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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi Guys,

I couldn't get any new cryptocorynes to experiment on recently so decided to test the pH altering properties of some of the substrates I am currently using for growing my cryptocorynes.

Distilled water (Polar brand & Life brand) was used to partially fill up tupperwares in which the substrate are added. The pH of just the distilled water measured about 6.6.



In one of the tuppeware I added about 100ml of distilled water + 0.3ml of Ocean Free Super Black Water (recommended amount is 1ml to 6L, overall I added about 0.6ml to 100ml which works out to be > 30 times the recommended amount) and measured the pH at about 6.6. i added another 0.3ml of black water extract into the tupperware and measured the pH again at about 6.6. I concluded that the black water extract I added did not have much effects on altering the pH of the water.



In the tupperwares I added (from left to right) GEX (light green packaging), used ADA amazonia + aficana (50%:50%), Kanuma, Kotobuki Dr Soil and Horti Moss. I will add more tupperwares and substrates and will keep you guys informed of the pH measured next week.



pH test is conducted using Zoolek Aquatest pH x 2 (4.5 - 9.0 and 6.0 - 8.0). If you have done such pH test before, do share your findings here too!
Thanks!

Regards,
T S Wang
Bored...
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
First batch of results (after 1 week) is out (subjected to wrong interpretation of colour results of the pH test!!:oops:):

The following substrates did not affect the pH of the water much:
1) 'GEX' brand substrate (light green packaging): pH 6.6
2) Kanuma soil: pH 6.4 - 6.5
3) 'Kotobuki' brand Dr Soil substrate: pH 6.5 - 6.6
4) used 'ADA' brand Amazonia + Aficana (50%:50%) substrate: pH 6.2 - 6.3

The clear winner is 'Horti' brand Peat Moss which lowered the pH of the water to around 4 to 4.5.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Next batch of results after 1 week of soaking:

1) Horti brand soil: pH of about 4.5
2) Lapis sand with coral chips: pH 8.0
3) Sphagnum moss from Japan: pH of about 5.0
4) Akadama soil: pH 6.6
5) Lapis sand: pH 7.8
6) Muji brand substrate: pH 7.4

The winner for this week is Ketapang Leaf (after 4 days only): pH of say about 4.2? (difficult to judge as the water is badly tinted by the leaf already).
 

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Interesting experiment.

Peat is well-known as a great pH lower. But as soil for crypts have some problem in the long-term culture, due to decomposition. I think we need a mix of soil with lowering pH properties and good structure.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Did a remeasurement for the below after the 2nd week:

1) GEX (light green packaging): pH 6.6
2) Kanuma soil: pH 6.6
3) Kotobuki brand Dr Soil: pH 6.6
4) used ADA amazonia + aficana (50%:50%): pH 6.3
5) Horti brand Peat Moss: pH 4 to 4.5

Results are similar to the previous week so I think the pH level for such test should be stabilised after 1 week so there is no need to further monitor. If you have any new substrates in mind, do conduct similar tests and let us know the results here.

What shocked me more was my main emersed tank's water pH level. It has close to pH 4.5 up to 2 weeks ago when I last measured (I previously soaked peat most inside it). It used to house only 1 betta and 4 boraras with light feeding done for the last 2 months. Last week, I introduced 4 more fishes (1 betta, 2 croaking gourami, 1 Aplocheilus panchax) which I caught during my field trip and started to feed a lot more. Guess what was the pH when I measured it today? 6.0!!!!!!!

So pals, for those who wishes to have a low stable pH in your emersed cryptocoryne tank, think twice before adding fishes! I will monitor my cryptocoryne's growth condition (anyway, those cryptocorynes I currently have do not really need extrememly low ph) and the pH level before deciding whether I should take action to reduce the pH again......
 

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If you can get hold of some powdered sulfur (I think I recall you can get it in garden supply stores.), try adding a pinch or two of that in one of your tupperware containers. Bacteria should oxidize the sulfur to sulfate, creating sulphuric acid.
 

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RedSea Florabase is able to get my fairly hard water to 6.5 easily, however as this is the pH this soil is designed to buffer the water to it can't go lower, seems to be very similar to the ADA soils for this.
 
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