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Crazy low pH ?? BBA issue.

Discussion in 'CO2 Enrichment' started by tanksalot, Mar 7, 2016.

  1. tanksalot

    tanksalot Junior Poster

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    I have 2 tanks, a 110 gal. angel tank and a 90 gal. I've kept both as planted tanks. Due to travel, they get minimal routine maintenance. I've struggled with the 90 for over a year, with serious BBA problems and poor plant growth. The 110 fluorishes. Same water supply. Right now the 90 gal. has only fish and a Turface substrate.


    That's it.


    Given the BBA problem, I thought I'd slowly lower the pH setpoint until I saw fish distress, then back off by 0.1. The water KH is "blue at 2 drops, yellow at 3" in both tanks. Same as my well water. Although I use a water softener to remove iron, the water for both tanks is taken from before the softener.


    Right now the pH in the 90 gal. is 5.6!!!!! Fish are swimming happily; no signs of distress. The pH/KH table doesn't go below 6.


    The major difference in the tanks is that in the 110 I use an Ista-max in-tank CO2 diffuser with a pH controller. In the 90 I use a 2-story wet-dry with the CO2 feeding the wet-dry and the pH probe downstream of the "stack", pH is also controlled by a CO2 controller. I've checked the pH of the tank right near the overflow and it's essentially the same, 5.6. Right now it's a bare tank with Turface, no plants whatsoever. Happy fish. (???)


    I've cross-checked the pH readings by testing the 90-gal. water with the 110 probe, and the controller in the 90 reads about 0.1 -0.2 low.


    Before I landscape the 90 and add plants I need to understand what's going on. Below are photos of the 110 and the 90 after a 2 month absence. No water changes for the 110, 2 gal./day for the 90, no nutrients for either, other than fish food.
     
  2. SwampGremlin

    SwampGremlin Member

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    My PH in my tank was 5.02 yesterday and fish were fine.But my KH test turns on the second drop due to full R/O water changes.
     
  3. tanksalot

    tanksalot Junior Poster

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    SwampGremlin: THANK YOU!!! The peace of mind from your post is tremendous. I'll re-scape with the Eco-Complete (which costs too much to return), put in a few guppies and see how low I can go for pH. . I'd love to UNDERSTAND why my pH can go so low, but as long as I can beat the BBA, it's not critical.


    Do you think you lose a lot of CO2 to the atmosphere (I'm thinking with harder water, the CO2 is incorporated into CO2-complexes, but with soft water, it's more "volatile).
     
  4. bsantucci

    bsantucci Member

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    Not familiar with it, but does Turface lower KH? If so, starting with a low KH and using that could have bottomed it out, leaving with the low pH.


    My tank goes down to 5.2 pH daily and I have a KH of 1 out of the tap, 0 after it's in my tank for a bit.
     
  5. SwampGremlin

    SwampGremlin Member

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    I came home from work today and my ph was 4.86 and my fish were not gasping i pulled the probe and put it in the 4.0 solution and the 7.0 solution thinking it might be off and it wasnt off by much like .03 now im starting to wonder how people gass fish myself.


    I did back it of a tad just because i think thats a bit extreme.


    If someone sees this post and can interject that would be great.
     
    #5 SwampGremlin, Mar 7, 2016
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 26, 2016
  6. SwampGremlin

    SwampGremlin Member

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    Now what im starting to learn is that if you mess with your CO2 that it can cause alot of problems.When you find stability, plant growth and absence of algae then im felling its best not to even mess with it every time i do i get BBA or Cladephoora algae. Not particularly when i raise it but more so if its runs out of gas or if reduce it.
     
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