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Discussion Starter #1
Okay, I've had my CO2 up for about 2 weeks, the lights (AHS 4x55) up for about a week. My "natural" out of the tap water has a KH of between 1-2. I dosed with baking soda to bring it up to a bit over 4, then did a partial water change and brought it up (dosing the changewater) to about 6 I think (not totally meaning to, I really didn't want it quite that high.) At 4 the controller didn't seem to have too much of a problem keeping it at the Ph 6.9 I prefer it. At KH6 it hardly ever gets down to that, but seems to stay around Ph7-7.1 or 7.2. BPS seems to be around 1.6 although I'm having trouble getting it to stay consistant, as the BPS would keep dropping like the needle valve was turning itself in. Especially overnight. I'd get up in the morning and my Ph had gone up. It seems to be better since I cranked up the output pressure to 20# rather than the >10# recommended. Pressure on the left guage is at 900#.

Now when I checked it (the KH) this morning it's gone up to over 7??? The only "new" thing in the tank is a small piece of petrified driftwood I bought to tie an anubia to. What the heck kind of minerals is driftwood usually formed of? I s'pose it's possible that there's something else in there causing this, but I don't know what it could be!
 

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i've read on here that it does effect your water. i cant remember how.. maybe someone will chime in~.. i had bad ph swings at once, finally balaned out my kh with my ph, and all is good~

chris
 

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Some wood will lower ph or kh (not sure about kh)but not all. My 10 gallon with driftwood has between 7.4 - 7.6 of ph (steady) no changes its been runing for 1 1/2 year now.

-Brian
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the replies but lowering ain't the problem :confused: , it keeps going up. Out of the tap it's got a KH of between 1-2 and a Ph of between 8 and 8.5 (depending on how long it's "rested.") I did dose with baking soda to bring the KH up to a decent level, but it has mysteriously gone up further since I did that.
 

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If the only change has been the addition of the petrified wood, then I'd consider pulling it out and test to see if that's the cause.

I don't think there's a great deal of difference between KH values of 6 or 7, so it isn't really a huge factor. It isn't much to begin with (my KH value is at 9). I'm actually more concerned about the increase in pH that you're experiencing in the morning. The pH in my tank remains pretty constant and varies by 0.1 at most (from 6.8-6.9). My controller kicks on the solenoid before it drifts any higher than that.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Right at this moment it's showing 7.2 on the controller. Will cranking up the BPS help keep the Ph where it should be? The reactor gurgles when the co2 is turned on by the way. Cranking it up means it gurgles more. Also the filter on this tank is one I already had, a Fluval 204 and I wonder if it's simply not pushing enough water through (I'm aware it's underpowered for this size tank) to absorb the co2. I plan to upgrade to an Eheim, but I really hadn't wanted to do it quite yet. But if the Fluval is the problem then it has to go.
 

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Cranking up the BPS/BPM will help (reduces the amount of time it takes to bring the pH back down and stops it from drifting higher).

The gurgling sound that you're experiencing isn't due to the Fluval. It's actually from the reactor itself. The bubbles aren't getting trapped in the reactor and dissolving in there, but rather going straight through. The fact that you're using an undersize filter isn't bad either since it isn't shooting the water through the reactor.

It's amazing what you can see when the reactor is clear (polycarbonate). Mine did the gurgling thing for the first day the reactor was set up, but the noise has since died down to be even noticeable. It's reproduceable if I crank the BPS up to the point where the bubbles aren't trapped by the bioballs.
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
Well I cranked up the BPS. At a guess it's about 2.5 BPS now and the Ph is down to 7.0 since my last post. Hopefully it will be down to 6.9 in the next hour. Also just for grins I turned the reactor back from the slight angle it was at to near vertical to see if that does anything. I'm definitely not getting 100% dissolution of the co2, but watching the little bubbles in the tubing going to the outflow, and judging by how much co2 is going in I'd guess the dissolution to be around 85-90%. Unfortunately tomorrow I have some errands to run, but I'm going to try to periodically check it, and log it, throughout the day anyway to see if I can tell what's going on (of if y'all can tell me :tongue: !)

edit: Well I just checked it and it's down to 6.9. The controller hadn't turned it off, so I'm guessing it was set at between 6.8 and 6.9. I gently turned the dial until the solenoid clicked off so I will know it's set at 6.9. So it took 2.5 hours to drop the ph from 7.2 to 6.9. Now we'll see what it is when I check it in the morning.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
All right. I just checked it (5am CST the next morning) and the ph was at 7.0 and the bps had slowed from 2.5 to something like 1 per second. What the dickens is going on here? Does the needle valve need some kind of break in period or something? Pressure on both guages is still the same-900# and 20#. At the moment this is definitely not a set and forget-it set-up :hihi:. At least at 7.0 it wasn't quite as bad as it has been the last few mornings when I'd check it and it'd be at 7.2 or something. Should I break the set up down and re-do all the connections :eek5: (you can tell I really don't want to do that, hahah.) Comments?
 

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RoseHawke said:
The only "new" thing in the tank is a small piece of petrified driftwood
Did you really mean petrified?? If so, that is the problem. Petrified wood has much of the "wood stuff" replaced with minerals - often calcium and magnesium carbonates. It is basically a rock - and a carbonate based rock at that. Measure your kH and gH (or have the LFS do it) - I suspect both have gone way up. If so, then your CO2 level is way up as well (high kH, low pH = high CO2).

Kevin
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Yup. Really petrified. I went ahead and pulled the suspect piece of "wood" out of the tank. Here it is:



Don't have any acid to really test it, if I can remember the next time I'm out I'll get some (muriatic acid?). However, although it seems to have a mostly crystalline structure, I find the light area on the lower right to be suspect. I may just give it a good rinse, toss it in a bucket with some regular tap water (KH 1-2 and GH 5-6 out of the tap) and see if anything happens to the water parameters.
 

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Though my problem was KH/GH both dropping, I ran a similar experiment with my driftwood in a container of water. It verified that the driftwood had to go.

As to the needle value on my Milwaukee all-in-one, it too seems to have some drift, most typically reducing the bubble rate. I haven't been diligent in trying to trouble-shoot it, but something is going on. I, too, my by "second" setting up around 20 psi.

Brian.
 
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