Can't get down to 6.8 ph - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-11-2010, 07:11 AM Thread Starter
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Can't get down to 6.8 ph

On the advice of my LFS, I'm trying to get my ph down to 6.8.

He insisted I use Seachem Neutral Regulator and Discus Buffer. He also told me that he uses it in all his 150 tanks and all his customers use it without fail. He seems like he really know his stuff.

That said, I started down the road to try to bring done my ph. I've never down this before, so I really have no idea what I'm doing. The owner of the store told me to treat for 5 days with a slow-drip treatment.

After day 5, my ph was still high, maybe 7.4 from around 7.6 or 7.8.

He told me to go 3 or 4 more days. The ph is still around 7.2 or 7.4 (it's hard to tell)

So I was pretty much following him blindly without doing much research, because he has some rare freshwater fish and all the fish in his tanks look really healthy.

But after dosing 9 days for our 5.5 gallon and seeing almost no shift, I'm not sure what to do.

And now after doing some research and finding out that Neutral Regulator and Discus Buffer are phosphate-based and that can lead to all kinds of algae, I'm even more worried.

Did I get some really bad advice? Or have some people had success using phosphate-based buffer?

Our tank is mostly java fern, java moss, a few petite anubias and one normal anubias.

Thanks.
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-11-2010, 07:27 AM
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blah I stopped looking at ph months ago.

Are you injecting co2? that will bring ur ph down. But id say you have nothing to worry about.

I kept one planted tank around 7.4 and my current one is around 6.4ish

hah you may even have a faulty ph test.


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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-11-2010, 08:23 AM
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There is really no need to worry about your pH. Unfortunately, most people will try to sell you pH reducing/increasing chemicals just to make money.

Chances are, trying to change your pH with chemicals will result in more stress to your fish, as you are trying to change the pH while increasing TDS content of your water.

Anthony


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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-11-2010, 10:00 AM
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Agreed. Let your pH do what it's going to do, within reason. Or use some natural means such as driftwood, peat filtering, or partial RO water with your water changes to lower pH. That's it.

I am firmly of the opinion that fish can adapt to some pretty widely varying pH conditions, as long as the pH is relatively stable. As an example, my brother has two tanks side by side with very similar stocking. The pH in one is 5 (!) - the other tank has a pH of 7.5. Obviously not ideal, but the fish in both tanks are vigorous and healthy.

Trying to adjust your pH with chemicals is difficult because of the buffering capacity of your tap water, expensive, and bad for your fish. AND, once you pour enough expensive chemicals in there, you'll have to redo it every time you do a water change.

AND flooding your tank with phosphate might have algae repercussions as you mentioned.

I'm all for supporting your LFS by buying hard goods with a good profit margin, but do it in some way other than buying pH adjusters
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-11-2010, 11:04 AM
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Take this advice from someone who is not trying to sell you anything(this time....)... Just let it be. Using these products to regulate your pH will end up killing your fish due to the bouncing pH, gh and KH.

What are your normal parameters. Stability is the MOST important water parameter. After that... temp.
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-11-2010, 01:50 PM
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A pH of mid to high 7's is perfectly fine for most fishes anyways. Even if he is knowledgeable at fishkeeping, you have to remember that he is a salesman after all.


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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-11-2010, 05:04 PM
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Fish will acclimate to just about anything, my water has a PH of at least 7.6 and hardness off the charts (I keep 3 kinds of tetras just fine) ~ STABILITY IS THE KEY ~ it is almost always better to just live within the water that you have rather the try to adjust, creating an unstable environment
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-11-2010, 05:46 PM
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Agree that you don't need to and shouldn't mess with your pH, stability is way more important than a target number.

I am reasonably sure I know which LFS you are referring to. The owner has his own system of maintenance that he developed over the 25 years he has been in business. There are no filters on any of his tanks since they are all planted (the plants are the filters), he also does no water changes which may be why his pH (and water chemistry) stays stable despite using buffers when he tops off his tanks. He does keep and sell lots of rare and sensitive species of fish. I don't really care what he does to keep them healthy, my only concern is that the fish I buy from him are healthy and they always are. Once I get them home they will be living in my tanks not his so I see no need to try and match the water chemistry of his tanks.

What is important though is to thoroughly drip-acclimate any fish you get from him so that they have time to adjust to your water chemistry before you add them the tank. You should do that regardless of what LFS you buy from.

If you really feel that you need to soften your water mix in some RO water, much more stable than using buffers.
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-11-2010, 06:18 PM
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I ran a fish store for 10 years and the only time I paid attention to pH was when I was dealing with wild caught Discus and salt water. 98% of today's fish in stores are captive bred and have adjusted to higher pH values.

If you are still really concerned, like someone said earlier, RO water, CO2 and/or drift wood will lower your pH. My one concern for you is you said your tank was 5.5 gallons - keeping your pH stable might prove challenging. Fart around too much with chemicals and you might throw your fish into pH shock.

Good luck


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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-11-2010, 09:17 PM
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i keep discus in a heavily planted tank
my tap water is 7.4
i never traet it and do 50% water changes and its never effected any of my fish or plants

it really is nothing to worry about
ok if it was 8.2 or something then you would have problems but with mid 7s its not a problem

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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-12-2010, 05:33 PM
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What goes up will come back down and vice versa. Don't mess with it.
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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-12-2010, 06:15 PM
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if you're having that much touble treating 5.5 gallons of water, imagine how hard it will be to treat 1.375 gallons (that is if you are doing 25% water changes) once a week. does it really seem worth it?

dont worry about your ph. it's not worth your time
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