View Full Version : PH problem

11-21-2003, 05:42 AM
The PH from my tap (well water) is 6.2. I presently have tropicals and apple snails. I use a buffer to raise the PH to 7.0 primarily for the snails. I also add liquid calcium everyother day for the snails.

I am planning on getting South American Dwarf cichlids which from reading these posts, should thrive in a PH below 7.0 but probably adjust to a 7.0 PH

I do weekly water changes and hence add buffer with each water change.

It is strange but it appears that the PH drops in the tank during the week. Any idea what might be causing this?

Also if i were to add crushed coral or limestone to filter media would I be raising the PH too high? Any other suggestions that would eliminate having to add buffer so frequently?

Thanks all,


11-21-2003, 06:47 AM
How much does your Ph drop? I can't explain your ph problem as it should'nt be happening with frequent water changes. Do you have anything acidic in the water like driftwood? Is there any plant or animal material rotting? These can release acid into the water. I would not us crushed coral or limestone with south americans ciclids as they will make the water too hard. You also may want to completely clean your gravel as there could be waste products in your gravel decomposing to release acids

11-21-2003, 02:56 PM
The PH drops from 7 to about 6.5--not major but still a drop.

There are no live plants and no wood in the tank. I vacuum with Python with each water change.

I feed a lot of cucumber. I have rocks from outside in tank. All rocks passed the vinegar test and ahve been boiled and/or bleached and allowed to dry.

It just seems strange and was hoping someone might have an idea of the cause.

thanks for your help.

11-21-2003, 05:01 PM
Mike, don't clean you tank so much. You need to let some stuff grow in there.

One way to raise ph is an airstone. You could also buy a piece o coral for the tank or put some in your filter. My tap water comes out at 7.5(city) and with the coral it rises to about 7.8-8.0

11-21-2003, 09:39 PM
Some drop in pH will occur naturally if the water is not buffered with the correct stuff. Some buffers only last for a specific time period (i.e. days, a week, etc.). I have also noticed IME that sometime the amount of phosphate in the water will cause the water not to hold its buffering capacity.

The airstone method of raising pH has never worked in my tanks, so try a small amount of coral if you want, but I mean small. If you overload it, it is worse than if you only raise it slightly.

What buffer are you using? This is also a key point.

11-22-2003, 02:42 PM
I am using Seachem 7.0 buffer.

11-22-2003, 06:00 PM
That's good stuff! Must be something else affecting the buffering capacity.
Check the phosphates and let me know.

Have any driftwood in the tank? Real woods, because of their tannin, will lower the pH and buffering capacity.

11-22-2003, 09:01 PM
Is Proper pH a buffer or is a buffer something similar?

I have been in this hobby for many years and I am constantly learning new things. Sometimes I ask the same questions many times, but that's just me I guess. Honestly I have never really paid attention to pH since just about 2 yrs ago since I started with Cichlids. It didn't seem like a major part of the system since ammonia, nitrates and nitrites stole all my time.

Anyway, sorry for the silly question.

11-23-2003, 11:20 AM
hey Matt,

my understanding is that there are products that raise/lower the PH but there are other products that raise the PH and maintain it at that level--it buffers the water.

I know this is a rather simplistic answer and am sure one of the other forum members will have a more complete answer.


11-23-2003, 12:11 PM
Ok, I understand now. Basically proper pH is a quick way to get the water to a certain level. The buffer keeps it at that level.