PDA

View Full Version : Terracotta affecting PH, my options



CWO4GUNNER
04-29-2009, 11:56 PM
A month ago I placed 4 small new terracotta pots in my 125 tank so that my 4 BP's and 3 convict/BPs could have a place to hide or lay eggs. It all worked out great as they use them for hiding inside and behind depending on their mood. They also enjoy mouthing the inside walls perhaps for there mineral content. The problem has been trying to keep my PH at 7.4 which prior to introducing the pots was easy with my water formula of 50% RO and 50% tap. Now I have to intervene about every week and add WDV to keep it from creeping up to PH 7.8 and beyond. I love the terracotta look compared to plastic (a possible solution) so have decided to try and seal them with some left over high quality polyurethane. Let them dry out completely sand and coat with Cabot polyurethane sealer I used on my aquarium cabinet. So far the research on it has been mixed, some saying it works great on ornamental wood inside the aquarium and some saying beware of toxins if it dissolves in water. But this is not a water base product but the heavy duty mineral based stuff. Anybody have any experience with cured polyurethane inside a FW tank?

Northernguy
04-30-2009, 12:19 AM
Have you got any driftwood in there?
It lowered my ph from 7.8 to 7.2. Thats driftwood that I picked up on a local beach.
I am surprised that the pots raised it so much!

CWO4GUNNER
04-30-2009, 01:02 AM
It doesn't raise it very fast but over time it creeps up surpassing my 60 tank with the same formula water. In a way it doesn't surprise me because terracotta is nothing more then dried red clay, not fired or glazed and adsorbs anything it comes in contact with like chalk. If it were fired it would be more like glass but I haven't found any fired terracotta pots. Perhaps I should invest in some clear fiberglass resin which is what rock ornaments are made of, perhaps that would be more stable and durable sealer. Just hate spending money I don't have to. Another option is to find fired (microwave safe) stoneware or china mugs that look good as they wont leach anything, I would just have to find the right shape, color (off white) and cut off the silly handles so they look more like little pots or vases. Just have to wait for a mug sale lol.

CWO4GUNNER
04-30-2009, 03:23 AM
By the way, I looked at some drift wood at the LFS talk about pricey. I think Im going to use your idea and look along the Colorado river banks or maybe take the quad out to the seasonally dry riverbeds in the desert and find a piece. All this for some terracotta pots. Now I know why I like silica sand and plastic plants.


Have you got any driftwood in there?
It lowered my ph from 7.8 to 7.2. Thats driftwood that I picked up on a local beach.
I am surprised that the pots raised it so much!