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TheLordOfTheFish

Super soft PH, how to get it up

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TheLordOfTheFish

I am the owner of a 55 gallon high tech planted tank, ADA aqua soil. If I completely degas my water, the PH is at 6.75. With Co2 on at peak, I'm at 5.35 and right before the Co2 turns on, at 5.9. GH at 4-5, KH at 0 (ADA aqua soil buffers KH).

I had CRS for 5 months and they seem to be doing ok, during the day they tend to hide a bit though. Haven't bred yet. Is this an ok environment for them or is the PH too low?

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jayc
8 hours ago, TheLordOfTheFish said:

Is this an ok environment for them or is the PH too low?

Too low. Based on your water parameters, this sounds like a mature tank (at least 2 years old). And added CO is not helping.

Fortunately, this is a easy problem to fixed as opposed to pH and KH being too high.

However raising pH and KH needs to be a slow process. 

Get yourself a small handful of crushed coral the kind they use for marine tanks. And add it into a filter sock. Place this in your filter tray or hide it somewhere in the tank. This will raise your pH slowly, and naturally.

Alternatively, you can supplement the above with some biCard Soda. Just a pinch added to your water change. 

Are you using tap water or RO water for water changes?

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TheLordOfTheFish

It is actually a fairly new tank, 5 months old. If I add corals, won’t that exhaust the buffering capacity of ada aqua soil? When I started the tank, I added a pinch of baking soda but 24h in, the kh was back to zero due to the soil buffering.

 

im using remineralized RO water. 140 tds, gh4 ish

Edited by TheLordOfTheFish

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jayc
8 hours ago, TheLordOfTheFish said:

If I add corals, won’t that exhaust the buffering capacity of ada aqua soil?

It will exhaust it quicker, yes. But having the wrong parameters for your livestock is even worse. 

So we have to choose one or the other. The plants don't care, so you have to adjust the tank parameters to suit the shrimp.

 

There is another alternative. You might have used too much ADA Aqua Soil for the size of your tank. Hence over buffering. You can try removing 1/3 as a start.

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TheLordOfTheFish

Ok I will try raising the KH but I guess only a tiny bit considering Crystal red shrimp like less than 1DKH? Maybe going the "baking soda" route gives me more control than crushed coral? Anyway, thanks for the help!

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jayc

Is there any chance of removing some Aqua Soil?

That's probably the ideal solution rather than adding carbonates like baking soda, eventhough it is more work.

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TheLordOfTheFish
2 minutes ago, jayc said:

Is there any chance of removing some Aqua Soil?

That's probably the ideal solution rather than adding carbonates like baking soda, eventhough it is more work.

It's tough, my tank has a massive slope with an intricate layout. It would just destroy it. 

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TheLordOfTheFish

I think I'll use K2CO3 and just raise my RO water 1 DKH to start. Mixed with the tank water it will be less so it shouldn't be too much of a shock. 

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jayc
6 hours ago, TheLordOfTheFish said:

K2CO3

Much better option. At least the plant can make use of the Potassium.

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