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Thread: My 5 footer - finally

  1. #31
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    Mrcrabs, why do you need to increase your pH?
    When you selected your particular substrate, surely you knew what it's effects on your water wouuld be?

    If you try and engage a battle with your tank the opposite of where it's centre is, you will lose.

    You have set up an acidic tank, so embrace it and set it up accordingly. Additives are just going to spin you into a spiral of despair and tears. Know your tank and work WITH it, not against.
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    We do not inherit the Earth from our Ancestors,
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  2. #32
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    Jun 2013
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    Hi Pil, my worry was that the test kit was reading a pH of 6 while it could be 4.5 where the cycle might stall. Any thoughts on this?

    I agree with your philosophy of embracing the final pH btw.

  3. #33
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    Jul 2017
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    South Australia, Adelaide
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    Quote Originally Posted by PiL View Post
    Mrcrabs, why do you need to increase your pH?
    When you selected your particular substrate, surely you knew what it's effects on your water wouuld be?

    If you try and engage a battle with your tank the opposite of where it's centre is, you will lose.

    You have set up an acidic tank, so embrace it and set it up accordingly. Additives are just going to spin you into a spiral of despair and tears. Know your tank and work WITH it, not against.
    thats just the thing mate, i did read into substrates quite a bit but never knew that it would decrease the pH, not sure how i missed that but yeah i did

    In regards to embracing the conditions i have, i fully embrace this mentality as it will be too hard to keep it at an optimal range of choice, but my reasons for wanting a higher pH is below. Dont get me wrong i am not trying to alter my pH to get above 7, but would be nice if i can get it slightly acidic say around 6.6

    One reason to increase pH was because i had read that cycling the tank can slow dramatically and even stall if it drops below 6. I want to cycle it as soon as possible as i am putting plants in next week and its been close to 3 weeks now and still have the same ammonia levels as when i started around 2-3ppm

    the other reason is long term stability in regards to buffering. from what i understand a lower pH has a direct relationship with a low buffer, which will lead to higher chance of pH swings, which wont be good for my fish or plants, so increase the buffer through increasing water hardness seams like a good way forward.

    I figure that adding marble chips would be the best way forward, wont deplete anywhere as quick as shell grit and once the marble takes effect it should be quite stable. Well that is my theory on it and it just comes from researching on the net (yes i know half the stuff out there is crap) but apart from that and forum advice its all i got to go with.
    Last edited by MrKrabs; 12-10-17 at 10:52 AM.

  4. #34
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    the other thing is i havnt turned on my CO2 yet, which will again lower my pH even further?

  5. #35
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    I'm not big on theory and I don't test my water. I'm not saying this with pride but I have found you can have a tank running satisfactorily without too much chemistry interference.
    Had a quick look through this thread and my observations are:
    1. Your tank is large, it eventually should be quite stable possibly at a more acidic level.
    2. Once you plant it, it will be more stable. If you have time to read apistogramma.com they don't measure a lot because in an acidic environment the readings are not that accurate and can fluctuate. their advice is: plant it and don't worry too much. See entries by member dw1305 on apistogramma.com who discusses worries re instability at low pH a lot.
    3. Do your stocking slowly. In your case easy because your tank is so big. You can easily start with 10 small fish and see what happens. If you go for hardy fish in the beginning safer still.
    4. If you are still worried you can always do more regular water changes to keep things more stable.
    5. As mentioned above, embrace the softness. There are many fish that will thrive at low pH. Probably plants too.
    Last edited by happyfins; 12-10-17 at 02:29 PM. Reason: unfinished sentence, typo

  6. #36
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    Bingo.
    Right now, the best thing you can do is daily water changes. Once your ammonia and nitrites disappear you can probably reduce to weekly and then fortnightly etc.
    At that point, you will find that things are pretty steady.
    That's all most plants and fish need. A steady environment.
    [sigpic][/sigpic]
    We do not inherit the Earth from our Ancestors,
    We borrow it from our Children.

  7. #37
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    both you guys have valid points, after all i have been running my previous tank for 15 years successfully and didnt even own a pH or ammonia test kit.. mind you my plant growth/health was just average

    I guess i am just interested in learning more about how things work in the tank this time. i want to know and understand the balance between water chemistry, CO2, lighting and ferts.

    I really want this to become a really nice looking tank with super healthy plant life, and i guess to go to the next level you really need to understand how all these parameters relate to each other.

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