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Old 09-28-2006, 12:09 PM   #1
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Low pH, driftwood questions

I'm having problems with pH. I think it's way too low. It's reading 6.0, but since this is the lower limit of my API Test kit, it could potentially be lower. I have one large & 2 smaller pieces of driftwood which I suspect are causing the problem. I have added crushed coral to my 2 HOB filters. After one day the pH is the same.

My questions are:

1) Do I need to add more coral, or just wait longer?

2) Should I try aragonite instead?

3) Would either of the above be inviting other problems?

3) Should I just remove the driftwood (which was expensive) and get some fake driftwood?

I don't like the idea of baking soda, or anything I'd have to dose regularly.

Finally, I'm aware that stable pH is better than perfect. I just want to at least get it above 6.0 so that I can monitor it better.

Thanks!

---

Water Parameters:

tank pH: ~6.0
tank ammo: 0.5
tank nitrites & nitrates: 0
tank GH: 3dH
tank KH: < 1dH

tap pH: 7.0 after 12 hrs
tap GH: 3dH
tap KH: <1dH
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Old 09-28-2006, 12:38 PM   #2
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I had the exact same problem (same pH and KH in the tank). I'm assuming from your ammonia level that it's a new tank? Everyone says the CC will take some time to make much difference in the pH, after 2-3 weeks mine has now come up to 6.6-ish. It did seem to be the best option I could find for buffering (like you, I didn't find having to add something every day appealing). I also think, in my case, having the tank finish cycling made a difference too (of course that just means time). Many people report their driftwood only effecting the pH slightly...I never took mine out and it seems to be settling nicely. Good luck.
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Old 09-28-2006, 12:59 PM   #3
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Yeah, I forgot to mention that it's a new tank, but no fish yet. Just some plants. My tap water has about 0.5ppm ammonia.
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Old 09-28-2006, 01:03 PM   #4
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I agree with fish'n'fries. CC will take a little while (couple of weeks) to show a noticable difference in your KH. That's your real problem is that your KH is so low. Some people add baking soda to get their KH up, but the CC will work as well and doesn't need to be added at every water change like baking soda does.
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Old 09-28-2006, 01:14 PM   #5
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This is an off-topic question, but what kind of dechlor are you using? The .5 ppm of Ammonia could be Chloramines.

To answer your questions, I don't think that the driftwood is cauing your pH to be so low. I think it has more to do with the softness of the water. it doesn't have the buffering ability. Stick with crushed coral, don't use the aragonite sand. It will more than likely cause your pH to be in the 8's.
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Old 09-28-2006, 01:21 PM   #6
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I've been using Prime to dechlorinate.

Thanks for the tip about the aragonite!
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Old 09-28-2006, 01:38 PM   #7
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Sounds good. I just wanted to make sure you were using a dechlorinator that removed Chloramines if the ammonia was infact Chloramines.
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Old 09-28-2006, 02:27 PM   #8
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Thanks for all of the responses so far.

So regardless of the real or fake driftwood, it would be a good idea to add some coral to improve the

buffering.

Is there a rule of thumb as to how much coral I should add? It's a 75g tank. I thought I read somewhere that

1 pound per 10 gallons was a good starting point, but that's more than I can fit in my HOBs. I'd rather not

add it to the substrate, in case I need to take it out in the future.
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Old 09-28-2006, 03:24 PM   #9
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Can always pick up a media bag, fill that and burry it in the substrate. You can remove the whole bag later if need be.
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Old 09-28-2006, 08:11 PM   #10
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I'd start with about 2 cups and go from there. Dskidmore gave a great suggestion. Bury a bag in the substrate. You could also put it behind a piece of driftwood or something along those lines.
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Old 09-28-2006, 11:02 PM   #11
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I did as suggested...put the coral in a media bag and buried it in the substrate. I hope this works!
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