Very low pH but very high hardness (??)

Gel0city

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I'm confused, do you have any pictures or background information to tell? Sorry if I am missing something, but the picture above just seems like your tank.
 

Pythia

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Yeah, I agree with Gel0city , more background information would help.
 
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alialidandi

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HAH OH sorry I don't know what happened to my post!! Here it is!

I believe my 10G tank is cycling, so I started tracking water parameters every day for the past seven days. I have a Master test kit on order and have been using the Tetra EasyStrips in the meantime. Substrate is a mix of Fluval and ECO-Complete. Lots of live plants, snails, three guppies, and about 10 neocaridina. Cholo wood, driftwood, two small stones. Wonder shells. Hanging filter and a bubbler. Here is what I'm seeing, please advise... also I just got a 20G tank and will be "upgrading" very soon.

Numbers are for May 2/May7/May 9:

Nitrate-0/10/0
Nitrite-0/.5/.2
GH-300/300/300
Chlorine-0/0/0
KH-40/20/10
pH-7/6.2/6.2

Temps have stayed steady around 75.5-76.

Thanks!
 

Gel0city

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alialidandi said:
HAH OH sorry I don't know what happened to my post!! Here it is!

I believe my 10G tank is cycling, so I started tracking water parameters every day for the past seven days. I have a Master test kit on order and have been using the Tetra EasyStrips in the meantime. Substrate is a mix of Fluval and ECO-Complete. Lots of live plants, snails, three guppies, and about 10 neocaridina. Cholo wood, driftwood, two small stones. Wonder shells. Hanging filter and a bubbler. Here is what I'm seeing, please advise... also I just got a 20G tank and will be "upgrading" very soon.

Numbers are for May 2/May7/May 9:

Nitrate-0/10/0
Nitrite-0/.5/.2
GH-300/300/300
Chlorine-0/0/0
KH-40/20/10
pH-7/6.2/6.2

Temps have stayed steady around 75.5-76.

Thanks!
Your GH and KH make up your number for pH, which is slowly dropping... I would say check your source water. I have also heard this happen to people who are still cycling their tank. Once your 10 gallon is cycled, I assume you are just going to move the filter to the 20? Unless you are using both tanks then you can jump start the entire process over again by using a seed filter.

FOR pH AND HARDNESS: When you get water from your tap or source water, it has carbon dioxide in it, which means that you will get an inaccurate reading since the pH is lower. If you want to determine your actual pH level, take a cup or bowl and get some of your tank water and let it sit in the same temperature for a few hours... I think 24? You will have different amounts of measurement, since the amount of CO2 will be gone, so with your 7.2 pH it could be 7.8 or even higher. Just try to keep your pH stable instead of moving it all over the place. I wouldn't trust the strips too much, wait until you get your API Test Kit for a more accurate reading.
 
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alialidandi

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Gel0city said:
Your GH and KH make up your number for pH, which is slowly dropping... I would say check your source water. I have also heard this happen to people who are still cycling their tank. Once your 10 gallon is cycled, I assume you are just going to move the filter to the 20? Unless you are using both tanks then you can jump start the entire process over again by using a seed filter.

FOR pH AND HARDNESS: When you get water from your tap or source water, it has carbon dioxide in it, which means that you will get an inaccurate reading since the pH is lower. If you want to determine your actual pH level, take a cup or bowl and get some of your tank water and let it sit in the same temperature for a few hours... I think 24? You will have different amounts of measurement, since the amount of CO2 will be gone, so with your 7.2 pH it could be 7.8 or even higher. Just try to keep your pH stable instead of moving it all over the place. I wouldn't trust the strips too much, wait until you get your API Test Kit for a more accurate reading.
got my test kit early--"high" ph didnt match anything, it's light yellow. other ph test was at 6. everything else is the same as test strip results. yes moving everything over to new tank (with more water obvs) and adding a sponge filter. another guppy just died also (had five, two died, three babies appeared-i moved them temporarily-so i had two then one just died today. sigh.)
 

Gel0city

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alialidandi said:
got my test kit early--"high" ph didnt match anything, it's light yellow. other ph test was at 6. everything else is the same as test strip results. yes moving everything over to new tank (with more water obvs) and adding a sponge filter. another guppy just died also (had five, two died, three babies appeared-i moved them temporarily-so i had two then one just died today. sigh.)
it seems as if your tank isn't properly cycled... Do you know what cycling is?
 
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alialidandi

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Gel0city said:
it seems as if your tank isn't properly cycled... Do you know what cycling is?
yes and i think i've done everything right-live plants, bacterial start stuff, not a lot of fish-maybe i havent done enough or big enough water changes?
 

Gel0city

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alialidandi said:
yes and i think i've done everything right-live plants, bacterial start stuff, not a lot of fish-maybe i havent done enough or big enough water changes?
How much and how many in a week? I do 50% every week with a gravel vacuum.
 

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This is typical in cycling. General hardness GH has nothing to do with PH. It is Carbonate hardness KH that is related to PH. Your KH is dropping because your cycle is consuming it. And you PH is dropping as a result. If you do a water change KH will go up and the PH will go back to the source water PH. If you do not, it is likely that your cycle will stall.
 
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alialidandi

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Gel0city said:
How much and how many in a week? I do 50% every week with a gravel vacuum.
every week but only like 20%- gonna do a bigger one tonight!

OK i just did like a 35/40% water change and will test again tomorrow. Thanks all!
 

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Substrate is fluval stratum? As an aquasoil, it strips KH and lowers pH. Not an issue, it's what they're made to do. Any added KH will simply be bonded to the substrate and effectively removed. Your pH will be stable, but just lower. The more you try to add KH and fight the substrate, the fast the buffering capacity will wear out.
The nitrogen cycle does consume KH but not so fast, unless you had a ton of ammonia in there.
 
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alialidandi

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-Mak- said:
Substrate is fluval stratum? As an aquasoil, it strips KH and lowers pH. Not an issue, it's what they're made to do. Any added KH will simply be bonded to the substrate and effectively removed. Your pH will be stable, but just lower. The more you try to add KH and fight the substrate, the fast the buffering capacity will wear out.
The nitrogen cycle does consume KH but not so fast, unless you had a ton of ammonia in there.
i moved everything except the existing substrate to a new 20G high and used only the Eco Complete-I also took out all but one small piece of wood (chola) and the kh is at 40/pH at 6.8!
 

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alialidandi said:
i moved everything except the existing substrate to a new 20G high and used only the Eco Complete-I also took out all but one small piece of wood (chola) and the kh is at 40/pH at 6.8!
Ah, so KH and pH didn't drop as much as in the 10 gallon, right? Seems consistent with having vs not having an active substrate. Your tap KH is 40 ppm then?
 
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alialidandi

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-Mak- said:
Ah, so KH and pH didn't drop as much as in the 10 gallon, right? Seems consistent with having vs not having an active substrate. Your tap KH is 40 ppm then?
Yep tap is the same!
 

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