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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've seen this mentioned a few times, I think on this forum as well.
When low tech tanks become stable, the water tends to move towards neutral PH if your water is above neutral.
Is this true? I thought PH drops in low tech is due to the type of substrate being used. My PH is about 7.6, but I've never seen it go below that. I do 10-20% w/c weekly, sometimes every other week. Once in a while, maybe every month or two, I enjoy doing a larger water change, usually 30-50%.
I think this is the reason why I never see a PH drop. It may be from all the water changes.

I see beautiful low tech tanks online where the owners claim to do very little water change, or once every few months. I've always wanted this sort of a balanced system but it does worry me to wait that long to do a w/c.
 

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I've witnessed ph drops from tannins in blackwater set ups, but those don't tend to be conducive to fully aquatic plants. I suppose it would happen in a planted tank as well if you keep a lot of driftwood and leaf litter. I believe there's an "El natural" style that's kind of along the lines that you're talking about.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I've witnessed ph drops from tannins in blackwater set ups, but those don't tend to be conducive to fully aquatic plants. I suppose it would happen in a planted tank as well if you keep a lot of driftwood and leaf litter. I believe there's an "El natural" style that's kind of along the lines that you're talking about.
Hey there Plinkploop! Yes, now that you mentioned it, I think it was on El Natural discussions. I also remember a few members saying it tends to happen when a tank is heavily planted. As I haven't seen much more on this, I guess it's not the norm with low tech?
 

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Not in normal low tech planted, but also not 100% unheard of. 😂 on a side note when I set up my first tank at 8 years old (over 30 years ago) I used aged tap water for my water changes. The 2.5 gallon buckets weighed almost a much as I did. Used to take my entire Saturday every other week to change half the water lol I had lovely little goldfish that I won at the fair. Honestly aged tap water works pretty good from my experiences with using it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Hehe, I did the same at one point in the 90's with a few 5 gal buckets. Worked pretty good for me too. So I guess I won't bother keeping an eye on PH, other than monthly checks. Thanks for the help !(y)
 

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When low tech tanks become stable, the water tends to move towards neutral PH if your water is above neutral.
When nitrifying bacteria converts NH4 to NO3 it releases H+ ions, thus lowering pH. It is slow so takes time.
'Stable' here means some time has passed since set up, and bacteria is doing its work.
AND there is decent amount of NH4 supplied via fish poop etc.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
When nitrifying bacteria converts NH4 to NO3 it releases H+ ions, thus lowering pH. It is slow so takes time.
'Stable' here means some time has passed since set up, and bacteria is doing its work.
AND there is decent amount of NH4 supplied via fish poop etc.
Aaah, I see. I wonder if my ph will drop quicker once everything is more established. The tanks have been running for a long time, but I always mess with it (substrate change, replanting).
After some major replanting a few weeks ago, I told myself to leave not mess with it.
Thanks for the input!
 

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I’ve had better luck keeping my water stable versus chasing a desired ph. Most fish can adjust and fair better than when I’m constantly adjusting parameters.
 
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