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PEZ
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Discussion Starter #1
I have a DIY CO2 and everything in the tank seams healthy. My PH is low at 6.0. The fish appear fine though, as do the plants. I was wondering if I should try to raise it and if I do, how should I do it? I want a more permanent fix, not a chemical one unless it is safe and fairly permanent. I was interested in crushed coral. If I use it, how much, and can I just pour it in the back of my tank where I wont be able to see it, being I have no room in my filter. I have a 20 gallon tank.
 

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PEZ
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9 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
i would say it is fairly stable, being that i am pretty sure the only fluctuation is b/c of the CO2. i haven't seen it higher than 6.6 and usually see it at about 6.4. I recently shut the air pump off during the daytime hours and only have it on during the nighttime hours now. it used to run the air pump intermittently during the day, 3 hours off and 1 hour on. I think it dropped to 6.0 b/c of that.
 

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an air pump does bring Co2 into the tank as well, dont forget that, it just pumps the air from what you are breathing into the water, no filtration is present to seperate the molecules, if so air pumps would be very expensive.

what else besides Co2 is in there? wood or rocks?

If its stable the fish will be fine, they will adapt but it has to be gradual it cannot be sudden, when its a sudden swing thats when stress kills em.
 

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Inspired.
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It is normal for the pH to be at 6.0 if you're using a CO2 system. This is because CO2 reacts with water to form carbonic acid. All acids have hydrogen atoms connected to it, and since pH is the measure of hydrogen ions, your water will be more acidic than neutral.

What I did when I still had a DIY CO2 system is to turn on the air pump at night. Since plants aren't really active at night (using CO2, nutrients, and other things for growth), you can have a CO2 build up. The fish need oxygen to live, so turning on the air pump would allow for some gas exchange, which should bring the pH closer to 7.0.
 

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You can safely raise the PH by using crushed coral. I use it in all my takes as a matter of fact. But then again...my well water has a PH < 6 so I use it in the water jugs to stabilize it prior to adding.

For a 20g, I would recommend to start out with 1/4 cup. You can add it right into the tank under your exisiting substrate. A better option would be to use a small nylon baggie and put it in your filter.

Also, with CC, it will add buffers to the tank. This is where your GH and KH come in to play. These are more of a factor than the PH.

As for CO2 and air pumps...yes...run your air pump at night. Best way to do it is with a timer so it comes on after the lights are out and it turns off just before they come on. Plants use CO2 during the day and O2 at night.
 
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