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Low PH Why?
First, thanks to all of you for the helpful information I have gotton
from "lurking" on this list for sometime. I am fairly new to aquaria.
I have tank with low PH and do not understand why.
It is 125 gal set up 1 mo ago.
3inches very fine quartz gravel with 10 pounds of laterite and about 2
tablespooons of "pelletized" fertalizer in first inch of substrate. (LFS
owner with reputation as reliable provided it with assurance that was
for aquariums but I do not know what kind.)
404 fulval filter with bio filter media only
rocks , previously used in other tanks, and larger piece of driftwood
which was soaked in outdoor pond till waterlogged.
Lights--two 96 watt cf on 9 hours a day.
Plants--100 rotala planted about every square inch, 5 water sprite,
1anubias, 5 echinodorus, 10 stems of hydroctyle, 5 pygmy chains, 20
crpyts , 5 dwarf sagittaria, 3 banana plants. When first planted
several of the bare root crypts and the dwarf sag went to mush , latter
has recovered. Other plants are growing well with banana plant sending
several leaves to the top.
Water has slight "murkiness" but not green.
Fish, 5 Oto, 5, SAE Not being fed They are active eating algae and
Water in my area has PH of 7.4 Amquel added at set up and water
When tank was about a week old I tested the water. The PH was 5 by one
test kit and 5.8 by other. Ammonia was 5 PPM and nitrite has never gone
above <0,1mg/l 25% water change that day resulted in no change. 50%
water change the following day brought the ammonia down to 2-3 PPM
where it has stayed since. PH and nitrite remains same.
I have little aquarium experience. This is my third tank with plants.
Others are 55 gal with UG filter. Ph is about 7.2 most of time and
platys and plants are ok. Other is 92 corner tank with fulval 404 and it
too cycled as usual and has stable PH of about 7. Plants and fish are
ok. Neither tanks have laterite or wood in them.
One LFS says it is the laterite and another that is the wood. Both
recommend not increasing it.
My question is what is likely the cause and what is opinion of
maintaining tank with that low of PH. I would prefer not to remove the
driftwood to "test it" due to a few Java fern and moss on it, as well as
it is "half buried" in the substrate and would be a pain to redo it.
Thanks ahead for help.