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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Using API kits the color looks like I am around 6.4ish pH during day with co2 running. I recently got a pH probe for my Apex system to run in the tank, calibrated, and it shows pH at 5.7 during the day and going back to 6.6 at night. I expect a swing of 1 from co2, but how could my pH be that low? Fish and what not are fine, aside from my snails who can't live in that acidic water.

My pH from the tap is 7.2 for reference. Anyone see any negatives to running pH that low?
 

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It's usually not a huge deal, although below 5.9 or so some bacterial processes like denitrification can be slowed down. There are a lot of people here that run mid 5's with co2 on because of low KH. I suspect that is your issue. with a tap of 7.2 you probably have driftwood or some other source of acid leaching into your water. Doing a 50% water change weekly will help keep the pH up with the same amount of co2 (usually).
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Thanks for the reply. I do have low kh, 2 to be exact. I do have a piece of manzanita in there. I bet that is the cause. Does all manzanita lower pH that much? I soaked it for 2 weeks and it never released visible tannins in the water. I'd never have though of that. I really like it though ugh! Maybe I'll make the switch to large stones instead.

Sent from my XT1060 using Tapatalk
 

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Just put some cardinal tetras in there. You can easily go down to 3.5
Heck, some can make it down to a pH of 3
 

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I'm not sure if rotting manzanita would cause a drop in ph. It kinda sounds like maybe the bark was still on the manzanita. The reason I ask about the substrate is because in my shrimp tank, I'm using Amazonia, and the ph reads 6.4 or 6.0 for the API test but I also have a ph pen that I use and it's calibrated and reads 5.7
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
I'm not sure if rotting manzanita would cause a drop in ph. It kinda sounds like maybe the bark was still on the manzanita. The reason I ask about the substrate is because in my shrimp tank, I'm using Amazonia, and the ph reads 6.4 or 6.0 for the API test but I also have a ph pen that I use and it's calibrated and reads 5.7
You're in my exact situation, but yeah no Amazonia soil so that rules my issue out.

I didn't see any loose bark on the wood, which is why it's weird it's rotting. I'll let other chime in here. Ideally, I'd like to get this stabilized and raised w/o a drop each week after water changes. Then maybe I can get snails back in.

From doing google searched I'm leaning towards the soft parts of the manzanita as rotting causing this drop in pH. Ugh! I love my piece I have. Now I'm going to have to come up with a new idea for the scape.
 

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Add a source of carbonates.
Potassium bicarbonate will work well.
Get the KH up to at least 3-4 degrees and the pH ought to rise some. It will still show a daily cycle when you turn the CO2 on and off. But the low will not be quite that low.

As for whether that is enough to keep snails, I do not know.

Is the GH also very low?
 
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