PH and plant question - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-10-2012, 01:08 AM Thread Starter
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PH and plant question

I've got my test kit in mail the other day and tested my water. The PH is really low so I raised it with PH up from API. The guy at the LFS told me once I get the PH where I want it to add aquarium salt as a buffer. What I want to know is the box says the salt is bad for some plants. Is this the best way to manage my PH or is there another method? The test had me bottomed out at a 6.0 so I really don't know how low it was. I would like to raise it to a 6.6/6.8 I guess.

Next question is my LFS has a bunch of Java Fern that starts to look really bad after a while. What I want to know is does Java Fern melt easily or is it just bad conditions at the store? I've seen a bunch of beautiful plants on this site and I think it would make a great addition to my tank.

Thanks for any replies on either subject as this rookie needs all the help he can get.

Tank 30g Long
Lights 36in Coralife T5 2 21 watt 6700K/Colormax
Filter AquaClear 50
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-10-2012, 02:20 AM
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You rarely need to worry about pH in a planted tank. Both the plants and the fish will quickly adapt to whatever pH your water is. Trying to control the pH independently is a losing battle. Adding pH up or pH down substances does more harm than good, and adding "aquarium salt" just makes it worse.

KH is the important water quality measurement, for both fish and plants. But, even that has a wide range of acceptable values from near zero up to at least 6 degrees of KH. Sudden changes in KH are very harmful to some fish, so even KH is best left alone, as whatever the tap water or other change water makes it be, except in unusual conditions. Generally when you ask a LFS employee or owner what can be done about something, they simply think about what they can sell you to change that something, not about whether there is any reason to do so. Places like this forum are a far better source of advice.

Hoppy

Last edited by Hoppy; 08-10-2012 at 02:21 AM. Reason: typo
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-10-2012, 03:04 AM
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Exactly what Hoppy said. Also, I'd be real leery of advice from a guy that can't keep java ferns looking nice.
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-10-2012, 04:31 AM
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What can be added to raise KH without raising pH?

This is in a tank where I'm already adding a small bit of MgSO4 to raise the GH (San Francisco water is incredibly soft... go Hetch Hetchy!!!)
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-10-2012, 04:58 AM
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I use seachem alkaline buffer for my rodi water, it does increase your ph, but my Ada substrate system brings it back down, unless your kh is none existent I would not mess with it,


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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-10-2012, 12:37 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the advice. I have already learned more than once to go here first before I break out my wallet. Yet I still ask a salesperson what will fix it.

Tank 30g Long
Lights 36in Coralife T5 2 21 watt 6700K/Colormax
Filter AquaClear 50
Substrate Gravel
Ferts Florish

First tank journal

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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-10-2012, 12:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rowrunner View Post
I've got my test kit in mail the other day and tested my water. The PH is really low so I raised it with PH up from API. The guy at the LFS told me once I get the PH where I want it to add aquarium salt as a buffer. What I want to know is the box says the salt is bad for some plants. Is this the best way to manage my PH or is there another method? The test had me bottomed out at a 6.0 so I really don't know how low it was. I would like to raise it to a 6.6/6.8 I guess.

Next question is my LFS has a bunch of Java Fern that starts to look really bad after a while. What I want to know is does Java Fern melt easily or is it just bad conditions at the store? I've seen a bunch of beautiful plants on this site and I think it would make a great addition to my tank.

Thanks for any replies on either subject as this rookie needs all the help he can get.
Unless you are knowingly speaking to a person knowledgeable when it comes to aquatic horticulture ignore their advice. Oh, don't rely solely on replies you receive from forums either. Advice can be just as uninformed. Pick up a book or two or more on the subject of underwater plant keeping. Don't rely on just one source, consider many sources.
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-10-2012, 03:47 PM
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Exactly what Hoppy said. Also, I'd be real leery of advice from a guy that can't keep java ferns looking nice.

+1
lol so true

Will
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-10-2012, 03:48 PM
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GH mainly Ca & Mg and KH adjustments for me you need to know what the source holds first. While the color shift is faint API GH/KH tests are accurate. Test first then modify.


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