High Ph problems! - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-07-2007, 06:49 AM Thread Starter
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High Ph problems!

So I checked my Ph today for the first time since I put my ADA aquasoil in and it came out to be around 7.8. This is crazy. I have CO2 and I was told that CO2 drops your Ph. Doesn't seem to be happening. My tap water is about 7.8 so i was thinking this is my problem. Should I just use DI water from now on? Whats the Ph of DI water? No wonder my HC hasn't been growing well???
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-07-2007, 08:00 AM
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Keep in mind that lowering the pH is not what's beneficial to plants. Injecting CO2 is provide plants with a usable source of carbon. CO2 dissolved in water forms carbonic acid which as a result lowers your pH. Most plants don't care what the pH is so long as there is enough carbon is present. That being said, there could be a number of reasons as to why your pH isn't dropping.

Are you using DIY or pressurized CO2?
How much CO2 are you adding.
How big is your tank?
Are you using a CO2 difuser / reactor?
Is there excess surface agitation in your tank?
Whats your kH?

Need more info

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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-07-2007, 12:37 PM
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What is your substrate?
Do you have crushed coral or some other Carbonate in there.

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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-07-2007, 03:47 PM Thread Starter
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Pressurized CO2
About 3bps.
55 gallon.
Diffusor.
I still dont understand what everyone means by "surface agitation"?
Kh is about 5.

Taz like the first post says it is aquasoil.
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-07-2007, 04:21 PM
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I didn't see a major pH drop with my Aquasoil either, maybe a couple of tenths with a pH meter.

Do you have a drop checker to verify your CO2 levels?
Is your 7.8 tap reading after the water sits out for 24 hours?
I guess next verify the test kit isn't bad.
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-07-2007, 05:56 PM
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Couple more things to check here are

1) What is the starting PH of the tap water your using for the tank?

2) Do you have a "PH controller" for the co2 yet? Nighttime when the lights are off plants do not use co2. If you do not have a controller you can turn it off by hand about a half and hour before the lights go off, and test the ph again in the morning to see if it lowers the ph any.

As for the HC not growing well, most plants like their ph around 6.8-7.0, not all mind you but most do and I believe HC is one of them so it probably is having trouble growing due to the higher than normal ph. What is your lighting like? How many WPG? HC likes it bright and good ferts in the soil which your ADA stuff should have.

Here's a few sites for help, and a controller at eBay also.

http://www.fishfriend.com/aquarium_co2_calculator.html
http://cgi.ebay.com/Automatic-PH-Con...QQcmdZViewItem

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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-07-2007, 06:27 PM
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I've grown HC well in my tap water which as a pH of 8.4 out of the tap. Exceptions to every rule My guess is that it isn't a problem with the pH that is stunting your plant. Keep in mind that it does take awhile to get established and for the first few weeks you have it you may not see much growth.


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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-07-2007, 07:03 PM
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Surface agitation is bascially the amount surface current that is being generated by your filtration method. If your spray bar or output is near the top of the tank, it will obviously disturb the surface. CO2 is a lot easier to get rid off than it is to put in. Vigorous surface currents will "outgas" your co2from the tank, and quite effectively if I do say so. Make sure your filter ouput is directed away from the surface; some agititation is ok but I would minimize it as much as possible.

Like argblarg said, I would test your pH in the morning or after you Co2 has been running for about 3 hours. If still no different start questioning your test kit. A good CO2 drop check, pH, and kH test will give you peace of mind because you can cross reference your results.

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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-07-2007, 08:55 PM Thread Starter
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So after getting pretty angry with this Ph stuff I decided to take my water into the LFS. They tested it and it read 6.8. Typical... I must have a bad test kit. The good news is I just my my plant order in from aqua botanic. Yay. On what i have done with my spray bar is something like this.

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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-07-2007, 08:57 PM Thread Starter
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Galatic Doug. I just took a look at that CO2 calculator and it shows that my CO2 is only about 9.5 ppm. WOW. I need to raise my Kh to 6 degrees for it to be at 30ppm. Is this correct? How do I raise my Kh? Also if I were to buy that CO2 controller is that the only thing that i need? Do I also need a solenoid? Little confused here.
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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-07-2007, 08:59 PM
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jebarj90 - yeah, 20-30 ppm CO2 is a good range, but keep in mind that raising your kH won't up your CO2... Upping your CO2 will up your CO2!

Dissolve it more efficiently or turn up the bubbles or do something to keep it from being outgassed.


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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-07-2007, 09:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jebarj90 View Post
Galatic Doug. if I were to buy that CO2 controller is that the only thing that i need? Do I also need a solenoid? Little confused here.
Sorry for the confusion!

You still need the solenoid to control the on/off of the co2 to the tank. I should mention that the device I gave you the link for at eBay is only one of the types available. You might be able to get a better deal for both the controller and solenoid at a dealer. Just do a web search with google for "automatic ph controller co2" without the quotes, and you'll have a selection to choose from. As stated above you should read the guide Rex Grigg has on this some people swear by his stuff.

For info and a drawing here's Dr's foster and smiths idea.
http://www.drsfostersmith.com/pic/article.cfm?aid=527

Here's some pieces to compare:

http://www.marinedepot.com/ps/ps_Vie...ct~AM1311.html
http://www.aquatic-store.com/ Looksy here at the co2/solenoid
http://www.aquabid.com/cgi-bin/aucti...ion.cgi?waterq Aquabid has some deals also try to pick people to buy from that have been selling for some time on the site.

Either way you'll need a solenoid and controller for your current setup I think.
Once you get these the magic starts to happen...
Doug
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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-07-2007, 09:45 PM
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I think you might have misread the chart. If the LFS measured your water 6.8 and your kH is 5, then you should be around 24 ppm, which is right where you need to be

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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-07-2007, 09:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JenThePlantGeek View Post
jebarj90 - yeah, 20-30 ppm CO2 is a good range, but keep in mind that raising your kH won't up your CO2... Upping your CO2 will up your CO2!

Dissolve it more efficiently or turn up the bubbles or do something to keep it from being outgassed.

http://pet-king.stores.yahoo.net/15561176989.html
Agreed! here's the one I use and it has not failed me yet. Whats really cool about this one is that as the bubbles move up the ladder they become smaller and smaller until by the time they get to the top of the unit they are all but disolved!
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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-07-2007, 10:17 PM Thread Starter
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Hey guys thanks for your input. I made a mistake about my earlier post. My Kh is actually only at 1 degree not 5. Doug take a look at my diagram that i posted a few posts back. This is working great for me. I will be getting one of the controllers (as soon as I have money) Thanks for all the options!
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