New 400GL setup, PH 7.54, please help. - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 27 (permalink) Old 06-09-2007, 04:44 AM Thread Starter
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New 400GL setup, PH 7.54, please help.

Hi there.
I just setup my first fresh water tank last night. The water is still not completely cleared up. I have been keeping marine and coral tanks for 5 successful years and I felt it is time to add something new.

The tank is loaded with plants but no fish yet.
The PH this morning went up from 7.38 to 7.54 and keep going up after the lights are on.
I increased the CO2 dosing to 70 bubbles per minute but still can not bring down the PH.
I am using a Hana Industrial grade PH controller newly calibrated.

I thought the optimal PH would be 6.5 - 6.8 for planted tank. How do I bring down the PH? Can I increase my CO2 dosage which is already over 1 bubbles per second?

How often should I change water? I am asked to do 1/4 water change every other days.
When can I start stocking fish?

I am using well water with PH of 7.1 - 7.3
I do have a RO unit for my marine water tank but it won't be easy change big amount of water with it due to the location.

The information as following as following:
Tank dimension: 215cmX90cmX75cm
Substrates: 12 ~ 20 cm black sand with Tetra fertilizer in the middle layer
Lighting: 20wx16 flourescent daylight. Will upgrade to 12X36w PC Osram cool daylight today.
Mainpump: 7000 liter per hour submersible with spray bar
Internal Circulation: 3000 liter per hour submersible with spray bar
CO2 dispersed by small submersible pump: 1 bubble per second
Filter: Overflow to 4 chambers each L30cm X W70cm X H30cm loaded with bio balls (1st chamber) and fiber mats.
Temperature: 25 degrees celsius
Kh: 7
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post #2 of 27 (permalink) Old 06-09-2007, 04:48 AM
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That's a big tank. Any way that your gravel or substrate layer could be causing the pH to change? Are you leaving the CO2 on after the lights are off?

kara
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post #3 of 27 (permalink) Old 06-09-2007, 04:58 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by pittiepride View Post
That's a big tank. Any way that your gravel or substrate layer could be causing the pH to change? Are you leaving the CO2 on after the lights are off?

kara
I left the CO2 on last night but surprised to find the PH to be 7.38 this morning. I am not sure about the substrate because it is something I have never used in the marine tank hobby. It is not a silicate or marine sand. It looks more like in between volcanic and common soil. The local fish store recommanded them.
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post #4 of 27 (permalink) Old 06-09-2007, 05:49 AM
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Originally Posted by icliao View Post

I thought the optimal PH would be 6.5 - 6.8 for planted tank. How do I bring down the PH? Can I increase my CO2 dosage which is already over 1 bubbles per second?

How often should I change water? I am asked to do 1/4 water change every other days.
I beleive a 1* drop in pH would indicate co2 levels around 30ppm. 1bps is really nothing in a tank that size, in my 75G I am around 3bps and not quite at 30ppm. But bps can change alot from tank to tank depending on plant uptake, gas off, reactor efficiency etc. Water changing would depend on a few things. For one, whats your dosing strategy your going to use? If your dosing nutrients per EI most chang 50% weekly.
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post #5 of 27 (permalink) Old 06-09-2007, 05:59 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by crazy loaches View Post
I beleive a 1* drop in pH would indicate co2 levels around 30ppm. 1bps is really nothing in a tank that size, in my 75G I am around 3bps and not quite at 30ppm. But bps can change alot from tank to tank depending on plant uptake, gas off, reactor efficiency etc. Water changing would depend on a few things. For one, whats your dosing strategy your going to use? If your dosing nutrients per EI most chang 50% weekly.
Thanks for your input.
I will try to find another CO2 reactor to try and will increase the bps further to see how it goes? Can you recommand any common but reliable CO2 test kits? How long should I wait before stocking any fish? I thought the fish and it's waste can help cycle the tank and reduce the PH/ increase CO2.
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post #6 of 27 (permalink) Old 06-09-2007, 11:58 AM
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Take a few minutes and read my Guide.
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post #7 of 27 (permalink) Old 06-09-2007, 12:28 PM
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Pictures!!!!!! thats huge
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post #8 of 27 (permalink) Old 06-11-2007, 03:01 AM Thread Starter
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Pictures!!!!!! thats huge
Here are the photos.

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post #9 of 27 (permalink) Old 06-11-2007, 03:05 AM Thread Starter
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I was changing water 30%, twice a day and the PH goes down to around 6.8 right after each water change and only begin to raise to 7.4 after a few hours. The color of the water turns brownish/green only after a few hours. What is wrong? Could it be the substrate? Please have a look of the substrate photo at the below link.

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post #10 of 27 (permalink) Old 06-11-2007, 03:06 AM
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post #11 of 27 (permalink) Old 06-11-2007, 03:17 AM
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are you useing any kind of lime stone in there? possibly the rocks you are using are leaching into the water. Do a acid test on them see if they fizzle. If so. thats your problem right there.

You also are pushing alot of water. Hows the surface movement? If its high you are losing all your CO2 right there.
Also 1bps might simply not be enough to drop the PH of that large of a tank as much as your looking to with the conditions you are creating.

I was having CO2 level issues in my tank after I had messed with my filters. Adjusting the watermovement and decreasing the surface agatation was all it took to correct this.


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post #12 of 27 (permalink) Old 06-11-2007, 03:24 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Blacksunshine View Post
are you useing any kind of lime stone in there? possibly the rocks you are using are leaching into the water. Do a acid test on them see if they fizzle.
Thanks.

I wonder what could be done if the substrates are indeed the problem?

The tank is already up and running and it seemed tear it down to replace the substrates would be the last option. The substrate is part of the package from the LFS. They have recommanded this over silica sand. There is a layer (12 buckets) of Tetra fertilizer sand in between.

I will reduce the surface agitation and turn up the CO2 more to see.
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post #13 of 27 (permalink) Old 06-11-2007, 03:36 AM
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DO NOT FIGHT THE DRAGON AS QUOTED BY REX> READ HIS SIGHT> GIVE YOUR TANK A CHANCE AND DO NOT PLAY WITH IT>
REX GREGG opinions to be respected. also Tom Barr. I would have never used the silica sand and lots of your rocks could be pushing the PH as some look as though they are limestone. ????


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post #14 of 27 (permalink) Old 06-11-2007, 03:50 AM
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Thanks.

I wonder what could be done if the substrates are indeed the problem?

The tank is already up and running and it seemed tear it down to replace the substrates would be the last option. The substrate is part of the package from the LFS. They have recommanded this over silica sand. There is a layer (12 buckets) of Tetra fertilizer sand in between.

I will reduce the surface agitation and turn up the CO2 more to see.
well if your Substrate is the problem then your kinda screwed. aside from removing it. Is there a specific reason you are shooting for a lower PH? 7.5 is still pretty useable.

As for the green water. lots of new setups get it. Upping the CO2 helps as does a UV filter or you can wait it out and cut back the lighting while your dealing with it.

and I aggree with Scrupie. Give Rex's guide a read. Lots of good info.


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post #15 of 27 (permalink) Old 06-11-2007, 03:58 AM Thread Starter
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well if your Substrate is the problem then your kinda screwed. aside from removing it. Is there a specific reason you are shooting for a lower PH? 7.5 is still pretty useable.
Thanks. I just thought PH 6.6 - 6.8 is more optimal. Any inputs on why the water turns brownish or greenish within hours of water change? Could it be from the large amount of new drift woods? I am changing 20% water twice a day, would that be damaging for the system?
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