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So I've got a new tank up and running I want to transfer my CRS too (their current tank pH is way high). New tank has Up Aqua Shrimp Sand in it and is approximately a 3 gallon tank. I used maybe half a gallon of tap water (7.6 pH) when I filled the tank. And 2.5 gallon of remineralized RO water at 6.4 pH (6.4 before remineralizing and after, with Fluval Shrimp Minerals). The soil claims to buffer at 6.5. Yesterday it was 6.6, today it's 6.8-7.0 (dang colors look the same to me on the card). What gives? There is NOTHING in the tank except the soil and a sponge filter and a bit of bacteria supplement (Safestart and BT-9). Does it need time to stabilize? Tank has only been running 5 days. Is the aeration altering something?

Also wondering if it's the pH test. It's the API test and the regular pH test seems to be strange. On two of my tanks it measures at 7.6. But if I use the High Range pH test both of those tanks register below 7.4. But the regular pH tests the RO at 6.4 which sounds about right. I'm going to buy a pH meter this week.
 

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It's hard to get a good reading on pH on RO water when there is nothing there to buffer the solution.
 

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It take a few days to lower the PH by active substrate. That's the problem with a small tank though as every time you do WC you get a PH swing. Your best bed is to have a bucket with the same substrate to buffer the water to the same PH before doing the WC.
 
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