Plants and Ph - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
 
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post #1 of 8 Old 05-03-2013, 06:03 PM Thread Starter
Plants and Ph

I have found that their is a common agreement that fish can tolerate a wide range of Ph as long as it stable, however, I have also found that many plants don't do well in high Ph (and the hardness that generally comes with it) and prefer soft, acidic water. I couldn't find anything concrete for why they don't like high Ph. I think it was because the less amount of carbon in the water?

After letting it sit for a day my tap water Ph is around 7.8-8.0. According to the plant profiles one of the plants I want to get has a maximun Ph of 7.2... Will adding carbon in the form of excel help offset this? Will the Ph difference need to be fixed at all? If it helps my aquarium's water is up to 8.0-8.2.

If I do have to lower my Ph in some way what is the best way to do it? I was looking at seachem neutral regulator, but many people seem to agree that chemical buffers don't work. Seachem claims it will take the Ph down to 7.0 and keep it their. Also, what about IAL? Will I even be able to bring the Ph all the way down without turning the water completely brownish/yellow?

Thanks for reading and putting up with all the questions!
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post #2 of 8 Old 05-04-2013, 11:07 AM
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excel doesn't move ph at all, ive used it before to help with carbon side of things. ive had bad experiences with excel so id recc staying away from it but that's just me.
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post #3 of 8 Old 05-04-2013, 12:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fish keeper 2013 View Post
I have found that their is a common agreement that fish can tolerate a wide range of Ph as long as it stable, however, I have also found that many plants don't do well in high Ph (and the hardness that generally comes with it) and prefer soft, acidic water. I couldn't find anything concrete for why they don't like high Ph. I think it was because the less amount of carbon in the water?

After letting it sit for a day my tap water Ph is around 7.8-8.0. According to the plant profiles one of the plants I want to get has a maximun Ph of 7.2... Will adding carbon in the form of excel help offset this? Will the Ph difference need to be fixed at all? If it helps my aquarium's water is up to 8.0-8.2.

If I do have to lower my Ph in some way what is the best way to do it? I was looking at seachem neutral regulator, but many people seem to agree that chemical buffers don't work. Seachem claims it will take the Ph down to 7.0 and keep it their. Also, what about IAL? Will I even be able to bring the Ph all the way down without turning the water completely brownish/yellow?

Thanks for reading and putting up with all the questions!
Generally speaking, plants are more tolerant of variable pH than many fish, provided it remains fairly stable and is not fluctuating significantly. Some plants require harder water because it is a prime source of bicarbonates (Vallisneria for one). And there are some that do not do well in hard water (the mosses for instance). The pH is of less significance than the GH.

Liquid carbon supplements do not usually do anything, except kill these plants.

What plant species are you thinking of that needs no higher than 7.2? And what is "IAL"?

Fiddling with pH can be done but can be very risky to fish. Chemical products often don't work, because the pH is tied to the GH and KH and these may have to be adjusted before pH can be. But much of this is unnecessary anyway, and should (if done) always be for the sake of the fish first. For some background, you can read more on the GH/KH/pH relationship here:
http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/f...quarium-73276/

Byron.

Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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post #4 of 8 Old 05-04-2013, 01:44 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Byron View Post
Generally speaking, plants are more tolerant of variable pH than many fish, provided it remains fairly stable and is not fluctuating significantly. Some plants require harder water because it is a prime source of bicarbonates (Vallisneria for one). And there are some that do not do well in hard water (the mosses for instance). The pH is of less significance than the GH.

Liquid carbon supplements do not usually do anything, except kill these plants.

What plant species are you thinking of that needs no higher than 7.2? And what is "IAL"?

Fiddling with pH can be done but can be very risky to fish. Chemical products often don't work, because the pH is tied to the GH and KH and these may have to be adjusted before pH can be. But much of this is unnecessary anyway, and should (if done) always be for the sake of the fish first. For some background, you can read more on the GH/KH/pH relationship here:
http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/f...quarium-73276/

Byron.
Really? I thought many plants were sensitive to high Ph...

The plant I was referring to is ludwigia, I figured an entire 1 Ph over the maximun wasn't good. IAL stands for Indian Almond Leaves, they have tannins like driftwood.

So you think I will be fine with hard water? Thanks!

Also, as far as I have seen excel doesn't kill any of the species I was looking into.
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post #5 of 8 Old 05-04-2013, 02:25 PM
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Excel and the other liquid carbon additives aren't good for Vals. I have read more posts on the negative side than the positive regarding the use of Excel. I decided not to use it before I even knew what it was.

As Byron said, more often than not, it's the hardness rather than the PH of the water that limits plant choices. Often it is assumed that hard water = high PH and soft water = low PH. In nature, that may be so; however, our water companies will often adjust PH to protect pipes, appliances, etc. My water is relatively soft yet has a PH of 8.6 out of the tap. I have tanks where the PH is impacted by driftwood and tanks where no natural driftwood is present and there is no difference in the health of the Vals.

Fishmonger
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post #6 of 8 Old 05-04-2013, 06:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fish keeper 2013 View Post
Really? I thought many plants were sensitive to high Ph...

The plant I was referring to is ludwigia, I figured an entire 1 Ph over the maximun wasn't good. IAL stands for Indian Almond Leaves, they have tannins like driftwood.

So you think I will be fine with hard water? Thanks!

Also, as far as I have seen excel doesn't kill any of the species I was looking into.
Fish monger has answered you correctly, but I checked the profile and spotted something that I should clarify.

Ludwigia should be fine in most water. In the profile, if you go down to the heading Ideal Water Parameters for Ludwigia you will see that I put
Soft to hard, slightly acidic to basic water, optimum temperature below 26C/79F except for the hybrids as detailed under "Physical Description."
Where you saw the "pH 6.0 to 7.2" bit was up in the "Care Level" section. This is rather misleading; the text in this section for all plant profiles is standard, according to 4 (I think) levels, and it automatically appears when a particular care level is chosen; in this profile the level is "Moderate," so this little paragraph appears in all plant profiles with a Moderate Care Level. This is not the only profile in which this text is at odds with other data in the profile, but I can't amend the "Care Level" text as I said. When we revamp the entire profiles section in the very near future, this will get fixed.

Now, remember that pH and GH are different things. The GH (hardness) is more important. And with Ludwigia, you will have no problems.

Byron.

Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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post #7 of 8 Old 05-05-2013, 07:46 PM
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All you can really do with plants is try them and see what happens. I am up to 30 varieties that I have tried in my aquarium with, overall, good results. I have had a couple of failures and some mind changing along the way. I have extremely hard water, 23dGH, but my pH happens to peg at 7.8, 7.4 after it sits in the tank for a while, so I would say it ranges between the two.

You might find that lighting is more of a factor if you already have hard water.

Jeff.


Total years fish keeping experience: 7 months, can't start counting in years for a while yet.

The shotgun approach to a planted tank with an LED fixture

Small scale nitrogen cycle with a jar, water and fish food; no substrate, filter etc
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post #8 of 8 Old 05-06-2013, 09:28 AM
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I would ignore pH in your planted tanks.

Look every 24 hours plants consume more carbon dioxide then is created at night and by the plants and the fish (all day). Which results in a higher ph and also a more variable pH.

But to me the bottom line is the fish are experiencing less CO2 and more oxygen then if the plants were not in the tank.

That is hardly adverse to any fish.

Which is why I have had fish that "need" soft acid water live (and breed) for years and years even though the pH was purple (9.4-8.8) and the high range api test kit. And even though in a reef (marine) tank the pH dropped to 7.9 or lower at night.

It's not the value of pH

It's not the variance in pH.

What is important is what are the conditions creating those values.

Still just my .02

maintain Fw and marine system with a strong emphasis on balanced, stabilized system that as much as possible are self substaning.

have maintained FW systems for up to 9 years with descendants from original fish and marine aquariums for up to 8 years.

With no water changes, untreated tap water, inexpensive lighting by first starting the tank with live plants (FW) or macro algae( marine)

see: http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/a...-build-295530/
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