pH creeping up to 8.1 - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-17-2019, 11:41 AM Thread Starter
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pH creeping up to 8.1

Hi everyone,

I have my tank up and running for about 2 months now. Everything is going smoothly; it's cycled, plants growing, shrimp and snails seem happy. I'd really like to add some fish soon, but the final issue I'm having trouble sorting out is my pH. My tap water is usually around 7.4, which I mix with RO water from a lab bringing the pH down to around 7.0 before adding to the tank. However, even just 2 days after a 30% WC, the pH is up around 8 or so. I'm not too sure what the issue could be, but I have two theories. I didn't measure pH continuously after I set up the tank, I think I measured for about 2-3 weeks and it seemed stable so I stopped.

1: It seems like my pH increase coincided with me adding the filter. I wonder if the "homemade" fine filter pad I made from foam I got at the hardware store could be leeching something into the water, causing an increased pH. I measured pH 5 days after setting up the filter and it was around 7.2 (so normal) but then 14 days after setting up the filter it was up to 7.8. I've ordered official filter pads from eheim to address this.

2: Something else in the scape? the soil or the rocks? I have only lava rocks and those are buried quite deep beneath my substrate for structural purposes so..

My water params:

pH: 8.0
Ammonia: 0 ppm
Nitrite: 0 ppm
Nitrate: 0 ppm
Phosphate: 10 ppm
kH: 7
gH: 14


Any help or comments appreciated. Thanks!
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-17-2019, 08:27 PM
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What is the substrate?


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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-17-2019, 11:54 PM
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Have you measured your tap water after it out gasses? A lot of tap water will have co2 already in the water. As that co2 out gasses the ph goes up.

To test this you want to take a glass of water from your tap. Measure ph immediately, then let it sit and measure it every day for 3 days. See if the ph goes up. If it climbs to say around 8 or higher then you know whats happening.
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-18-2019, 08:42 AM Thread Starter
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Substrate is soil capped with black sand. The soil is "Teicherde" which means pond soil in german and it came from my local hardware store. The black sand is from my LFS.

Good thought about the outgassing CO2, I'll give that a test.

I got new eheim filter pads yesterday so I can swap out the suspicious foam tonight and hopefully get a water change in tomorrow night.
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-20-2019, 12:41 PM
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What kind of black sand?

There are several that aren't inert and are used in cichlid and marine tanks.


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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-22-2019, 08:47 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by somewhatshocked View Post
What kind of black sand?

There are several that aren't inert and are used in cichlid and marine tanks.
Not sure actually. I did a little experiment as above and left some tap water out for 48 hours and stirred every couple hours to get good gas exchange. Consistent with the CO2 level cause, fresh tap water has a pH of around 7.4-7.5, my tank water was around 8, and the 48 hour stirred tap water was around 8.5. Guess I'm going to need to use more RO during my WCs....
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-22-2019, 12:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pmucka View Post
Not sure actually. I did a little experiment as above and left some tap water out for 48 hours and stirred every couple hours to get good gas exchange. Consistent with the CO2 level cause, fresh tap water has a pH of around 7.4-7.5, my tank water was around 8, and the 48 hour stirred tap water was around 8.5. Guess I'm going to need to use more RO during my WCs....
Glad to hear the mystery is solved! Is there a reason you can't run your tank with higher ph? Some fish don't like it but if you don't have a fish that needs a lower ph you can definitely just run it higher. Other options are to introduce botanicals and wood to the aquarium to lower ph. Just some thoughts.
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