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Plz help with ph new tank!!!


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Hello everyone I am in need of some help I’m really confused right now hopefully I can get some answers! I have 3 planted tanks 2 5g and 1 15g all with no co2, fluval stratom and tropica aquarium soil powder mixed for the substrate in all the tanks 2 of the 3 have dragonstone and spider wood the other has seiryu stone. They have all been running for over a year. The ph in those tanks is about 7.6 and the kh3 gh16. About a month ago I set up a new 29g aquarium with the same two substrates and about 40lbs of dragonstone. The tank has been running for a month with no light on and it’s fully cycled. I haven’t added plants yet because I purchased a co2 system and am now waiting for certain plants to be in stock. Here’s the problem I tested the ph in this tank and it’s about 6.4, I then tested the kh which was 0 and the gh10. I use the same tap water for every aquarium so I’m unsure why the new tank is so different! Like I said I am adding co2 and I know that drops ph and then having a kh of 0 can’t be good either! Any help is appreciated I’ll post a pic of my ph in the 3 established tanks and then the ph in the new tank. I’m afraid to spend the money on plants at this point and get it going!0499B806-461D-4550-8B61-C4750705F04E.jpeg.2aea6d4c5385786f7c5343a2596b5e9d.jpegF26B4609-EE2E-43B9-8FD1-0359DF194EC6.jpeg.227b79331195e6392bd7e5f198e0d664.jpeg

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Slick_Nick;

I believe that the CO2 injection without the benefit of plants to take in the CO2 and give off oxygen in the tank may be a large part of your problem. Plant an Amazon sword in your tank, supplement with one cap full of Flourish Iron, wait to see what happens, I believe you'll be pleasantly surprised.

Put a timer on your light. Set the timer so that the light comes on at 8 AM your time zone, off at 11:30 AM, on again at 4:30 PM, and off again for the night at 8 PM. This time sequence, along with the ambient light in the room is enough light for your plants to take in CO2 in the daytime, give off oxygen at night, survive, and grow.

I've never heard of the substrates you mentioned. I used the fine, black, Eco Complete in my 29 G tank and it's perfect except that it packs down, meaning that I have to uproot some of my plants sometimes to reach in to stir it up to release the build-up of methane before it reaches the point of being lethal.

What type of fish do you plan on putting in this tank? With CO2 injection, you're not going to be able to have very many fish, but go with blackwater fish: Neon tetra's, Angelfish, and Cories, to name a few.

I gave up on CO2 injection because it's too expensive, too time consuming, and just an overall hassle.

Good luck.

Gator 

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Like Gator Said....Get some plants in that tank.  No reason to inject Co2 with no plants to use it.  Its just being wasted.  Second your Kh reading of zero has me a bit worried.  Having no Kh means your ph is able to swing all over the place.   Thats ok for plants but horrible for fish...I would work on raising the Kh to at least 3-4.

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On 8/14/2021 at 7:10 AM, KentFishFanUK said:

@Slick_Nick in that case my money is on the Tropica soil powder! I think it calls for twice weekly water changes until it stops lowering pH. 

Thank you Kent! I will try to do some big water changes and see if that helps! In the month that the tank has been running I’ve done two 50% water changes just to lower the nitrates since there are no plants in it yet to use them up. 

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If you did no water changes while it was cycling, then that explains the low KH. It was depleted by the acids in the tank while it was cycling.

0dKH is not a problem, in fact, most plants appreciate little to no KH. If you add crushed coral, you are going to raise both KH and GH. A 16dGH is high if your focus is on plants, which it seems to be the case if you are injecting CO².

I would see if your source water has 16dGH from the tap and use Distilled or RO water to cut your source water to lower GH and KH.

Here's my tank at 0KH and many others run 0KH729437788_PXL_20210812_173816796_MP2.jpg.7f0ba0763cc71fcf1ab54d85b1e781ca.jpg and here's Greggz's tank at 0KH

 

50630553177_214f0bf34e_k.jpg

Edited by Mmiller2001
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On 8/14/2021 at 7:48 AM, Mmiller2001 said:

If you did no water changes while it was cycling, then that explains the low KH. It was depleted by the acids in the tank while it was cycling.

0dKH is not a problem, in fact, most plants appreciate little to low KH. If you add crushed coral, you are going to raise both KH and GH. A 10dGH is high if you focus is on plants, which it seems to be the case if you are injecting CO².

I would see if your source water has 16dGH from the tap and use Distilled or RO water to cut your source water to lower GH and KH.

Here's my tank at 0KH and many others run 0KH729437788_PXL_20210812_173816796_MP2.jpg.7f0ba0763cc71fcf1ab54d85b1e781ca.jpg and here's Greggz's tank at 0KH

 

 

50630553177_214f0bf34e_k.jpg

Thank you Mmiller2001 I will go ahead and test my tap water and see where it’s at. I’ve always heard the a low kh causes ph swings and I’ve also heard adding co2 lowers ph and my ph is 6.4 I didn’t want some massive crash to happen after I spend all this money in plants! Those tanks are absolutely beautiful by the way! That’s what I’m shooting for! I’ll post a couple pics of my non co2 tanks they are nowhere near your level obviously, but just  so you can see I somewhat have a clue what I’m doing! This whole adding co2 is just new to me and I want to make sure I get it right!BCBD5688-6B3A-4995-A999-52663495B7E7.jpeg.165a976995254bffbf3f4ff6b4776668.jpeg855713F1-7AEB-4785-A142-EDD1F72E8D64.jpeg.2f4af9c35549c92b557b34c853b4f57b.jpeg

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On 8/14/2021 at 8:08 AM, Mmiller2001 said:

Those tanks are the envy of many! I can't wait to see your CO2 project! I hope you will start a journal on it's progress.

Here's a link that really helped me when I got started in CO2. https://www.2hraquarist.com/blogs/choosing-co2-why 

PH swing is not a problem. My tanks fluctuate between 7.0 and 5.5 daily. 

 

Thank you again for your help I really appreciate it and yes I will definitely have to start a journal on it I’m very excited! I’ve been reading some stuff on the 2hr aquarist actually  so that’s great I really enjoy his articles!

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On 8/14/2021 at 3:13 PM, Slick_Nick said:

Thank you Kent! I will try to do some big water changes and see if that helps! In the month that the tank has been running I’ve done two 50% water changes just to lower the nitrates since there are no plants in it yet to use them up. 

Here you go I found the instructions for you:

"Aquarium Soil Powder is further an active bottom layer that lowers the pH value and slightly affects the water chemistry.

We recommend that you change 25-50% of the water min. twice a week during the first 4 weeks after establishing the aquarium."

 

So yeah minimum twice a week for 4 weeks so you just need to do more water changes and you should be good to go! 

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On 8/14/2021 at 8:39 AM, KentFishFanUK said:

Here you go I found the instructions for you:

"Aquarium Soil Powder is further an active bottom layer that lowers the pH value and slightly affects the water chemistry.

We recommend that you change 25-50% of the water min. twice a week during the first 4 weeks after establishing the aquarium."

 

So yeah minimum twice a week for 4 weeks so you just need to do more water changes and you should be good to go! 

Thank you Kent! I figured I was missing something for my ph to be so much lower than the other aquariums!! Like I said I’ve only done 2 in a month so I will do a big water change today and then another one on a few days. I’m hoping to order the plants soon and then I will completely drain it to start planting hopefully it should be all good by then! 

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On 8/14/2021 at 7:19 PM, Gator said:

Slick Nick;

WOW! Your tanks look fantastic.

All of your plants are grouped so that they compliment the other plants around them in color, contrast, and leaf structure, this is every aquarist's dream, you have the eye of an artist.

If they're growing so well without CO2, why add CO2?

Sincerely

Gator

Thank you so much gator I really appreciate it! Each scape I do I learn something new and apply it to the next one. I know I still have a lot to learn and that’s what I love about this hobby. Great question by the way! The main reason I decided I want to use co2 is to grow a nice lush carpet. I grew a partial Monte Carlo carpet without co2 but it took almost a year to do so! Like I said it was a partial carpet still patchy in areas. I’m putting it on a 29g so I will definitely need co2 to get a nice carpet. Also I just want to see how much better I can get plants to grow because mine already have nice color I can’t even imagine when they have the proper amount of co2!

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I'm having the exact same problem but with different substrate, and only after a few days of just polishing.  Right now I'm going on the theory that it's my clay substrate absorbing the carbonate.  After a water change, my kh went up a little.  Ph dropped again but not as much. 

I'm hoping one more water change and it'll be good to go. 

I'm still going to try adding crushed coral to raise the kh a little more to help with the cycling when I start. 

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On 8/15/2021 at 7:32 AM, Gideyon said:

I'm having the exact same problem but with different substrate, and only after a few days of just polishing.  Right now I'm going on the theory that it's my clay substrate absorbing the carbonate.  After a water change, my kh went up a little.  Ph dropped again but not as much. 

I'm hoping one more water change and it'll be good to go. 

I'm still going to try adding crushed coral to raise the kh a little more to help with the cycling when I start. 

Yeah I’m pretty sure it’s just because the substrate is still new. I did a 20g water change this morning I’m going to check the ph kh/gh tomorrow and see what they’re at. My tank has already been running over a month now and is fully cycled and I finally got my co2 bottle filled now I’m just waiting for the right plants to be in stock! My family is sick of looking at a tank with a towel over it to keep light out for the last month lol.

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