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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I thought I would do my biannual water PH test and have some rather odd results. As you can see they vary wildly which is causing me some confusion and grief.

1st tube - 6.8ph.
2nd tube - 7.6ph.
3rd tube - 7.2ph.

86F85584-38D4-4DBE-8F6E-A9A82E696607 by Nickarla W, on Flickr

The first tube is from my quarantine/hospital tank. The second is from my main tank. The third is straight from the tap. Can anyone help shed some light on what is happening? The only thing I can think of is that the single catappa in the hospital tank is causing the drop but didn't think that it would be this significant. The main tank has a few catappa leaves as well but few/litre of water. Despite this the PH is actually rising from the tap PH. The gravel is pea gravel, there is plenty of wood and plants, an external filter and a sponge filter. The only thing added is a Seachems Flourish Tab with the occasional drop of Flourish Excel. :-?

My quarantine/hospital tank

45CAC7AB-3A55-4B2D-B961-76B3BA3DEBCD by Nickarla W, on Flickr

My main tank

97EC08F9-6FAB-4F76-987D-DC7968CDBA99 by Nickarla W, on Flickr
 

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A quick online search shows that Catappa leaves are used to lower pH but I wouldn't think that just one would lower it that much unless it was fresh or newer.

It is very possible that the difference between the tap pH and the main tank pH is the relationship between water alkalinity and pH. One way to verify this is either by letting a sample of the tap water sit out for 24 hours and compare it to a fresh sample of water directly from the tap.

You can also purchase a KH (alkalinity) test kit to check your tap water hardness and again compare fresh tap water against the 24 hour test sample and I bet you will see a difference.

What is your normal water change schedule and approximately how much water do you change at this time?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
If I understand correctly then I would expect both tanks to show a similar difference to the fresh tap water. The fact that the tap water sits in the middle with the extreme difference being between the tanks is suggesting that there is something in the tanks themselves...I just can't work out what it could be.

When I change the water in the quarantine tank I add 50% from the main and 50% from the tap, making it even stranger that the quarantine should be so much lower than the main.

I am currently doing 10% every 3 days.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
The small tank has now gone down to 6.4 pH (left tube). I have taken out all slate and granite gravel in the large tank and done a large water change but it is still creeping up slightly higher (currently 7.4pH) than tap waters 7.2pH (right tube). Any ideas...at all? I want my main tank with a lower pH for my dwarf cichlids but cant, for the life of me, work out why is rises.

163FA8EA-37B6-49FA-82CF-CFCD849A54AD by Nickarla W, on Flickr
 
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