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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all - I feel like I'm colorblind could someone please help me out?

This is from a tank with depleted Aquasoil. The pH used to be a lot more acidic. I knew it was time for a reset but holy cow.

Thank you much!


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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you. Mind if I ask a dumb question?

Why is the pH in the tank higher than than the pH from the tap? (below pic is from tap).

Tank KH = 4. GH = 16.


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With a dKH of 4 (assuming a correct test result) and CO2 in the 3-4ppm area (normal for most of the US), your pH will be in the 7.4-7.6 area. If your tap water has a dKH of 4, then nothing in your tank is adding to it. If your tap dKH is less than 4, then something in your tank is adding carbonate or bicarbonate, which can be fairly easy to identify.
 
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
My guess is that it's something in the tank. ornaments, rocks, coral pieces, wood?
I was wondering the same. There's only a couple pieces of spider wood that have been in there since October 2019. And a couple of rocks.

The only change I recently made was accidentally overdosing some ferts. I was trying to keep it simple just using Easy Green (low tech tank) and Nicog root tabs occasionally, but I don't think I increased it enough as the plants grew because I started getting Zero Nitrate readings, and the plants look like they have issues. For example the Java Ferns have holes in the leaves and some small swords aren't looking too good. (melting leaves).

A couple folks on here advised the JV are Potassium hogs so I started dosing Flourish Potassium.

Not sure what I was thinking, but I wound up with a bottle of APT Zero Comprehensive Planted Aquarium Supplement. This has zero Nitrates and Phosphates and I can't remember what I was thinking.

One of these two products caused the Nitrates to spike so I've been doing water changes to bring it down. Obviously I'm just shooting from the hip but I'm going to get my act together.

What really needs to happen is the substrate needs replacing and I've been procrastinating
Even with a ton of mulm I couldn't get a nitrate reading.

Appreciate everyone's replies

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With a dKH of 4 (assuming a correct test result) and CO2 in the 3-4ppm area (normal for most of the US), your pH will be in the 7.4-7.6 area. If your tap water has a dKH of 4, then nothing in your tank is adding to it. If your tap dKH is less than 4, then something in your tank is adding carbonate or bicarbonate, which can be fairly easy to identify.
Thanks Deanna. The tests kits are fresh (recently replaced) so the results are as good as they're going to get with an API kit.

I have to test the tap dKH in the morning.

Just left a reply regarding my ferlilizer saga so that could be it.

Before the Aquasoil became depleted the pH was one degree lower and the plants were doing much better. The fish are the same as always.

I have a HOB with what seems to be good circulation (plant leaves swaying) and it's rated bigger than the tank, but I was wondering if I should add an airstone or maybe Excel to increase the carbon if only slightly? The plants have been gradually looking pretty rough and trouble shooting isn't easy (as described) bcs my I'm kinda clueless. It seems like as long as that soil was leaching acids the plants were happy.

Someday I'd love an injected tank but I'm determined to master this one first

I've been learning a lot from your posts since I started here and just wanted to say thanks



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Well, a photo of the tank will help. Also, I see you have duckweed, so that's a pretty good nitrate eater. Doubt that's taking it all.

Originally I would I would also have said it's likely Potassium that is causing the holes in the leaves. Phosphates be a possible second.

Anyway, I don't use a lot of ferts, especially anything that isn't straight/only the compounds I want. I say this because some of these things that are made have things that reduce Nitrates because most people don't do what we do. So I might expect that there are some that could do the opposite.

But if we assume that it's nothing that you put in directly then it is likely indirectly. I would guess that adding different things is causing these imbalances. I would suggest not doing anything too drastic, maybe slightly larger water changes. Especially if you plan to change your substrate. That will be a lot of rebalancing down the road so might as well wait for that to get too crazy. Hopefully just regular water change regiments for soils or whatever you're using will be enough.

If the fish are okay, then do what you know you need to do for the plants, my man/woman.
 
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