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Drifwood and ph ...puzzled


Out of Africa
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Hi all,

My clown loach died today which is rare in my tanks ! so I did a few tests and my ph was 4.5!!! this is despite a weekly water change of 20% .....naturally I did a 30% water change and added a flat teaspoon of sodium bi carbonate as not to go up too drastically on the ph scale.

This is a standard 4 foot discus and angel tank....certainly not overpopulated with 3 med discus and 4 med angels and now 2 sml loaches.

I do however have 2 big pieces of driftwood in the tank, it's the Malaysian bogwood, the hardwood reddish tinge type , I can only put it down to this!

Can the heavy driftwood load be dropping the ph so much??? and what's the best way to remedy it?? coral bit's in the canister perhaps???

Thanks for insights guys :thumbup:

Rob

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Hi all,

My clown loach died today which is rare in my tanks ! so I did a few tests and my ph was 4.5!!! this is despite a weekly water change of 20% .....naturally I did a 30% water change and added a flat teaspoon of sodium bi carbonate as not to go up too drastically on the ph scale.

This is a standard 4 foot discus and angel tank....certainly not overpopulated with 3 med discus and 4 med angels and now 2 sml loaches.

I do however have 2 big pieces of driftwood in the tank, it's the Malaysian bogwood, the hardwood reddish tinge type , I can only put it down to this!

Can the heavy driftwood load be dropping the ph so much??? and what's the best way to remedy it?? coral bit's in the canister perhaps???

Thanks for insights guys :thumbup:

Rob

yes driftwood lowers ph

as low as 4.5 for sure if you dont have substrate or coral /shells that buffs ph up !

so yes add some rocks coral shells or even sand that buffs water but add peices slowly not to shock the fish

keep testing and adding till disired ph is reached

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Sydney tap water, what we are doing water changes with, has zero KH.

It is a normal biological process that sees the CO2 generated by all tank inhabitants (including aerobic bacteria) to cause the pH to fall. You need to add KH generator (better than bicarbonate) to the water. The CO2 will have to drop the KH levels to zero before it can start to affect the tank's pH.

Shells, coral sand, lime stone sand can also do this, but even in African tanks, with this, KH generator is still required.

What you have experienced is a pH crash due most likely to the absence of KH. The wood can add to this, but as your pH was so low, I expect it is the absence of KH in the water that has allowed the pH to go so low.

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Driftwood does lower the ph, but I don't think to that extent. If you have large pieces of driftwood try lifting them up and checking if the is alot of gunk under them, especially if you have substrate in the tank. Otherwise if the driftwood has alot of crevices take it out and hose it down. I got a feeling just alot of gunk under/in the driftwood!

Hth

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The "gunk" is decaying organic matter.

Driftwood/tank decor can trap large pockets of it.

As has been touched on, the chemical processes involved in breaking down all the "gunk" will cause pH to drop.

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The "gunk" is decaying organic matter.

Driftwood/tank decor can trap large pockets of it.

As has been touched on, the chemical processes involved in breaking down all the "gunk" will cause pH to drop.

What he said :yes: .

But I think if it were "gunk" alone the tank would have to be swimming in it to get the pH to 4.5.

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Discus will be loving 4.5ph if the water is also soft....

I doubt this killed your Clown Loach!

Substrate? Planted?

I'm surprised with a 4.5 ph if you are doing 20% weekly water change?

and tap water is chemically adjusted to make it alkaline...and is usually buffered to stop ph swings!

I can only get 4.5ph with pure rainwater,peat and ketapang leaves....and let it sit for a few weeks

What ever you do....do it slowly

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Rod,

and tap water is chemically adjusted to make it alkaline...and is usually buffered to stop ph swings!

The water from my Sydney tap is also alkaline, and as you say, chemically made so as acid water is harder on the water board's plumbing. But the tap water's KH is zero, it has been for a few years and assume it is still so.

Discus should be loving it if it is also soft, not sure of reason for clowns death, I was commenting on why pH was so low, which is most likely related to KH levels. A water test would sort that out.

Also, as you say, if any changes are done they should be done slowly, but you make a great point regarding the reason for the clowns death. Why did it die if it wasn't pH related? Out Of Africa needs to be aware of this and I hadn't mentioned it as you did.

Craig

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Hi Craig,

Sydney tap water Kh=0...???

I thought only Melbourne had tap water that soft!!!

Low Kh is certainly is a prerequisite for acidifying water.....

so testing tap water would be a Good start

I wouldn't think driftwood would make that big an impact.....but you could set up a container with tap water and a piece of the driftwood and test it weekly....see if it is the cause

Certainly raising Kh is desirable if it is 0

I suggest a low ph is unlikely to hurt the remaining fish (provided it is relatively constant.....I'd sort out what caused it first before trying to rectify.....otherwise you maybe chasing your tail and Ph will bounce all over the place.

Were the 2 small clown loach in the tank with the one that died or are they New??

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