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Old 02-07-2011, 01:08 PM   #1
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PH Dropping...

90G planted.... no chems (only Prime & Excel)....gravel substrate....DW... tank is established over a yr...


i missed my weekly water change 2 weeks in a row... so instead of 7 days the tank went 16 days..... fish were acting kinda funny... checked PH it was down to 6.0.... its normally 6.6 - 6.8..... did a 50% PWC..... check PH it was back up at 6.6.....

check again 4 days later... back down to 6.0.... did another 60% PWC last night.... waiting to check it today after work.

what could be causing the PH to drop?
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Old 02-07-2011, 01:17 PM   #2
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pH naturally drops in established tanks. DW = Driftwood? That can cause it. Or, your actual tap water could be different now. Be careful doing big 50% water changes like that, big and sudden changes in pH can be harmful. Even two 25% changes over two days would be better.

Try testing your tap water pH and seeing what pH it is coming out at, that'll tell you whether it is your tank or not.
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Old 02-07-2011, 04:04 PM   #3
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I am having the same problem. except its going from 7.2 to well below 6.0 in less than 24 hours. and that was after a 25% water change to get my ammonias down. my tap water is about a 7.8 pH. I am in the process of recycling my tank after a wicked power outage a few weeks ago where my pH was a problem but. how can it drop at least 12 points within twentyfour hours?
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Old 02-07-2011, 04:21 PM   #4
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There's really no way to explain that except something being introduced to the tank or removed from it. For example if you removed limestone, added driftwood, or if when you tested the water it was that high pH, but when you actually filled your tank it wasn't.

I wonder if you ran your water for a while before you tested it? When water is sat in a pipe it may take in nutrients and raise pH, especially if the pipe is leaking, then when you actually turn on the tap you're maybe getting fresh and more acidic water... Always run the tap before you test, otherwise you don't know what the tank is actually getting.
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Old 02-07-2011, 04:35 PM   #5
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Oohhhhhh, I didn't think to let it run for awhile. So I could be causing the problems by assuming my tap water is at a higher pH when really it could be lower than my tank. fml. Is there a way to help keep my pH at a certain range other than water changes or tablets?
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Old 02-07-2011, 04:45 PM   #6
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Just wanting to ask I have PH Stablisier or something its called that I add in to my water when im changing that says it sets ph to 7, I have 3 scissortail rasboras and 2 platies it is that ok? or do they prefer a lower ph

And do I need to put in water safe every time I change the water? as its almost done and I dont know if I keep needing to do it now as my tank is 2 month old now, I also keep putting the ammonia remover in is it ok to stop that too?
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Old 02-07-2011, 05:06 PM   #7
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I'd never use any methods to change the tap water pH like tablets. But that's me... I'd just use whatever your tapwater is. If you are regular with your water changes you could put either limestone to raise or driftwood to lower. Then when you to your water changes you'll only change the pH towards your tap water by the amount you change. For example if your tank is 7.5, you do a 50% water change with 7.0 tapwater, then your tank pH will become 7.2. It will then gradually make it's way back to 7.5 before your next change.

The issue you have when using things to change pH like tablets is that they're great until they're gone, then your pH goes back to where it should be like a rollercoaster train.

When you do water changes of very small amounts (under 10%) you shouldn't need to add water conditioner, but I do. When you change over 20% you should use it always. As I said though, I would never use any chemical to alter pH, it's far better to actually have something in the tank like limestone to raise it as it'll do it far more gradually.
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Old 02-07-2011, 06:04 PM   #8
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Thanks Tim, i'll get more water conditioner then and take it easy with the ph stuff.
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Old 02-07-2011, 06:22 PM   #9
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ok so an update... i just got home and tested my tank again... back down to 6.0 or lower (test kit only goes to 6.0)......

let the tap run for about 15 min.... set to the temp of my tank... tested tap and its 6.8........ WT F man!!???

yes DW - driftwood... and i know that can lower PH, but its been in the tank over for a year or more.

i cant keep doing PWCs every day.... should i introduce limestone or something??
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Old 02-07-2011, 06:28 PM   #10
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Yeah, I would. It's likely to be a much gentler way to raise it.

I don't know what your tank looks like, but I think Texas Holey rock is among the best looking types of Limestone available. The tank is probably naturally dropping, which means any of the natural buffers in the tank gravel or whatever must have bottomed out. What you're doing with the limestone is introducing more. Should help.
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