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i want to add live plants to my already established tank.

This is a discussion on i want to add live plants to my already established tank. within the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium forums, part of the Freshwater Fish and Aquariums category; --> last night i added one stem of anacharis from my 10 gallon to the 55 gallon. in less than 24 hours, the PH rose ...

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i want to add live plants to my already established tank.
Old 02-03-2011, 07:39 PM   #11
Rip
 
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last night i added one stem of anacharis from my 10 gallon to the 55 gallon. in less than 24 hours, the PH rose from 7.0 to 7.3. i checked the PH in the planted 10 gallon, and it was at 8.0.
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Old 02-03-2011, 08:04 PM   #12
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rip View Post
last night i added one stem of anacharis from my 10 gallon to the 55 gallon. in less than 24 hours, the PH rose from 7.0 to 7.3. i checked the PH in the planted 10 gallon, and it was at 8.0.
I can say with certainty that this rise in pH has nothing to do with plants. There is the normal diurnal pH cycle in heavily-planted tanks, but that is in a well-planted tank; in my 115g and 90g tanks the pH only shifts .3 during this cycle. So to find the reason, some questions:

What is the pH out of the tap [you should let tap water sit overnight before testing, as CO2 in the water will give a lower (false) reading]?
What has the pH been in your tanks, normally, from week to week after the water change [always test before a water change to see what it has done during the week]?
What type of gravel?
Any rocks?

Byron.
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Old 02-03-2011, 08:27 PM   #13
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on 01-28, i tested the tap water, although i didn't let it sit overnight. but the PH was 7.4.

i've only had a liquid test kit for less than a month. i tested the PH in the 55 gallon tank a total of 3 times, and it was alwayz 7.0, just now rising to 7.3. i guess i can't claim that last night it was at 7.0, since i didn't test it last night, the last time i had tested it was 01-23, and it showed 7.0.

i had a bunch of rocks in one section of the tank, even building a little cave area. on 02-01, i took it apart for a few reasons. first, fish would hide out in there, and i couldn't see them. second, i felt it needed a good vaccuum, which it did, really bad. and last, i felt i needed to get rid of alot of those rocks, so i had room for plants. the rocks were stacked on top of each other, and took up approximately 25% of the tank, the back left section. i took them all down to clean, and only replaced a few of the bigger ones. i still have more than 20 rocks on the other side of the tank, varying in size, mainly just for show. they don't create alot of hiding places like they did on the other side, before i removed them. if you want, you can see how it was set up before, by looking at my aquariums.

oh, and the gravel was petco brand, black gravel, which i bought two 25 lb bags of.

Last edited by Rip; 02-03-2011 at 08:30 PM..
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Old 02-03-2011, 11:01 PM   #14
 
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I would like to add to Byron's point about fish preferring dimly lit areas.

I can definitely vouch for fishes' preference for subdued lighting. My light is centred over the tank, and I've piled rocks to form caves in the back corners; those dark corners are definitely a favourite hangout spot for some of my fish - especially my honey gouramis and loaches, but my angels can also often be spotted lurking in those shadows.
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Old 02-04-2011, 12:22 PM   #15
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after letting tap water sit out over night, the PH was at 8.0
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Old 02-04-2011, 04:10 PM   #16
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i ended up buying 3 of the plants in tubes. Petco had them on sale, buy 2 get 1 free. i also bought another 25 lb bag of gravel, and added about half of it, so now i have about 60 lbs in the 55 gallon tank. for the plants, i got 2 Amazon Swords, and 1 Gold Ribbon. i planted both Amazon swords in the clumps they came in, but the Gold Ribbon was in 3 seperate clumps, so i planted those seperate, but in a nice row together. i'll see if i can get them to grow with my low lighting, otherwise i might upgrade. i'll post pic of the new layout in a lil while...
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Old 02-04-2011, 07:54 PM   #17
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i googled Gold Ribbon, and it sounds like it's not even an aquatic plant. and it will rot if submerged. is that correct?
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Old 02-04-2011, 11:54 PM   #18
 
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i googled Gold Ribbon, and it sounds like it's not even an aquatic plant. and it will rot if submerged. is that correct?
If you found a photo of the plant you have under that common name, was there a scientific name? That will allow me to answer you, but without it I'd be guessing.
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Old 02-05-2011, 12:03 AM   #19
 
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On the issue of the pH. If you tapwater is pH 8, that is likely what the tank will be. However, some things will impact this. One major thing is the hardness of the tap water. Can you find out from the water supply people what the hardness is? Get both GH and KH if you can, but any "hardness" numbers will suffice, and make sure to include the measure, it may be mg/liter, ppm (parts per million), or dGH (degrees General Hardness) etc.

Aquaria naturally acidify due to biological processes. This lowers pH and removes some minerals to slightly soften the water. The rate this occurs depends largely on the hardness of the source water (tap), hence my request for this info.

Other substances like tannins from real bogwood, leaves, peat can help soften and acidify the water. Here again their effect will depend upon the initial hardness which acts as a buffer on pH.

Rock and stone/gravel that is calcareous [limestone, marble, lavarock, coral] will slowly dissolve mineral into the water, raising the hardness (and corresponding the pH). That's why I asked about rocks. Any idea what type they are?

Stability is important in hardness and pH. I previously mentioned the diurnal pH fluctuation in planted tanks, but that is very minimal and of no harm to the fish. It occurs in nature just as it does in the aquarium. But a pH shift of say 7 to 8 in less than a day is likely to cause stress, particularly if it continues back and forth in relatively short periods of time.

We can continue this when we know the hardness numbers.
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