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pH keeps swinging high, and I can't understand why?

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  • pH keeps swinging high, and I can't understand why?

    I have a four foot planted tank with Discus, tetras and 2 pictus cats. I have had the tank for about 4 years.

    Recently I have noticed that the pH swings from 6.6 to 7.6+ within 12 hours or less of adjusting with Seachem Alkaline buffer and Acid Buffer.

    I have Plantglo LED lighting, set for 6 hours, and a canister filter. The substrate is a combo of two commercial planted tank substrates, I can't remember what they are called. I don't have decorations or coral or rocks that could cause the swing. I have quite a bit of driftwood in the tank. I have a little bit of algae, but overall I think the algae is under control.

    Every week I do a water change of about 30%. Afterwards I use alkaline buffer and acid buffer, at a ratio of about 2 teaspoons to one teaspoon, to get the tank to a kH of 5 (5 drops to change colour in the test) and a pH of 6.6. By the next morning my pH is always 7.6+

    I don't have a gH test kit. My pH kit only measures 6.0 to 7.6, so the tank might even be more alkaline than that. My understanding of the chemistry is a bit beginner, but I'm learning all the time. I could get the gH tested if that was significant.

    Every week I add 7mls Seachem Aquavitro Fe "propel" and 7mls Seachem Aquatitro "envy". Recently I got some "Easy Carbo" (EasyLife brand, sorry, similar to Excel, I think?) and have been putting in 6mls two or three times a week. I'm not sure if that could cause a problem. My plants are growing ok, but not as well as they used to.

    A few months ago I had (?Hex) disease and lost 5 of my Discus, despite treating with Metronidazole and Praziquantel. I only have 2 Discus left, and one looks dark and grumpy every morning, but comes out and looks happy later in the day. I wonder if he isn't happy with the pH swing?

    I have been testing the pH and kH several times a day for a few weeks, to try to understand what is happening. I'm losing sleep trying to work it out, and I would love some advice if there is anything I should do differently.

    Help please??

  • #2
    Thanks for the post! I'm sorry for your troubles.

    Can you please tell us if you are using RO water or tap water for water changes? If tap water, what is the pH and KH of the tap water?