High test results

Discussion in 'Water Chemistry' started by andy, 2 Nov 2009.

  1. andy

    andy Member

    Messages:
    261
    Location:
    Lewes, East Sussex
    Quick overview

    100 gallon tank, heavily planted. 2.5 wpg T8 lighting, Potting compost and playpit sand for substrate. CO2 injected via one of those glass jobbies with ceramic bit in. 30 rummys, 30 cardinals, 30 harliquins and a few other small fish.....all fish and plants are thriving !!!!! :thumbup:

    Now my plan is to go over to Discus in the near future

    So having never tested a FW tank before in 35 years of keeping trops....i bought a pH and a GH/KH test kit yesterday,,,,they're made by Tetra (Hagen). Just done a test and :woot: :woot: :woot:

    Now the pH with these kits is quite hard to work out because the colours from 8 to 9 are virtually identical. I would say that my pH is around 8.5 :wideyed:

    I've done a GH test and that has come out at 220 mg/l (ppm) as caco3. 201 and above is very hard !!!

    KH was 160 mg/l as caco3. anything above 80 has "a very good buffering capacity)


    Now i'm not used to testing FW tanks but something tells me that my tank is ideal for a shoal of lyretail anthias and a few Acropora....not Discus.

    So would anyone know why i have such high pH etc even though plants and fish are thriving and what the hell i can do about it !!!!!!!

    Me thinks Discus might just have to wait a bit longer although i can do 30% daily water changes with RO all this week.....too much ???

    Thanks

    Andy
     
  2. AdAndrews

    AdAndrews Member

    Messages:
    1,125
    Location:
    Kidderminster, Worcs
    Test the ph of your tapwater against tankwater.
    if its higher in the tank this could be due to rocks that raise the ph, like limestone for example.
    Also, what test kit is it becuase most are near to useless, if its heavily planted, plants are thriving and fish are two, then they are your indicators, not cheapo test kits.

    Adam
     
  3. andy

    andy Member

    Messages:
    261
    Location:
    Lewes, East Sussex
    Right...test kits are Tetra (Hagan) and are brand new.

    No rocks in tank but lots of bogwood

    tap water tested at about 8

    RO tested at about 6.3 but i know that's a false reading.

    I appreciate that plants and fish are always the best indicators but i want to add 8 Discus to the tank that are being kept in 6.5 water !!!
     
  4. AdAndrews

    AdAndrews Member

    Messages:
    1,125
    Location:
    Kidderminster, Worcs
    what kind of a test kit is it, liquid, or test strip, the latter is even more inaccurate.
     
  5. andy

    andy Member

    Messages:
    261
    Location:
    Lewes, East Sussex
    It's liquid mate
     
  6. baron von bubba

    baron von bubba Member

    Messages:
    333
    Location:
    stroud, glos
    bogwood usually lowers the ph! :0/
    did you leave the tap water to degas? it can be high in co2 straight from the tap, leave out for 24 hours or so and try the ph test again.
     
  7. George Farmer

    George Farmer Founder Staff Member

    Messages:
    7,091
    Location:
    Cambridgeshire
    Some composts have a lot of lime. This can raise your pH considerably.

    What brand are you using? Do you have any left over that you can test?
     
  8. andy

    andy Member

    Messages:
    261
    Location:
    Lewes, East Sussex
    Yeah...thinking about it, i used John Innes but can't remember if it was ericacious. How long will this continue leaching lime into the water column or would it be a strip-down job ? (tank has been set up for 7 months)

    Thanks
     
  9. George Farmer

    George Farmer Founder Staff Member

    Messages:
    7,091
    Location:
    Cambridgeshire
    No idea, Andy.

    Depends on so many factors.

    Firstly confirm it definitely does contain lime, then go from there.

    What pH and hardness is your tap water?
     
  10. andy

    andy Member

    Messages:
    261
    Location:
    Lewes, East Sussex
    Tap water results....

    GH = 220 ppm CaCO3

    KH = 160 ppm CaCO3

    Both the same as my tank

    pH = 7.5

    just done another pH test on my tank and it's a minimum of 8.5 :woot:

    Hope that helps a little :crazy:

    Thanks

    Andy
     
  11. andy

    andy Member

    Messages:
    261
    Location:
    Lewes, East Sussex
    Just done a 20% (20 gallon) water change. I used 4 parts RO water to 1 part tap water (i use the hot water for the tap water)

    Tested pH after 5 minutes and it's dropped to around 8. I will re test in the morning to see if lime is leaching but for some reason, i can remember buying ericacious JI compost....i just can't be 100% sure it was for this tank !!!!

    Andy
     
  12. Ed Seeley

    Ed Seeley Member

    Messages:
    3,262
    Location:
    Nottingham
    When my planted tank was running I waa doing weekly 50% water changes with RO water remineralised with a teaspoon of RO right and it was perfect conditions for Biotoecus, Apistogrammas and other delicate SA so I reckon a few weeks with some large RO water changes if you can will drop the pH down from where it is now. You should also hopefully find that once you get into a regime with this that you'll have nice stable conditions for the discus. It might just take a bit of time and you will get some pH fluctuations while the system settles down at the new lower pH IME.
     
  13. andy

    andy Member

    Messages:
    261
    Location:
    Lewes, East Sussex
    Bit of an update....and big thanks to everyone who has given advice :thumbup:

    I put new CO2 on yesterday....i've been without CO2 for about a month, and done a 20% water change with 80% RO/20% hot tap water and the pH seems to have come down to 7.5.

    I'll continue with water changes as it's probably not going to be until after christmas at least until i get the discus so hopefully that'll give me chance to get it right.

    A strip down will only occur as an absolute last resort as i have the tank just how i like it at the moment.

    Thanks again for your help. :clap:

    Andy
     

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