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My ph has recently plummeted to 4.5! I have come to the conclusion it was due to the driftwood in my tank bringing it down as i do around a 35% water change a week with gravel clean and the water from my tap is tested at 7. I have added some texas holey rocks as i believe they raise the pH slightly. I am very conscious of my water as i have a heavily stocked tank. Do you think this is enough to balance it out and is holey rock bad for americans?

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I believe Canberra water is quite soft. This is the reason why it is so easy to crash your pH. You are probably right in blaming your driftwood, given you are doing regular water changes.

Your fish are mostly central Americans (as against south) so soft acidic water is not necessary and they are looking for a pH around the 7 mark (stability being the most important thing).

The Holey rock is not going to be a problem. The question is going to be how effective are the two counter measures going to be fighting each other.

So, I would as Donny said monitor for a few weeks what is going on and test at least before and after each water change. I would be testing my hardness as well as the pH. (hardness and pH are related - there is also a thing called alkalinity that I think ties everyone together as a measure, but I don't really understand it)

If the system does not give stable conditions I would next consider either a buffer, or removing the wood.

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With a test kit. Did it a few times at different times of the day

I was just wondering, as most test kits don't go down that low. Which brand is it? Could be useful for some of my tanks.

Otherwise, if you want to raise your pH a bit the Texas holy rock should work, you could also keep some crushed coral in one of your filter compartments. Just be aware that both will also raise GH and KH. It should be fine for the fish you have you may just monitor how far the values climb over time, you may have to do more water changes if they get too high.

Another method is to use some bicarbonate to raise the pH. if there is a lot of driftwood the tannins may eat up the bicarbonate quickly, though

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Just thinking, how big is the tank? In heavily stocked tanks the processing of the bio load can lead to a drop in pH as well, especially if you have very soft water (low KH).

The countermeasures are the same as stated above, just a different cause of the pH drop...

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Could be dust/dirt from the rock. Could also be a bacterial bloom. Have you checked your ammonia recently? Nitrogen processing slows down significantly at lower pH so you may have had a buildup of ammonia while the pH was low. Now with the pH raised the bacteria can grow more rapidly again and you get the same cloudy water effect that you sometimes get when starting a new tank.

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