Re:Please Help Me (I am in trouble)

>I have a strange situation.  I have recently set up a 55 gallon
>freshwater plant tank.  I have a soil/vermiculite/peat substrate covered
>with gravel.  The problem is that my PH is very high (8.0-8.5).  My tap
>water is extremely hard and has a 7.5 PH.
>I left the old soil in the tank and put the new gravel on
>top of it.  Now the PH constantly increases to 8.2 or more.  Even when I
>adjust the PH down, it raises again.

Test all the different components of your substrate. Take a tablespoonful
and put in a jar. Cover with one inch of plain, distilled white vinegar.
Watch for bubbles or fizzing. You may have shells in your substrate that is
dissolving in your water and further raising pH. (Some folks recommend
testing in hydrochloric acid. That's up to you but I think such strong acid
will dissolve things that aren't likely to dissolve in normal tank

Are you using CO2 in your plant tank? The addition of CO2 should lower your pH.

Greg. Tong
San Francisco, CA, USA
gtong at sirius_com

"Every infinity is composed of only two halves."