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oxygen
09-01-2003, 08:12 PM
Has any one ever had their sponges turn pink??? It's only happened in one of my tanks and the amonia, nitrite, nitrate levels are through the roof, not to mention the PH has dropped to 5.8 even though my tap water is 7.2 ph
(this was a few days ago)

I did a 60% water change, vacuumed like crazy, threw out my bio wheel filter (cuz the sponges are dead anyway) and set up a spare aquaclear (my favorite)

Amonia is lowered, to about half, but stilll too high, and the nitrite and nitrates have not moved..... as for the PH..... this is crazy.... I added 18 tablespoons of salt to up the ph (35 gallon tank) and the PH is now lower then when I started.......

I am feeling rather upset.... I havn't lost anyone yet, but I am afraid I might...
There was no sign of a problem, no behavrial changes, or sickness....
I am puzzled......

in the tank I have small pebbles from the lfs, red slate, and two small pieces of lava rack. two/three java ferns.... and 6 kenyi (4 juvies and 2 fry)
any ideas?

tom
09-02-2003, 10:13 AM
Hi oxygen

I haven't experienced what you describe, so take this guess with the proverbial grain:

It sounds like your filtration was inefficient and the decaying waste caused your problems, including a rise in CO2, which lowers pH, and drops in most certainly carbonate hardness and probably in total hardness.

Seed the Aquaclear (as well as your substrate) with gravel from your LFS's fully-cycled tank (you can place a good layer of it on top of the foam insert) while you continue to do water changes. Get some additional aeration going (the surface agitation from the AC won't be enough, especially if CO2 levels are high): You might want to add a couple of those inexpensive corner box filters, also filled with mature gravel. And stop adding salt: It's probably doing more harm than good and, besides, common salt has no effect on pH.

What are your gH and kH readings?

oxygen
09-02-2003, 11:08 AM
I couldn't agree with you more.... since I've done more reading after I've put up this post..... There comes a piont when you add too much salt. I know that the ph is not effected by the salt, I read that earlier today, and I have observed this with my tanks (Iam using fine sea salts), I am really at my wits end here. I do not have a reading on the gh or kh levels.... I am on my way beack to get the water tested with the hydro meter for salt because I am concerned about the salt levels. (just thinking back to bioligy and chemisty class in high school...)

tom could you direct me to any further resourses that would shed additional factual light on PH, GH and KH, so I can better understand them. Then I can better sort out what the corect course of action would be?
I am am getting conflicting informations.
It's a long story.... however, I'd appriciate you're imput further... I'll add the readings when I come back from the lfs
thanks

Good news though.... I've managed to get the nitrigen cycle going again in this tank ... now it'll just take some time and more water changes? to get everything back to normal... except the PH...

oxygen
09-02-2003, 11:10 AM
What is the relation between GH, KH, and PH? How do they effect each other?

tom
09-02-2003, 11:29 AM
Originally posted by oxygen
I am on my way beack to get the water tested with the hydro meter for salt because I am concerned about the salt levels. (just thinking back to bioligy and chemisty class in high school...

If you're continuing to do significant water changes without adding salt, I wouldn't worry about it: Salt is removed through water changes.


could you direct me to any further resourses that would shed additional factual light on PH, GH and KH, so I can better understand them.

For a general overview: http://www.drhelm.com/aquarium/chemistry.html

For a more detailed treatment of water chemistry: http://www.thekrib.com/Chemistry/

Just follow the many links--loads of good info.

oxygen
09-02-2003, 11:35 AM
My hungry brain thanks you... *burp*... I'll start digesting this right away...... Thanks tom!

By the way, any idea on the effects of lava rock on the PH Level?

tom
09-02-2003, 11:47 AM
Originally posted by oxygen


By the way, any idea on the effects of lava rock on the PH Level?

I don't know.

Let me know when you find out :wink:

oxygen
09-02-2003, 11:52 AM
Guess I've got more research to do...
:) thanks

oxygen
09-02-2003, 02:01 PM
the tank in question, has 180 gh and 40 kh and my other tank has a 240 gh and 45 kh
both have low ph.

am I expressing the messurement/units right?

tom
09-02-2003, 04:16 PM
Yes: Your expressions are in ppm (parts per million); many test kits also use German degrees (dKH and dGH). As expected, your carbonate hardness is decidedly low. This affects the buffering capacity of the water--in short, its ability to resist changes in pH, which is your primary concern right now. Stabilize the pH first before considering any chemical cures. Again, make sure you have adequate filtration and aeration and continue to do frequent water changes. Aim to keep your tank water at your tap pH: "Low" but stable pH is far better than "high" but fluctuating pH.

tom
09-02-2003, 05:49 PM
Oxygen

Just to clarify:

It just dawned on me that what you're reading is likely mg/l. For all practical purposes, it's the same as ppm. At any rate, 40-45 is too low to keep the pH stable, I think. Shoot for at least 75 mg/l to start seeing pH stability. (The higher, the better the buffering capacity.) If the water changes and added aeration don't do the trick, you might consider adding baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) after getting advice from someone who uses it as a buffer successfully. (I've never used the stuff in tanks.) But, as is often mentioned here, try the non-additive route first.

oxygen
09-02-2003, 08:47 PM
I've added crushed coral in a nylon filter bag to the tank to increase the ph, and hardness...... tomorrow i'll put it in the filter.
I am a little erie about using baking soda... I think I'll test the water tomorrow and see how the ph and hardness is, if I need to i'll try the air stone to drive off CO2 first.

Thanks