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FW: Low pH in planted tank

Reposted from 8/21/97....

> I have a well established 10 gal. FW tank.  Several  months ago, I
> decided I'd replace the plastic flora with live plants.
> I have an anubias which seems to be ok - it's not growing, but it's
> not
> dying either.  I also bought a red stem plant (whose name I'll have to
> go look up - and I forgot to bring the book) which has grown enough
> for
> me to make cuttings and replant.  
> What seems to be thriving are the 3 banana plants (and some Java moss
> _covering_ a tall driftwood creation).  Two of the 3 bananas have sent
> stems all the way to the water surface.  The leaves on these two
> plants
> are bright, waxy green.  The third plant has grown huge
> red/brown/green
> blotchy leaves.  The roots from these plants have covered the bottom
> of
> the tank (under the substrate).
> Other tank inhabitants are 6 glo-lite tetras, 4 cardinal tetras, 2
> dwarf
> Australian rainbows, an albino cory, a dwarf spotted pleco, and a kuli
> loach.  All of the fish have been there for at least year, and really
> seem to like the live plants much more than the plastic.
> Couple of questions here - 
> 1)  I like to keep the tank pH around 6.5 for the tetras, but since I
> added the plants, I'm having a hard time maintaining this level.  It
> keeps dropping to 5 and under (off my color chart).  Nothing has
> seemed
> to be affected by this; I bring it back up over a couple of days and
> some partial water changes and pH Up.  Should I be concerned?
> 2)  The tank lighting is a single 15w Gro-Lite fluorescent.  Do I need
> more?  Is there a better bulb?
> 3)  Should I trim the floating leaves/stems from the banana plants?
> 4)  I have been using TWP water, and then adding the pH corrector and
> the trace elements.  I have also been adding Kent plant nutrients, and
> extra iron.  OK?  Not?  Other recommendations?