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Discussion Starter #1
I started a new tank on Saturday. I am doing a fish in cycle using Marineland Biospira. My PH level yesterday was 7.2. After adding driftwood today my ph dropped to 6.0. What can I do to naturally increase my PH? Could this be due to cycling and not the driftwood at all? I soaked the driftwood for 30 hours before adding it to the tank. My ammonia level is at 0 yesterday was at .25 and my nitrates and nitrites are at 0 as well. Should I do a 25% water change the water out of my tap is at a 7.6 PH.
 

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Hi. You may want to check you KH levels to see what they are at.
Trying to manipulate your pH is not a good idea as it generally causes more pH issues than it solves, unless you're consistently checking. It may sound odd, but the best way of keeping your pH stable would be to increase your KH if it's low.

Also, soaking the driftwood does not always release all of it's tannins, it depends on the source of the driftwood and it is these tannins that cause the pH drop. It can be helpful to boil the driftwood for a couple of hours to speed up the process. I've heard of driftwood releasing tannins years after being introduced into the tank.

With a large pH delta in your water, you may have to start doing smaller, more frequent water changes.
 

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I will go pick up a KH test on my way home.Oh man, I had no idea about soaking the driftwood potentially not helping. The guy at the pet store told me soaking it for 24 plus hours would be adequate. I would have boiled it initially if I knew. I will do a small water change now and boil the drift wood later but remove it for now. Thank you.
 

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I will go pick up a KH test on my way home.Oh man, I had no idea about soaking the driftwood potentially not helping. The guy at the pet store told me soaking it for 24 plus hours would be adequate. I would have boiled it initially if I knew. I will do a small water change now and boil the drift wood later but remove it for now. Thank you.
Well, he's not entirely wrong. There are some pieces that you can just soak for a couple of days that will do the trick and then there are those that take forever. Some are pre-soaked and some not.

I had a discussion with one of the owners of a LFS where I live and there are just so many contracts to harvest driftwood from different areas that they're not all the same. And now as conservation efforts are being enforced and contracts being canceled, the driftwood you get from a single store can vary from shipment to shipment.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
That makes a lot of sense about sourcing and how it is pre-treated thanks I always learn something new here.

I did a 20% water change and took the drift wood out and the PH is now at 7.2. I might just leave it out for now I don't want to stress the fish anymore.
 

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If you take the driftwood and boil it for 2-3 hours and than leave it soak for 24 hours this should be enough to release all the tannin's. However as Veloran has said depending on the source and weather it was presoaked or not has a lot to do with your PH levels. There are rocks that have an arginite quality to them and placing these rocks into a tank will raise the PH levels. I have done this on occasion in my community tanks to raise the PH and hold it at 7.0. To do this I bought about 5 lb. of this rock in small chunks and placed them in the tank. I tested the water after 24 hours to see if there was a rise. If there was and it still had not gotten to 7.0 I would add a couple more. and wait 24 hours before testing again. If it went to high I would remove 1 or 2 pieces and wait 24 hours and see what my readings were and kept doing this until the PH stayed at 7.0.

Just remember that there are some plants that will also reduce the PH. But your driftwood I think is the problem here.
 

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I will go pick up a KH test on my way home.Oh man, I had no idea about soaking the driftwood potentially not helping. The guy at the pet store told me soaking it for 24 plus hours would be adequate. I would have boiled it initially if I knew. I will do a small water change now and boil the drift wood later but remove it for now. Thank you.
Hi, forgot to mention, since the KH kit is used so rarely, if you bring in a water sample to a LFS and ask them to give you numbers, they should be able to give you values for your water, KH included.
I've got a KH and GH kit that I've only ever really used when I moved.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I went to find the KH kit and couldn't find it in my LFS. I did not test yet this morning but also have not added the driftwood back. I am scared now. This tank is only 3.5 gallons and I am wondering if a big chink of drift wood is to much in such a small tank.
 
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