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Two days ago, I set up a 15 gallon tank. As a substrate I decided to try
using 2.5 inches of washed Profile Professional Clay Soil Conditioner
sold locally. I understood that this product was nutrient free, and
assumed that the aquarium water would remain neutral. This may have
been an incorrect assumption, because the pH of the tank water tested
below 5.0 after 18 hours. Some steel wool and Osmocote slow release
fertilizer pellets were placed beneath the Profile. Sodium thiosulphate
and later Amquel (when two otocinclus were added) were used to treat the
chloramine and ammonia.
Approximate local water parameters....
pH = 7.5
Alkalinity as CaCO3 = 27 ppm
Total hardness as CaCO3 = 58 ppm
Ca hardness as CaCO3 = 41 ppm
very little N, P, K
When I noticed the low pH, I quickly added about 25 grams of powdered
dolomite. Presently I'm filtering the water through calcite granules.
The pH is now 6.0. Can anyone explain the low pH? Does the Profile
initially pull the calcium out of solution and replace it with hydrogen
ions? Has anyone else had a similar experience?