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Zippy
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57 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
My 5 gallon betta tank has had a steady PH of 7.2-7.4 for months. I tested 4 days ago and it was 7.4. I tested today, several times mind you, and it was 6.0 or maybe even lower. I used an API liquid test. Nitrites 0, Nitrates 10. I tested my other 2 tanks, plus the 2 I am cycling and they are all about 7.4.

In the past 4 days I did make 2 changes to the tank. I added a piece of lucky bamboo that has roots in the water but leaves stick out of the top. I took out the volcano bubbler decoration that my betta got caught in and changed it for a hideous pink coral bubbler. Both the bamboo and coral spent time in my other tanks (much longer than 4 days) and did not cause the PH to drop.

So can anyone think of any reasons the PH dropped so much, and so fast?
 

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Premium Member
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3,108 Posts
The tank obviously had a weak buffer and the PH slipped quickly. Usually its because of a recent change if its not typical, such as adding those ornaments. The coral bubbler is made of plastic, correct? Real coral would have raised the PH anyway..
There could be some reason thats related to adding those and the PH dropping.
What do you use to raise and stabilize your PH? Is it a freshwater buffer designed to level it out, or just up/down drops/powders?
 

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Zippy
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57 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
yes, the coral is plastic.

In the past I used a very small amount of baking soda to slightly raise the PH, but more for the buffering effect. I have had times in the past when my KH was 0.
 

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Premium Member
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There's other additives out there you can get that work better than baking soda to keep it more stable and raise the alkalinity. The more KH you have, the more acid it takes to lower the PH, and so the water is buffered better.
As a side note, may I ask how often you usually do water changes on the tank? Did you change that routine or skip any water change that was due?
 

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Zippy
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57 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
I do weekly changes. But I believe I went over by 3 days with this particular tank since I has been busy cycling 2 new ones. Could this be the reason?
 

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Zippy
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57 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
2-21-10 Update:

I didn't do anything for two days. Today I did a 20% water change. A little while later I checked the PH and it had gone up slightly to 6.6.

So I decided to take out the bamboo plant just to see if the PH starts to climb back up without it. I will update again later this week.
 
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