The Planted Tank Forum banner

1 - 11 of 11 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
123 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have read a bit about black water environments and know of more than a couple who use IAL, peat moss and tanins from their driftwood to create the environment in their shrimp tanks.

My question is how do you manage the PH stability in the tank using these? How do you prep your replacement water to match the black water conditions in your tank? It all seems rather fluid and unstable.

Use of a PH buffering substrate I am guessing will solve this. What if you aren't using those substrates? How do you manage it then?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
597 Posts
I don't do this,.. so I really have no experiance, but I had a thought. If your water change water goes in with 0KH (as it normally does with soft water shrimp) then it should have very little effect on the PH of the water it goes into once mixed together. This is because the KH is the PH's buffering ability,.. basically how "Strongly" the water wants to stay at it's current PH.

Whiskey
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,849 Posts
i dont really know of black water shrimp. most that i know of use the wood and leaves in a different way. its not really to create black water but wood for hiding spots and leaves as a food. i could be wrong but i dont recall any true black water shrimp tanks
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
123 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
i dont really know of black water shrimp. most that i know of use the wood and leaves in a different way. its not really to create black water but wood for hiding spots and leaves as a food. i could be wrong but i dont recall any true black water shrimp tanks
My knowledge here is pretty limited, so I suspect you are right. Even still, do the leaves lower the PH? If so, is it a continual downward pressure on PH? What I am trying to wrap my mind around is what is the impact in adding these to an aquarium. Not so much for precision, but so I understand this aspect of things better.

If your water change water goes in with 0KH (as it normally does with soft water shrimp) then it should have very little effect on the PH of the water it goes into once mixed together. This is because the KH is the PH's buffering ability,.. basically how "Strongly" the water wants to stay at it's current PH.
Clearly I don't understand this very well either. I have read about keeping kh at zero, but I don't understand why. I also understand that certain substrates that buffer at a certain point allow for this. Just the same, where my confusion comes in is that I thought KH and PH were tied together. Where kh goes, ph follows. I also thought the lower the kh, the less the ph is buffered and is more prone to fluctuation.

Just want to understand what I am missing here as I have only run across this in the invert. forum (one other time for a particular type of nano fish).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
123 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Ial and drift wood have little effect on ph. So small amount it is nothing to worry about unless you have 10 large leaves and a large piece of drift wood in a 3 gal spec
That's helpful to know. Thanks.

And I apologize. This isn't really the place for me to find out what I want to know, meaning this area is about invertebrates, not black water environments.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,721 Posts
In tanks where the KH is zero and there is organic matter (peat, leaves, wood...) then the pH will tend to be in the low 6s. It can be lower.

To make the new water as like that as possible run the water into a garbage can or bucket.
Add a small pump. Make the water from the pump pass through a nylon stocking of peat moss. I used a knee-hi full of peat for garbage cans from 20-40 gallons. If the water needs to be warmer than room temperature then you can add an aquarium heater to it. Run this system overnight. The peat moss can last for several cans of water, but the treatment needs to run longer.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
123 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I've read many articles and threads regarding water chemistry. All of them, including this one, say the lower the KH, the less stable the PH.

My question here is why would you want to keep the KH at zero for a shrimp tank which I've read is desirable for at least some shrimp? Second is at that low to non-existent level of KH, how do you stabalize and manage the PH so it doesn't fluctuate wildly up or down based on acids or bases introduced into the water?

If possible, I'd like to know based on not using a buffering substrate.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
907 Posts
I've read many articles and threads regarding water chemistry. All of them, including this one, say the lower the KH, the less stable the PH.

My question here is why would you want to keep the KH at zero for a shrimp tank which I've read is desirable for at least some shrimp?
As far as I know, keeping KH close to zero will induce breeding, at their natural habitat bee shrimp will start mating after heavy rain that will cause KH to go down to zero.
At lower KH value there is less possibility of ammonia build up and bad bacteria bloom. these shrimp are more sensitive to the above unlike red cherry or other hardy species.
Second is at that low to non-existent level of KH, how do you stabalize and manage the PH so it doesn't fluctuate wildly up or down based on acids or bases introduced into the water?

If possible, I'd like to know based on not using a buffering substrate.
There must be some kind of buffer that can control that, the following is from the link I provided earlier:

" - How to lower pH – In order to lower your pH, you must decrease your KH value, and again, preferably GH too. Be careful though. It is safer to keep a soft water fish in slightly harder water than to keep a soft water fish in a very soft water environment. The reason being: Harder water holds its pH value much better than soft water. pH crashes and inconsistent pH values can be attributed to KH every time. Not sometimes, EVERY TIME. Note that you will not be able to lower your pH without lowering your carbonate harness.

1) Aquarium Buffer – Same as above, research is essential. I suggest using the buffer to lower KH and thereby lower pH, and combine this with a tiny amount of shell in your tank, or small amount of crushed coral in your filter to simultaneously buffer the water, which means that your pH will remain lower, but relatively stable because of the buffer being released by said shell or coral. Homemade mixes include potassium salts. Stray away from these as they will only temporarily lower your pH, then “jumping” it back up which will be more stressful to the fish in any case...''
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
123 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
As far as I know, keeping KH close to zero will induce breeding, at their natural habitat bee shrimp will start mating after heavy rain that will cause KH to go down to zero.
At lower KH value there is less possibility of ammonia build up and bad bacteria bloom. these shrimp are more sensitive to the above unlike red cherry or other hardy species.

There must be some kind of buffer that can control that, the following is from the link I provided earlier:

" - How to lower pH – In order to lower your pH, you must decrease your KH value, and again, preferably GH too. Be careful though. It is safer to keep a soft water fish in slightly harder water than to keep a soft water fish in a very soft water environment. The reason being: Harder water holds its pH value much better than soft water. pH crashes and inconsistent pH values can be attributed to KH every time. Not sometimes, EVERY TIME. Note that you will not be able to lower your pH without lowering your carbonate harness.

1) Aquarium Buffer – Same as above, research is essential. I suggest using the buffer to lower KH and thereby lower pH, and combine this with a tiny amount of shell in your tank, or small amount of crushed coral in your filter to simultaneously buffer the water, which means that your pH will remain lower, but relatively stable because of the buffer being released by said shell or coral. Homemade mixes include potassium salts. Stray away from these as they will only temporarily lower your pH, then “jumping” it back up which will be more stressful to the fish in any case...''
Crystal clear. My concern with using things like crushed coral and peat moss is what I am guessing is their lack of precision, meaning it isn't a very precise way to control the water parameters and keep the KH / PH stable. I have used acid and alkaline buffers to try to control things a bit better, but they really jack up my TDS and introduce additional salts into the water I would like to avoid if possible.

Lots of people do it this successfully. I am curious as to how. It appears labor intensive which I have no problem with. But I may be way off the mark.
 
1 - 11 of 11 Posts
Top