High PH? Help? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 28 (permalink) Old 05-17-2007, 07:17 PM Thread Starter
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Question High PH? Help?

I have had my 40gal tank set up for about a year now, and as long as I have had it I have had high PH. It is heavily planted with two small pieces of driftwood, and eco-complete and sand for substrate. (See avatar)

When I first set it up the ph was about 8.0. It stayed that way for a while. I check it about once a month (more now) but it has always fluctuated between 7.8 and 8.0. I just tested it again yesterday and it was at 8.2. I have no clue why it is so high, or fluctuating; I'm not adding any chemicals or anything...

Should I worry about it? Is it a problem? All the fish and plants I have and read about all say neutral (7.0) is preferable... I would like my tank to be at 7.0... ?

Any advise would be greatly appreciated!

TIA, Cari

Last edited by PureSnowChic25; 05-22-2007 at 01:49 AM.
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post #2 of 28 (permalink) Old 05-17-2007, 07:56 PM
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What is the pH of the source water?
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post #3 of 28 (permalink) Old 05-17-2007, 08:01 PM
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What kind of driftwood? I know my driftwood lowers my pH by leeching out tannic acid.
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post #4 of 28 (permalink) Old 05-18-2007, 12:52 AM Thread Starter
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I'm assuming the PH from my tap is 8.0 as that is what I fill my tank with...


And I put the driftwood in there hoping it would help...
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post #5 of 28 (permalink) Old 05-18-2007, 01:08 AM
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Never assume on things like this.

If your tap is 8.0 why would you expect the tank to be less? Do you top off with tap water? If so this will raise the pH.

Also you need to understand water chemistry. You can lower the pH by a couple of methods. Only one of which I would use. But none of these methods will lower the TDS (total dissolved solids). In fact some of them will raise them.

To lower TDS, pH, KH and GH you will need to invest in an RO/DI unit. But if your plants and fish are doing fine I would highly suggest you not do so.

The method you can use to lower pH is CO2.
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post #6 of 28 (permalink) Old 05-18-2007, 03:07 AM Thread Starter
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Well I want to breed my killifish and my plants aren't doing so hot... so I thought the PH was maybe part of the reason?
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post #7 of 28 (permalink) Old 05-18-2007, 04:11 AM
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I highly doubt that the pH has anything to do with the plants.

How much light?
How long?
Any Ferts?
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post #8 of 28 (permalink) Old 05-18-2007, 08:00 AM Thread Starter
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That's good to know. I thought that the PH WOULD affect the plants as I have heard that most plants like it soft and somewhat more acidic... And the fish are fine... so.... I guess I shouldn't worry about it... ?

My light is two curly compact fluorescent 26w bulbs, I run them from 9 am to 11pm with no siesta. I do use flourish and flourish potassium, and just bought flourish iron yesterday... and I have eco complete as substrate...


If PH isn't a big deal, then how high is too high? I wasn't really to worried until it hit 8.2. Should I invest in a GH and KH tester?

TIA, Cari
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post #9 of 28 (permalink) Old 05-18-2007, 08:14 AM Thread Starter
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Well I say assume because I've heard water that comes from your faucet will change to its real PH after sitting for a while...
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post #10 of 28 (permalink) Old 05-18-2007, 11:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PureSnowChic25 View Post
Well I say assume because I've heard water that comes from your faucet will change to its real PH after sitting for a while...
Then fill a couple of bowls with water. Test one immediately for PH. Test another 24 hours later. Test another 24 hours after adding any of the normal stuff you add to your water (Amque/Novaqua, ferts your normally use).

I second the CO2. Even DIY CO2 will see a decrease in PH, and it'll help your plant growth anyway.

EDIT: Yeah, 7.0 would be ideal...but if the water in your area just isn't going to work with you then there is nothing wrong with tailoring your tank inhabitants to work with the water you have. And yes, a GH/KH testing kit is a good investment.
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post #11 of 28 (permalink) Old 05-18-2007, 12:34 PM
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Alright. Your lighting is very low. nominally you have 52 watts over 40 gallons. In truth you have more like 26 watts actually getting into the tank. That's 0.65 watts per gallon.

You are adding no macros at all and have not for a year. Your photo period is too long. You have no CO2.

Take a few minutes and read my Guide.
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post #12 of 28 (permalink) Old 05-21-2007, 06:13 PM Thread Starter
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Surprise surprise, the water directly out of the faucet, right away has a PH of 7.0. I didn't expect that at all! I will test the bowl again tomorrow and see what its at... and my other bowl of 'prepped' water.

I read your guide and there is some very useful information in there!!!

It said for the photoperiod to have your light on 10-12 hours a day, so I changed my timer to come on at 10 and go off at 10.

And for the lighting, what is the cheapest way to increase it? I went to the LFS and he wanted to sell me a 'compact fluorescent' strip that has two (I believe) 15 watt bulbs, one white at 10k kelvins and the other was a blue not sure on the kelvins for that. He said it would be perfect light for growing plants in my tank. But it was about 120 bucks... that's a lot.

As far as all the macro nutrients I don't really understand them, maybe I'll try reading it again... I have eco complete and use flourish, flourish iron, and flourish potassium.

As for the Co2, I went looking at petsmart and they sell two complete kits, (the ones with yeast and sugar), one was $39.99 and the other was $49.99. They contained the bottle, all the hosing, the regulator, and the yeast, (ready to set up into the tank) and you could buy packet yeast replacements... The cheaper one was for a smaller tank and was supposed to last only a month. The more expensive one was for my size tank and was supposed to last up to three months. Is this a good buy, or can I find it on the net somewhere cheaper?

Tested the tank again this morning and its at... exactly 7.8. This fluctuating is weird... I am going to go the LFS right now and see if they sell GH and KH tests...
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post #13 of 28 (permalink) Old 05-21-2007, 08:22 PM
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There are a lot of threads on Do It Yourself co2 in the DYI section of this forum.

If you are going to be making your own co2 i suggest you check them out. There is a wealth of information there about this.

Thread about best bottle to use:
https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/di...yeast-co2.html

awesome guide:

https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/di...hlight=diy+co2

enjoy~!

^^ - bean
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post #14 of 28 (permalink) Old 05-21-2007, 11:44 PM Thread Starter
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So I measured the PH again in that bowl of water I set out this morning from the tap, (was 7.0) and its now 7.8!!! Weird, wonder what it will be tomorrow?

I'm in the process of setting up one of those DIY co2 kits...
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post #15 of 28 (permalink) Old 05-22-2007, 12:56 AM Thread Starter
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Went to the store and got everything I need to set up a DIY for Co2.

Installed 5:50pm... no bubbles yet...
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