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Re: What Gives? Have I S&^%$ed up So soon?

David writes:

> Well, everything was perking along just fine. The fellow at the LFS 
> mentioned 
>  to me that the local water has little buffering capacity and that's why 
> after 
>  sitting in the tank for a week the pH went  from 7.5 to acidic. So I added 
>  Seachem Neutral Regulator yesterday. (per directions) And my phosphate 
>  up from 1 point zero to beyond 5 point zero.

Seachem's pH regulators are dependant upon the unique buffering properties of 
phosphate, which works a little differently than carbonate.  I don't fully 
understand this one yet, but there is a reaction betweeen two variants that 
keeps the pH where you want it.

> So I'm doing a water change 
>  tomorrow. Or should I just wait and see?

I would wait if you have courage.  Don't if you're chicken.  It takes more 
than phosphate to cause an algae bloom, and that's the only threat here.
>  Another question -- since my local water is going to go from circa 7 point 
>  to circa 6 point 5 after a few days, I presume I can / should add Arm and 
>  Hammer to increase buffering?   

If you are sure you need more alkalinity (buffering), then that is one way to 
get it.
>  And -- since I will be adding CO2 within the next month or so, how can I 
>  avoid all this adding of chemicals to bring the pH up, just so I can bring 
> it 
>  back down while injecting CO2 in the water for the plants?

You see, it's all a game.  The simplest solution is to pick fish compatible 
with the water you will end up with after your tap water sits around, and 
then you pump the CO2 in.  A lot of fish which the books say like slightly 
acidic water actually thrive in pH levels of 5.0 to 6.0 in the wild.  Maybe 
that's what they mean by "slightly acidic".  Some of yourf plant choices may 
be restricted also by the lower pH, but they aren't as sensitive as the fish.

>  Confused and slightly disgruntled. And yes I searched the Krib and came up 
>  with zero.

Aren't we all?
>  Oh Present tank chemistry in the 120 gallon
>  Temp 76 - 78 dF
>  pH - 7.6 -
>  kh 3
>  gH 3
>  NH zero
>  NO2 zero
>  N03 point 25
>  Fe(ch) point 50
>  phosphate 5 point zero plus (yesterday before I screwed around adding the 
>  *Regulator* it was 1 point Zero.
>  This tank has been perking along just fine since the evening of 6 May. The 
>  three swords are growing great (Rubin, Ocelot and Rose) Ditto with the 
>  Scarlet Hydro, Giant Hydro,  A. crispus  and other stemmed plants whose 
> names 
>  I've forgotten <frown)  The 15-20 odd Vals seem to be hanging in there.
>  Disgruntled and dreading an algae bloom but, thanking the list in advance.
All those plants should do fine in acidic water.  Don't be so quick to mess 
around with chemicals unless you absolutely have to.

Bob Dixon