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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
In an effort to give the last few dying leaves of glosso a fighting chance I re-read all the guides and decided to pay attention to the "soft, acidic water" advice. I use RO water from a store so supposedly that's automatically soft right? So I dusted off the old test kit with the annoying droppers.

My test kit's reading >7.5 (or the liquid is very very blue, whatever) and I cannot seem to lower it. The dosing on the "PH Down" says 2 drops per every gallon. I'm not going to tell you how many dang drops have been dripped, but the PH is still the same (maybe a little lighter blue, but can't verify). Also cranked up CO2 and left it on all night. This morning? SAME! Any common reason for this?

I dose 1/4 tsp KNO3, 1/16 tsp Kh2PO4 every other day and some flourish in between. Change 1/4 water every week. Out of desperation to get my glosso to do something other than die, I shoved some Jobe's sticks under the substrate last week.

Oh yea and in case substrate could be a factor, I got flourite, but it's going on 5 years old. There was a little reptisand in it too, the kind you use with gecko's so that they get calcium or vitamins.
 

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I have some glosso growing in a tank out back without C02 or ferts, in a soft active substrate, Flora Base to be exact, with only indirect sunlight most of the day, and a little direct sunlight in the late evening, it grows very slow and very small, but it does survive and grow. So.
How much light do you have on this tank?
Make sure that your C02 fittings, hose, connections are all tight, as in no leaks, do you use a good C02 proof tubing? not the cheap stuff for airlines etc.
Do you have alot of surface agitation going on?
what kind of filter?
The addition of peat in the base of the sub is a major plus, did you add any to yours?....
Lots of variables at work here.
 

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So I dusted off the old test kit with the annoying droppers.

My test kit's reading >7.5 (or the liquid is very very blue, whatever) and I cannot seem to lower it. The dosing on the "PH Down" says 2 drops per every gallon. I'm not going to tell you how many dang drops have been dripped, but the PH is still the same (maybe a little lighter blue, but can't verify). Also cranked up CO2 and left it on all night. This morning? SAME! Any common reason for this?
Do you have some distilled water to test against? Could be your test kit is bad.
 

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You could be leaking the CO2 before it gets into the tank. If you dissolve CO2 into the water the pH has to drop, unless you are also increasing the KH - adding carbonates, for example. A bad test kit sound possible too. Mine has a "expires" date, does yours?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Hmmm I'll have to check the expiration date. Distilled water is supposed to have a PH of what? (I have no idea what happens to H+ and OH- when you boil water)

Nope, no surface agitation. No leaks - I can see the mist moving from diffuser up into filter intake - a Filstar XP1 canister filter.

I have this bad feeling that the reptile sand could force the water to be hard. Isn't its whole purpose to supply minerals and calcium?

My tank's been in a lull for so long - it'd be great if I could get whatever it is that's wrong fixed and see stuff actually grow again.
 

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Dosing pH down will ruin your already soft RO water.

Must be nice to be able to grow glosso in a tank outback
so far the only thing I have luck with is h. difformis....and duck weed eww...

Distilled water...0ppm TDS....0 KH 0 GH should read about 5.8 pH.
 

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The best reason for not adding "pH down" to tank water is that it does nothing that is necessary for either fish or plants. pH is not a critical water parameter for either plants or fish. If the tap water, after sitting and degassing for a day has a pH of 6 or 7.6, either is ok. pH does mean something when trying to determine how much CO2 is dissolved in the water, but that's about the only time.
 

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pH of 6 or 7.6, either is ok.
One is alkaline the other is acidic. There is a difference. Your right it is not critical however I decide to keep optimal parameters for my fish.

I think pH does matter or rather lack of KH if you want to say it that way.

The best reason for not adding pH down is because it makes your soft water rock hard just like every other "pH buffer" product.
 

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Both pH 6 and pH 7.6 are virtually neutral. Fish do well even at pH 5, and at higher than 7.6. But, I agree that "spoiling" good soft water with a load of TDS isn't good.
 

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The pH scale is logarithmic. Which means when the value changes only 1 point that is either 10 times more acidic or alkaline. The difference between 6 and 7.6 seems high to me. Neutral would be 7.0 and anything close to that would be slightly acidic or slightly akaline. I agree that none of this pH nonsense is vital to success with the planted tank . :)
 

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Most reptile "sands" are almost pure calcium carbonate. If you had a Rift Lake cichlid tank, it wouldn't be a bad thing to use but otherwise the calcium makes your water harder and the carbonate drives your pH up to 7.8-8.2 range if there's more than a few handfuls.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Yea there's definately more than a few handfuls in there... 'guess it's time for a substrate change :/

Thanks for all the help!
 

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The pH scale is logarithmic. Which means when the value changes only 1 point that is either 10 times more acidic or alkaline. The difference between 6 and 7.6 seems high to me. Neutral would be 7.0 and anything close to that would be slightly acidic or slightly akaline. I agree that none of this pH nonsense is vital to success with the planted tank . :)
But most fish can adapt to that, unless of course they are extremely susceptible to parasites when kept above a certain pH, such as Altums or the delicate Gourami sp.

I think KH and GH are what matter most to fish.
 

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The pH scale is logarithmic. Which means when the value changes only 1 point that is either 10 times more acidic or alkaline. The difference between 6 and 7.6 seems high to me. Neutral would be 7.0 and anything close to that would be slightly acidic or slightly akaline. I agree that none of this pH nonsense is vital to success with the planted tank . :)
But most fish can adapt to that, unless of course they are extremely susceptible to parasites when kept above a certain pH, such as Altums or the delicate Gourami sp.

I think KH and GH are what matter most to fish.
But what? LOL...


One is alkaline the other is acidic. There is a difference. Your right it is not critical however I decide to keep optimal parameters for my fish.

I think pH does matter or rather lack of KH if you want to say it that way.

The best reason for not adding pH down is because it makes your soft water rock hard just like every other "pH buffer" product.
 

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so sorry Frank...I am a die hard Aints fan, season ticket holder for 15 years.....I am happy as a little girl.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Switched out the flourite tainted with reptile sand and in with fresh flourite. Peat pellets in the canister filter and co2 sizzling. 6.0 PH!
 
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