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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi everyone, I just made my account, but I have no doubt already been all up in and throughout this forum the last couple months. I’m new to the hobby, and like many of my hobbies and interests, I went from 0 - 100 real quick. I already have a CO2 setup and triple needle valve regulator and two soon to be three planted aquariums- 55gal and two nano 5.5gal.

Anyways, my question is this: overnight my ph in my 55gal and 5.5gal have gone from 6.9 and 6.8 respectively to 7.8 and 8.0. This is just before my CO2 bottle turned on and 1/2hr before my lights. in the 55 I had used seachem neutral regulator a couple water changes ago before going CO2 injected and I think that’s why it’s maintained a lower ph through the night. Should I use more in both tanks to keep the ph steadier for fish or maybe an alkalinity buffer?

In the large aquarium I house mostly tropical fish: 12 cardinals, 10 Cory cats, 1 dwarf gourami, 1 GBR. There happen to be two red neon badis which got sent to me on accident but seem to be fine in the community and lastly 5 Dalmatian mollies. It is what I’d consider “mediumly planted” soon to be heavy after I let everything overgrow and propagate it out.

I am a little more worried though of my 5.5 beta tank. Mr. Cancun is swimming in a ph of 8 right now and I can’t imagine he’s too happy, though he did build a beautiful bubble nest overnight.

Should I be worried of the higher ph at night or is all well?

Should I be worried of mid 6.x ph in the day to reach optimal CO2 levels?

Sorry for long post I’m kind of looking for any advice about my setup. Oh kH measures 7.5 - 55gal and 7 - 5.5gal.
 

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pH swings from CO2 are harmless to fish / livestock as you are forming a weak acid and not altering any mineral contents or osmotic pressure.

Ideally, you'll want the pH to drop a full 1.0 each and every day from using CO2. This is roughly 30ppm of CO2.

Work up to that level slowly to avoid shocking livestock (do it over a week or two).

As you approach the 1.0 drop, you'll find you can likely go a little more, 1.1 or 1.2, but that is where you need to keep a CLOSE eye on things, or else you could gas your livestock. Consider running an airstone at night if you want to push CO2 to higher levels.
 

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In addition to Quagulator's advice, there are also other things to which you may wish to be somewhat sensitive.

As you cross the 7.0 pH border into alkaline territory, any ammonium rapidly becomes deadly ammonia. So, if you are confident that your BB is in good shape and, along with your plants, are taking care of it, you are ok.

Aquarium plants are generally taking in all of the nutrients at their most efficient in the pH 5.8-6.2 area. As you move around in pH, you may want to investigate whether your fert levels are appropriate to your pH level and variances.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
pH swings from CO2 are harmless to fish / livestock as you are forming a weak acid and not altering any mineral contents or osmotic pressure.

Ideally, you'll want the pH to drop a full 1.0 each and every day from using CO2. This is roughly 30ppm of CO2.

Work up to that level slowly to avoid shocking livestock (do it over a week or two).

As you approach the 1.0 drop, you'll find you can likely go a little more, 1.1 or 1.2, but that is where you need to keep a CLOSE eye on things, or else you could gas your livestock. Consider running an airstone at night if you want to push CO2 to higher levels.
Very good to know thank you! So yes I should use some neutral regulator to get my ph closer to 7 when measuring before the CO2 comes on? This is “effective” ph measurement for the livestock?

I only recently got my CO2 setup (4 days ago) and I already have achieved nearly a ph drop of 1. I also have drop checkers which are lime green by the end of the day. I didn’t know it could shock the fish. Should I reduce the CO2 or are they already passed the shock?

In addition to Quagulator's advice, there are also other things to which you may wish to be somewhat sensitive.

As you cross the 7.0 pH border into alkaline territory, any ammonium rapidly becomes deadly ammonia. So, if you are confident that your BB is in good shape and, along with your plants, are taking care of it, you are ok.

Aquarium plants are generally taking in all of the nutrients at their most efficient in the pH 5.8-6.2 area. As you move around in pH, you may want to investigate whether your fert levels are appropriate to your pH level and variances.
Yeah I use ferts less than directions say: flourish about once a week. The 55 is soiled with Carib sea eco complete, miracle grow organic and gravel. The 55 is cycled well.

the 5.5 is new and I moved the betas old sponge into his new aqua clear hob, and transferred moss balls, driftwood, and water from his old established tank. I tested the ammonia once and it was barely measurable. I’ll test again tomorrow but I think it should be fine. Surely plenty of bacteria carried over to jump his cycle.
 

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Very good to know thank you! So yes I should use some neutral regulator to get my ph closer to 7 when measuring before the CO2 comes on? This is “effective” ph measurement for the livestock?

I only recently got my CO2 setup (4 days ago) and I already have achieved nearly a ph drop of 1. I also have drop checkers which are lime green by the end of the day. I didn’t know it could shock the fish. Should I reduce the CO2 or are they already passed the shock?
I would not bother adjusting pH at all.
Leave it around 8, and thn drop it to 7 or so from CO2.

If the livestock are showing no distress, you can bump it up to a 1.1 drop, then a 1.2 drop etc. just BE AROUND THE TANK in case you're adding too much, have an airstone ready or the ability to lift filter outputs up to create lots of surface agitation. If livestock start showing distress, you've found your limit and need to back off the CO2 a bit.


You should have a nice ripple across the entirety of the tank for good gas exchange. You can have lots of O2 and CO2 dissolved at the same time, and a healthy gas exchange is key in running CO2 at higher levels.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I would not bother adjusting pH at all.
Leave it around 8, and thn drop it to 7 or so from CO2.

If the livestock are showing no distress, you can bump it up to a 1.1 drop, then a 1.2 drop etc. just BE AROUND THE TANK in case you're adding too much, have an airstone ready or the ability to lift filter outputs up to create lots of surface agitation. If livestock start showing distress, you've found your limit and need to back off the CO2 a bit.


You should have a nice ripple across the entirety of the tank for good gas exchange. You can have lots of O2 and CO2 dissolved at the same time, and a healthy gas exchange is key in running CO2 at higher levels.
Yeah no signs of distress even though I’ve ramped it up so quick, except for the beta seeming to exclusively poop on the diffuser. In the 55 they tend to even play in the fine CO2 bubbles 🤦‍♂️. I’ll leave it where it is for now I have waterfall Hobs on both tanks which provide decent agitation. The 55 also has air stones running 24/7 though burried under gravel so the bubbles end up quite large and are more for aesthetic. Okay cool.
Again I appreciate the advice!
 

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You should stop using Seachem Regulator immediately and switch to their Acid Buffer and Alkaline Buffer. It's going to kill your plants.
 

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You should stop using Seachem Regulator immediately and switch to their Acid Buffer and Alkaline Buffer. It's going to kill your plants.
I looked up Neutral Regulator and it says it "precipitates Calcium and Magnesium". That doesn't sound good. Thanks for the heads up. Sincerely, I did not know that. Are you saying OP should use Acid Buffer and Alkaline Buffer at the same time? What would be the benefits? What happens if we just add nothing? OP's water has plenty of buffering capacity with a dKH of 7.5. Is a 1 point pH drop from 7.8 to 6.9 a bad thing? Or is there something about the buffers that would make conditions more optimal?
 

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I looked up Neutral Regulator and it says it "precipitates Calcium and Magnesium". That doesn't sound good. Thanks for the heads up. Sincerely, I did not know that. Are you saying OP should use Acid Buffer and Alkaline Buffer at the same time? What would be the benefits? What happens if we just add nothing? OP's water has plenty of buffering capacity with a dKH of 7.5. Is a 1 point pH drop from 7.8 to 6.9 a bad thing? Or is there something about the buffers that would make conditions more optimal?
I only say to stop using it as it contains cloride, and at certain levels will kill your plants. A safer KH product are their Acid Buffer and Alkaline Buffer. Regulator is a great product, just not great for planted tanks. Seachem also states that regulator products are phosphate based and are not the best choice for planted tanks.
 

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Chloride, Phosphate and precipitating Calcium and Magnesium? Yeah, I think we would be better off without Regulator. It seems like there is a trade off for every benefit. I used to use ion exchange resins to soften my water. Such a bad idea!
 
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