Clay pots and pH question
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Clay pots and pH question

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Clay pots and pH question
Old 06-09-2010, 10:18 PM   #1
 
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Clay pots and pH question

I keep a 10gl QT set up that I'm going to need to use as a hospital tank. Since I couldn't stand the look of an "empty"' tank, I potted up some swords (in those standard clay pots everyone uses) and put these, along with a handful of MTS, a chunk of Malaysian driftwood and a handful of java moss into the tank many, many weeks ago. The tank looks nice, the snails are thriving but... I just tested the pH of this tank and it's 8.6!
What the heck? My tap water is 8.0 and I thought that clay pots had no effect on pH? Since I need to get this tank ready for use tomorrow I suppose I take out all the potted plants and chaulk it up to a failed experiment? Am I missing something?
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Old 06-10-2010, 04:06 AM   #2
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aunt kymmie View Post
I keep a 10gl QT set up that I'm going to need to use as a hospital tank. Since I couldn't stand the look of an "empty"' tank, I potted up some swords (in those standard clay pots everyone uses) and put these, along with a handful of MTS, a chunk of Malaysian driftwood and a handful of java moss into the tank many, many weeks ago. The tank looks nice, the snails are thriving but... I just tested the pH of this tank and it's 8.6!
What the heck? My tap water is 8.0 and I thought that clay pots had no effect on pH? Since I need to get this tank ready for use tomorrow I suppose I take out all the potted plants and chaulk it up to a failed experiment? Am I missing something?
Clay or terra cotta should not have effect on pH or hardness. When you say the tap tests at 8.0 is this after setting for 24 hours ? Tapwater often tests a bit higher after it has off gassed CO2 that may be present.
My tapwater if tested right off the tap tests moderately hard with pH around 7.2 After 24 hours in barrel or bucket, it tests closer to 7.8 After a 50 percent water change, my tanks that have been running for some time,test at around 7.2 to 7.4.
I would not worry bout the slight difference you recorded unless softwater fish were involved or hardness suddenly increased. I would drip acclimate the fish.
Biological process in tank will tend to create a bit more acidic water over time.
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Old 06-10-2010, 04:29 AM   #3
 
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Went and did some research for I have used clay pots without incident more than a few times. In fact I have a very large clay pot in Jack dempsey tank and all is well.
I saw one report, that indicated that lime may be added in production of some terracotta pots depending on what location in the country they are made at. This,, if true,,could affect pH and perhaps hardness. I might consider testing a bucket of water with and without the pot(s) in question and see if there is indeed a relation. (posted this while calling girlfriend to tell her to remove clay pot from Jack's tank)
My pots are very old and have been used in numerous tanks at different times and this would be good thing to determine for future reference.
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Old 06-10-2010, 10:14 AM   #4
 
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I googled using terra cotta unglazed pots. It said that it loweres PH like driftwood and peat does. If also said that make sure you have not used it in your garden for plants as any fertilizer or chemicals will leach into the clay. Never rinse with soap. There were some other sites on Google about using clay terra pot in aquariums. Glazed pots could have lead in the glaze so don't use them.
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Old 06-10-2010, 10:15 AM   #5
 
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Thanks, I'll do that. In the meantime I need to use this tank today for treatment of yet another discus. Darn Discus. Love them but sometimes they can be such a pain! I'm going to remove all the potted plants in the hospital tank and of course there goes the majority of my bio filter. With nothing else in the tank hopefully what little is in there (some flaoting plants and some snails) can keep up with the bioload of one fish. Thank you so much for your help and advice!
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Old 06-10-2010, 10:57 AM   #6
 
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You know what I do to get the bio working fast. I rinse out my filter pad from my other tanks in the new tanks water. I also always have an extra bio sponge in my main tank filter box to use on my other tanks. I might have a extra bio sponge you can have and just keep in your filter box. This works great. I also use an additive called Cycle that already has good bacteria in it. I rinsed my filter sponge in my unfiltered tub pond outside to get it going no deaths in the tub pond fish. In fact I cleaned it out the other day of stuff and found they had baby endlers in there. I only spotted 3 fry.
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Old 06-10-2010, 01:48 PM   #7
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eileen View Post
I googled using terra cotta unglazed pots. It said that it loweres PH like driftwood and peat does. If also said that make sure you have not used it in your garden for plants as any fertilizer or chemicals will leach into the clay. Never rinse with soap. There were some other sites on Google about using clay terra pot in aquariums. Glazed pots could have lead in the glaze so don't use them.
They are unglazed, had never been used for anything before and I soaked them in water for a day before I added them to the tank. It's odd. I think it's like 1077 says, depending on where they were manufactured perhaps these pots have lots of lime in them?

Thanks for the offer on the bio sponge, Eileen. I can pull one from one of my other tanks, and I also have Seachem's Stability on hand. The toughest part for me is going to be catching my fish. With all the plants and driftwood it makes it tough. I'm doing a 50% water change in the display so while the water is down I should be able to net him pretty easily. Poor little guy.
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