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re: Ph crashing up?

I am not sure if the method you are using to test substrate will work. Your best bet is to get some muriatic acid from a hardware store. Put some of the gravel in a cup and pour in some of the muriatic acid and watch for a reaction. Make sure you are in a well vented place!
Do you have any rocks in your tank? If you do, test them as well.

At 10:32 AM 4/25/03 -0700, you wrote:
All I am using of substrate is silica blasting sand I found down at my local home depot. The front 2/3rds of the tank is just this sand. The back third is about 3 cups of Flora base substrate covered by plain coated aquarium gravel I picked up at the local petsmart.

I tested the blasting sand for buffering by taking about 5ml of sand, and mixing it with about 2ml of dry Kent ph down (I think is carbonic acid). I then mixed it with water and watched for a reaction (bubbling, ect..) There was none. Therefore I am assuming the sand is inert. The other substate materials are either coated, or should cause a slight ph fall.

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