Re: Driftwood and pH


>Could a piece of driftwood in my 135 gallon tank be buffer my pH at 
>7.6?  After replacing my gravel 6 months ago after finding out it was 
>causing my pH and hardness to rise, I haven't been able to get my pH 
>down even after bubbling CO2 into the return line from my filter.

I don't think driftwood would raise your pH.  do you have any of that
Terralit fertilizer?  I think another discus keeper mentioned that it raised
the pH in her tank.

>I purchased an RO unit which is probably one of the best investments 
>you could do if you live in a state that has as hard of water as mine 
>does (Utah).  I got the hardness down from over 30 ppm to about 6-7 
>ppm by diluting the tap with RO water.  The pH of the tap is 7.6 
>and when mixed with RO it remains at 7.6.  

30 ppm is not much.  Discus are bred commercially at 50 ppm.  Are you
perhaps talking about 30 degrees hardness?

>My limited understanding of the chemistry involved leads me to two 
>1-  not nearly enough co2 is being dissovled in the tank, so increase 
>the amount bubbled in the return line  (an idea I don't like because my
tank houses 4 
>almost full grown discus who at last if I remember breath oxygen and 
>not carbon dioxide), or hook up in my tank the ugly co2 diffuser 
>that came with my sandpoint co2 tank to try and diffuse more of the 
>gas that is being let out. (those of you who have one know 
>what a big green ugly monster it is, not to mention you have to hook 
>up a powerhead to it)

Another method, which won't show up in a heavily planted tank, is to bubble
th CO2 into an overturned (sideways) mason jar, preferably filled with
bioballs.  This will diffuse the CO2 slowly.

>2- something is buffer my water.  I tested the gravel extensively, it 
>would raise RO water to about 6.8 and then stop, the only other 
>object in the tank is a big piece of driftwood?  I got the impression 
>that a decaying piece of driftwood would actually lower pH.

I should as it releases tannic acid.  Is your water ever turning brown?
Even if its not releasing tannins, it still shouldn't raise your pH.

Hope this helps,