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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone....figured I may get more replies in this thread.....I'm new to The Planted Tank however, I have had a planted tank for almost 1 year now. However, recently I am noticing a bit of a problem. I am finding that my pH is actually dipping quite low into the 5.5-6 range within my tank. I have tested my water from the tap: pH-7.0, GH 2.24, KH 0.56.....the GH and KH in the tank remain the same but the pH is usually in the 5.5-6 range. I am doing a injected CO2 obviously, which usually ranges in the 20-30ppm. I know the problem here is my buffering capacity, as I seem to have none. The question I am having is....would it be viable to add about a 2 lb piece of Texas Holy Rock to the aquarium and continue to use the CO2, with ferts and lights etc, and have a more stable pH......I'm hlooking to stay in the 6.5-7.5 range....let me know what you think, if you have any ideas, or need more info!!

Thanks!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
yeah I have thought about that, however, I have heard that option is relatively unstable compared to adding say crushed coral in a nylon baggie (which was my next idea)....just not sure if the Texas Holy Rock will drastically raise the KH to the point where my PH is in the 8 range, which I dont want
 

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Yes, bicarb of soda generally raises pH only temporarily, and is a considered a band-aid requiring regular additional dosing. Crushed coral is much more stable, and you can buffer occasionally using a little Seachem Equilibrium.
 

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yeah I have thought about that, however, I have heard that option is relatively unstable compared to adding say crushed coral in a nylon baggie (which was my next idea)....just not sure if the Texas Holy Rock will drastically raise the KH to the point where my PH is in the 8 range, which I dont want
Lime stone is not a good solution as it will seek equilibrium with the water column and your right >8pH is where you'll end up.
Really wanted to use this but the tests I did showed I didn't like what it did to the water.



I've seen the post following the one I've quoted and all I can tell you is I've used 100% RO, GH booster and Arm & Hammer baking soda for over 2 years with ZERO stability issues and without needing more buffer additions.
Setting parameters after a water change to on average 2dKH both injected (2) and (13) non injected systems and I'm done. On the 55g following the Walstad method this can be months.

GH needs are provided here by GLA's Ultimate Booster since Rex fell off the grid. Seachem Equilibrium is $&!% (imo). It soaks up moisture in the container and you need a hammer to break it up. Read many a post from others stating the same opinion. Also seen it sit for days in a tank before dissolving completely. Orlando's stuff is chemically the same mixture only ground much finer and I have ZERO clumping problems.

With 15 tanks all on RO I use a bunch of booster and that's been my experience.
 

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Are you noticing any effects from this problem, like liquified plants and acid-scarred fish?

My aquarium water registers at ZERO gh, ZERO kh, and ph of 5.5 (7.2 from the tap), yet all my fish and plants do fine. I'm starting to get suspicious that our flora and fauna are more adaptive than we think.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
RO is really not an option for me, so I need another solution.....it is either a tiny piece of texas holey rock, about half the size of the one in your picture, or adding a small bag of crushed coral
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
well I do know that the biological filtration tends to slow down when the pH reaching around the 6 mark...and I've heard that plants cannot utilize the nutrients and CO2 as well at that low of a pH....thats what I've heard though
 

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RO is really not an option for me, so I need another solution.....it is either a tiny piece of texas holey rock, about half the size of the one in your picture, or adding a small bag of crushed coral
I only mentioned the RO because my product water is softer than your tap being stripped of minerals.

These are the reference volumes I use.
To increase KH
1/8 TSP : 6.4gallons = 1dKH
1/4 TSP : 13.2 gallons = 1dKH
1/2 TSP : 26.4 gallons = 1dKH
these measurements are in leveled spoons, use a cc or other straight edge and scrape the top of the spoon after filling it so it's full but no piling of powder above the edge (hope that made sense LOL)

Tests I feel I needed for basic mixing; TDS pen, chemical drop tests for GH and KH.

http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/equipment/144354-restoring-ro-water.html#post1468992
 

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Exactly, I've "heard" the same thing about nitrifying bacteria shutting down. I've also heard that at the ph level where the bacteria don't function, ammonia is broken down into a form that isn't harmful to fish. I've also heard that low ph due to CO2 addition doesn't harm fish/plants the way that a low ph from, let's say, pouring sulfuric acid in your aquarium would.

I may be in the minority, but I don't think we need to wage pre-emptive war on our water if we aren't noticing any problems. These critters survive in nature, where the pH can swing over a point in an instant just by swimming through the mouth of a river.

That said, ignore my advice if you've got brown plants and little dead fish with "why didn't you use a water hardener!" scrawled on the tank in algae.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
my problem is, I dont like the swings in the ph that my tap water brings to my tank....in teh day my ph can be around 6-6.5 then at night when the plants aren't photosynthesizing....it can go as low as 5.5....just looking for a little more stabilitty and I thought either this rock or the crushed coral may be the answer
 

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There are a couple black water tanks on here but for most having 2dKH limits swings to a degree or less overall. A pH crash is something entirely different.
The CO2 injected tanks I have are currently controlled to 5.8 and 5.9 by the set points (just looked) Issues are non issues LOL

Dosing to 2dKH take very little baking soda, try it, hurts nothing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
right, but how often does this need to be dosed....will EI dosing change the need/dose of the baking soda....when I change my water (25%) water change how much is needed? Will it be a sharp rise in KH so that my PH jumps too quickly for the fish?
 

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my problem is, I dont like the swings in the ph that my tap water brings to my tank....in teh day my ph can be around 6-6.5 then at night when the plants aren't photosynthesizing....it can go as low as 5.5....just looking for a little more stabilitty and I thought either this rock or the crushed coral may be the answer
A single pH degree swing in 24hrs is not a concern but understand this point going forward;
Once you add your sack of 'stuff' to your filter you have no control over the rate at which it goes into solution. Add more it will rise more, refill the bag with less and a lower effect on the water column. Your still guessing.

Add BS based on what dKH you want and see for yourself.

non-injected 2dKH provided by BS provides me a neutral pH of 7 all day everyday,,, for months. Wouldn't post it if I didn't know what it's done here.

Edit 25% WC you probably won't see a drop in KH.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
so you're saying for my tank...36 gal...prolly around 30 gal with the substrate, plants and decorations.....i dose once....how often should I monitor the pH when starting....you think the 25% water change wont require me to add BS?
 

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anything under a 50% WC on my tanks and I see a fractional point change in KH level.
before WC 2dKH after 1.5dKH

30g tank starting at .5dKH tested, add 1/2 TSP to add about 1dKH
these measurements are in leveled spoons, use a cc or other straight edge and scrape the top of the spoon after filling it so it's full but no piling of powder above the edge.

give the tank 5 minutes to mix, retest and I'll bet you see close to 1.5dKH
pH will be maybe 6.5, 6.8 (maybe based on anything else in the source water)
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
alright well, I will try this option....see how things go....quick other question....if I want to move my plants to a new tank, or change the substrate in my exisiting (only using gravel with some flourite, do I just basically pull the plants out and change them, or is there anything special to it?
 

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pretty much pull them, remove any damaged leaves and or dying roots and replant.
depends a bit on what plant, stems I just top them and start over with the tops.
 
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