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gday guys,

i am having abit of a freakout at the moment and am hoping i can get some good news.

ive just set up a 5ft aquarium approx 550l. and when i say just set up, its been running in now for about abit over a month,

i have 2 slate stacks running up each corner of the tank and have it heavily planted with assorted swords, anubias on driftwoods, ferns,

lilliopsis etc, with the intentions of having as a discus tank with few tetras etc.

My issue is, i have BLACK substrate and upon doing a PH test and nearly dropping to the floor with a PH close to 8.0

i do further investigation and find some black gravels have basalt in it raising the PH. i was unaware this particular gravel

had basalt in it and am wondering if it is my actual problem. the gravel is natural looking, not jet black, has flecks of white/cream in it.

its the only thing i can think of affecting my PH, im running 3 canisters, but all biological sub. is ceramic as far as i know, i am trying these new bio

balls that have a very large surface area and appear like bleached coral, looking calcium based, but are perfectly round, but ive been assured theyre ceramic.

is there something, some element or product i can use to counter-act the rasing of the PH by the gravel, if it is so that, and bring the PH back down

in discus tolerance, or am i doomed and have to rip everything up and start again.

so stressed, the tank is beautiful, and it doesnt even have fish in yet!

(further information, after noticing the PH was high, i added discus buffer repeatidly and just had it spike up again over days)

Edited by nOrCo_me
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Having just been in this situation with readings of 9.5, the best thing to do is get a couple of buckets and start testing different scenarios ie: plain tap water, water with gravel, water with whatever different rocks you have in the tank. Couldn't hurt to test your canister media as well if you have some spare. Run it over a few days and record the changes to see what is happening. Once you can determine what is causing it you can work out what to do to counter it. Last thing you want to be doing is battling ph fluctuations.

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Sorry lol read all that and managed to skip the word discus and read it as discuss.

As above....... its going to be a test stuff in buckets and see what spikes the pH back up.

On the bright side, people are always chasing slate for their tanks.

And even if it raises pH a bit, a single piece would be harmless in a SA cichlid tank for a spawn site.

Can likely swap bits out for bits of wood.

still tho.............. sucks there just had to be drama

always the bloody way with projects you put your soul into.

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I have noticed in my tanks if i have the too much aeration the ph climbs. But then again can you have too much aeration?

A member mentioned this to me only earlier this week and had not heard of it before. When I was breeding the L-Numbers the tanks were absolutely smashed with the amount of oxygen being added but did not find that there was a increase ever. Sumps were oxygenated, every tank had at least two items adding oxygen and had more of an issue of Ph going down than up. Not saying that it is not true, just saying I did not experience it.

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I have noticed in my tanks if i have the too much aeration the ph climbs. But then again can you have too much aeration?

Aeration increases the amount of de-gassing.

As in, it increases the rate at which co2 is expelled from the water.

The less co2 in the water, the higher the ph will become.

Lowering the pH of an aquarium by adding CO2 is a very popular method of keeping a stable pH6.5 in discus tanks.

But does require investing in a pH controller.

You can test this easily by doing a pH test on a glass of water.

Then blow into it with a straw for a while, then pH test it again.

The co2 in your breath will lower the pH.

BUT if you instead aerate the cup of water using an airpump,

the pH will often rise, as you degas any co2 out of it.

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Usually i rely on the spray bar stirring up the surface to aerate which works well in the cooler months but if the tanks are getting a bit over populated and it's the hot time of year i let the power heads in every tank go full bore as well as a few air stones going nuts and the ph climbs from anormal mid 7's to mid 8's overnight. Turn down the bubbles and it flattens off back to normal in 3-4 hours. I have a good mix of shell grit in the gravel and driftwood but if i take the driftwood out it's around 8 and with it back in to mid 7's. It takes a day or two to stabilize sometimes but the fish don't seem to mind but crank up the bubbles and it keeps creeping and fish look nervous and dart around a lot. I use a Eutech eco testr ph2 and it's the best money i ever spent. Costs around $100 at most places and i regularly re-calibrate it but it's never far off. Highly recommend one.

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Thanks for the replies fellas, i have piss all aeration in the tank so that wouldnt be a factor. i have set up a few buckets for some

testing so fingures crossed i get some answers by tomorrow. id be devod to loose my slate stacks but that would be an easier fix then changing my gravel out.

so can anyone recommend anything to combat a rising PH that would be potent enough? anyone used peat? can you buy it in a form that wont dis-colour your water?

i think my PH niches out at 7.8 at the moment. hasnt seemed to clime anymore. and yes discus community, probably 6 discus, few schools of tetras and ass. rams.

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havnt tested my buckets yet but will do shortly, i just had a look and found out the name of this new bio media im using which i may be sus on, its called 'marinepure' spheres. had anyone used these before? as the name suggests 'marine' im wondering if it has some sort of alkaliser in it? anyone got any info on this stuff?

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Its for marine and freshwater - it will not be the issue but your tests will show that anyway.

MarinePure™ Technical Info

MarinePure is designed to be a substrate for bio-filtration, specifically to target ammonia and nitrite removal (nitrification) and to minimize nitrates (denitrification). MarinePure is suitable for both freshwater and saltwater (marine) environments. MarinePure can be used fully submerged or in trickle/shower filters. It should not be used in moving bed filters.

Light Weight Bulk Density = 0.3 - 0.5 g/cc

High Surface Area 1.3 - 1.7 m2/g

Open Pore Structure 80 - 90% Open Porosity

Chemically Inert

Hydrophilic Adsorbs water and stays wet longer

Low Pressure Drop

Unaffected by ozone

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