New problem after rescaping - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 06-21-2007, 04:54 AM Thread Starter
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New problem after rescaping

Ok well as teh title says my tank is now having problems again.

I had black mollies in it and darn it if they didn't reproduce to plague quantities. so I would sell them to the LFS. Well I got discus as well and the mollies would out compete them for food. So I finally (last week) decided to be rid of them. well they were so hard to catch that I ended up removing EVERYTHING from the tank. (except the fish) So after finally getting the last of the mollies out I decided to start rescaping mytank for a better cleaner look. (figured I should since I had it all out anyways) So after placing everything back in the spots I like and rearranging the plants to fit better in the tank I was finaly satisfied. The first night...I ended up needing to connect a bubbler to counter act the dropping PH. This is normal for a water change but usualy I don't need the bubbler, this time however I changed a lot of water, so I figured it was to be expected. The next day was fairly normal. So was the next. The PH was still a little on the low side in the morning (before lights) But it was not low enough to turn the bubbler back on...just no CO2 at the time. Durring the day the CO2 would turn on as the PH rose and I figured it was all ok.

Yesterday though...The Ph was LOW below 6, so I had the bubbler put back on and went to work. Mind you this was durring a peak hour of the day with the lights on...so normally the PH would be HIGH. Again today in the morning before the lights were on the ph was as low as 5.34...it's normally 6.2-6.3. And when I came home it was still LOW PH 5.42. Also the plants look terrible...and the CO2 indicator is BLUE...so LOW.

I have stringy brown algae growing on the leaves. I have NOT changed my ferts regimine. The lights are still on the same timers. And the water is from the same source. I have also routinely changed one of the two filters...a normal practice as I do one then the other. Also the first two days after rescaping...I had a film on the surface that Was troublesome to get rid of but it's finally gone.

So what I'm wondering is if this is normal from doing a rescape and disturbing a lot of Eco Complete that was burried since the tanks inception. Thankfully the fish have been experiencing the drop slowing in the tank so they are fine for now...but i'm worried that if it doesn't clear up that the fish will soon start suffering.

Please let me know what you think this might be so that I can try to fix something if it's wrong and I have simply missed it. Again I wouldn't know since I have never disturbed the substrait THAT much in the past.

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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 06-21-2007, 03:21 PM
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disturbing the substrate would have likely released a lot of trapped nutrients.

i know that in reef tanks, disturbing a deep sand bed that has been established for over a few years could mean a tank crash or massive algae blooms. the detritus that gets trapped in the gravel/sand becomes a whole separate zone from the water above until you disturb it..

perhaps many small water changes will help.
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 06-21-2007, 03:23 PM
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also, I'm not sure if this goes the same for freshwater/planted tanks, but if your gravel has anaerobic zones, then disturbing them may have released a lot of sulfur compounds which may be responsible for the lowered ph.
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 06-21-2007, 05:58 PM
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If you released sulfur compounds it would have smelled like rotten eggs. Do you run CO2 24/7 or is it on a timer? pH drops due to CO2 do not effect the fish. If your fish are not gasping at the surface your CO2 is likely not to high. Do you use a standard KH solution in your CO2 indicator? Also how are you testing your pH? I would personally do a 25% or so water change each day for a few days and see if everything stabilizes.
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 06-21-2007, 07:07 PM Thread Starter
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Interesting...ideas. I don't know if it's sulfur...since there never was a bad smell...but I am now convinced that it was "something" that was released from the substrait.
My CO2 is on a monitor and only turns on when the PH is too high...so lately it has NOT been on which is why my drop checker is blue right now. (it's simply not injecting co2) the Ph is and was checked three ways. One probe that is in the tank...for the monitor. Two is a second PH monitor that I have in use in another tank...and I can move it from tank to tank. Third is the standard test kit that you add drops too and check the color. The ph is now down to 5.00...woah. My drop checker is not calibrated with a KH solution...just tap of tank water...as per the instructions it came with (but I will eventually get a KH solution if someone would post a link to it again) but to this point the CO2 reading has been fairly accurate...when it's yellow the fish start gasping...so I allow the PH to stay around 6.2.

I think I'll start with these suggestions and see what happens...Water changes may actually lower the ph a little more at first. (normally it does) But I figure the water in there now is tainted with the compounds that were released from the substrait.

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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 06-22-2007, 08:36 AM Thread Starter
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Alright I did a 10 gallon WC tonight and immediately the PH started to rise...from 4.4 up FAST (too fast) to 5.55 last time I looked. Is it possible that something I stirred up could have "depleted" the elemets that buffer the PH? I ask this because it was almost like as soon as the tap water was added the rest of the water started to buffer back to normal.

...

One last look shows 5.65. so in an hour it rose another .10 degrees. I think it's leveling out for the ammount of water I put back in. (10 gallons)

My main question is: If I do another 10 gallon WC and the params finally get back to normal should I continue to do WC every day to finish clearing out the old water...Or should I allow it to balance it's self out on it's own?

Oh and could such low PH's be the cause of the horrible algae outbreak? Or is that simply due to lack of CO2? Lighting, Ferts, and temp all stayed the same. PH dropped and so CO2 never turned on...does that nessiccarily = algae? Or is it possibly still due to the aggitated substrait?

dave

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