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Plants, Swinging pH & Water Changes

This is a discussion on Plants, Swinging pH & Water Changes within the Beginner Planted Aquarium forums, part of the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium category; --> well decaying organics cause the water to acidify but why it happened, I don't know...

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Plants, Swinging pH & Water Changes
Old 11-24-2011, 12:06 AM   #11
 
well decaying organics cause the water to acidify but why it happened, I don't know
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Old 11-24-2011, 10:36 AM   #12
 
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I was informed that my main problem with the plants was the lighting. I was using the standard 8000k flourescents that came with the tank set ups - I was told by other planted tank folks that they never work. At the expert advice of this forum I went out and purchased all new 6500k aquarium plant bulbs. I just got them so I'm hoping for the best now. The plants I purchased are supposed to do okay in my high pH. My main issue is the water chemistry changes with all the decay. Byron has me headed in the right direction so I'll keep you all posted on how it turns out. Thanks for all the input. I really appreciate you guys helping me out.
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Old 11-25-2011, 10:28 PM   #13
 
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Right before starting my water changes, I re-tested the pH. There were changes in Tanks #1, #3 & #4 so I listed them. Please note that I have no problem claiming mistakes. However, I'm not a chemist either, so I listed the changes in case the information is actually relevant and not my error.

As instructed, I did all my water changes and waited 2 hrs before re-testing the pH. I did not re-test any other paramters. I've listed my original information so you don't have to go back to my first post to compare. If you'd like me to re-test any other parameters (or all of them) just let me know.


Tap - (not degassed)
pH 8.5
KH 71.6
GH 89.5

10 gal Tank 1 -
Original pH 8.0. Prior to testing today 8.2 - After w/c 8.0
KH 107.4
GH 143.2

10 gal Tank 2-
pH 8.0 - After w/c 8.0
KH 89.5
GH 107.4

25 gal Tank 3-
Original ph 8.2 - Prior to testing today 8.0. After w/c 8.0
KH 53.7
GH 71.6

10 gal Tank 4-
Original pH 8.0. Prior to testing today 8.2. After w/c 8.0
KH 89.5
GH 143.2

10 gal Tank 5-
pH 8.0. After w/c 8.0
KH 71.6
GH 107.4
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Old 11-26-2011, 08:54 AM   #14
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flowerslegacy View Post
I was informed that my main problem with the plants was the lighting. I was using the standard 8000k flourescents that came with the tank set ups - I was told by other planted tank folks that they never work. At the expert advice of this forum I went out and purchased all new 6500k aquarium plant bulbs. I just got them so I'm hoping for the best now. The plants I purchased are supposed to do okay in my high pH. My main issue is the water chemistry changes with all the decay. Byron has me headed in the right direction so I'll keep you all posted on how it turns out. Thanks for all the input. I really appreciate you guys helping me out.
Pleae do, I'd really like to know since I'm also using a 8,000k Daylight flourescent bulb and was told by a few sources it would work just fine. Most of my plants (mind you it's only been planted for 5 days now) seem to be doing ok with the exception of a couple "tube plants" from PetsMart.
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Old 11-26-2011, 10:51 AM   #15
 
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Hi Kangy - My plants did okay for a while and then they'd slowly start to die. This happened in all of my tanks that had the 8000k bulbs - a total of 4 tanks. I was told the 8000 'should' work also, but then it went downhill. In the long run the 6500k is the staple. That's the response I've recieved from two of the Super Mods who are well established, long time experienced plant folks. It will be worth your money in the long run. You can purchase the bulbs at hardware stores too, and that will save you a bunch of money. They were hard for me to find in my local area so I bought mine from ebay. Believe it or not they were only $3.99/bulb.
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Old 11-26-2011, 01:05 PM   #16
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flowerslegacy View Post
Right before starting my water changes, I re-tested the pH. There were changes in Tanks #1, #3 & #4 so I listed them. Please note that I have no problem claiming mistakes. However, I'm not a chemist either, so I listed the changes in case the information is actually relevant and not my error.

As instructed, I did all my water changes and waited 2 hrs before re-testing the pH. I did not re-test any other paramters. I've listed my original information so you don't have to go back to my first post to compare. If you'd like me to re-test any other parameters (or all of them) just let me know.


Tap - (not degassed)
pH 8.5
KH 71.6
GH 89.5

10 gal Tank 1 -
Original pH 8.0. Prior to testing today 8.2 - After w/c 8.0
KH 107.4
GH 143.2

10 gal Tank 2-
pH 8.0 - After w/c 8.0
KH 89.5
GH 107.4

25 gal Tank 3-
Original ph 8.2 - Prior to testing today 8.0. After w/c 8.0
KH 53.7
GH 71.6

10 gal Tank 4-
Original pH 8.0. Prior to testing today 8.2. After w/c 8.0
KH 89.5
GH 143.2

10 gal Tank 5-
pH 8.0. After w/c 8.0
KH 71.6
GH 107.4
Nothing here to worry about, in my view. Tanks seem quite stable pH wise. B.
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Old 11-26-2011, 02:22 PM   #17
 
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Thank you Byron. My dieing plants and then losing a fish led me to look towards osmotic shock. I appreciate all your help because I know my post required some research. Along the same lines of water chemistry, I noticed yesterday that I have cyanobacteria starting in 3 of my tanks. One tank had it really bad so I removed the fish, washed off the decorations, removed the plants, turned up the filter and proceeded w/a 4 day black out. Obviously I have some sort of lack in my water chemistry to promote this organism. I baffle my filters and divide my tanks because I have bettas, but I'm aware that some highly planted tanks don't even have filters. Will the consistency of Flourish help maintain proper minerals contents? Along with the proper lighting I now have for my plants? Perhaps this bacteria promoted the death in my plants as well? At the very least I now what cyanobacteria smells like so I'm aware when it's present. Thanks again Byron - as always. I'm worried about adding fish back in to my tanks until I have this bacteria thing figured out.
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Old 11-26-2011, 02:52 PM   #18
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flowerslegacy View Post
Thank you Byron. My dieing plants and then losing a fish led me to look towards osmotic shock. I appreciate all your help because I know my post required some research. Along the same lines of water chemistry, I noticed yesterday that I have cyanobacteria starting in 3 of my tanks. One tank had it really bad so I removed the fish, washed off the decorations, removed the plants, turned up the filter and proceeded w/a 4 day black out. Obviously I have some sort of lack in my water chemistry to promote this organism. I baffle my filters and divide my tanks because I have bettas, but I'm aware that some highly planted tanks don't even have filters. Will the consistency of Flourish help maintain proper minerals contents? Along with the proper lighting I now have for my plants? Perhaps this bacteria promoted the death in my plants as well? At the very least I now what cyanobacteria smells like so I'm aware when it's present. Thanks again Byron - as always. I'm worried about adding fish back in to my tanks until I have this bacteria thing figured out.
Cyanobacteria is primarily caused by excess organics--the demise of the plants is a major contriutor to organics. Obviously light has to be present. But other types of true algae will normally appear in excess light, whereas cyanobacteria means more excess organics. I never see it in some tanks, but I have had a couple tanks where it has been unbelievably heavy. Interestingly, tanks with crypts are more prone to it; i don't know why, but Karen Randall mentioned this some years ago in one of her monthly columns and I have noticed that it applies to me. The only exception was getting it very mildly in a tank deliberately sitting in front of a high-light window, and now and then I may see a tiny bit on a floating plant that is directly under the light. I would start with reducing light for cyanobacteria as for any increase in green algae (cyano is not an algae, it is as the name suggest a bacteria, but it is commonly grouped with algae).

In tanks that are new, or those that have had a recent imbalance in the biological system, cyano as with any algae has an advantage, so getting things stabilized (as you've been doing with better light, etc) is the first step. You might want to reduce liquid fertilizer; I went from twice weekly to once weekly with Flourish when cyano was bad, and I believe that slowed it. Removing as much as you can every water change will sometimes suddenly cause it to stop. Providing the organics issue is fixed of course. While the blackout method will usually get rid of it, this is not fixing the cause and it will often return.

Byron.
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Old 11-26-2011, 10:24 PM   #19
 
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Awesome information! The tank that had it the worse was under a high light window and I think I do have a crypt. Last night I did some major vacuuming and cleaning of all my tanks to rid them of the organics and any cyano. I can smell it in one tank today, but I can't see it. I'll keep a close eye. I'll be following your directions and perserving through. I love the hobby of fish, so I'm not stopping now! Thank you Byron (I think I thank you in every post, but it's well desevered).
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