29 Gal Planted Tank

AquaMatt

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Mar 6, 2018
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29 gal
Cascade elite 1200 canister filter
Aqua sand
Co2 injected
Mylasian Driftwood
(RODI filter on the way)

This is my 4th reset in about a year and a half. Ive been through so much, and learned alot along the way. I’m very knowledgeable when it comes to growing plants indoor and outdoor, however growing in an aquarium has presented its own challenges.
In my previous setups my plants would turn clear, wilt, and die off. I’ve come to the conclusion that it has to be my high ph of up to 8.5! We have hard water here so I really hope to keep my ph down and stable without having to add any buffers. I’ve tried everything other than RODI and nothing worked. I have now switched to ADA aqua sand that’s supposed to buffer ph to 6.5 - 7.0 and has nutrients within itself. I will be using RODI water from now on and we’ll see how this goes!
 

Allwissend

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Looks like a good start. You may need a little more grown stems to help buffer the initial problems of a new tank. It might be a good idea to get some Seachem Equilibrium or do you plan to mix RO with tap water?
 

AquaMatt

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Mar 6, 2018
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Portland OR
Looks like a good start. You may need a little more grown stems to help buffer the initial problems of a new tank. It might be a good idea to get some Seachem Equilibrium or do you plan to mix RO with tap water?

I plan on going RODI completely, however I just go my ppm meter and I tested my tap. It only reads 13ppm! That’s pretty low. I guess we’ll have to see what the ph is after RO. Currently my tank ph is sitting at 7.5 and taper water comes out at 8.3.

Good tip on the equilibrium, I’ll pick some
Of that up.
 

Allwissend

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Hi Matt

13ppm what? KH GH TDS or? Some things to keep in mind: RODI water will be very prone to pH changes as it has no buffering capacity. It is so prone to pH changes that simple contact with the atmosphere will result in a pH of about 5. This is because the CO2 from the air will dissolve in water and for carbonic acid, lowering the pH. Measuring the pH of water with very low TDS with a pH probe is not accurate at all. This is just a limitation of how pH probes work.

Interesting what drives the pH so high, most water utilities are satisfied with a pH of 7.5.
 

AquaMatt

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Mar 6, 2018
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Portland OR
Hi Matt

13ppm what? KH GH TDS or? Some things to keep in mind: RODI water will be very prone to pH changes as it has no buffering capacity. It is so prone to pH changes that simple contact with the atmosphere will result in a pH of about 5. This is because the CO2 from the air will dissolve in water and for carbonic acid, lowering the pH. Measuring the pH of water with very low TDS with a pH probe is not accurate at all. This is just a limitation of how pH probes work.

Interesting what drives the pH so high, most water utilities are satisfied with a pH of 7.5.


TDS. I know, I’m surprised, according to the water report online they say it should be moderately hard with a ppm of around 200. This was a cheap meeter from amazon, but it had good reviews. My $300 dollar meter use to read the same thing back when the probe was good, so I believe it’s right. But the issue is that if ppm is low than why would my ph be so high still. I mean I’ve tried it all, added driftwood, 7.0 neutralizer, even put an oz of peatmoss in the canister filter.
My ph is hanging on at around 7.0 to 7.1 so i can live with that, I guess. I do plan on adding fish though and I’m concerned that adding 8.5 water changes would be harmful to the fish.
 

AquaMatt

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Mar 6, 2018
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Portland OR
Update:
RODI water comes out at a ph of 6.7 - 7.0
Even though I have low ppm, whatever it’s doing is lowering the ph which is what I want. And it will be consistent.
 

Allwissend

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Interesting, wonder what it is that cause so high pH buffering with low tds. Maybe directly NaOH. You could try adding a little dilute HCl or acetic acid. These will cause a quick pH drop if KH is 0 so you will need to first figure out in a bucket how many drops are needed.