pH stability for Taiwan bees - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-17-2019, 04:20 AM Thread Starter
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pH stability for Taiwan bees

Hello folks,

I have a newly set up tank that is done cycling. GH5, KH 0, TDS 120. There are only some plants inside. The pH meter says that the pH goes to 6.8 during lights on, and 6.1 during lights off. I don't add CO2, so this must be the plants photosynthesizing. Using UNS control soil, which doesn't seem to be buffering much. However, I also used the API liquid test kit, and it said 6.5 each time. Well, assuming the probe is right, is this too much of a daily pH swing?
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-17-2019, 01:43 PM
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CO2 doesn't impact osmotic pressure, so it's best to ignore it when anyone references using it to lower pH - especially in a shrimp tank.

What kind of meter/probe are you using? How is it stored? Are you calibrating before each period of use and monitoring its accuracy?

With no kH and Controsoil, your pH will sit close to 6. I have some tanks where it's 5.4-5.5. Doubt it'll ever hit 6.8 because it's got a ton of buffering capacity - not as strong as ADA products but still a ton - and maintains stability well. What are the dimensions of your tank and what's the depth of Controsoil?

If I were you, I'd try to get a liquid Sera pH test kit. It's got a more broad, accurate range than API and is easier to read. It'll give you a better idea of what's going on and help you troubleshoot. (Seriously - it's so much easier to read I kick myself every time I run out of it and have to use my API kit.)

That said - even if your tank were swinging 0.7 throughout the day? That's not that big of a deal because osmotic pressure and hardness remain the same and it's nothing you should worry too much about. I'd only be concerned if you experience deaths and I don't think you will.

I've kept various Caridina in tanks with much greater pH swings throughout the day for years on end. pH is a lot less important than hardness and stability of other parameters.
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-17-2019, 03:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by somewhatshocked View Post
CO2 doesn't impact osmotic pressure, so it's best to ignore it when anyone references using it to lower pH - especially in a shrimp tank.

What kind of meter/probe are you using? How is it stored? Are you calibrating before each period of use and monitoring its accuracy?

With no kH and Controsoil, your pH will sit close to 6. I have some tanks where it's 5.4-5.5. Doubt it'll ever hit 6.8 because it's got a ton of buffering capacity - not as strong as ADA products but still a ton - and maintains stability well. What are the dimensions of your tank and what's the depth of Controsoil?

If I were you, I'd try to get a liquid Sera pH test kit. It's got a more broad, accurate range than API and is easier to read. It'll give you a better idea of what's going on and help you troubleshoot. (Seriously - it's so much easier to read I kick myself every time I run out of it and have to use my API kit.)

That said - even if your tank were swinging 0.7 throughout the day? That's not that big of a deal because osmotic pressure and hardness remain the same and it's nothing you should worry too much about. I'd only be concerned if you experience deaths and I don't think you will.

I've kept various Caridina in tanks with much greater pH swings throughout the day for years on end. pH is a lot less important than hardness and stability of other parameters.
Thanks for posting about the Sera PH tester over the API- I am going to order one right now.


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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-18-2019, 09:51 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by somewhatshocked View Post

What kind of meter/probe are you using? How is it stored? Are you calibrating before each period of use and monitoring its accuracy?



What are the dimensions of your tank and what's the depth of Controsoil?

It's a Milwaukee yellow pH probe that's meant to stay immersed all the time for CO2 control, except that I am only using it for pH. And I calibrated it before first use.
It's a 6Gal long tank, but only has a little UNS contro soil - maybe 1/2" layer.
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-18-2019, 01:20 PM
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You should recalibrate your meter just to be on the safe side. Regular recalibration should probably become part of your routine tank maintenance if a pH probe is something you think needs to be part of your setup.

I'd also keep a close eye on parameters over time, as that's not much of a substrate depth for a tank of that volume when it comes to buffering products. It'll likely exhaust much more quickly than a tank with an inch plus and could be subject to larger parameter swings. A half inch would probably be fine in a 1-2 gallon container or 15-20cm cube.


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Last edited by somewhatshocked; 10-19-2019 at 02:56 PM. Reason: typos
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-23-2019, 10:14 AM Thread Starter
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Freshly mixed up SS GH + RO water, degassed:
pH meter: 6.1
API: mid 6's
Sera: 6.0


Water from my "established" shrimp tank that has the same water, plus a few ppm worth of "accumulated stuff":
API: mid 6's
Sera: upper 6's
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