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PH crashing Up?

Ok, Ive got a wierd one here...

I have a couple of nearly identical 10 gallon tanks.  Each tank has a
substrate of about 75% silica sand, and 25% coated aquarium gravel.  Under
the aquarium gravel, I have placed about 3 cups of Flora Base, a commercialy
avalible substrate.  Planted in the substrate is an assortment of Amazon
swords, and other plants.  Each tank also has a floating matt of algea, and
java moss.  The tank is lit by a couple of 4' strip lights that light all
four tanks on that level.

Each tank contains a chinese algea eater, and either 5 black neons, or a
couple of Zebra Dainos (sp?).  The fish are just there as dithering fish for
future Apistrogrammas.

The water I am using is a mixture of RO water, and tap water.  I add a
little baking soda, Kent's RO right, and some Kent's PH control Minus.
After mixing for about 24 hours, my change out water has a Ph of around 6.5,
A GH of 2, and KH of 2.

What is happening is this:  I add my mixed water, and the PH drops down to
around 7.  Within 24 hours it will rise up to around 8.4!  I tested the KH,
and it is still at 2 or less in some cases.  So what is driving the PH up?

I have ruled out the gravel and the sand, and I hope to test the flower pots
soon.  But I would think that anything that drives the ph up would also
effect the KH.   It should be noted that my bare bottom tank that gets
nearly daily water changes with pure RO does not do this.  It has a fairly
constant PH of 6.8.

I need to fix this in the next couple of weeks, because I have some Rotpucts
that I hope to have shipped the second week in May.


--C. Alan

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