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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been working on my first planted aquarium, my pH is usually 6 without Co2 and gets down to 5.8 with Co2 on. My concern is a dkh of 3 and a ph of 6 equates to 90 ppm, but at 5.8, that's the range where my plants really start streaming oxygen bubbles within 2 hours of lights on (sunrise mode) with an already low starting ph, are the charts still accurate? 5.8 is literally "off the charts" Is high Co2 what's causing my fish to flash? According to the charts I'm starting out well above proper/safe Co2 levels. P.S. I use remineralized RO water so I can go weaker if needed, but not sure my inverts and fish would appreciate that
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Do you have a buffering substrate?
It's fluval stratum, it's meant to be slightly acidic. I adjusted my aquarium to 310uS and my pH is back up to 6.1. think I'm just gonna have to buffer with crushed coral or the like until it's neutralized.

It's fluval stratum, it's meant to be slightly acidic. I adjusted my aquarium to 310uS and my pH is back up to 6.1. think I'm just gonna have to buffer with crushed coral or the like until it's neutralized.
Edit: sorry, on another forum I was told it was excess sulpher from the salts after the magnesium is used by the plants, tried doing 5 gal wc with straight ro/di water and my pH dropped to 5.5 I checked my EC and realized I hadn't been mixing to the proper strength, did another 5gal water change and adjusted. And now I'm back @ 6.1, still too low for me to be able to accurately dose C02 and unsafe for the snails.
 

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Edit: sorry, on another forum I was told it was excess sulpher from the salts after the magnesium is used by the plants, tried doing 5 gal wc with straight ro/di water and my pH dropped to 5.5 I checked my EC and realized I hadn't been mixing to the proper strength, did another 5gal water change and adjusted. And now I'm back @ 6.1, still too low for me to be able to accurately dose C02 and unsafe for the snails.
You need to account for the buffering from the substrate . The CO2 chart is correct. You will just have to adjust CO2 while watching your fish. Adjust up till you see some signs of stress and then back it off some.

Fish can flash after water changes, it's happened to me. Do you have soft water fish?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Remineralized ro water, the chart is only correct if co2 is the only acidic substance in the water. Whatever type of acid is in the soil is throwing the whole thing outta whack. I've gotta neutralize or at least get it up around 6.5 or better or the chart is relatively useless. I had the Co2 so high at one point I had 2 harlequin rasbora's jump out of the tank. I knew it was too much, but was trying to kill staghorn algae. Haven't done that again. My substrate isnt buffering, it's acidifying. What I need to do is buffer the soil with crushed coral until the acid is exhausted
The soil is supposed to be slightly acidic, but I've got 4" of it in there.
 
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