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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Tank #1 PH: 8.2
Tank #2 PH: 8.2
PH out of the Tap: 7.6

Tank #1 has Eco-Complete African Cichlid Sand Substrate and black lace rock.
Tank #2 has Eco-Complete Plant Substrate, 2 large pieces of driftwood both over 20 inches and is a planted tank.

How on earth did Tank #2 get that high of a PH?

I know of some natural ways to lower the PH for tank #2...but they're already in the tank and the PH is still too high.

Any help on lowering the PH on Tank #2 would be great, I would prefer it to be around 7 but could easily live with something in the 7.5's. Also, would buying water from the grocery store help with this? I "thought" I had read something regarding this but now I can't find the thread.
 

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Why are you worried about the PH? I would check your GH and KH which are really more inportant than your PH. I would bet that either Nitrates or a low GH and KH is causing a low buffering capacity causing your PH to fluctuate. In a planted tank it is normal for the ph to rise higher than what comes out at the tap. If you are injecting CO2 for the plants that will cause a rise in the PH. Your GH and KH are probably still on target and you probably don't need to worry.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I plan on using Tank #2 for an SA community tank, that's the only reason why I'm worried. With a PH of that high I won't be able to house them.
 

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first off, have you measured the KH.

if the KH is high, then it might be being suppressed by the addition of CO2, which if the water is then disturbed leaves it, leading to the pH to rise.

I looked up eco complete plant substrate, and it says it shouldn't raise pH or KH, so I would suspect it is entirely the tap water
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Not at my house but I know for tank #1 it was 15 drops for the KH, so what is that 15 degrees? Where I live it's known for hard water that's why the african cichlid tank was so easy to get a high stable PH. I would have thought between the plants and the driftwood that it would have helped with getting a lower PH.

I do believe it's entirely my tap water, just baffles me that I have the eco-complete sand substrate made for african cichlids that's suppose to help raise the PH and as it turns out it's the same PH without that substrate. I'm going to do a large water change in tank #2 tonight with some distilled water to see if that can help.

I don't like using chemicals so I don't want to use PH down, if I can do weekly water changes of 10% and refilling that with distilled water that would be fine.
 

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I tried looking for specifics, however there is very little data on the caribsea website. I would assume that it uses aragonite to raise the pH, KH and GH, and at 8.2 it is unlikely to be able to dissolve, thereby raising the pH further.

the fact is, by the sound of it, your water is perfect for rift lake species.

with regard the SA tank of yours. my personal preference would be to get a RO unit, and then blend 25-50% tap water with RO water, this way you do away with expensive re-mineralizing additives.
however, with careful acclimatization you could put SA's in that water. In my opinion, however, thats not something I'd be happy doing. the fish have evolved in certain conditions, yes they can adapt to others, but I dont think they will show their full potential as they would in more natural water conditions
 

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Cook.MN said:
Tank #1 PH: 8.2
Tank #2 PH: 8.2
PH out of the Tap: 7.6

Tank #2 has Eco-Complete Plant Substrate, 2 large pieces of driftwood both over 20 inches and is a planted tank.

How on earth did Tank #2 get that high of a PH?
If you have a planted tank without CO2 injection your pH will have risen by the end of the photo period due to CO2 depletion and drop during the night as the tank equilibrates. Test before lights come on and right before they go off, you'll see the swing. This is normal. Mine swings from 8.0 to 7.4-7.6 on a daily basis and my Angels and Corys both have bred in this tank although the eggs get eaten.
 

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Is the tap water being measured after aerating it for a while? pH readings will vary considerably between not doing it and doing it in some areas. Could be the water out of the tap has high levels of carbon dioxide in it ... thus a lower reading straight out of the tap but higher in the tank once the CO2 dissolves out. If you haven't done so yet, add tap water to a bucket and throw in an air stone for 24 hours and test pH. Will give ya the true pH of your tap water.

I use eco-complete plant substrate and my pH is never above 6.8. No RO or distilled water from grocery store, just tap water. That being said, it's always possible something got in one of the bags you used.

Deffinately an odd situtation.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
eric said:
Which SA's are you planning on keeping??
Apisto's and maybe some German Rams...Rams aren't going to happen if I can't get my PH stable at a lower level.

I don't have a CO2 injection system and I have taken readings before the lights go on and there's no difference. I did add 4 gallons of distilled water in my water changes this weekend and it seemed to drop the PH slightly, thinking I may have to do a large water change of at least 20 gallons to notice a difference.

Oddly enough the driftwood has turned the water yellow/brown (of which I don't mind and I know it's not harmful, just tannins being released) but it hasn't done anything else in terms of helping to achieve a lower PH.
 

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I recently set up a planted 30 gallon long. I used the eco-complete plan substrate and my tap water, typically 7.5-7.6 turned into 8.5 in the tank. I'm using co2 injection and that brought it down to about 8.1.

I did some research on the net and found out that some hobbyists have in fact experienced serious ph spikes like I did and that it's only supposed to last 6-8 weeks with 50% weekly water changes.

Even now, almost 2 months after set up and weekly water changes and co2 injection, my ph is still at 7.6-7.7.

I'm glad they've discontinued the eco-complete for planted tanks since I would never recommend it. :x :x :x :x :x :x :x

I'm just glad that my threadfin rainbows have done well despite the issue. I can see why they're not spanwing much though. I need the ph down to 7 or so.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Wow so it is the substrate...yeah I have two HUGE pieces of driftwood in this tank and it has done -nothing- to help lower the PH at all...just made my water brown/yellowish :x
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Hrmm, I have a power head and a bubble wall in this tank...think taking them out would help any? I'm a big fan of water movement so that's why I have em in here.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Well, just to be on the safe side I took them both out, will see if that makes any difference.

Well just spent 4 hours boiling water, letting it cool then adding it to Tank #2, did about a 30-40% change in water and no difference in PH/KH.

/head desk
 
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