Go Back   Aquarium Advice - Aquarium Forum Community > Freshwater > Freshwater & Brackish - General Discussion
Click Here to Login

Join Aquarium Advice Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about them on AquariumAdvice.com
 
Old 03-11-2005, 07:45 PM   #1
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Northern VA
Posts: 3,005
pH has gotten really low... 6.0

Okay, I'm having the exact opposite problem I had over the the summer where my pH was really high. I've been at my new apartment since August, the tap water is still 7.0. Anyway, my 55 gallon tank has lots of plants and a large peice over drift wood. Are these why my pH has slowly dropped to 6.0 over the past 2 months? Would crushed coral help raise it up to around 7.0 or will that raise it too high? The manager at my LFS wants me to use chemicals, but I don't want to. I'd like to find a nice natural way. Thanks!
__________________

__________________
rubysoho is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-11-2005, 08:47 PM   #2
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Adelaide, Australia
Posts: 2,110
Do a 40% pwc.

Also, check what your tap water is after sitting aorund for a while ie in a cup. Let the CO2 equalize with the air.

If you have a pH crash do a good gravel vac with a PWC. Don't use chemicals. Your tap water should be fine.
__________________

__________________
mattrox is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-11-2005, 08:50 PM   #3
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
Fishyfanatic's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Illinois
Posts: 11,964
Never use chemicals. The driftwood is certainly lowering your pH. It looks nice, but it lowers your waters pH. You may try fake driftwood or a little bit of cc in the filter.
__________________
Vote for Aquarium Advice

29 Gallon Lake Malawi Fry
55 Gallon Community
150 Gallon Lake Malawi Cichlid
Fishyfanatic is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-12-2005, 02:23 AM   #4
Aquarium Advice FINatic
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Australia
Posts: 922
Any other way to raise Ph besides driftwood?
__________________
Blucat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-12-2005, 03:13 AM   #5
AA Team Emeritus
 
An t-iasg's Avatar


 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Criders Corners, PA
Posts: 9,889
How did you get the 7.0 value? I agree with mattrox -- the best way to check your pH is to let a cup of tap water sit overnight and then test. For example, my pH out of the tap is 8.2 ( 8O ) and after sitting overnight, it's 7.8. If I check the pH in the aquariums, it's 7.2. Established aquariums drop their pH value a little. I'm not sure of all the chemistry involved, but the acidic wastes of the fish help to lower the pH a bit in an established aquarium. So that's one reason your aquarium's pH is lower than your tapwater's pH.

The reason the pH doesn't get too low is that you do partial water changes and replenish the buffers that stabilize the pH a bit. But you also have driftwood. That lowers the pH too. I had a piece of driftwood in a bucket and I put it in tapwater and then tested about 4 days later. The pH dropped all the way down to 6.6. So driftwood is a pretty good at lowering pH.

To combat the effect of the driftwood, you could do more frequent water changes to replenish your water buffers. But this may be too time-consuming. You could consider fake driftwood or put some crushed coral in your filter, like Fishyfanatic said. You'd have to experiment with some CC in a bucket to get an idea of how much you need to raise the pH. Remember to do it very slowly so you don't stress the fish.

What kind of fish do you have? (I can't see your sig from here!) Some tetras are fine with a pH of 6. You could check Liveaquaria.com to see the pH requirements of each fish. If you do decide to raise the pH with crushed coral, just do it slowly. If you decide to take the driftwood out, your weekly water changes should raise the pH slowly.
__________________







An t-iasg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-12-2005, 03:21 AM   #6
AA Team Emeritus
 
An t-iasg's Avatar


 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Criders Corners, PA
Posts: 9,889
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blucat
Any other way to raise Ph besides driftwood?
Driftwood will lower pH, and crushed coral raises it, or at least stabilizes the pH. Since my tap pH is high, I use a mix of tap and RO water for my tanks. To raise the pH -- I have never needed to do this -- but crushed coral is probably the best way. I have heard of using baking soda but you should know what you're doing to use this method, and I wouldn't even want to attempt it. I did put some baking soda in RO water once just to try it, and a very small amount of baking soda raised the pH quite a bit. You should never just put baking soda right into your tank.

Here's an excellent article on pH: http://www.aquariumadvice.com/showqu...q=2&fldAuto=40
__________________







An t-iasg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-12-2005, 10:24 AM   #7
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
BrianNY's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: NY
Posts: 4,535
Hi Nicole. Please read the article on pH stability in the articles section.

You cannot maintain a stable pH in unbuffered water. The likelihood is that your water caontains little are no carbonates. You need to test the KH. Anything under 3 will mean pH swings. Crushed coral will slowly raise the KH (if that's what is needed)
__________________
BrianNY is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-12-2005, 05:01 PM   #8
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Northern VA
Posts: 3,005
The drop in pH didn't start until the driftwood was added, so I know that is the culprit. I'd take it out, only I have a gold nugget pleco who loves to eat on it all day.

The tap water pH is still 7.0 after sitting for 24 hours. I've been getting a little slack on my water changes, only once a week rather than every few days. Just been too busy, so I guess I haven't been replenishing the natural buffers. However, my ammonia, nitrate and nitrite are always undetectable (had it tested both at home and at the LFS to make sure my tests were still accurate).

BrianNY, thanks for mentioning the article, I'm going to check it out.
__________________
rubysoho is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-12-2005, 08:38 PM   #9
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
Fishyfanatic's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Illinois
Posts: 11,964
If you don't remove the driftwood, your pH is going to stay low. Have you thought of selling the gold nugget and getting a different pleco that doesn't need wood?
__________________
Vote for Aquarium Advice

29 Gallon Lake Malawi Fry
55 Gallon Community
150 Gallon Lake Malawi Cichlid
Fishyfanatic is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-12-2005, 10:28 PM   #10
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Northern VA
Posts: 3,005
I suppose I could sell the little guy... I think I am going to try and fix the pH first with some crushed coral. I'll let you know how it goes.
__________________
rubysoho is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-13-2005, 01:39 AM   #11
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
Fishyfanatic's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Illinois
Posts: 11,964
If you really really want to keep him, add the crushed coral to the filtration unit (assuming that you can). If you can't, limestone will also work. There are a couple other rocks that can be added that will raise the pH. But don't over-do it. Add the crushed coral and see where you are in a month, then if it's still low, add a piece of limsetone.
__________________
Vote for Aquarium Advice

29 Gallon Lake Malawi Fry
55 Gallon Community
150 Gallon Lake Malawi Cichlid
Fishyfanatic is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-13-2005, 03:13 PM   #12
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Northern VA
Posts: 3,005
yup, I have space for it in my filter. I am going to add just a little at a time. On the article that BrianNY suggested, it said to add a pound of crushed coral per 5 gallons. And that is to get it to a pH of 7.6 so just a little in my filter should help raise it a bit just so it isn't too acidic. I'll make sure to go slowly.
__________________
rubysoho is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-13-2005, 08:19 PM   #13
Aquarium Advice Regular
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Florida
Posts: 55
read a little bit about KH and GH. KH in particular, low KH levels mean PH swings. I keep my tank at about 5 degrees KH and I have community fish.. (tetras, etc.) My kit recommends using ph buffer made be aquarium pharmecueticals which will raise the KH, using distilled water will lower the KH.....just a thought
__________________
buggsmarinetank is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-13-2005, 08:20 PM   #14
Aquarium Advice Regular
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Florida
Posts: 55
I use a gallon jug of distilled with the buffer to maintain my PH. Also, are you topping off your evaportated water with tap water? Because evaporated water is pure, leaving the minerals behind. If you add half a gallon a week, you are adding more minerals making your watear pretty hard.
__________________

__________________
buggsmarinetank is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about them on AquariumAdvice.com

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
What plants survive at low pH & low light (6.0 or under) Jeffs Freshwater & Brackish - Planted Tanks 9 06-03-2011 01:52 AM
Chemistry: Low pH, Low dK, High Calcium ronin33 Saltwater Reef Aquaria 8 04-23-2009 02:42 AM
WTB Low/Med-Low light floating plants zacusmaximus Archive 1 08-10-2007 04:22 AM
10 gallon low light (15W), low tech planted tank filter? TomK2 Freshwater & Brackish - Planted Tanks 7 03-16-2005 11:55 AM
Add ins for low light low planted tank? Deitta Freshwater & Brackish - Planted Tanks 9 05-05-2004 03:15 PM







» Photo Contest Winners







All times are GMT -4. The time now is 10:37 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.