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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Tank setup
Standard 55 gal
marineland 400 power filter (soon to be paired with an Eheim 2217 Classic Canister tomorrow =D )
300w heater
Live plants including...
Anubias, java ferns, marble queen, rubin sword, microsword, wisteria, hornwort, vals
Catalina 3x54w T5 HO

Dosing Seachem Flourish Excel 2-3 times a week.



Uhhh... So. I stuck a common pleco in my tank to help with the algae bloom I just recently had, he died 3 hours later.

Checked the pH just now and it went up from 7.4 of last week to 8.4-8.8... I have had it for a month with no fish in it trying to get the plants grown in and it has been a steady 7.2-7.6 until today when I checked.

I have not added any pH down or anything. All my other tanks are 7.4 (tap water is 7.2-7.4). What could be causing my pH to be so high in my 55 gallon? This is killing me X(
Driftwood is suppose to help lower it, which I have two big pieces of.
This is really frustrating me. Would algae control chemicals raise pH?

I just did a 35% water change and even with my tap at 7.2-7.4, I am still getting an 8.6+ reading X(

Nitrite is 0 ppm
Ammonia is 0 ppm
Nitrate is 0 ppm

I would post pics but I can't yet =(
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Adding additional info to be able to post pics.

I am probably going to get some peat moss and get a DIY co2 setup tomorrow to help lower it. Not sure if that will be 100% effective though.



 

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What kind of substrate is that? Did you add any new rocks to the tank?

It would be helpful to know your GH and KH too, as pH depends on a number of things.

Also, I would take a sample of tap water and let it sit on the counter overnight (or just agitate the hell out of it) and then take the pH. It is possible that your tap water is really hard and alkaline but the water company lowers the pH with CO2.

Even still, a high pH and a (reasonably high) KH shoudnt kill a pleco.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I am using www.aquariumplants.com's substrate. Heard good things, so I figured I would try it.

My water GH and KH are well over the 200's (ppm). Probably closest measured to 14º, which disturbs me on how my pH got so high.

I do have 3 rocks in there now that have been in since the start, but I had around 7 for the first two weeks of operation. I am not sure eaxctly what they are. In the pic you can see the smooth black rock to the left on the substrate. The other two look like regular creek rocks, smooth and white. I boiled and baked them before I put them in.

I tested my filled jugs that I usually leave out for a day-week and each of them read 7.4.
 

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You have extremely hard water like I used to have. In fact mine had a KH of over 450ppm. I had the same problem. Tap water measured 7.2. Put it in the tank and a day or 2 later PH was 8+. The source of the water was from a well. I'd but some in a bucket, let it sit for a day or 2, watch the bubbles form on the side of the pail, test PH and it was 8+.

I just learned to live with it and NOT try to adjust it with buffers and such. (I killed more fish trying to adjust. CHANGE is what usually kills.) I had a pleco's, rainbows and tetras (some tetra's wouldn't live longer than a week).

I learned that I HAD to acclimate the fish to my water. My LFS had different water(much softer).

I'd float the bag to get the temperature the same(I trust you do the same), then over the course of the day I'd add a little of my aquarium water to the bag to slowly adjust the PH/KH. I had a significantly higher survival rate.

I am also using aquariumplants substrate and really like it (even though it is a little light). Plants root very quickly. Fish sometimes up-root as quickly :)

9 months ago our water source changes and now it's soft (33ppm 1.8 DKH) and I have to add baking soda to get a KH of 4 and PH is now 6.8. During the change over, my normal 20% water change monthly acclimated the fish slowly and they all survived.

Good luck with the tank and WELCOME to TPT!
 

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My case is the total opposite... My tap's PH is 6.8, 2-3ppm KH and 3-4GH... My 120gal NPT's PH went down to 5.9 yesterday and tonight I checked and it's 4.8 (KH and GH are both 1ppm)! I also used aquariumplants.com's substrate (aka SMS) to cap my mineralized top soil, no rocks and driftwoods, only plants... I read some past thread that other people had this issue with SMS substrates and it will go away in a few weeks (or even months)... I will experiment adding dolomite or baking soda and do frequent water change, to alleviate my PH issue until the substrate goes neutral...



I am using www.aquariumplants.com's substrate. Heard good things, so I figured I would try it.

My water GH and KH are well over the 200's (ppm). Probably closest measured to 14º, which disturbs me on how my pH got so high.

I do have 3 rocks in there now that have been in since the start, but I had around 7 for the first two weeks of operation. I am not sure eaxctly what they are. In the pic you can see the smooth black rock to the left on the substrate. The other two look like regular creek rocks, smooth and white. I boiled and baked them before I put them in.

I tested my filled jugs that I usually leave out for a day-week and each of them read 7.4.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Yeah, I let the bag sit for an hour, then pop a hole in it and add some water here and there. Takes about 3 hours to get one fish use to the water.

Well, I guess I will just hope for the best with co2 and peat.

I plan on keeping Kuhli loaches, rainbow fish (which will like the hard water thank god), and pearl gouramis.

I kind of like their substrate too. I had a lot of cloudy issues with it, and still have a slight cloud. I agree, it is a LOT lighter than their pictures make it look imo. Good for the price you pay, though its exactly like turface really.
 

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I plan on keeping Kuhli loaches, rainbow fish (which will like the hard water thank god), and pearl gouramis.
Rainbows will do fine. I've had mine for about 7 years now. Beautiful when fully growm. People comment about the "small" head and "large" body.

Here's my rainbows:

http://i271.photobucket.com/albums/jj141/pettitsm/SMP/Aquarium/091219_23723.jpg

http://i271.photobucket.com/albums/jj141/pettitsm/SMP/Aquarium/091219_23724.jpg

I kind of like their substrate too. I had a lot of cloudy issues with it, and still have a slight cloud. I agree, it is a LOT lighter than their pictures make it look imo. Good for the price you pay, though its exactly like turface really.
Did you rinse it like the directions said? My water still clouded up a bit, but in 2 days was completely clear. No problem since, even when planting stuff.

People do make comments about the "texture" of the stuff.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Yeah, it doesn't matter past the first two rinses, since it is a clay base. You can rinse it a million times and it will still be a little murky.

I was also realllllly carefully when filling my tank up to. My filter is crap, so I don't blame it for being a little cloudy =P

Rainbows are awesome. Can't wait to get mine now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
The new filter is amazing! Cleared my water up really well and is completely silent. I have my DIY co2 running as well successfully and my pH is back to 7.4. Lets hope it stays that way =)
 
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