Which way does driftwood alter your ph?

FishkeeperLinz

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Ok thanks so if my ph was neutral what would it lower it to roughly?
IME, driftwood doesn't reduce pH by much - and that's despite a KH of 2° and minimally rinsing the wood (usually goes into the tank on the same day).

If you're trying to reduce pH, you'll need to know you KH and GH as well.
 

Colin_T

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Diftwood can change the pH but does not always change the pH.
If the wood has been in water for a long time it probably won't change the pH at all.
If the wood has been in the ocean for a while it might raise the pH a little bit.
If the wood has recently dropped into the river and is releasing lots of tannins, it might lower the pH a bit.
 
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seangee

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Do you specifically want to change your pH, and if so why? Its not going to change it enough to make any difference to you fish and neutral pH is good for most species.

If you want to keep hard or soft water fish GH is a far more important value, and changing the pH will not affect this. Each of my tanks has a different pH depending on a number of factors. I'm ok with this and so are my fish, because the pH in each of these tanks remains constant. My general advice is don't try to change it because stability is more important than the actual number. But if you happen to add a piece of wood and that changes it the change would be gradual - so its nothing to worry about.
 

PheonixKingZ

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Driftwood will lower your pH, depending on how much driftwood you have, in x size of tank.
 

Metalhead88

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I've found that only driftwood that is currently leeching tannis will lower pH. Even then, it is not significant enough really affect the pH.

That is my experience.
 

PheonixKingZ

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I've found that only driftwood that is currently leeching tannis will lower pH. Even then, it is not significant enough really affect the pH.

That is my experience.
I agree. I forgot to mention that before. IMO, a piece of driftwood is going to always leak a little bit of tannis. That's not an issue for me though.
 

Metalhead88

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Eventually, wood will "run out" of tannins especially smaller pieces
 

Byron

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As another member noted, the pH is tied to the GH and KH. The GH and KH work to buffer the pH, preventing fluctuations. The extent to which they do this depends upon their level; the higher the GH/KH the stronger the buffering capability. This is only one factor, but it is where we start.

Organics--which includes wood, dried leaves, peat, alder cones, decaying plant and animal matter, and in an aquarium largely fish excrement--are broken down by various bacteria (different from the nitrifying bacteria we more often think about) over time. CO2 is released during this process, and the more organics the more CO2. CO2 produces carbonic acid, and this naturally lowers the pH. This is a basic universal process essential to life because without it the "dead" matter would remain and increase year after year. In the aquarium we deal with this by water changes, vacuuming the substrate (which removes some organics) and cleaning the filter (removing other organics).

The buffering capability of the GH/KH now intervenes. In very soft water the acidification will be more rapid than in very hard water.

Water chemistry is complicated and follows the natural laws of chemistry and biology in any aquarium. The less you interfere with these, the more stable the system will be. As someone mentioned above, each aquarium can be different with respect to the natural stability.

So, the answer to the initial question in post #1 is, yes, driftwood will tend to lower pH but this is not usually significant. It would take a lot of wood because it is slow to decompose. Dried leaves and alder cones work more rapidly. But again, the GH and KH act as a bit of a limit depending upon their level of influence.
 
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Fishguy13

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Thanks for your help everyone..The reason I was asking was to make sure it was safe to use in a African cichlid tank without lowering the ph to much..Thanks again everyone :good:
 

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