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Old 10-24-2016, 12:02 AM   #1
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Getting really frustrated trying to lower ph

I'm trying to get my 100g ready for my rams that will get here Tuesday. 2 weeks ago I started lowering my ph from 8 down to 7. My kh was very high around 8 so I started eating through that with 2x daily doses of 1tsp of acid buffer and 20g daily water changes with rodi (added equlibrium and fresh trace back in). It took about a week to get the kh to 0. Once I got it to 0 I very carefully added acid buffer until I had a ph of 6.9.

After that I added the recommended 1:2 acid/alk buffers to add kh and stabilized ph. Got it on the money. Next day 7.3 on ph and 2 on kh. Errrrr!

So I spent 2 more days removing the kh then went with a 1:1 1/3 dose of acid and alk. 6.8 on ph, next day 7.2.

Now Im doing 20g water changes 2x daily with rodi + buffers and eq. I'm getting the watter to hold 6.5 in my holding tanks (aka fish safe trash cans) overnight. When I add it to the tank it goes up.

I've removed the limestone in the tank now it's just plants and drift wood. 1 small lava rock holding down a peice of drift that likes to float. I have black gravel from I think petco. I do have substrate but I don't remember the brand as Its over 1.5 years old.

I have no clue (other than substrate but I hope not) what's going on here. I'm concerned that my rams won't like the water.

No mater what it keeps going back up over 7. I'm almost tempted to get a ph monitor and dose c02 to keep the ph low...

On the plus side my nitrates have never been so low, almost 0.

I know I shouldn't chase a number and stability is key, but my plants don't like higher ph, and I know the rams wont.

Kh currently 1.6-2, gh around 75 maybe a bit lower (I raise the rodi water with equlibrium)


Can anyone help me stop chasing my tail here?
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Old 10-24-2016, 11:16 AM   #2
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1. Great, you have a rodi unit, so this will be very simple for you.

2. Injecting co2 does lower pH, but it does not lower KH, so technically even though pH is lower, the hardness is unchanged. What you want for rams is softer water, not necessarily just lower pH.

First thing you should do is throw the acid buffer in the garbage can. It is unneeded. Second, try a 15% or 20% water change with RO water with nothing added, no gh booster (equilibrium), just straight RO water. Turn filters and pumps back on, wait a bit and check the pH to see how far the water change lowered it. Keep repeating this process until the KH has been lowered enough to keep the pH exactly where you want it.

Next, get a bucket and pour a half gallon of RO water, and another half-gallon of straight tap water. Let it sit in the bucket overnight, then check the pH of the water to get an idea of what ratio of tap to rodi water will give you the pH you're after. Then, just use this mixture of ro and tap water in the same ratio every time you do a water change. Do water changes once a week to start with, and if you notice that the pH is staying where you want it, you could probably reduce water changes to every other week if you don't want to do weekly changes.

side note about evaporation-- if you are replacing a lot of evaporated water every week, you could either cover the tank to prevent it or just increase the ratio of rodi to tap water when doing your weekly water change.
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Old 10-24-2016, 03:59 PM   #3
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So if my kh and gh is low but the ph is higher it should be fine?
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Old 10-24-2016, 08:25 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ub3rn00ber View Post
So if my kh and gh is low but the ph is higher it should be fine?
YES...
Very nicely said by Perfect Depth..
I'll add ;
I keep track of my water with a TDS meter.
My rams are raised and live fine in my tap 7.6/9gh/2kh but won't breed [non fertile eggs ] as the TDS is over 300...
By mixing RO and tap or remineralising ro with way cheaper products is the way I breed my rams...I may have a water thread here?
Also if you water is swinging out of your control I would wait on the rams or try them out in your tap as you are going to have to change water regularly and have matched parameters consistently...
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Old 10-24-2016, 09:52 PM   #5
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JMy rams are currently at live aquaria I ordered them but put them and my clown fish on hold to ship Nov 2nd, I though my new salt tank was done cycling but got a huge brown algea bloom and want that gone before I add 2 little clowns.


Edit I was at 7.55ph 4 hours ago and did a 20-25% water change with rodi only and it only dropped to 7.49.... I'm using a digital ph tester. I just ordered the Milwaukee digital ph controller, as I already have the rest of the co2 stuff.

Are rams any more sensitive to co2 or should 20-30ppm be ok?
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Old 10-24-2016, 10:13 PM   #6
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On another note I have a 29g fluval AIO in the garage with a filter, should I set it up and toss media (always leave 2 large bags of bio balls in the sump in case I need them for something), and try to cycle it and hold the rams? It will only be running from tomorrow till the rams get here on the 3rd
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Old 10-24-2016, 10:28 PM   #7
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The co2 will not change the chemistry of the water???
The hardness remains which is why fish don't die from the pH swings that go with using co2.
I can't see how a QT effects the water parameters???
And good luck with LA rams....I will be following to see how they do...
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Old 10-24-2016, 11:50 PM   #8
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Ah got ya. I've been wanting to set up co2 for a while since it's a heavily planted tank and the plants are not doing incredibly well.

Unfortunately I had a casualty tonight. My only glow tetra got sucked through my drain tube during a water change and got stuck, I couldn't get him out so I had to blow in the tube.... he's still breathing, I'm hoping he's just in shock, I'll give him 30 more min and if he dosnt look better pull the plug.

I'll keep you updated.
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