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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
HI Everyone... Been a long time since I posted... but I got a problem and need some direction...

My tank seems to be doing fine from a plant perspective I suppose... here is a fast pic I just snapped... (not a quality pic - just a fast snap) The tank has been running now for about 2 years.



OK - out of my tap and aged, my water is
  • PH 7.8
  • KH 3.9ºdH
  • GH 5.6ºdH

I have no real algae growing except some in amongst the Java fern on the piece of wood... and the fish (Discus, cardinal tetras, Corries, and a bristlenose) are doing fine. I have NOT vacuumed the flourite (ever) so there is I am sure a lot of mulm down there.

Ok - I just tested my tank water... and at the moment it is....

  • PH 5.5
  • KH < 0.56ºdH (ie < 10ppm)
  • GH 6.0ºdH


OK - so needless to say the PH controller is not kicking in, and growth is slow. I am running an air-stone 24/7 at the moment... I tried running searches here at planted on dropped KH and PH etc.. but the search won't let you use "PH" and "KH" as terms as they are too short... (or I was unable to figure out how to do it)...

So I would rather NOT be fishing out the fish... but I think a gravel vacuuming is going to be required... any suggestions as to a good course of action to get this back on track?

Shhh... Yes I have cross-posted this over on barrreport.com... sorry up front if that crosses some etiquette rules...
 

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Calibrate the pH probe. Or if it's two years old and has not been maintained just get a new one. pH probes are not "put it in the tank and forget about it" type items.
 

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You didn't specify what kind of water change schedule you've been following, so it's unclear whether this is a short-term result or a long-term result. Generally, my experience with 0 to 1 degree of KH from my apisto days has made me pretty leery of that situation, as the pH tends to swing wildly as you try to "fix" it.

If it's a short-term result, ie, you just did a water change and the KH & pH fall immediately, that's puzzling and would probably warrant some investigation, particularly if that water change didn't stress or kill your fish. Your current values aren't too bad for the fish you've got.

If it's a result of not having done a water change in a while, then I think the best you can do is to do small daily water changes (together with gravel vacuum) of 10% or so until you gradually get to your target. You could also try adding small amounts of sodium bicarbonate to gradually bring up the KH & pH, but you may wind up with some wild swings and it doesn't address the changes in water quality that will result from doing a normal water change.

I would worry about the 7.8pH and the discus, though.

Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
If it's a short-term result, IE, you just did a water change and the KH & pH fall immediately, that's puzzling and would probably warrant some investigation, particularly if that water change didn't stress or kill your fish. Your current values aren't too bad for the fish you've got..
Unlikely... as the water from the tap is 100ppm so to add that to the tank and then the tank drop to under 10ppm is not likely.


If it's a result of not having done a water change in a while, then I think the best you can do is to do small daily water changes (together with gravel vacuum) of 10% or so until you gradually get to your target...
I suspect this is the route to take - was kinda hoping others had experience with a KH crash - I suspect the Mulm in the flourite bed but not positive.

I would worry about the 7.8pH and the discus, though.
(course I never mentioned and should have, that I normally kept the tank at pH of 6.6 to 6.8 via CO2 injection. The CO2 has not kicked in for quite some time now)

Either way just FYI - Discus are fine at a pH of 7.8 or even 8.0 and will even breed at that level... it's the GH you gotta watch... at a GH over just 7º the water is too hard and the Discus eggs wont fertilize... mostly with Discus just provide consistent good water conditions and your ok... but that's getting off track:)
 
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