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Old 06-21-2013, 04:20 PM   #1
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PH keeps dropping!

Howdy,
I have a 280 litre tank that is stocked with african cichlids. They obviously require a high pH environment, but I am battling to achieve this.
I increase the pH to 8.0 only to have it back to 6.0 after a few days.

What can the cause be?

My latest water test on the last day before my weekly water change:

Cl2 = 0 mg/l
pH = 5.8
KH = 3*d
GH = 14*d
NO2 = <1 mg/l
NO3 = 100 mg/l

I have typical small stone substrate and have added some wood to try help stabilise the pH.

Any ideas why it keeps dropping?
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Old 06-21-2013, 07:05 PM   #2
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I think I've heard rocks like limestone help. I'm no help w the testing, my water is hard
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Old 06-21-2013, 07:08 PM   #3
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Use some crushed coral.
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Old 06-21-2013, 09:22 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryderod View Post
Howdy,
I have a 280 litre tank that is stocked with african cichlids. They obviously require a high pH environment, but I am battling to achieve this.
I increase the pH to 8.0 only to have it back to 6.0 after a few days.

What can the cause be?

My latest water test on the last day before my weekly water change:

Cl2 = 0 mg/l
pH = 5.8
KH = 3*d
GH = 14*d
NO2 = <1 mg/l
NO3 = 100 mg/l

I have typical small stone substrate and have added some wood to try help stabilise the pH.

Any ideas why it keeps dropping?
I'd be betting that it's the wood. Driftwood usually lowers PH. I'd change any decorations to just just rock, plastic plants, rock, rocks and maybe even some calcium based coral rock. These tend to not reduce PH and calcium based rocks will add alkalinity and raise PH levels. Any plant based materials ( wood, moss, etc) usually lower ph levels. Also, make sure the water you are using for water changes is not acidic to begin with. If it is, you'll need to set up a container to condition your water to raise the ph. I'd use a plastic garbage can with a filter full of crushed coral or african cichlid mix.
Over time, poor water maintainance and high nitrate levels will reduce PH levels as well. Make sure you get on a routine water changing schedule. Test your PH levels before the change and after as well so you can see what is happening by changing the water.

Hope this helps
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Old 06-22-2013, 03:12 AM   #5
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Your nitrates are too high. Lack of sufficient water changes is probably playing a big part here.
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Old 06-22-2013, 09:40 AM   #6
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Thanks for the replies. I have steered clear of any type of powder or liquid ph buffers or modifiers. I have purchased some coraline crushed coral and have begun the process of gradually mixing small quantities in with my existing substrate. I have also decided to increase from a weekly 1/3rd water change only, to also start doing a mid week 1/4 water change. After a lot of research I'm sure the high amount of fish I have in the tank are simply raising the nitrate levels too high over a 7 day period, despite my multiple filtration set up.
I will monitor this over the next few weeks and report back if this has stabilised.
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Old 06-22-2013, 11:54 AM   #7
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You can buy some seachem ph raiser. I get it for 5 bucks at my LFS.
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Old 06-22-2013, 03:43 PM   #8
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You can buy some seachem ph raiser. I get it for 5 bucks at my LFS.
Never, ever use chemicals to alter pH. They can cause wild fluctuation that an be deadly to fish and nitrifying bacteria.

To the OP - I would suggest multiple large water changes this week and the next to help rectify the problem quicker. Then you can settle into a weekly change.
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Old 06-25-2013, 10:13 PM   #9
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Never, ever use chemicals to alter pH. They can cause wild fluctuation that an be deadly to fish and nitrifying bacteria.

To the OP - I would suggest multiple large water changes this week and the next to help rectify the problem quicker. Then you can settle into a weekly change.
How often can a person do water changes without placing undue stress on the fish?
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Old 06-25-2013, 11:20 PM   #10
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Well that really depends. You can do multiple water changes per day without stressing the fish as long as its not changing the water chemistry too much. If your tap water (or whatever you use) is the same or similar to that of the tank then you can technically do 100% water changes. If the tank is vastly different to that of the tap water then multiple smaller changes are needed to achieve the same result without shocking the fish. If you change more water more frequently then its always similar to that of the tap. Hope that makes sense.
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