discus being your fish of choice that is going to be a problem.

Hope things work out.


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