New Planted Tank PH 5.8 (normal)? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-15-2018, 01:29 PM Thread Starter
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New Planted Tank PH 5.8 (normal)?

Set up my 75 gallon planted tank 1 week ago using seachem Stability in the tank today is the last day to add. I am going to be doing CO2. But with the ph being so low. I am concerned this is a problem. My tap water has a neutral ph of 7 which is what I use in the tank, our tap water is also very soft. If you need anymore info. please ask but any help or suggestions would be appreciated. I am using American Marine pinpoint ph probe to get the ph.


ammonia is 1.0
Nitrate is 1.0
Nitrite is 0
KH 1
GH 2
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-15-2018, 01:52 PM
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Buy some Seachem Equilibrium or just mix your own GH booster using MgSO4 and CaSO4. Raise GH to 6-8, then get some sodium bicarbonate(baking soda) or potassium carbonate(or bicarbonate) to raise KH to 3-4. This should raise your pH into the mid 7's and then you can inject co2 to achieve your 1 degree pH drop.

Also, having the pH that low will severely slow down your cycle, so I'd make these changes ASAP to get things moving.
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-15-2018, 01:54 PM
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The numbers don't look right to me: if ammonia is > 0 then I would expect nitrite to be > 0 also. That might be because of Stability.

Have you recently calibrated the pH probe? Any new driftwood in the tank? The difference between tap pH and tank pH is rather big.
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-15-2018, 02:01 PM
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The numbers don't look right to me: if ammonia is > 0 then I would expect nitrite to be > 0 also. That might be because of Stability.

Have you recently calibrated the pH probe? Any new driftwood in the tank? The difference between tap pH and tank pH is rather big.
I'm a bad reader, I missed the part where he said tap was 7...good catch. Ammonia at 1ppm should also be causing a bit of an increase in pH.
Tannins being released by driftwood or leaves will cause a drop in pH. Also, what is your substrate?
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-15-2018, 05:04 PM Thread Starter
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The PH probe was brand new and I calibrated it to the instructions, yes there are 2 big pieces of drift wood in the tank, the substrate is Fluval stratum
Thank you for your help
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-15-2018, 07:47 PM
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Wow, living where I do I can't even imagine water that soft/low in PH. I'd double-check the results with someone just for peace of mind, maybe bring some water up to a store (just to verify, I find it pretty easy myself to mess up on those tests....)
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-15-2018, 07:58 PM
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Has the driftwood stained your water at all? If you put some in a glass and hold it to a white background, do you notice it's off color? It's quite likely the driftwood causing the pH drop. It will lessen over time, but what you can do is boil it for several hours if it will fit in a large pot. This will cause it to release a lot of the tannins, meaning less going into your aquarium!

Also, I believe Fluval Stratum has buffering capabilities. It is going to buffer out your carbonate hardness, resulting in the pH dropping further because of the tannins.
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-15-2018, 08:16 PM
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I would let the tank finish cycling and see where it settles at.
If pH stays bellow, say 6.5, then I would consider using kH booster.
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-15-2018, 08:21 PM
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Quote:
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I would let the tank finish cycling and see where it settles at.
If pH stays bellow, say 6.5, then I would consider using kH booster.
The stratum will buffer any kH booster out of the water

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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-15-2018, 08:30 PM
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The stratum will buffer any kH booster out of the water
I don't belive "buffer out" capacity can be infinite.

Last edited by OVT; 03-15-2018 at 08:31 PM. Reason: Extra char
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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-15-2018, 08:58 PM Thread Starter
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ID:	837873Thanks Should I do anything to try and raise the PH, should I hold off on starting the CO2. I have inserted a pic of my current set up
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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-15-2018, 09:08 PM
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Attachment 837873Thanks Should I do anything to try and raise the PH, should I hold off on starting the CO2. I have inserted a pic of my current set up
Because you have buffering substrate the pH will likely stay low no matter how hard you try and raise it. This will happen until the substrate "fills up" and no longer strips carbonates out of the water. I would leave it as is, maybe consider removing some driftwood to help.

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Originally Posted by OVT View Post
I don't belive "buffer out" capacity can be infinite.
Yes but as the old saying goes, a stable pH is better than a constantly changing pH. Until that point is reached, the kH boosters would be altering the pH which is again altered by the substrate over and over and over again until the buffering ability is lost.

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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-15-2018, 09:51 PM
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Yes but as the old saying goes, a stable pH is better than a constantly changing pH. Until that point is reached, the kH boosters would be altering the pH which is again altered by the substrate over and over and over again until the buffering ability is lost.
I just don't see why it would be constantly changing. It's a chemical reaction with a constant volume of the substrate.A pain to add and re-test though.

Having fish in uncycled tank is another discussion, unless Seachem can show that using Stability results in incorrect ammonia test results.
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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-16-2018, 01:26 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks everyone looks like I will leave it as is for now. Should I go ahead with CO2 or hold off?
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