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Re: [APD] Question buffers
> Date: Sun, 26 Aug 2007 07:16:32 -0700 (PDT)
> From: Holly Wagner <holly5dogs at yahoo_com>
> Subject: [APD] Question buffers
> To: aquatic plants digest <aquatic-plants at actwin_com>
> Hi, I have recently set up a 55 gal. tank and the plants arrive in the coming week. I was considering using a buffer that would keep my tank at either 6.5 or 7.0, depending on what type of fish I decide to add later. Big Al's online notes beside some brands "not for planted tank." Does anyone know why? I'm just curious.
Despite lots of literature by chemical ignoramuses, neither plants nor fish have a "pH sensor" mechanism. OTOH, they can be plenty sensitive to the particular ions being added to adjust pH. The warning may be that they will cause a nasty algae bloom, if the light and other nutrients are correct for a planted tank.
Basic rule: Fish do not feel pH any more than you do in a swimming pool. Between 4 and 9, it is other factors that give rise to the pH myth. Same deal with plants. Ammonia (from high-pH conversion of ammonium) kills fish. Nitrites high and low pH can cause "brown-blood disease." Keep the water clean and changed, and you can truly ignore pH. Making a tank into a chemical soup with buffers is rarely a good idea, IMHO. It really complicates water changes.
Wright Huntley - 805 Valley West Cir., Bishop CA 93514 - whuntley at verizon_net 760 872-3995.
"But there's no system so imperfect that a helping hand from Washington can't make it worse."
-- Steve Chapman in Reason Magazine
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