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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Up until the other day I'd been perfectly content keeping an eye on my fish and using the drop checker to confirm that I was within "the range" of c02 I needed to be in. I am staring at my tank as often as possible and I notice my fish all shoaling near the top with the heads pointed upward. I keep an eye on them and they eventually move away, but it got me thinking, how close am I to 30ppm (1.0ph drop?)...This has led me into researching a better dosing method than the thrive pump I've been using (great product, btw). Which has led me to want to go towards EI as I do not mind water changing weekly (hell, I prefer it.).

From here I've narrowed it down to either going with miller's microplex or the csm+b micro's. As I understand it, the chelated metals in the microplex are for a ph of <7. This is where things really start to get fun for me. My PH 1-2 hours before my co2 shuts off reads 5.8. It's 1 am here and my co2 has been off since 5pm. My Ph reads 6.36. My tap water reads 9.42. I had actually intended to start this yesterday and pulled out a cup of water to fully decarbonate. The reading was slightly over 7, I can't remember exactly what so I've pulled out a bit more water so I can test that again in the morning but I suspect my co2 drop is about ~1.2.

So really to me my biggest questions are what the heck is causing this massive ph drop from my tap (I assure you it's not 2.0,3.0+ etc the fish aren't stressed.) and what micro's do I plan for based on my PH? I 50-60% water change every Monday and use half a cap of prime to dechlorinate. 5 pumps of Thrive M/W/F. Root tabs about a month ago.

Thanks for the help in advance. 馃ゴ

The tank water I left out is reading 6.92 this morning. I think I may do 2 water changes this weekend. Just in case. My tank water is at 6.25. Co2 has been on for nearly 2 hours.

  • First 60% water change + half cap prime - 7.05 Ph
  • Second 60% water change + half cap prime - 8.92
I will add 3 pumps of thrive and continue to monitor (My total is usually 15 pumps a week. 3x5).
 

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A 1.0 ph drop does not necessarily equate to 30ppm CO2. It is a 10x increase in CO2. It's been shown that starting concentration of CO2 can and does vary. I can get a 1.5 ph drop with no ill affect on my fish. This doesn't mean I have way more than 30 ppm CO2. It just means I have less CO2 in the water to start out with.

Ph measured directly out of the tap is often times higher than after it sits out for a bit. Water municipalities are in the business of making sure that their pipes don't corrode (very costly to dig up and replace, lol) so they often put chemicals in that will raise pH. Some will "off gas". Others won't, like potash.

If your water company has their info online (water report) it might be worthwhile checking it out to see what all they put in the water. Potash is a rough one to deal with and causes havoc with pH readings and CO2.

Also, it would be nice to know what your kh and Gh is. Kh might shed some light on what is going on with the pH out of the tap. Gh would be nice to know for your plants. These may or may not be in your water report.

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
A 1.0 ph drop does not necessarily equate to 30ppm CO2. It is a 10x increase in CO2. It's been shown that starting concentration of CO2 can and does vary. I can get a 1.5 ph drop with no ill affect on my fish. This doesn't mean I have way more than 30 ppm CO2. It just means I have less CO2 in the water to start out with.

Ph measured directly out of the tap is often times higher than after it sits out for a bit. Water municipalities are in the business of making sure that their pipes don't corrode (very costly to dig up and replace, lol) so they often put chemicals in that will raise pH. Some will "off gas". Others won't, like potash.

If your water company has their info online (water report) it might be worthwhile checking it out to see what all they put in the water. Potash is a rough one to deal with and causes havoc with pH readings and CO2.

Also, it would be nice to know what your kh and Gh is. Kh might shed some light on what is going on with the pH out of the tap. Gh would be nice to know for your plants. These may or may not be in your water report.

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Really appreciate the reply. I've got an API gh/kh kit that will be here tomorrow. That's my next train of thought. I'm now 30 minutes after 2 water changes and some co2 flow and my ph has already dipped back to 6.92!

I couldn't locate anything about potash in the water report -


I snapped a quick current video -

 

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Yeah, I've seen better water reports as far as telling you what's in the water. :)

I've never had to deal with chloramines, thankfully, so I can't offer much about that. Have you ever set tap water out for awhile and then tested pH? Maybe throw an air stone in for 30 minutes or so to speed up the process?

Kh reading will definitely tell you if that pH out of tap is artificially elevated.

Another thing I'll mention is that my CO2 tank takes around 36 hrs to fully degass from CO2. Obviously I don't have a tremendous amount of agitation in that tank (no airstones). But my inflow does gently ripple the surface.

**Edit
Forgot to mention... You are in Austin Tx. Your tap water is probably rather hard, lol. Very curious as to what your kh reading is out of tap.


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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I
Yeah, I've seen better water reports as far as telling you what's in the water. :)

I've never had to deal with chloramines, thankfully, so I can't offer much about that. Have you ever set tap water out for awhile and then tested pH? Maybe throw an air stone in for 30 minutes or so to speed up the process?

Kh reading will definitely tell you if that pH out of tap is artificially elevated.

Another thing I'll mention is that my CO2 tank takes around 36 hrs to fully degass from CO2. Obviously I don't have a tremendous amount of agitation in that tank (no airstones). But my inflow does gently ripple the surface.

**Edit
Forgot to mention... You are in Austin Tx. Your tap water is probably rather hard, lol. Very curious as to what your kh reading is out of tap.


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I have not tested the 24 hour period yet, but I will do that as well. I have also heard our water is quite hard as well but can鈥檛 really interpret the data. My main goal is to make sure my tank is healthy and I can pick the correct micro for my ph. I plan to begin ei dosing with a pump.
 

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Just a bit of an FYI with regards to your selection of micro mix. Your de-gassed pH is what you want to use when making your choice of micros.
Injection of CO2 does lower your pH, this this is considered more of a false lowering of the pH.
Is pH important in a planted aquarium ?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
So I left two cups of tap out for 24 hours. Aerated one. The aerated cup is 7.94. The regular cup is 8.58. My tank is reading 6.25 so this looks to be somewhat in line with what I should be expecting. I have an API kh/gh kit arriving today.
 

Captain
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So I left two cups of tap out for 24 hours. Aerated one. The aerated cup is 7.94. The regular cup is 8.58. My tank is reading 6.25 so this looks to be somewhat in line with what I should be expecting. I have an API kh/gh kit arriving today.
So, roughly pH 8 for your degassed (loose term) water. I would definitely consider a micro mix that uses DTPH as a chelator. Some good info;
EDTA strongly holds iron in solution up to pH 6.0, but by pH 6.5, almost one-half the iron is precipitated, and by pH 7.0, almost none of the iron is available to plants. DTPA is an excellent iron source up to media pH 7.0; however, 60 percent of the iron is precipitated and unavailable by pH 8.0
Selecting which iron chelate to use.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Indeed. I've been chatting with both NilocG and GLA about this. Nilocg says they wouldn't pick a micro-based on pH and GLA talked through it a bit more with me. Ended up going with GLA (EDTA+DTPA) Micromix for this very reason :)
 
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