Low pH, should I still add CO2?

GreenBetta

Hi all,

My tap water is around pH 7, but with Fluval Stratum, my pH is around 6.2.

My fish are happy, but I worry about my nerite snails. I think their shells are getting eroded.

My tank is a low tech tank, but I'm thinking about buying FZONE aquarium CO2 generator from Amazon. I know the addition of CO2 would further lower the pH. Is there a way to raise the pH to 7 with Fluval Stratum and CO2? Or should I re-home my nerite snails?

Thank you for helping!
 

Livebearer08

Crushed coral helps to raise pH and water hardness. You should test your GH and KH before adding it to your tank though. Your snail will enjoy high water hardness, but if your water is already hard then your fish may suffer. I would imagine you’ll be okay because usually pH isn’t low if your KH is high, and KH is usually similar to your GH.
 

MacZ

My tap water is around pH 7, but with Fluval Stratum, my pH is around 6.2.
The effect of soil goes away after certain number of waterchanges. If you do weekly 50% you should be back to tap conditions in a month or so.

So, no need to add anything, this is just temporary. Until then don't use CO2.

Also nerites tend to starve in new tanks due to lack of aufwuchs. Keep an eye on that.
 

coralbandit

CO2 does not really change the waters pH.
It just effects the test we use and the readings we get .
If you think about it CO2 removes nothing so it can not really lower the pH.
The fact that once stopped the pH rises back to original amount should be convincing enough for most ..
 

MacZ

CO2 does not really change the waters pH.
It just effects the test we use and the readings we get .
Sorry, but CO2 dissolves in water as carbonic acid and definitely lowers the pH, BUT the amount that can be solved in water is predetermined by the KH.
If you think about it CO2 removes nothing so it can not really lower the pH.
Adding free H+ (via addition of an acid) lowers pH.
The fact that once stopped the pH rises back to original amount
Because KH, pH and CO2 are in constant flux trying to reach equilibrium.

So when you stop the CO2 the three factors go back to their predetermined levels.
 

GreenBetta

The effect of soil goes away after certain number of waterchanges. If you do weekly 50% you should be back to tap conditions in a month or so.

So, no need to add anything, this is just temporary. Until then don't use CO2.

Also nerites tend to starve in new tanks due to lack of aufwuchs. Keep an eye on that.
Thank you Mac!

I will keep doing my water change routine and watch the pH level. In the meantime, should I put some slow-release calcium blocks for my snails? Their shells have developed some scratches and I'm hoping the calcium block can help the snails repair.
Crushed coral helps to raise pH and water hardness. You should test your GH and KH before adding it to your tank though. Your snail will enjoy high water hardness, but if your water is already hard then your fish may suffer. I would imagine you’ll be okay because usually pH isn’t low if your KH is high, and KH is usually similar to your GH.
Thank you Livebearer!

I'll be testing GH and KH once I get the API kit from Amazon.
 

MacZ

I will keep doing my water change routine and watch the pH level. In the meantime, should I put some slow-release calcium blocks for my snails? Their shells have developed some scratches and I'm hoping the calcium block can help the snails repair.
There is still calcium in your water, the snails will be fine. Adding anything like that messes with your readings, just leave it.
 

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