Ph Fluctuation

Discussion in 'pH' started by Bruxes and Bubbles, Jul 20, 2017.

  1. Bruxes and BubblesWell Known MemberMember

    I just set up my DIY CO2 and tested my water. It is currently at around 7.8. My other tank's water rests at 8.4 PH.

    I have a big piece of driftwood in the tank too, though, so I don't know if it's the CO2 or driftwood lowering the PH. In hindsight I should have tested the PH before adding CO2, but... I will test it again tomorrow after CO2 has been off.

    What do you guys think? CO2 lowering PH or driftwood? I'd say I'm running about 2 bubbles per second if I had to guess.

    None of my fry, shrimp, or snails have shown any signs of distress.

    Thoughts? (Picture included to show wood.)

  2. matsungit

    matsungitWell Known MemberMember

    As long as your parameters are stable you can forget about pH. Measure KH instead and keep it above 4dKH. If you're concerned about hardness then measure GH. Think of pH like an indicator, that something else is going on causing it to change.
  3. OP

    Bruxes and BubblesWell Known MemberMember

    I'll have to get a test kit for GH and dKH. Tested the water after a period of 12 hours lights out and no CO2 and the PH color really didn't change at all, so I'm going to assume it's the wood.
  4. Fashooga

    FashoogaFishlore VIPMember

    I've read that drift wood can cause Ph to drop, but not by a lot.

    If the fish are fine I wouldn't chase the Ph. If it ain't broke don't fix it.
  5. OP

    Bruxes and BubblesWell Known MemberMember

    Yeah, I have fry and shrimp in this tank. If something was wrong I think there would be indication with them. I'll just make sure to keep a watchful eye on the tank.
  6. ashark8me

    ashark8meValued MemberMember

    In my 300 gallon saltwater set up I had a ph probe that measured the ph all the time and graphed the results for me and everything.

    What it shows, and this is very common and expected, is the that ph can fluctuate a surprising amount in a tank that has a lot of photosynthesis going on. My ph would go from, say 8 in the daytime with the lights on to 7.8 at night with the lights off. Why? Because photosynthesis takes up carbon dioxide (which drives ph down). So when photosynthesis is not happening (at night) there is a slight rise in CO2 which drives the ph down a little bit. Similarly, I could always tell if the windows were open or not in my house. With the windows closed, the ph in the tank would always be a little bit lower. This is a well documented phenomenon noticed but practically everyone who runs a properly calibrated ph probe on an aquarium controller (I have the neptune Apex)

    So what I am getting at is, your reading may have been lower because of the driftwood, it may have been the addition of the CO2, it may have had a little do to with the time of day...lots of factors. If you REALLY want to know, you would want to measure it at the same time of day under the same conditions.

    Some folks in the reef world like to try to mitigate that .2 or so ph fluctuation at night by running an air line into their skimmer from outside. Some try by doing a reverse lighting cycle with some macro algae in a sump or refugium. Personally, I never worried about it much and not harm ever came to any of the delicate fish, corals, or anemones because of that. As other posters have said, ph is kind of a funny thing and often by trying to control it too much, you just end up making it swing wildly. I think if all your livestock are doing okay, then there's no need to worry.
  7. OP

    Bruxes and BubblesWell Known MemberMember

    Wow, thanks so much! I know it must have taken a while to write all that down! I appreciate it!

    I'll keep an eye on the shrimp and fish and snail. If they show signs of stress I'll worry about it, but they look healthy and happy right now. Hopefully the plants will benefit from the CO2!

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