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Leaves for Apistos

Egon31

New Member
Greetings from Sweden, first post but I have been around here lurking for a while. :)

I am in about the same situation as the TS. Moved and started some tanks in this new area about a year ago and came from soft acid water.

Wanting to find a way to lower my pH without using RO or rain water if possibe, I need some help. Have been reading so many posts in different forums and it only gets me more confused. I know a bit of water chemistry but this is a strange way to handle water, making it alkaline with NaOH.

My readings:

Tap water:

pH: 8
dKH: 4
dGH: 1,5
conductivity: 90ppm


I know they use NaOH (Sodium Hydroxide) to raise the pH.

Question:

I would like to go somewhere between pH6-6.5 and keep it stable.

Do I need more KH Buffering or should it be stable just using peat or almond leafes. Would a commercial buffer be worth thinking of with these values? Thinking about Seachem Discus buffer
 

dw1305

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Hi all,
I know a bit of water chemistry but this is a strange way to handle water, making it alkaline with NaOH.
You now have soft, alkaline water, the NaOH disassociates fully into Na+ and OH- ions, so there is no reserve of buffering.You could add a little bit of <"oyster shell"> etc. to give you some carbonate buffering.

The sodium hydroxide addition is to control heavy metal levels, resulting from the dissolution of any lead (Pb) from pipes etc under acid conditions. NaOH injection is often used with a phosphate PO4--- addition as well, the terms to looks for are "control of plumbosolvency" and "PIMS" (phosphate induced metal stabililisation)
I would like to go somewhere between pH6-6.5 and keep it stable.
If it is a planted tank you won't have pH stability, this is quite natural in vegetated streams and ponds and just relates to the diurnal (diel) variation in oxygen (a base) and CO2 (an acid) levels.
Would a commercial buffer be worth thinking of with these values? Thinking about Seachem Discus buffer
No, you don't need it. Companies that sell pH buffers etc. are disingenuous, at best, about their products and the requirement or pH stability. I look at it another way, large changes in pH that reflect large changes in water chemistry need to be avoided. There is a much fuller discussion in <"Hole in the head...">.
should it be stable just using peat or almond leafes
You should be able to lower pH with these, if you have access to them, Alder (Alnus glutinosa) cones and Oak (Quercus spp) work just as well (links earlier in the thread), and have a <"smaller environmental footprint">.

cheers Darrel
 

Egon31

New Member
Hi all, You now have soft, alkaline water, the NaOH disassociates fully into Na+ and OH- ions, so there is no reserve of buffering.You could add a little bit of <"oyster shell"> etc. to give you some carbonate buffering.
I know a few people do it in this region. How important is the volume used here? is a cup much in say 15 gallons?

The sodium hydroxide addition is to control heavy metal levels, resulting from the dissolution of any lead (Pb) from pipes etc under acid conditions. NaOH injection is often used with a phosphate PO4--- addition as well, the terms to looks for are "control of plumbosolvency" and "PIMS" (phosphate induced metal stabililisation)If it is a planted tank you won't have pH stability, this is quite natural in vegetated streams and ponds and just relates to the diurnal (diel) variation in oxygen (a base) and CO2 (an acid) levels.
Yes PIMS are here mainly because of EU regulations. Im sure its for a good reason but it messes with my hobby :)

The tanks have only some java fern and a few floating plants, so the swings shouldnt be to bad if I understand it right with a lot of CO2/O2 going atmospheric?

No, you don't need it. Companies that sell pH buffers etc. are disingenuous, at best, about their products and the requirement or pH stability. I look at it another way, large changes in pH that reflect large changes in water chemistry need to be avoided. There is a much fuller discussion in <"Hole in the head...">.
Never used any but I see the temptation and the reason it sells.

You should be able to lower pH with these, if you have access to them, Alder (Alnus glutinosa) cones and Oak (Quercus spp) work just as well (links earlier in the thread), and have a <"smaller environmental footprint">.
I have alder cones and Oak leafs in my tanks already and heres whats bothering me, the pH doesnt budge from 8. But maybe I should add some more?

Also I use a liquid test and that gets harder to read with more tannins in the water. Do You guys use digital ones or just dont measure?

Right now I use about 5 alder cones and 10 Oak leafs in my 15 gallon tanks. Or is the 30% weekly water change a part of the problem?
 

dw1305

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Hi all,
is a cup much in say 15 gallons?
I'd go for much less than that, I'd just see how quickly it dissolves, but I'd be literally using tea-spoon amounts for starters.
The tanks have only some java fern and a few floating plants, so the swings shouldnt be to bad if I understand it right with a lot of CO2/O2 going atmospheric?
Yes, it should reduce pH movement.
I have alder cones and Oak leafs in my tanks already and heres whats bothering me, the pH doesnt budge from 8. But maybe I should add some more? ....Right now I use about 5 alder cones and 10 Oak leafs in my 15 gallon tanks
Add a lot more Oak leaves. Have a look at <"All the leaves are brown">. <"Citric acid"> might be another option, have a look at @regani's comments in the linked thread.
Do You guys use digital ones or just dont measure?
I use a digital meter, but normally I don't test, <"Pool Filter sand vs...."> has a much more complete answer.

cheers Darrel
 
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