Ph Rise With Substrate Change

Reema

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Recently I changed the substrate in my tank. From regular run of the mill gravel, I changed to CaribSea Eco-complete gravel which contains plant growing bacteria as well. Didn't introduce any other changes. I even used the same water that was previously in the tank and kept the old filters running as well. I gave the tank a few days and tested all water parameters. Every parameter is spot on, except for Ph level. It is way past 7.6 for a betta tank. I've never had Ph issues in my aquarium ever since it got established.
I already have driftwood in it. Reverse osmosis filter is out of the question. No budget for that kind of expense. What are you guys suggesting I do to lower the Ph and why did it skyrocket like this ?
 

jdhef

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Your betta should be fine at that pH level. The biggest risk was it surviving the (probably) sudden pH change. But it survived that, it should be fine.
 

Marinus

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I just recently got that exact same substate and I've been having pH issues as well. Mine have spiked as high as 8.2 with that substate which, to me, is not okay. I finally threw in the towel and will be switching today to black diamond blasting sand instead. Disappointed as I've used that substate in the past (many years ago) and had zero issues with it. Hopefully your pH doesn't go as high as mine did!
 
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Reema

Reema

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Marinus said:
I just recently got that exact same substate and I've been having pH issues as well. Mine have spiked as high as 8.2 with that substate which, to me, is not okay. I finally threw in the towel and will be switching today to black diamond blasting sand instead. Disappointed as I've used that substate in the past (many years ago) and had zero issues with it. Hopefully your pH doesn't go as high as mine did!
I spend 50 $ on that bag. Throwing it away and buying something else? Nope. I rather do the necessary work to lower the ph a bit.
I also invested money in my plants which thrive with this new substrate. In the past the larger regular gravel didn't do well by plants.
 

Marinus

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Reema said:
I spend 50 $ on that bag. Throwing it away and buying something else? Nope. I rather do the necessary work to lower the ph a bit.
I also invested money in my plants with thrive with this new substrate. In the past the larger regular gravel didn't do well by plants.
I totally understand where you are coming from and, trust me, not what I wanted to do either but I also didn't feel like fighting a constant battle with pH and risking my fish dying because of the pH swings. If you just have the betta then, as jdhef said, you'll probably be fine. I hope that you can figure out a way to keep your pH at a more stable level.
 
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Reema

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Just ordered a bag of almond leaves. Arrives later today. Let's see how that method goes. Will be updating.
 

Faytaya

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I didn't know sand could raise PH. This is why I come here to these threads. I'm sorry for what happened in your life. hopefully you've found solutions here to help you.
 

Skavatar

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Faytaya said:
I didn't know sand could raise PH. This is why I come here to these threads. I'm sorry for what happened in your life. hopefully you've found solutions here to help you.
its not sand, its a volcanic soil mix.
 

CheshireKat

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I coulda sworn I saw it said on the bag that it may raise the pH when I looked at it yesterday in the store. My pH is already 7.8; I'm good where it is, thanks.

Edit: searched "eco-complete raising pH" and there's a lot of complaints.
 

Faytaya

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Skavatar said:
its not sand, its a volcanic soil mix.
I know about the eco complete not being sand, the subject somewhere mentioned sand being able to affect PH, but thanks for letting me know the eco complete is volcanic rock. I didn't know that.
 

CheshireKat

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I'd imagine volcanic materials would have minerals and such in it that could be causing pH issues.
 
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Reema

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So as I said here earlier, I'm gonna try some almond leaf to balance the ph, but then I was left with one question: how do I get an accurate reading on testing the ph, since the leaf will release tannin and change the water color ?
When starting with clear water and adding the test drops, the result color indicates ph level, which in my case is a darker blue shade (high ph). But if I start with amber or yellowish water...?
 

jdhef

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I gotta be honest, I think trying to meaningfully lower your pH with the IAL will be an uphill battle, but hopefully I'm wrong.

As far as getting a good pH reading...very good question. I wonder if in this case test strips may be the best option
 

NavyChief20

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Faytaya said:
You can add peat moss to your filter too, on top of the almond leaves and the driftwood. It'll taint your water if you don't have activated charcoal, but your ph will gradually drop
What will the carbon do ?

Being volcanic rock in and of itself has zero effect. Basalt and "lava rock" is a neutral material. Now other items in the mix could very well be a factor. All of my tanks are at 8.2-8.3 but I keep cichlids. That's not a crazy high pH. The additives are your problem. Best to stick to sand.
 

NavyChief20

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Faytaya said:
It removes the tint tannins leave behind.
Ok good. Just making sure you weren't going to start the carbon is a cureall. Too many people think it does things it doesn't.

Glad to see you know.
 
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Reema

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Introduced the almond leaves last night. This morning I woke up to this beautiful amber colored water. Will be testing the ph later this evening and tomorrow. In the mean time my betta is having a blast.
20190826_073955.jpg
 
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Reema

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So here's the scoop. Tested both normal and high range ph. The normal reading settled at 7.6 but the high range test result was 7.4. A bit confused between the two, but I'm satisfied with the current levels.
 

Skavatar

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7.6 is the max on the normal test.

7.4 is the minimum on the high test.

so you're right there on the border in between the two test.

 

DoubleDutch

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NavyChief20 said:
What will the carbon do ?

Being volcanic rock in and of itself has zero effect. Basalt and "lava rock" is a neutral material. Now other items in the mix could very well be a factor. All of my tanks are at 8.2-8.3 but I keep cichlids. That's not a crazy high pH. The additives are your problem. Best to stick to sand.
Anxious to know what additives there are added.
 

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