liquid all inclusive fertilzer

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inari

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I have a low light tank with hygras and crypts. I have been testing my water and getting the following

NO4 = 0 ppm
NO3 = 0 ppm
NH4 = 0 - .5 ppm (.5 ppm is very very very rare, I've only gotten this once since they cycling has completed)
pH = 7.8-8.4 (Depends on how soon after a water change it is the water becomes more basic the further out from a water change it is ???)
anyway I went to my lfs had the water tested and they told me that i need a pH buffer and an all purpose fertilizer, the pH buffer was for the cories, but i'm not asking about that!! do you think i should upgrade my light and if so what should i upgrade my bulb to?

Thanx
~Inari

PS Sorry i've been gone for so long it's good to be back
 

Isabella

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Well, what is your tank size and your lightbulb wattage? In other words, what is your wpg (watts per gallon) range?

As for pH buffering, you need it only when your water is too soft (i.e., when it needs to be hard in order to buffer the pH so that it stays stable, rather than fluctuating up and down). This doesn't mean that your pH has to be high, it the hardness of water we're talking about in its buffering capacity sense. Your pH can be around neutral (even a bit soft) but as long as it stays the same, it means your tap water's buffering capacity is good. Now, if your pH doesn't fluctuate, you don't need to buffer your water. Remember that if you start buffering it, you'll have to keep doing it as long as you change the water.

And, as for the "all-inclusive" fertilizer ... are your plants dying that you need it? Yes, plants DO need nutrients, BUT if you add nutrients while the light is too low, you may have a big algal problem.
 
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inari

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OK my problem is that my pH starts around 7.2 on monday and by friday it is all the way up to 8.4 - 8.6 the water here is very hard but it can't be good for the pH to spike that much in less than a week any ideas?

thanx
~Inari
 

Isabella

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That means your tap water has a poor buffering capacity (because water with good buffering capacity keeps the pH stable, be it a low or a high pH). So your tap pH is 7.2? Do your have any calcerous rocks or substrates in your tank? If you have any rocks, what types are they? What gravel do you have?

I see your tank is 10 gallons in volume. What fish live in it? What biotope is it (i.e. brackish, freshwater, etc.)?
 
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inari

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alright well i have a 10 gallon fresh tank, I have 5 us pounds of gravel and 3 of it is flourite (it looks red and is supposed to be good for plants. it mucked up the tank water when i first put it in 'cause i didn't rinse it well enough. if that helps) my tap pH is about 7.2 - 7.4 it depends on the day. I don't have any calerous rocks in my tank, i have a plastic rock formation that everyone likes to hang out on. any other questions let me know I'll answer as soon as i can thanx

~Inari
 

Isabella

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Fluorite should not cause any pH changes, even if it clouds the water. You have no calcerous rocks, no calcerous gravel, and your tap pH is only 7.2 - 7.4, yet your pH goes up to 8.4 - 8.6 during the course of one week! This is truly baffling to me! Now, even if your tank were overstocked with fish, this should not increase the pH because the wastes produced by fish LOWER the pH as they're acidic (nitrate is acidic). So once again: I am sorry but it beats me ... no idea what is causing your pH to go up so fast, especially that your tap pH is around neutral. Even if you have any plants and they rot, that also should lower the pH. Hmmm ??? ANYONE?
 
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inari

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I know it it confusing the **** out of me, I was a chemistry major for a bit so i went through the entire pH thing in my chem classes, first i thought that it would be NH4 since it is a weak base but when i tested for ammonia it was at 0 ppm occationally i'll get some nitrates but not a whole lot considering the fact that the hygras suck up any nitrates that existiin the water. they suck up so much that I'm having to fertilize just about everyday sigh anyway i don't know why my pH is spiking like that and it is frustrating me!!! anyway if you come accross anything let me know i'd greatly appreciate it

~Inari
 

Isabella

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All right What you can also do is maybe ask this very question on PlantGeek.net. While it is mainly a forum for planted tanks, perhaps they'll have an answer for you as they're very knowledgeable about water chemistry, especially of planted tanks (with fish).
 
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inari

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hmmm that isn't a bad idea now i wonder if i even have an account there still.....
 
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