Water parameters a bit different - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-24-2010, 07:45 PM Thread Starter
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Water parameters a bit different

Well, my ten gallon is producing some odd test results and at first I thought it may be the API test kit, but after testing other water, I think it is tank water for sure. My tap water has ammonia,nitrites, and nitrates at 0, has a GH of 12 degrees, KH of 0 degrees (or not enough to even register on my API test kit, and out of the tap straight ph is about 7.6 - 7.8. Then if it sits for 3 days, it goes down to about 6.0. I am assuming it is because of the kh being that low, that the ph swings so dramatically like that. It just has no buffering capacity I assume. Well, this 10 gallon is the future home of my RCS colony but trying to get the parameters in order first. The tank has been fully cycled with mulm from an established canister and finished cycling about last week sometime. To keep everything cycled and established, I have just one random white cloud minnow borrowed from another tank to keep it going and he is healthy and doing fine. I buffer my tanks with some crushed coral in a mesh bag in the filter because of the low kh initially and ph crash after a few days. Well, this time after some coral, the kh is up to 2-3 degrees which I would like to be up to 5-6 for the shrimp and the ph is up at about 7.6 like it just came out of the tap. Usually, on my other tanks, the ph goes down to about 6.0, I add coral until the tank reaches a kh of about 4-5 and a ph of about 6.4 -6.6. This isn't the case in this tank. I am only at a kh of 2 ish and my ph is high and already sitting around 7.6. I think the main difference is with this tank, I added the coral to the tank upon initially setup. What could be going on? Do you think because coral went in on day one and the tap water that filled that tank didn't have a chance to do it's crash, the coral was enough to buffer the tank slightly to a kh of 1-2 degrees and that was enough to buffer the ph and keep it at the initial level of 7.6 it comes out as? As in adding the coral before my typical crash I experience might have prevented the water's ph from ever dropping like it normally does? Sorry if I lost you with all that. The only idea i've had was removing the coral for a few days or so and doing partial water changes to remove any calcium carbonate that could still be in the water column, and then hopefully the ph will start to crash like it does normally, and then add the coral back once the ph hits in the 6's like it would when its unbuffered. This way I don't harm the tank's biofilter going slow and I should be able to get things where they should be.

What do you think? Does my theory make sense? Let me know.


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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-24-2010, 08:26 PM
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I think if keeping a fish tank was this complicated I'd have never started. Why are you messing with the KH? Is the pH that critical when keeping shrimp? I can understand possibly being concerned about the GH if Ca is needed from the water column for the shrimp's exoskeleton. I'm not a shrimp keeper so I'm just trying to get an idea why all this manipulation of your water parameters is necessary.
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-24-2010, 09:21 PM Thread Starter
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It most likely isn't necessary for RCS, but I like the have my tanks all about the same parameters. I just like to have the parameters where I like them and also in an optimal range. I am probably too much of a perfectionist so don't learn from me, lol. I also just like to understand water chemistry and what makes certain things do what they do. If we don't fiddle with our tanks and make changes in them, I feel we can never truly learn.


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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-25-2010, 12:03 AM
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My tank's substrate is completely crushed coral. Before it was a planted tank, it housed african cichlids, so the substrate provided a high ph. Onced I switched it to a planted tank, the ph dropped after a few months and I freaked out a little. No dirt or ferts at all in there. My ph dropped but is stable at about 7.2 and all plants are fine. It is a low tech tank though and all I add to it is tetra flora pride and microbe-lift every month or so. I would suggest a good sprinkling of crushed coral over your substrate as a permanent addition and that should help stable things out. I'm still kinda new myself so I have no other suggestions sorry.
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-25-2010, 12:24 AM
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Or you could add some rain water. Or you could do a search on baking soda(sodium bicarbonate) if you dont like the look of coral in your shrimp tank

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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-25-2010, 12:37 AM Thread Starter
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I think you guys are missing my question about what is going on. Reread the question and if you guys are still confused about my post I will try to restate it. The point is I am trying to achieve my usual 6.4 -6.6 ph and kh of about 4 or 5 like all my other tanks, and this one seems to have a different plan on its own. The only thing I can think of that was different was the coral was added on initial setup where as the other tanks, I waited for the ph to crash first, then slowly elevated it. I went back over my post trying to reword things. I was rambling a bit I know but I am trying to explain the situation as best as I can.


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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-25-2010, 01:45 AM
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i got ya. I suggested rain water to bring down your ph. It should have a ph of about 5.5The baking soda will give you the hardness and buffer the water for future changes.

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