PH for dummies - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 10-27-2003, 06:18 PM Thread Starter
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Hello everyone

My husband and I are new to the tank frenzy. We are 1 year into our 10 gallon tank.

We started with danios, for obvious reasons and so the PH was never an issue for us. 6 months after we purchased the danios we were ready to add something more. We went for some neons and our local fish shop gave us a basic lesson on PH and let us know that our local water is very high in PH. (about an 8) She proceeded to sell us some PH down drops and sent us on our merry way.

5 of the 6 neons died. We lowered the PH to about a 7, according to her directions. The problem has been that it will only lower the PH for about an hour. No matter how low we go, we've gone as low as 6.5 it always jumps right back up to 8 within an hour.

The tester that she sent us home with, only tests PH so I have NO idea about all of this other stuff to test for.

We read online that including driftwood, or pete moss could help with the situation and keep our PH lower.

Last night we went back to the store, this time she sold us something "more powerful" than the drops. It was a pre-measured packet of powder that was going to drop our 10 gallon tank to 7.0. We purchased some driftwood and we went home to experiment.

Tank is back over 8 this morning. Driftwood is in place. Do we just need to wait and see if the driftwood will lower things? Or is there something else we need to add? Anyone have any thoughts for us newbies? ops:

We have 1 lava rock, 1 driftwood and 2 live plants. 6 danios, 1 aquatic frog, 1 chinese algae eater and 1 surviving neon.
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 10-27-2003, 06:37 PM
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Adjusting pH with drops and powders isn't a good solution. The fluctuations and changes to the water chemistry stress fishes more than a particular but stable pH. I bet your LFS uses straight tap water...

First, if the pH is around 8, it is indeed very high for tetras that origin from rivers with soft, slightly acidic black water. However, breeding them for many generations has made them suitable for a wider range of pH and hardness, and they might just do fine.

Second, if your water does have a really high pH, you could choose your fish accordingly. For example, some African Cichlids, many live bearers and Rainbow fishes like it just that way, and many many others are hardy enough to tolerate a pH around 8.

Third, if you have a planted tank, adding CO2 will not only increase plant growth, but also reduce the pH.

Fourth, if nothing else works, you can get distilled or reverse osmosis or whatnot water and mix it with your tap water to bring the pH down a bit.
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 10-27-2003, 06:49 PM Thread Starter
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we are, in fact, in the process of starting a planted tank.

we ordered a new hood for our tank so that we could include flouresent lighting. until then we are stuck with the lights that came with the tank.

we just wanted to get this ph issue resolved in the meantime.

thank you for you help/suggestions.

You can use distilled or filtered water in the tank? I was under the impression that we weren't suposed to do this. Could you shed more light in that area?
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 10-27-2003, 06:55 PM
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You can blend tap water and distilled/RO water to bring the pH closer to neutral, and reduce the hardness of the water. "Filtered" water like whatever comes out of refrigerators or charcoal attachments wouldn't help here.
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 10-27-2003, 11:10 PM
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i agree with wasser and will add that we should remember that pH works on a logarithmic scale. thus, changing from pH 8 to pH 7 will increase the acidity tenfold. a massive change, especially stressful if done rapidly.
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