Hmmm. It’s usually lower pH for me. The organics in the soil usually bring down the pH.
Yeah, the tank is filled with bladder snails - dozens of them (as you can probably see in the picture).Agree with @mistergreen about the soil. The ordinary nitrogen cycle usually brings down the PH. I've become a big fan of pond snails. They will take care of any yellowing leaves and the extra poop might even lower the PH over time.
Oh. Sorry I didn't notice this before. You likely have some anaerobic spots in your substrate. Poke around with a long thin object and release the H2S gas that's likely underneath. Most of it will be released into the surface air. But, maybe it will lower the PH on the way out?That's what I had figured would happen...
I've got almost 1.5" of organic garden soil, then almost 2" of black sand (the inert Petco sand).
This is a lot of substrate. Setup is typically 1" dirt and 1" gravel cap. With sand cap, even less. On a larger tank like this you can get away with slightly more than this, but it still seems like a lot. I'm not sure about the pH (maybe anaerobic conditions raise pH?) but I agree with @johnwesley0 that your substrate is likely going anaerobic, causing your plants to grow poorly.I've got almost 1.5" of organic garden soil, then almost 2" of black sand (the inert Petco sand).
Definitely worth giving it a shot!Oh. Sorry I didn't notice this before. You likely have some anaerobic spots in your substrate. Poke around with a long thin object and release the H2S gas that's likely underneath. Most of it will be released into the surface air. But, maybe it will lower the PH on the way out?
Thank you for your feedback, Diana. I feel honored (as I should). 🥰I see a tank filled with plants, but no fish. Apparently, there's a healthy excess of photosynthesis driving pH up with all those plants, but no process driving the pH down--nitrification from a filter, CO2 from fish, decomposition in the soil.
I would remove some of the sand. A sand layer almost 2" thick may have altered the tank chemistry, and it is affecting the pH. I can't see how this would affect pH, but it might cause substrate to go severely anaerobic. Also, make sure that water contains enough calcium and magnesium (GH above 5 degrees General Hardness).
Finally, I would start adding fish to the tank. Most fish can adapt to a higher pH. Unless you are breeding softwater fish, the pH shouldn't matter. Fish will provide nutrients and CO2 that will help bring the pH down and correct some of the nutrient deficiencies in plants. With your extensive plant growth, you could put in a LOT of fish.
Plants need fish; fish need plants.
Many people would love to have this kind of plant growth.
I'm actually considering the long term effects, especially on my Betta's fins (he's a rosetail and fin nips a bit), higher alkalinity might damage a fish's slime coat, or at least reduce it, making them more prone to certain health issues, add that to his own genetics, it could be a ticking bomb.If you're worried about them adjusting could you drip acclimate them over an hour or so?
Thanks!Wonder shells work wonders.
Yes! You and Diana were right on the money...I have two Walstad shrimp bowls by the window and pH goes up from 7.4 to 8.8 in the afternoon when sunlight shines through. I have no fish, just shrimp and snails and I feed sparingly. KH is around 4, and gH around 8. Elevated pH is caused by photosynthetic removal of carbonic acid aka CO2, but I heard that super oxidation of minerals can also raise pH as I can observe oxygen streaming vigorously in afternoon sun.