A few questions. - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-02-2013, 07:53 AM Thread Starter
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A few questions.

Hey guys, as this is my 1st post on this forum I guess I should introduce myself. I live in New Zealand and have kept tropical fish on and off pretty much my whole life, I have only recently (last few years) taken a liking and interest in planted tanks and have a few questions that have concerned me for awhile regarding one of my tanks.

The tank is a 130g high tech tank with mh + T5HO, pressurized co2, e.i. dosing etc., what I am worried about is I have recently installed a ph controller to help control my ph swing that I have with injecting co2. My ph naturally sits at 7.6 and injecting co2 brings that level down to around 6.5-6.6, my problem is that once co2 turned off it would quite quickly bounce back up to 7.6. My kh and gh are at 4dkh and 70ish respectively. This never seemed to harm the fish but I was always taught that co2 swings are not in the fish' best interest.

Should I be worried about this? Or am I wasting my time and co2 with the controller?

Any advice/input will be appreciated.

Cheers
Jamie
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-02-2013, 08:11 AM
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Re: A few questions.

Hi and welcome to TPT!

Fish experience wide daily pH swings in nature. You can find the studies online.

If you keep using the pH probe make sure it stays calibrated.

If you are still worried about pH swings, you might want to use 'GH Booster' with your water changes. It is available from multiple sources - do check the composition before choosing a brand.

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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-02-2013, 08:17 AM
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In my opinion, and this is just my opinion, ditch the controller. Alot of people do what your doing. Turn off the co2 at night via timers and run air stones. Me, I run co2 24hrs a day. It eliminates the swings. Some consider it wasting co2 because plants aren't using it. Co2 is cheap and it stabilizes the ph so I run it. To help off gas, you can still run air stones or run powerheads on timers at night to off gas the co2.

7.6 to 6.6 and then back to 7.6 is a load imo. I am not sure if you ever seen the ph scale but its can be an eye opener. In your case of 7.6, your tank goes to being 10x more acidic when it drops to 6.6 and then it goes back 10x less acidic past neutral and is 10x more alkaline than being at 6.6. A few points here and there is not a big deal but your a full point swing. Granted fish adapt well to change as they do in nature all the time but on a daily basis up and down up and down by a full point can shorten the life span.

As others chime in you will get different opinions for this is just mine. PH controllers are a no go for me with a freshwater tank.

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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-02-2013, 08:26 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks guys,

OVT, I recalibrate the probe every 6 weeks or so and so far haven't had to adjust it more than a couple of points.

flight50; Yeah, I realise the whole point is a huge swing, that's why I bought the controller. I did dose co2 24/7 awhile ago when my solenoid broke and never had any issues either, I may have to consider doing just that again.

I'm also wondering if it may pay for me to lower the ph with peat or something so it sits around neutral but thought I may just have the same issue with the swing as dosing co2 at around 30ppm lowers the ph by a full point anyway I have read/heard?
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-02-2013, 05:04 PM
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30ppm is on the high end of what a planted tank with live stock can typically handle. A drop checker can help. Its give you a color indicator on how your tank is doing co2 wise. What one tank can handle another may not be able to giving the same parameters. The true test will be your fish. They will let you know when there is too much co2 and little oxygen. Once you see them swimming at the surface more often and gasping for air, you know you need to back off the co2 a bit.

If you do use peat, you want no additives and use media bags. Adding it to the filter is the easiest for sure. The tricky part about peat is you don't know the amount needed to get the affects you want. It is definitely a trial and error process.

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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-02-2013, 07:57 PM
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I believe it is now well established that pH swings themselves are not harmful to the fish. Since the pH depends on the KH, if a large KH change is done, the pH will also change a large amount, and that KH swing is harmful to fish. But, adding CO2, which always results in a swing of about 1 in pH, assuming you are using enough CO2, does not harm the fish by changing the pH. If the CO2 harms the fish it is because of the CO2 itself, not the pH change.

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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-03-2013, 05:44 AM
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Re: A few questions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Godly3vil View Post
I'm also wondering if it may pay for me to lower the ph with peat or something ...
Do yourself a favor and don't mess with pH - it's a losing battle.

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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-03-2013, 07:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OVT View Post
Do yourself a favor and don't mess with pH - it's a losing battle.

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This...times eleventy billion.
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-03-2013, 10:37 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the advice guys, much appreciated. Looks like the ph monitor is getting put in the cupboard until I set up a marine system.
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