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Hello everyone,

I don't know if this is the right spot to post this thread so I apologize if it isn't.

Heres my problem.
I had set up an aquarium about a month ago in it I have powdered growing sand medium. Eleocharis, Anabius, and cabomba. (Mind my spelling).

Also my CAE, 2 khuli loaches, a few pond snails and two cherry shrimp.

When I first set up my tank my pH was at 7.8 which is higher than I wanted it to be but because I figured it needed to cycle. I thought it would level it self out.

I was wrong and now my tank sits at 8.1 pH and nothing I have tried is bringing it down. I can see my plants are suffering although my animals seem to be unfazed. Though the pH is still on the high side for them. I tried putting in pH down dropped for a couple of hours but would rise back to 8. I tried those dissolvable fizzing tablets that say they bring the water to 7 that didn't work. I also put in a large piece of drift wood hoping that would gently lower my pH nada. I am running out of ideas and it seems nothing is fixing it.

Also I have been topping with reverse osmosis water which is low in pH but again not making a difference.

What do you believe is causing the pH and is there anything I can do besides watch my tank slowly die.:crying:

thank you
 

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Do you have a picture of your tank to post? It sounds like you've got something in the tank causing the pH to rise. Its probably some rocks or the sand you used.

TBH, I wouldn't worry too too much about pH. I'm using my (liquid rock) tap water so my pH is running a steady 8.4. My plants are growing, and the fish are local, so they are unfazed. Unless you're planning on keeping something notoriously pH-picky, I wouldn't stress too much.
 

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I will take a photo right now. Are any of the plants I listed pH picky?

Okay so here are the images. My anabius is starting to get dots of darker green which cannot be good and my eleocharis is spreading but the tips of the older growth is yellowing. Also my cabomba is literally browning before my eyes. I did also put nutrient tabs under my soil. I dont know if that is causing my problems.
 

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pH is not a stand-alone value.

It is controlled by the minerals and salts in the water.

Test and post back:

Tap water:
GH, KH, pH right out of the tap, and set some water aside, exposed to the air and test the pH at 24 hours and 48 hours.

Tank water:
GH, KH
 

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Okay sorry if I sound ignorant but what is kh gh?
General hardness (GH) refers to the amount of calcium and magnesium ions in your water.

Carbonate hardness (KH) refers to alkalinity of the water, which is a measure of the amount of carbonate and bicarbonate anions in the water.
 

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Do you have a picture of your tank to post? It sounds like you've got something in the tank causing the pH to rise. Its probably some rocks or the sand you used.

TBH, I wouldn't worry too too much about pH. I'm using my (liquid rock) tap water so my pH is running a steady 8.4. My plants are growing, and the fish are local, so they are unfazed. Unless you're planning on keeping something notoriously pH-picky, I wouldn't stress too much.
Agree with this post.

high pH doesn't really matter all that much for most stuff. My tank's pH goes up into the 8.2-8.4 range as well (pH probe on Apex controller) and I have no problem growing stuff. I have a full carpet of DHG belem in the front of my high tech tank.

While it is probably true that that high of a pH is not ideal, it is certainly not a deal-breaker. Like Natasha says there are some fish/shrimp/plant species that are notoriously picky and prefer low pH but anubias and hair grass are definitely not on that list.

I would look elsewhere for causes to the issues you are having. Simply 'having high pH' is not something you should assume is going to cause issues. Many users 'chase pH values' and spend their time and energy artificially lowering their pH only to still have the same problems.

FYI if the hair grass is brand new and/or you planted from an emersed (dry) sample then yellowing / some die-back is expected. Give it time and it your conditions are good enough it will bounce back and spread.

Also if your hair grass is brand new I would also recommend spreading the hair grass out some more and planting in tiny little clumps. It will carpet faster that way. If it has settled in for a few weeks just leave it as is.
 

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That pH seems high especially for shrimp but I defer to those members with actual experience keeping them in those conditions. As to why it's rising.... try taking out those rocks and after a few water changes test your pH again.
 

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Yes, take out the white rocks and test them in a bucket or glass of tap water.
Test the pH when you start, then test the pH a few days later.

Often white or off white rocks are limestone or related and are pretty much calcium carbonate or magnesium carbonate.
Calcium and magnesium are measured as GH, and this is the parameter that is most important to the livestock.
Carbonate and bicarbonate are measured as KH, and these act as a buffer to stabilize the pH. In general, high KH means high pH that is difficult to change. Anything you add to lower the pH may work for a short time, but then the KH makes the pH rise again. Low KH may mean low pH, but it really means the pH will be controlled by something else.
 
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