Will a pH of 6.4 be okay for my stock?

Fishstery

Member
I recently just started up a pond style shallow tank to house a male betta and a small shoal of pygmy cories. The tank has been running for about 11 days now, and it's been going well (I instant cycled it with media I pre-seeded). It's about 3/4 way filled so I'd estimate about 4 gallons of water volume. I used an entire 3lb bag of UNS contrasoil to build up the emersed slope, and previously thought it was the one aquasoil that doesn't lower pH. Apparently it WILL buffer pH to around 6.8 over time. Now, my tap comes out at 7.0 and hits 6.8 after it gasses out. However, in this tank which started at a 6.8, dropped to 6.6 after the first 5 days and is now a 6.4. I did use rocks I found in my local stream but did a cider vinegar test and none of them fizzed so I assumed they would be fine. I'm not sure if it is the contrasoil or the river rocks lowering my pH, but does anyone think this will be an issue for my betta and cories, and also for my beneficial bacteria? Also if anyone has any experience with the contrasoil long term, I would appreciate that too. Thanks!

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Broggy

Member
that sounds great, that moss is gorgeous
 
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Fishstery

Member
Broggy said:
that sounds great, that moss is gorgeous
The pH sounds great you mean?? And thank you, it's actually terrestrial moss. The Christmas moss didn't do well with no humidity so I replaced it with this fern moss.
 

Broggy

Member
yeah, I think the ph is good.
 

alexk77

Member
In my opinion i think 6.4 is a little on the low side but if you plan on it raising gradually to 6.8 you should be good.
I could be wrong about this but i heard limestone is another great natural way to up your pH a bit if the contrasoil doesn’t work how you expect. i don’t have experience with contrasoil though, i’m sad to say.
Good luck!
 
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Fishstery

Member
alexk77 said:
In my opinion i think 6.4 is a little on the low side but if you plan on it raising gradually to 6.8 you should be good.
I could be wrong about this but i heard limestone is another great natural way to up your pH a bit if the contrasoil doesn’t work how you expect. i don’t have experience with contrasoil though, i’m sad to say.
Good luck!
I'm not planning on raising it, as I always shy away from meddling with my pH. I just read online about the contrasoil and UNS states over time it will supposedly balance the oH out at 6.8, but then how would it make my pH drop if it was already a 6.8? I'm just worried if anyone could shine some light on if a pH this low could pose some problems with my fish and cycle. I'm used to always having water 7.8-8.0 until a year ago where my local water source must have changed which dropped my tap pH drastically, so I dont have any experience with low pH.

Edit: upon further review on the UNS website they have bar graphs made to indicate pH/kH and ammonia/nitrate levels in a control tank over the course of 14 days. Under the pH graph, it notes the tank started at a 7.0 and jumps to 7.2 on day 5. Then from day 5-14 it indicates the pH at 6.4, so I suppose my pH is right on par with UNS's test time period (as I'm on day 11 with the soil). Nonetheless, if anyone has any advice on the effect this may have on my tank I would appreciate it, as I'm not looking to try and fiddle with the pH especially since there is already a buffer trying to make the water acidic. Also, would doing 50% WCs weekly with tap that is a 6.8-7.0 pose another issue? I'd imagine mixing half and half would yield the pH jumping from 6.4 to a 6.6 from a water change...not sure if this is enough difference to harm my fish.
 

goldface

Member
I only had experience with ADA Amazonia. Yes, it buffers the pH, but I really think by how much depends a lot on your tap water parameters. Generally, I wouldn't worry about it. I haven't tested my pH in years. If the fish are fine, then the water is probably fine. Keep it simple.
 
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Fishstery

Member
goldface said:
I only had experience with ADA Amazonia. Yes, it buffers the pH, but I really think by how much depends a lot on your tap water parameters. Generally, I wouldn't worry about it. I haven't tested my pH in years. If the fish are fine, then the water is probably fine. Keep it simple.
Thanks! I've read a lot about most serious planted tank keepers not worrying about low pH, and a few beautifully planted tanks I've read about where the owners mentioned pH as low as 5.3-5.8 and kH 0/1 with no issues. Theres been a few literature articles I've read that prove that nitrifying bacteria either dying or not performing under 6.0 is an "old wives tale" and that beneficial bacteria that is already colonized will indeed continue to function fine in extremely low pH/kH, as nature proves well in soft acidic rivers and streams. I just wanted some reassurance about the issue as I'm used to working with hard alkaline water in past years. Luckily even with a slow ammonia leech, my parameters are ammonia and nitrite 0 and nitrate below 5ppm, which would prove that my bacteria is still going. I also have a tiger lotus in this tank which will suck down a good bit of excess nutrients (still experiencing an initial algae/cyano boom somehow though...)
 

alexk77

Member
In that case, this sounds great. The tank looks awesome btw.
 
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Fishstery

Member
alexk77 said:
In that case, this sounds great. The tank looks awesome btw.
Thank you! It's my first try at emersed plants
 

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