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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I flooded my tank yesterday, added Prime, Excel and Dr. Tim Ammonium Chloride and Salty Shrimp GH+.

I tested my parameters today and my PH seems to be off the API charts, almost a dark blue 7.6+ reading. GH tested at 6* and KH at 8*.

My Tap water tests in at 6.8-7.0.

The tank substrate is Eco Complete and Carrib Sea Super Natural Sunset Gold. I have 3 pieces of Manzanita Driftwood and assorted pieces of Lava Rock.

It's pretty heavily planted with Java Ferns, Anubias, Bacoa Monnieri, Star Grass, Pennywort and Ludiwigia.

My water does go through a water softener, there is no way around this as the main water line into the house flows through the softener.

As this is my first time diving into this Aquatic Hobby I have no idea what could be causing the PH to raise, do any of you guys have any incite as what may be going on? Could it be the addition of Dr. Tim's Ammonium Chloride?

I currently have a bucket of water from the tap that I am going to let sit for 24 hours then test it's Ph. At the moment I am mixing another 5 gallon bucket of tap water with Prime, Excel, Dr. Tim's, and Salty Shrimp GH+. I plan on testing the PH an hour after all the chemicals settle.
 

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I flooded my tank yesterday, added Prime, Excel and Dr. Tim Ammonium Chloride and Salty Shrimp GH+.

I tested my parameters today and my PH seems to be off the API charts, almost a dark blue 7.6+ reading. GH tested at 6* and KH at 8*.

My Tap water tests in at 6.8-7.0.

The tank substrate is Eco Complete and Carrib Sea Super Natural Sunset Gold. I have 3 pieces of Manzanita Driftwood and assorted pieces of Lava Rock.

It's pretty heavily planted with Java Ferns, Anubias, Bacoa Monnieri, Star Grass, Pennywort and Ludiwigia.

My water does go through a water softener, there is no way around this as the main water line into the house flows through the softener.

As this is my first time diving into this Aquatic Hobby I have no idea what could be causing the PH to raise, do any of you guys have any incite as what may be going on? Could it be the addition of Dr. Tim's Ammonium Chloride?

I currently have a bucket of water from the tap that I am going to let sit for 24 hours then test it's Ph. At the moment I am mixing another 5 gallon bucket of tap water with Prime, Excel, Dr. Tim's, and Salty Shrimp GH+. I plan on testing the PH an hour after all the chemicals settle.
API kit never seemed to accurate on the high side..
I use both the high pH and pH test..
W/ the ph test it may register 7.6 (or above, can't tell) but high pH kit tests 7.4..
Go figure..

Also check your tap water after standing out for 24hrs.. pH may change as it outgasses...

In other words, don't sweat it..yet

Oh and ammonium chloride is mildly acidic..so not likely..
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Yea I will give it a rest I guess. My fears are that I'm going to have high PH in the long run and I won't be able to keep Red Cherry Shrimp alive and breeding... :(

I did a few more tests just to kind of try to narrow down what it can be(I'm done testing for tonight)

The picture below contains Fishtank Water(Very Blue), just mixed excel, prime, gh+, dr tims, and my plain tap water. The results were interesting considering the chems I add to the water are not supposed to affect PH but clearly one of them or a mix of them does....How do you guys feel about the below picture?

Bump: And one last test(bottom photo), the vile on the left that is darkest came from a 5 gallon bucket of water that had 5 drops of Dr. Tims, the middle had 3 drops and the last vile is tap water......

Do any of you think having a PH that high will hurt my plants?
 

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Once you cycle and once you start creating a bioload.. pretty sure your pH will drop..
You can always go the planted/CO2 route. Def. will drop pH...

One thing I am curious about for my own sake.. Did you try the high pH reagent test on the tank water?
 

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I did, and it scared me so I didn't post the results. I'll go do a test now and upload a screen shot.

Looks like 8.2, makes no sense to me how it could have just shot up like that. Do you think I should replace 5 gallons with Distilled or should I just leave it alone for a few days and see what happens? I'm worried that the plants cant handle a PH that high...

Just a little update, I tested the PH of my warm tap water vs my cold and my warm tap water had a PH of 7.2 maybe more. The cold water tested 6.8. Have anyone of you ever seen a change in PH when using warm vs cold water....?
 

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I'd leave it alone.. but that is me.. Could be a lot of ammonia (other than the am chloride added) in the water..

I've personally lost more plants w/ lowering pH than raising pH...but YMMV...
got to get it cycled first b4 adding living things..other than plants of course.

Aquarium Set-up: Tips for a Successful Freshwater Planted Aquarium
 

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Did a water change this morning with water I left out over night. 25% change, PH is down to 7.4. I'll monitor it for the next few days and see what happens. Ammonia is at 1ppm.

PH is back to 8.3..........Guess I'm going to wait it out a few weeks and see what happens. If PH stay high I plan on using distilled water and remineralizing with Salty Shrimp KH/GH+.
 

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Sorry don't have time right now to read through all of the thread, but have a look at these links in regards to some material you are using (Eco-complete and some mention of Carib Sea)

Big Problem With Eco-Complete | AquariaCentral.com
Experiencing raised pH when using Eco-Complete - Substrates - Aquatic Plant Central
http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/11-fertilizers-water-parameters/6167-eco-complete-raising-ph.html
I am sure there are more threads out there

By the way, what Salty Shrimp formula are you using exactly?
Can you restate your pH, gH, kH of the tap water and then the readings for your water after being dosed with additives.
 

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Sorry don't have time right now to read through all of the thread, but have a look at these links in regards to some material you are using (Eco-complete and some mention of Carib Sea)

Big Problem With Eco-Complete | AquariaCentral.com
Experiencing raised pH when using Eco-Complete - Substrates - Aquatic Plant Central
http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/11-fertilizers-water-parameters/6167-eco-complete-raising-ph.html
I am sure there are more threads out there

By the way, what Salty Shrimp formula are you using exactly?
Can you restate your pH, gH, kH of the tap water and then the readings for your water after being dosed with additives.
Interesting thread:
Big Problem With Eco-Complete | Page 3 | AquariaCentral.com
This test shows reasonable proof that it is likely that some dust blew from a pile of basic rocks onto the eco complete pile at their quarry. It looks like unfortunately you got an affected bag, but on the upside the effect will wear away with time.
 

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I would suggest adding a little of your eco complete to a bucket of tap water, letting it sit 24 hrs and then test it. Do the same for the lava rock too, even though lava rock should be inert (so should eco-complete). This will help you pin point and eliminate possibilities further (you have already shown that your additives raised the ph but not as much as you are seeing in the tank). The tap water test in post 3 was aged, right? That will give you your baseline comparison. pH can be different depending on temperature btw.

Edit: RCS should be fine at 8.2. Having a high but stable ph is better than trying to constantly adjust to an "ideal" ph.
 

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I would go ahead and finish out the fishless cycle while you are working on this problem. Nitrifying bacteria do well at the higher pH.

The KH at 8 German degrees of hardness is not going to allow the pH to drop very much, and whatever else is doing this may clear up as the tank matures.

Given the test results you got with the ammonia, this could well be the problem. When the tank has finished cycling the nitrifying bacteria will have removed the ammonia, and other microorganisms will grow and these tend to lower the pH just a bit. You can also do a big water change then, right before you add the shrimp.

It is typical of these pH tests that they are not quite so accurate at the far end of their ranges.
Whichever one gives you a value that is more or less in the middle of their range, believe that one and ignore the other.
If you get a color where they overlap you could call the pH 7.5.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
My 24-hour aged tap water PH is around 7.2-7.4, I'm using Salty Shrimp GH+.

Thanks for all the tips guys. Currently I have some left over lava rock including crushed pieces sitting in a bucket for 24-hours. I already threw out the left over eco complete and I really dont want to go fishing out the substrate from the tank so I won't be testing that out.

I'm going to continue to monitor the tank as time goes on and keep you guys updated with the results. If the PH pretty much reads the same after 4 weeks or the end of my fishless cycle I am going to do a complete 80% water change with distilled and remineralize with Salty Shrimp KH/GH+.

Thanks for all the responses.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I figured out my rising PH issue......I tested some water I left in a cup for over 48 hours and it tested at 8.3, the same as my tank.

It looks like I'll be going Distilled water remineralized with Salty Shrimp KH/GH+. I opened up a thread asking if using Distilled remineralized with Salty Shrimp KH/GH+ would be fine for plants but no one answered the thread. If anyone of you have any insight on this that would be great otherwise either way I am going to wing it and see what happens....
 
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