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[APD] Drastic pH Spike in New Planted Tank?

A friend recently setup a heavily planted 29g tank using an eheim classic 
filter, inline heater and pressurized co2 with an inline pvc reactor like 
many of us have. His lights are 2 AH Supply 55w CFs. he is using Flourite. 
And nothing else.

His RO water is 7.0pH at the source. kH is approx 3. One day after filling 
the tank (or doing a water change), the pH spikes up in the mid 8's. 
Everytime. We have tried eliminating one piece of equipment at a time until 
it was just water, substrate and filter w/no media. The pH still spikes to 
over 8 by evening. In the early morning it is back around 7.5 or so.

At this point, there is no livestock so we are bubbling a crazy 5bps. The 
plants pearl a little and we can see bubbles in the tank, but the pH just 
climbs. Both dropper test kits and probes read the same. The same source RO 
water left in a jar with some Flourite is not experiencing this problem. I 
have an identical setup except I use 20% tap water and my pH is fine at 7 
and kH is about 7. What are we missing here? It has been suggested that he 
raise the kH to equalize this equation.


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