how far does your ph drop at night? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-25-2009, 01:29 AM Thread Starter
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how far does your ph drop at night?

was just curious. i have my new regulator up and running. i have a very nice needle valve now so i can maintain consistent co2 output during the day...however now i'm at a point where i am trying to finetune it.

today for example i opened up my needle valve a bit more. i'm guessing its around 3 bps for a 36 gal tank. my ph went down to 6.8ish by lights out. i didnt track where it started from after being off all night. i will check tomorrow morning before co2 turns on.

co2 turns on when my lights go on from 7am till 3pm (when lights go off). i just measured my ph again (3 hours after lights out, co2 off) and its around 7.1ish. i'm assuming it may drop to around 7.4 at this rate. is this sort of a ph swing average with co2 on during day/off at night? i have 2 HOB filters going. they dont splash at all but cause moderate rippling.

thanks..just trying to get some sort of reference.
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-25-2009, 01:42 AM
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My PH swing is about 0.8-1.0

It is good that you turn your CO2 off at night, I don't know why some people keep injecting CO2 when lights are off, I've heard their reasoning but it just doesn't justify it for me...

HOBs are harder to deal with because, I'm sure you know this, they outgas. And to keep them from causing much surface disturbance, you sorta have to continuously keep the waterline near the brink right near the outflow piece. I can't do that, my water evaporates way too fast because I don't have a lid for my tank.

Your pH should swing around the same, give or take of course, also depends on your buffer/kh lvl. Well I'm hungry, be back in a bit. You shouldn't care too much about the ph drop, as long as your tank inhabitants are okay with the amount of CO2 you're injecting (if you have any) or your drop checker stays green but preferrably yellow.
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-25-2009, 01:52 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Natty View Post
My PH swing is about 0.8-1.0

It is good that you turn your CO2 off at night, I don't know why some people keep injecting CO2 when lights are off, I've heard their reasoning but it just doesn't justify it for me...

HOBs are harder to deal with because, I'm sure you know this, they outgas. And to keep them from causing much surface disturbance, you sorta have to continuously keep the waterline near the brink right near the outflow piece. I can't do that, my water evaporates way too fast because I don't have a lid for my tank.

Your pH should swing around the same, give or take of course, also depends on your buffer/kh lvl. Well I'm hungry, be back in a bit. You shouldn't care too much about the ph drop, as long as your tank inhabitants are okay with the amount of CO2 you're injecting (if you have any) or your drop checker stays green but preferrably yellow.
much thanks natty. ok it seems i will be in range then. i dont have a lid either. i modified my HOB's though since my tank is plexi. i made two water slides that the filters hang on. the slides extend just below the surface of the water. i do also have to keep my tank filled but it doesn't seem to evaporate too fast. i add a quart or two every two or three days.

drop checker no have yet. next on my list. the regulator took the rest of my $$$ for the near future so i have to use ph as my best guide for now. the best i know of at least.
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-25-2009, 02:26 AM
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You can get a cheap drop checker on ebay, they function the same as the more expensive ones. Just remember to get 4dkh and a ph drop test kit. Should come to about $15~ to get it running.

What is your lighting at?

Are there anything else you have to buy?

Here's a good method to know how much CO2 you should inject. If you don't have any tank inhabitants, you can inject as much as you can but I think you should just inject as much as you need for your plants.

The method is to use an inhabitant to test the CO2 level for you. Assuming you don't have any tank inhabitants, you can go out and buy a few cheap feeder goldfish, small ones. Release it in the tank and turn your CO2 until the fish start gasping a bit and gradually lower the bubblerate, slowly over the course of a few hours until they aren't gasping anymore. That'll be the bubble rate. It won't be permanent of course since it depends on your plant mass, type of plants, lighting conditions, etc, but it should suffice for the time being. Get a drop checker though and make it stay around yellow. I know they say green is a good enough color but IME and IMO, you should aim for yellow to be safer.
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-25-2009, 03:03 AM Thread Starter
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3 wpg and tank is full of fish and plants. i started with lower setting about 1 bps and have been upping it a little every day to get it where ph dropped to around 6.8 by lights out. i'm at work all day so i dont want to get carried away and come home to a tank full of fish belly up. why i'm being rather cautious.

cool...thanks for the tip on the drop checker. i didnt think of checking ebay for em.

a drop checker and a backup/better diffusor would complete my tank...finally.
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-25-2009, 03:40 AM
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You should definately make sure you have your CO2 up to par with 3wpg though, if it isn't, you're going to run into some major algae issues.

I'm guessing you're using CF lighting?

If you're unsure about your CO2 level, I'd drop the wattage down a bit. Just use your inhabitants as a way.

Just a heads up, some of them won't gasp for air like others, too much CO2 can also make them more shy and skittish.
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-25-2009, 05:56 AM Thread Starter
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HAHA to late for that. yup cf's with AHS brightkits/bulbs and reflectors (3x 36 watt lights). suffering major staghorn problem at the moment. not sure if its co2 related though, still a novice at combating algae, at least staghorn. other than staghorn there is no other noticable algae. gonna bite the bullet and get a drop checker tonight. i will just eat noodles and rice for a couple days :P
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-25-2009, 01:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Natty View Post
Just a heads up, some of them won't gasp for air like others, too much CO2 can also make them more shy and skittish.

YES! I have been injecting a fair amount of CO2, waiting for fish to gasp at surface. None have. However, my cardinals were hiding down low in back (where CO2 rich water is least present). Backed CO2 off from 6-ish bps (as near as you can tell at that rate) to about 4 or so, suddenly they are much more active!! Don't go by just surface gasping alone. Also, GBR were paling out a bit, colored up pretty good after CO2 decrease. Moral is, watch fish closely, some are more sensitive to it, some react differently to stress than others!!

I believe my stance on this issue to be perfectly ambiguous and illdefined and I see no reason to elaborate further.
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-25-2009, 02:25 PM
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HAHA to late for that. yup cf's with AHS brightkits/bulbs and reflectors (3x 36 watt lights). suffering major staghorn problem at the moment. not sure if its co2 related though, still a novice at combating algae, at least staghorn. other than staghorn there is no other noticable algae. gonna bite the bullet and get a drop checker tonight. i will just eat noodles and rice for a couple days :P
Oh....3 wpg AH Supply, ouchies.....that is quite a bit of light. I'm growing UG and HC with only 1.5wpg.

I'd highly suggest lowering your wattage for the time being until you get your CO2 in check. When going into planted tanks, you should definately try to start with everything you need.

Anyhow, I'm in a rush so I'll be back later tonight, bye guys.
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-17-2010, 09:10 AM
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Hello,

Was wondering what I could do when my PH drops really low during the night, and I mean dangerously low! It's like 6,4 during the night. Al shrimps are gasping for air on the wires from the heater etc. Also all fish are gasping for air and the oto's have it really really hard (2 died).
I use 1 wpg and quite a lot of plants in my aquarium. The weird thing is, a while ago I managed the same PH level with pretty hard water (kh=7) now I removed some stones and my kh dropped to 4 - 5. And still the fish are gasping for air. During the day I maintain a Co2 level of 6.8 during the day with a PH- Conroller.
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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-17-2010, 01:28 PM
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turn your co2 off during the night. your plants dont need it.
if you have diy co2 you can turn on an air stone
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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-17-2010, 02:52 PM
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Low pH won't harm anything in your aquarium. The lowest pH that CO2 injection will cause is around 5.5, and that is acceptable for plants and fish. But, having too much CO2 dissolved in the water can certainly kill off the fish, whatever the pH is. A drop checker is a good device for determining if you are near the maximum amount of tolerable CO2, much better than a pH measurement is.

I don't know the dimensions of your tank, but if the three 36 watt AH Supply light kits are side by side, you likely have too much light to maintain the tank unless you are a perfectionist with CO2, pruning, and tank cleanliness. If those same lights are in a line across the top of the tank, you should have only low-medium light intensity, for a typical 20 inch high tank.

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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-17-2010, 03:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bastian View Post
Hello,

Was wondering what I could do when my PH drops really low during the night, and I mean dangerously low! It's like 6,4 during the night. Al shrimps are gasping for air on the wires from the heater etc. Also all fish are gasping for air and the oto's have it really really hard (2 died).
I use 1 wpg and quite a lot of plants in my aquarium. The weird thing is, a while ago I managed the same PH level with pretty hard water (kh=7) now I removed some stones and my kh dropped to 4 - 5. And still the fish are gasping for air. During the day I maintain a Co2 level of 6.8 during the day with a PH- Conroller.
They aren't gasping from the pH swing, they're most likely having issues from either O2 deprivation or CO2 poisoning.

I recommend turning off the CO2 at night and also running an airstone.





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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-17-2010, 08:40 PM
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Yeah I know it isn't because of the PH swing, but because there is too much Co2 in the water. I don't use a drop checker because I check my KH regulary together with my PH so I know how much mg/l Co2 is in the water.
The only solution I suppose is to use a small air pump during the night....
Co2 isn't turned on during the night since it is controlled with a PH controller wich is adjusted to maintain Ph 6.75

@ Hoppy I use HQI 140 watt with tank demensions 80cm x 40cm x 40cm.

Thanks for advice!
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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-17-2010, 09:04 PM
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the kh/ph chart isnt very accurate.

also if your ph increases overnight your ph controller will still turn your co2 on. i have my ph controller on a timer
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