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co2 and ph

This is a discussion on co2 and ph within the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium forums, part of the Freshwater Fish and Aquariums category; --> I would do some tests on a large rubbermaid tub full of water. Use the co2 and baking soda on it and see how ...

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Old 05-03-2009, 03:12 AM   #11
 
I would do some tests on a large rubbermaid tub full of water. Use the co2 and baking soda on it and see how stable you can keep it.

As far as ph fluctuations go, I would aim for keeping the tank within 1 degree of your tap water. A ph of 6 would be good. All my tanks experience about a .4 ph jump when I do my 50% water changes. My fish and shrimp have never been bothered by this change.
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Old 05-03-2009, 10:08 AM   #12
 
out of curiosity, I tested the kh of my 5g w/betta and the kh is 50 in there. Something is definitely playing with the kh in my 33g
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Old 05-03-2009, 10:54 AM   #13
 
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Originally Posted by whitedevil View Post
Byron, thanks for the info.


Now Im just going to hook the CO2 DIY I made into the light timer, Its a dual time timer so do you think I should only maybe give it CO2 half the time of the light?

My PH as of today is at 8.6, I put in the PH nuetralizer from SeaChem in this afternoon and it is down to around 8.0, I am going planted I dont have any yet because I gotta add more sand and get the food for the plants, what else in the water parameters should I look for? My CO2 set up is DIY my container is a 1 gallon jug, I did however add an in-line water seperator to catch the yeast muck so the check valve doesnt get clogged up and its much easier clean-up. I am using a wood chop stick for a difuser however I am placing a food and plant order and will get it then if needed.

What rate should the bubbles be? any certain 1 gallon mixtures for the yeast,sugar and b. soda?

Thanks


Dont mean to hijack just didnt want to make a new thread for the same and new questions.
I can't respond to this as I have never used CO2; my tanks are heavily planted and the water is soft and pH 6.4-6.6 and CO2 is unnecessary for the type of plants and growth I like, as my photos will show. Others here do have CO2, so you might want to start a new thread in the plant section, as I'm sure several members will have answers to your questions. I would just say that if your goal is a planted tank with SA or SE Asian fish (prefer slightly acidic water, as would the plants) you might want to consider peat filtration to lower the pH and hardness, as 8 is very high for such fish and plants, although some are adaptable--or seem to be.
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Old 05-03-2009, 11:05 AM   #14
 
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Freddiesbuns, your initial pH (tap water) is 6.8, so if it is now 6.8 then it is back to "normal". I would do a partial water change, maybe 30%, and check the pH afterwards (wait a couple of hours). If it is still stable at 6.8, you can experiment with your CO2 but make sure it is very little and only during daylight (when the tank lights are on). As Mikaila31 said, a minor fluctuation in pH is OK, the fish can handle it without much trouble (although we observe outward signs but how many of us actually know what is going on inside the fish?). It's those sudden swings that must be avoided as I explained previously.

Of course, the other thing is whether or not you need CO2. Tap water at 6.8 would probably result in an aquarium with a constant pH of 6.4-6.5 as it does in my two tanks (my tap water is 6.8) and I wouldn't want it much lower for other reasons I won't get into now.
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Old 05-03-2009, 01:34 PM   #15
 
I did that yesterday and the ph was still 6,8 but this morning it's more like 6.5 so the baking soda seems to be weaning off. Anyway my kh is still low so the buffering will still be a problem . I heard putting crushed coral in the filter might help, I will have to try that.
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Old 05-03-2009, 03:00 PM   #16
 
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Originally Posted by Freddiesbuns View Post
I did that yesterday and the ph was still 6,8 but this morning it's more like 6.5 so the baking soda seems to be weaning off. Anyway my kh is still low so the buffering will still be a problem . I heard putting crushed coral in the filter might help, I will have to try that.
[The smilie somehow got in the last post, wasn't intentional--this is not funny stuff.]

Don't forget the pH does normally shift diurnally, and 6.5 to 6.8 is not a problem. Also, is the CO2 on or off? I would wait this out a couple of days before jumping into something else, just to see where the pH will settle. Also remember that gradual shifts are easier for the fish than sudden shifts.

On the coral, yes, and dolomite also works. Both raise the hardness and thus pH of water. But it doesn't take much so be careful. I have about 5 tablespons of dolomite in a small nylon bag in each of my filters for the sole purpose of adding just a bit of mineral to the water and buffering. It maintains the pH fairly stable although there is some variation. Diurnally it is about .3 but even from week to week it can alter a bit. This morning I did the weekly water change and noticed before that the pH was at 6.2, and after the change both tanks rose to 6.5. Last week it started at 6.4 and rose to 6.5 after the water change. This has been my operation for 12+ years, so I'm not worried. But if one week it came out at 5.5 I would immediately try to find out why.
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Old 05-04-2009, 05:39 PM   #17
 
As I previously said, the Co2 has been off for 5 days now and won't be on until I figure out. I was told baking soda permanently raise kh so I used some, but the kh goes back down after a while, which means something in my tank is definitely influencing the kh big deal. I'm suspecting either the river gravel I use or the sand...I don't think the 2 pieces of wood could influence the kh that badly! I need to find what it is
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Old 05-04-2009, 06:31 PM   #18
 
WHOA! I just tested the kh of my tap water and it is really low. That would explain it I guess. I wonder if it's a recent thing because in my other tanks the ph has always been high and stable, plus the kh is 50 in my betta tank. That's weird.
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Old 05-05-2009, 10:17 AM   #19
 
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Originally Posted by Freddiesbuns View Post
WHOA! I just tested the kh of my tap water and it is really low. That would explain it I guess. I wonder if it's a recent thing because in my other tanks the ph has always been high and stable, plus the kh is 50 in my betta tank. That's weird.
Couple of things to bear in mind. First, the pH and hardness of tap water can alter depending upon the water source and the water board. Here in Vancouver we have three water reservoirs, and the pH is low in all t6hree (below 6). The water board generally uses two of the reservoirs and treats the water to raise the pH to 6.8; they only started this in 2001 but it has been consistent since then, except for a couple of times when it has plummetted to 6 or below, and I am told that is caused by having to suddenly switch to the third reservoir on a temporary measure. I mention this because it is good for aquarists to know how reliable the local water supply can be expected to be with respect to pH and hardness. It may or may not be a factor for you in Quebec.

Second, in those tanks that have been high and stable, do you have any calcium-type rock or gravel in them? Limestone, dolomite, coral all raise pH and dardness. On the reverse, I think wood was mentioned, and in a 33g a lot of bogwood might acidify and soften the water. I have quite a bit of mangrove root wood in my aquaria and have never seen any abnormal fall in pH, but it would depend upon the type of wood; some is more tannic than others. There is a natural drop in pH as an aquarium matures, and the more fish the lower it will fall, although not normally so suddenly. But there is a slight downward shift over time. Partial water changes every week with water that is higher in pH will usually keep this balanced, as Mikaila31 referenced and in my experience too. Also as i said earlier, I have a very small amount of dolomite in the filters.

Personally, and this is my view that some may not agree with, I would never use chemicals or baking soda to alter the water chemistry. These things can interact with other things in the water and cause rapid fluctuations, and that is bad for the fish. I would start with what comes out of the tap (assuming it is consistent), find out what happens over a few weeks in the aquarium, and then decide what if anything was needed. If something is needed, I would use either peat to lower or dolomite to raise the hardness/pH and do so gradually until the tank water remains constant. I would then monitor it over a few weeks. Gradual shifts are easier for fish than sudden which is extremely stressful.
If the water supply is subject to abrupt shifts, the biological balance in the aquarium should halp to keep suddent shifts in the tank minimal; a slightly smaller water change at such times would also be advisable (check the pH of the tap water before the water change if you have reason to expect changes).
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Old 05-05-2009, 10:01 PM   #20
 
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Couple of things to bear in mind. First, the pH and hardness of tap water can alter depending upon the water source and the water board. Here in Vancouver we have three water reservoirs, and the pH is low in all t6hree (below 6). The water board generally uses two of the reservoirs and treats the water to raise the pH to 6.8; they only started this in 2001 but it has been consistent since then, except for a couple of times when it has plummetted to 6 or below, and I am told that is caused by having to suddenly switch to the third reservoir on a temporary measure. I mention this because it is good for aquarists to know how reliable the local water supply can be expected to be with respect to pH and hardness. It may or may not be a factor for you in Quebec.

Second, in those tanks that have been high and stable, do you have any calcium-type rock or gravel in them? Limestone, dolomite, coral all raise pH and dardness. On the reverse, I think wood was mentioned, and in a 33g a lot of bogwood might acidify and soften the water. I have quite a bit of mangrove root wood in my aquaria and have never seen any abnormal fall in pH, but it would depend upon the type of wood; some is more tannic than others. There is a natural drop in pH as an aquarium matures, and the more fish the lower it will fall, although not normally so suddenly. But there is a slight downward shift over time. Partial water changes every week with water that is higher in pH will usually keep this balanced, as Mikaila31 referenced and in my experience too. Also as i said earlier, I have a very small amount of dolomite in the filters.

Personally, and this is my view that some may not agree with, I would never use chemicals or baking soda to alter the water chemistry. These things can interact with other things in the water and cause rapid fluctuations, and that is bad for the fish. I would start with what comes out of the tap (assuming it is consistent), find out what happens over a few weeks in the aquarium, and then decide what if anything was needed. If something is needed, I would use either peat to lower or dolomite to raise the hardness/pH and do so gradually until the tank water remains constant. I would then monitor it over a few weeks. Gradual shifts are easier for fish than sudden which is extremely stressful.
If the water supply is subject to abrupt shifts, the biological balance in the aquarium should halp to keep suddent shifts in the tank minimal; a slightly smaller water change at such times would also be advisable (check the pH of the tap water before the water change if you have reason to expect changes).
The thing is, if I raise the ph without raising the kh, the ph will stay unstable and prone to fluctuations, that's gonna be bad for the fishes...From what I was told, coral only raises ph while soda and mineral water raise the kh. Am I right? I'm really not sure what to do here
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