Help, nano walstad, PH keeps rising, Betta dying - The Planted Tank Forum
 2Likes
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 23 (permalink) Old 04-22-2020, 11:40 AM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: Darwin, Australia
Posts: 108
Help, nano walstad, PH keeps rising, Betta dying

G'Day,

I have been running a low tech nano walstad for 4 months, plants were pearling all day, shrimp and snails reproducing and happy fish. My PH has always been high but I ignore it.
I put a Betta in 1 month ago, lately some of my plants have been converting to their emerged state and have stunted growth. Then my betta got very sick. With some research and I
now believe the illness to be high PH related, it was off the charts which is weird because I get 7 out of the tap and virtually zero hardness. I am treating the Betta in a hospital tank (day 3) but it
just lays on floor and sometimes has a fit, still eats though. I lowered the PH in the nano with a mixture of PH down and boiled almond leaves, every time I get it to 7 it starts rising again. About 0.3 per 15 hours. The Bumblebee Goby, shrimp and snails are still fine. Anyone know why the PH keeps rising?

Details:
Current Kh - 5
Current PH - 7.3
Hardscape - Seiryu Stone
Potting mix - Cheap generic seived
Gravel - locally procured, made from same stone and location as the stuff in my community tank which always sits at 7.3 PH (vineger tested)
Jok178 is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 23 (permalink) Old 04-22-2020, 12:45 PM
Algae Grower
 
ladykemma2's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jul 2018
Location: katy texas
Posts: 82
How often are you doing water changes

Sent from my KYOCERA-E6820 using Tapatalk
minorhero likes this.
ladykemma2 is offline  
post #3 of 23 (permalink) Old 04-22-2020, 03:49 PM
Wannabe Guru
 
minorhero's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Mar 2019
Location: Maryland
Posts: 1,751
How often are you doing water changes?

Seiryu stone is just weathered limestone and will raise PH. For most planted tanks its not a big deal because we do regular water changes so it keeps in check. Some folks follow a different water change philosphy for walstad tanks and just don't do them. So in that situation rocks that leech become a big issue.

Anyway its almost certainly your rock either your gravel, your seiryu stone or both. Vinegar is not a full proof test. Some dolomitic stones will pass the vinegar test and still raise ph.

Edit: Also... when you say ph is off the charts.. what do you mean? Are you talking about greater then 7.6 or greater then 8.6?



To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

Last edited by minorhero; 04-22-2020 at 04:56 PM. Reason: edit
minorhero is offline  
 
post #4 of 23 (permalink) Old 04-22-2020, 04:50 PM
Planted Tank Guru
 
Discusluv's Avatar
 
PTrader: (4/100%)
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: Elk Grove, California
Posts: 5,319
Have you tested ammonia, nitrite, nitrates?
What are these numbers?

Doubt the seiryu stone or high pH is issue here.
Thelongsnail likes this.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

Amy
Discusluv is online now  
post #5 of 23 (permalink) Old 04-22-2020, 09:15 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: Darwin, Australia
Posts: 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by ladykemma2 View Post
How often are you doing water changes
I do them every Saturday, even though Ammonia and Nitrates always read zero.
Jok178 is offline  
post #6 of 23 (permalink) Old 04-22-2020, 09:23 PM
Planted Tank Guru
 
DaveKS's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Apr 2019
Location: 67212
Posts: 2,343
Do you have a whole house water softener ?
DaveKS is offline  
post #7 of 23 (permalink) Old 04-22-2020, 09:25 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: Darwin, Australia
Posts: 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by minorhero View Post
How often are you doing water changes?

Seiryu stone is just weathered limestone and will raise PH. For most planted tanks its not a big deal because we do regular water changes so it keeps in check. Some folks follow a different water change philosphy for walstad tanks and just don't do them. So in that situation rocks that leech become a big issue.

Anyway its almost certainly your rock either your gravel, your seiryu stone or both. Vinegar is not a full proof test. Some dolomitic stones will pass the vinegar test and still raise ph.

Edit: Also... when you say ph is off the charts.. what do you mean? Are you talking about greater then 7.6 or greater then 8.6?
There is a fair amount of Seiryu in the tank, about 25% total volume as I made it emerge from the water. The gravel is mostly a local sandstone variant, very weak, it doesn't change my large tanks water chemistry so it looks like the Seiryu is the culprit.

Even though my tests read zero I water change every week because I cam concerned about TDS build up. The water is aged for a week outside.

My PH chart only goes to 7.8, it was there and even with a full days recommended max dose of PH down it didn't budge.

Bump:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Discusluv View Post
Have you tested ammonia, nitrite, nitrates?
What are these numbers?

Doubt the seiryu stone or high pH is issue here.
ammonia, nitrite, nitrates always read zero.

I was only thinking high PH for the fish beacause no other standard illness symptoms are showing, but he now has started getting severe fin rot which I read can be caused by that too. Still this morning alive though so happy yet surprised.

Bump:
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveKS View Post
Do you have a whole house water softener ?
No, I live in the tropics so all our tap water is always fresh rain water. I have spoken to an aquatic plant farmer up here and he hates it, said its a mixture of something in the water storage lake bed and the fact its all rain water.
Jok178 is offline  
post #8 of 23 (permalink) Old 04-24-2020, 02:32 AM
Planted Tank Guru
 
DaveKS's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Apr 2019
Location: 67212
Posts: 2,343
Stop with the PH down. That stuff is bad news, makes your PH jump all over the place and promotes algae growth. Its also not needed, the leaves should be your PH regulators, you need to stop boiling leaves and just add them straight to tank and change water as you mix it up.

Quit worrying about PH so much and just keep up with adding leaves and doing needed water changes. if your getting no nitrates your probably changing to much water, just do what's needed to keep nitrates in the 5-10ppm range. How big is tank and how much do you change every week?

What are your tap waters PH,KH,GH right out of tap before you add anything and also the readings of that same water after you've let it set out in open air for 24hrs?
DaveKS is offline  
post #9 of 23 (permalink) Old 04-25-2020, 05:35 AM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: Darwin, Australia
Posts: 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveKS View Post

What are your tap waters PH,KH,GH right out of tap before you add anything and also the readings of that same water after you've let it set out in open air for 24hrs?
Out of tap I get 7,0,0, after a few days I get 7.3,0,0

I change 40% weekly and always figured I have no Nitrates because of how heavily planted the tank is and I have never gone above 5 even when I left it for 2.5 weeks once. What do you think about adding peat moss to keep PH down? the amount of leaves I need to add to get close to even makes my tank a black water tank.

I used to ignore PH and just try to keep it stable, but now I have lowered it my plants are going mental and it's just been 3 days. I am seeing proper Hygro Diff leaves for the first time, increase in pearling, and better colour.

My Betta is still alive, just. Every morning I expect it to be dead, I am trying Tri-Sulfa now as the shop lady said its an all round fix. He still just lays on ground still and only moves to get air or rub against floor. To feed I use a pipet to individually put granules in front of his face.
Jok178 is offline  
post #10 of 23 (permalink) Old 04-26-2020, 04:46 AM
Planted Tank Guru
 
DaveKS's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Apr 2019
Location: 67212
Posts: 2,343
Does your municipality produce water quality report?

Would also be interesting to get a TDS meter and run some tests with it on tap water and your aquarium gravel. Water may read 0 on GH which is only measuring Ca, Mg but that doesn’t mean there aren’t other elements in a high ratio in there.

As far as blackwater I won’t use my change water for my 7gal betta/tetra tank until it looks like this. I change very little water but my tank is a mass of rotala and red root floaters that I have to thin constantly. The little bag has sera super peat pellets, spaghnum peat, almond and oak leaves.



Also how big of a nano are we talking about?
DaveKS is offline  
post #11 of 23 (permalink) Old 04-26-2020, 10:56 AM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: Darwin, Australia
Posts: 108
Its a copy of the ADA Mini, so about 18L I think. They do a water report but I have looked once years ago and there was nothing interesting. The water is fine out of tap, I used to run a high tech planted with it and the only issue was where to throw a bucket full of plant clippings every week.

My water is currently far far darker than that and the PH has just exceeded 7.8 again. It was 7 on Fri when I did water change, I'd grab a photo but phone camera is broken.

The Betta seems to be responding to the meds, his movement is better but he is still stuck on the floor
Jok178 is offline  
post #12 of 23 (permalink) Old 04-26-2020, 12:17 PM
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jun 2019
Location: Canada
Posts: 84
Hi @Jok178,

Here's my 2 cents.

Seiryu stone = carbonates. At low pH that stone is going to dissolve and release the carbonates and minerals into the aquarium. When you acidify your aquarium, you are massively dropping the pH and your rocks will respond -- hence why it increases .3 every 15 hours, until back to equilibrium.

Your water has 0 KH and you change 40% per week. That means if your KH on water change day is 5 from the original post, then you are dropping it down to 3*see below* fast.

Question: was your betta sick BEFORE any water changes ever OR was it sick after several - if so, it could be cumulative stress from osmotic shock.


.6 (5) + .4(0) = 3*

Again, that drop down to 3KH will strip away your rock bringing it back to equilibrium again affecting the livestock, although it is changing slowly.

I have made an assumption that you do not remineralize your water.

If all of the above is correct, then I may find out what your KH is at end of week and remineralize your water to that level, then perform your water change.

Question: Being a nano Walstad, are you using root tabs and dolomitic lime in the substrate to provide nutrients or are you dosing in some other way?

Note that I would expect the inverts to respond to the TDS -- do the shrimp molt after water changes regularly? Do the snail shells have any "soft" spots on them - like the shell has deteriorated off?

Cheers,
Josh
Tuister is offline  
post #13 of 23 (permalink) Old 04-26-2020, 01:06 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: Darwin, Australia
Posts: 108
Gday Josh, thanks for that

The Betta has always been healthy and only got sick this once. It seemed to start one day after a water change, not sure if coincidence or not.

I don't provide any nutrients to the tank, just the potting mix under the gravel.

The snails are all too small to see those details on the shells, but they are multiplying very quickly of that helps. I haven't seen any extra shrimp molts, just one or 2 every so often, they also breed like rabbits.

So if I understand you correctly hardening the new water before changes will help stop the stones raising the PH?
Jok178 is offline  
post #14 of 23 (permalink) Old 04-26-2020, 01:21 PM
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jun 2019
Location: Canada
Posts: 84
Hi @Jok178,

The Betta has always been healthy and only got sick this once. It seemed to start one day after a water change, not sure if coincidence or not.

^^^^ He got stressed from the KH difference. ^^^^

The general idea is this: the rock in your tank has carbonate CO3 "locked" up with minerals - calcium and magnesium (and maybe other ones). If you drop the pH those acids deteriorate the rock -- to see this drop some muriatic acid (sold at a pool store) on a fresh stone and it will bubble like crazy -- USE GLOVES.

As it deteriorates the rock, the carbonates are released into your water - this directly affects your KH (which is just a measure of these guys).

The amount (concentration) of these carbonates in solution is what fish need TIME to adapt to otherwise they get sick. It was dropped to quick from the water change. When I did this the first time I felt like such an idiot, but it happens and it sucks.

At some point, your KH will stop going up - the equilibrium point. As the nitrogen cycle occurs and acids are released into the water, the carbonates will be used up and the rocks will respond by rebuffering your system - a perfect balance. Same with almond leaf and the peat from your substrate.

Try to remineralize your water to the KH of your tank from now on.

You have options: Seachem equilibrium ONLY does GH. I use a combination of gypsum + epsom salts though for a personal brew.

You need to increase your kH.

Potassium Bicarbonate used for brewing could work - I use this (I like that it gives my plants potassium too) ... if your concentration of potassium is too high, you could run into other deficiencies though, be careful. -- Maybe cut it with the sodium bicarbonate.

Sodium Bicarbonate baking soda will work, but I do not advise it -- the build of sodium ions may mess with something else and the uptake of another nutrient from your plants -- this would require some more research, however.

Calcium bicarbonate - chalk - won't work - it won't dissolve
Magnesium carbonate - WILL NOT WORK

That's about it.



Side note: I think the reason your plants look better when lowering your pH is because you are increasing the concentration of CO2 that is in solution (which is in equilibrium with the carbonates). Yes, air will give you about 3 ppm via Henry's law, but the moment those CO2 pop in solution, they will immediately react with your free hydroxides giving you bicarbonate.


Josh

Last edited by Tuister; 04-26-2020 at 01:32 PM. Reason: tag OP
Tuister is offline  
post #15 of 23 (permalink) Old 04-26-2020, 01:34 PM
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jun 2019
Location: Canada
Posts: 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jok178 View Post
Gday Josh, thanks for that


So if I understand you correctly hardening the new water before changes will help stop the stones raising the PH?
My pleasure (see my post above).

Just to directly answer this. "Yes" -- the pH will find a spot that it likes to be at and if you continue to meet it there, then it will not go up no -- although micro up and downs happen by the nature of acids in the aquarium -- for the most part, yes.

Josh
Tuister is offline  
Reply

Tags
None

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the The Planted Tank Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome