Ten gallon planted - Page 3 - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #21 of 26 Old 12-26-2012, 12:40 PM
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Originally Posted by beaslbob View Post
In my experience live plants trump all else. Ph in my tanks ph rises to above 8 regardless of substrait
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We need to have all the data for this, as there are several factors involved. The diurnal pH fluctuation is not more than a few decimal points, even in the heaviest planted tank, at least from what I have read. Unless you are adding diffused CO2 during daylight and not at night. But even here, I do not think the pH shift would be significant. My tanks vary by .2 or perhaps .3, say from 6.4 in the early morning up to 6.6 by late afternoon.

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 youíre going to take it under your wing then youíre 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 #22 of 26 Old 12-26-2012, 01:30 PM
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We need to have all the data for this, as there are several factors involved. The diurnal pH fluctuation is not more than a few decimal points, even in the heaviest planted tank, at least from what I have read. Unless you are adding diffused CO2 during daylight and not at night. But even here, I do not think the pH shift would be significant. My tanks vary by .2 or perhaps .3, say from 6.4 in the early morning up to 6.6 by late afternoon.

To me it is intuitively obvious to even the most casual observer, that it is better to have a pH rise due to plants sucking co2 then an unchanging pH because the co2 was constantly high.


In one salt tank I had a ph more or less constant of 7.7 until I added macro algae. Within days it was over 8.4 (api high range test kit) and fish much healthier. Later the PH would drop down at night to 7.9 yet fish still were healthier. I started dosing baking soda to get alk up and the pH did not drop as much at night.

I have started several quart jars with various substraits and half planted half not. Those not planted were kept in darkness. The peat moss jars with plants rose to over 8.4 pH which was the same pH as the crushed coral/oyster shell substraits. Those with no plants in darkness reflected the lower pH of peat moss and higher pH of the crushed coral oyster shell substraits.

The "intuitively obvious to even the most casual observer" is an old joke from college days refering to the old PHD explaining some complex idea us undergrades couldn't understand. LOL.

My FW tanks are uncirculated, no water change and all have a PH of 8.4-8.8. The same as my marine tanks which were circulated.

So IME with lower KH values it is entirely possible to have a nightly pH drop of the order of .5 or more. But that does not mean there is any "danger" to the fish. But rather the lights on co2 is extremely low. So that the tank has become a net consumer of co2 and producer of oxygen each day. And fish like tetras and silver hatchetfish reportidly "needing" a pH of 7 or less live and thrive for years.

Finally, years ago a poster actually did measure pH drops in saltwater lagoons and did measure that .5 pH drop at night.

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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post #23 of 26 Old 12-27-2012, 02:54 PM
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Beaslbob, a lot of the ph observations have to with gh and kh.
If you were to add water with an extremely low kh to peat, the ph absolutely would drop lower than your "observations". If you post your water quality report from your source water, then I would concede that identical water, with peat from your local store, and sand from your store, would behave the same every time. Peat and sand can have variations from the region it's collected and proccessed in.

No offense, but I'm going to trust people like Tom Barr and Diane Walstead on this.

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post #24 of 26 Old 12-27-2012, 03:32 PM
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Beaslbob, a lot of the ph observations have to with gh and kh.
If you were to add water with an extremely low kh to peat, the ph absolutely would drop lower than your "observations". If you post your water quality report from your source water, then I would concede that identical water, with peat from your local store, and sand from your store, would behave the same every time. Peat and sand can have variations from the region it's collected and proccessed in.

No offense, but I'm going to trust people like Tom Barr and Diane Walstead on this.
ok

my current water is

http://www.hmwater.org/pdf/2012WaterReport.pdf

previous water was at

Daleville, alabama
albuquerque, NM
gosnell, ar
Shalimar, fl
Alamogordo, NM
Ellsworth AFB, SD

In case you want to check those out.


My current water started out at 4 dkh and 9 degrees gh.

With a sand substrate kh rose to 30 degress and gh to over 40 over a few years.

With peat moss in the substrate initially pH was 7 and in one case 6.5 or so. Kh and gh stayed to 4 and 9 respectively.

In all cases pH planted with no mechanicals rose to 8.4-8.8 over a few months.

All tanks used no water changes and just replaced the evaporative water and no chemicals of any kind were used.


Over the years some examples of the bioloads

-10g stable population of 30 guppies for 9 years of various sizes and 1/2 dozen or so reproducing adults.-9 years

-20g 30 or so platies plus 5 silver hachetfish.--3-4 years

(kh and gh not relevant) 55g saltwater 2 3-4 tangs, a 6" coral catfish, 3" yellow watchman gobie, couple of clownfish, couple of psuedochromis. and a bunch of soft corals. nitrates/phosphates unmeasureable. again no water changes, straight untreaded tap water. 8 years

30g marine couple of clownfish. 3 years

10g planted with 5 glo fish and 5 neon tetras (not recommended but added immediately with water conditioners). 3 years

a 15g with three angelfish. 4 years


betta bowl with 1 betta. 3 years


So I have observed low pH vaules as you suggest. But the plant action sucking out the co2 caused the pH to rise to high values in a few weeks. What the peat moss did was prevent the rise in kh and gh and in those tanks neon tetras did much better than in the tank(s) where the kh and gh did rise.


All I can do is report my findings, experiences, and measurements. If these disagree with "experts" then perhaps we should look to the differences in the methods to explain things. Not just echo other's statements without investigating what any differences are.

interesting link here:

Goldfish and Aquarium Board Article-Setting up a Walstad Natural Planted Tank

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/

Last edited by beaslbob; 12-27-2012 at 03:35 PM.
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post #25 of 26 Old 12-27-2012, 04:30 PM
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I will make a couple observations from this data (in previous post).

First, without water changes and just adding water to make up for that evaporated, the mineral content will slowly increase. As water evaporates, it leaves behind the minerals, which is why those with very hard water see white calcium deposits. So over time you are increasing the GH.

Second, peat in the substrate will become exhausted in time. The length of time depends upon the GH, KH, amount of peat. So at some point it is no longer capable of softening/acidifying the water.

Live plants will not cause a significant rise in GH, KH or pH. It is true that the plants will assimilate some of the "hard" minerals, so the GH should in this case tend to lower, but again other factors (such as the afore-mentioned) will play into this. The pH fluctuation is a diurnal one, that occurs every 24 hour period. It is not cumulative.

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 youíre going to take it under your wing then youíre 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 #26 of 26 Old 12-27-2012, 04:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Byron View Post
I will make a couple observations from this data (in previous post).

First, without water changes and just adding water to make up for that evaporated, the mineral content will slowly increase. As water evaporates, it leaves behind the minerals, which is why those with very hard water see white calcium deposits. So over time you are increasing the GH.

Second, peat in the substrate will become exhausted in time. The length of time depends upon the GH, KH, amount of peat. So at some point it is no longer capable of softening/acidifying the water.

Live plants will not cause a significant rise in GH, KH or pH. It is true that the plants will assimilate some of the "hard" minerals, so the GH should in this case tend to lower, but again other factors (such as the afore-mentioned) will play into this. The pH fluctuation is a diurnal one, that occurs every 24 hour period. It is not cumulative.
Still in my tanks I have measured a kh of 4 degrees and gh of 9 degrees for 2-3 years.

pH rose to 8.4-8.8 api high range test kit.

FWIW plant action reducing nitrates as well as anaerobic bacterial action reducing nitrates actually does return kh but that my never be measured as the plants may use kh for carbon sometimes.

So as I stated before unless you have experience with the methods I use, perhaps we need to look at those methods not blow off the results.

Or setup a simple test jar and see what happens.

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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