DIY pH down? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 29 (permalink) Old 12-09-2003, 06:24 AM Thread Starter
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Anyone know how to make some? Although the pH downs are relatively cheap, so am I. Therefore, I wish to know if I can make my own pH down that is safe for aquarium use.

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post #2 of 29 (permalink) Old 12-09-2003, 01:54 PM
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Well since 99.99% of planted tank owners use CO2 to lower the pH I doubt you will get many answers. The use of pH adjusting products is not normally sanctioned for planted tanks due the the fact most of them are phosphate based, think phosphoric acid, and high phosphates and high light equal algae.

And of course the question must be asked why you feel the need to wage chemical warfare on your water to lower the pH?
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post #3 of 29 (permalink) Old 12-11-2003, 08:13 AM Thread Starter
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The pH level increases to 8.0 frequently. I don't have any special rocks in there; just gravel. Also, I have some neons.

I'm bad at chemistry. So I wouldn't know what contains what. Is there any common product out there that I can use as a substitude for pH down? What about vinegar, would that work?

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post #4 of 29 (permalink) Old 12-11-2003, 03:08 PM
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CO2 is the best for me.Some chemicals might be dangerous to plant...i might be wrong too.
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post #5 of 29 (permalink) Old 12-11-2003, 03:14 PM
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Is the gravel the epoxy coated stuff from the fish store? It wasn't intended for hard water cichlids or made of crushed coral, right? Have you tried testing the ph of your tap water?
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post #6 of 29 (permalink) Old 12-11-2003, 03:54 PM
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You did not state what the rested pH of your water source is. If you are getting your water from the tap then draw some water and let it sit for 12-24 hours and then test the pH. Also you should test the kH and the gH. Then report these figures to us. If the pH is less than 8.0 after the water has rested then something in your tank is raising the pH.

The reason you should test the kH is because if you have a high kH and try and adjust the pH lower it will just bounce back.
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post #7 of 29 (permalink) Old 12-11-2003, 10:39 PM Thread Starter
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My tap water before and after 24H is 7.0; neutral. My gravel doesn't raise pH; it was not intended for cichlids. All the products in my aquaria are bought from fish stores with aquarium-safe approvals.

Those CO2 machines are too expensive. I have 7 tanks, and that would cost me a lot. I want to know a cheaper method of lowering pH level that is aquaria-safe.

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post #8 of 29 (permalink) Old 12-11-2003, 10:52 PM
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DIY!!!

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200 Litres Tank (= 52.8 gal); 2×150W HCI/Metal Halide (OSRAM powerstar NDL); Dupla press. CO2; eheim 2211 300 L/H; heavily planted; daily, 4 drops of plant24, KNO3
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post #9 of 29 (permalink) Old 12-12-2003, 12:30 AM
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Aquarium safe doesn't mean it won't screw with the pH and kH, it means it will not kill the fish. How sure are you that your gravel will not raise the pH? Have you tested it? Take some gravel from the tank and put it in a cup with some tap water. Then wait a few days and check the pH. Also you state that your tap water is 7.0 even after resting. Is this from a city water system or what? It's very unusual that the water pH doesn't change as the dissolved gases escape. Also do you know the kH of the water? If the kH is low then it will allow large rapid changes in the pH due to lack of buffering. But this most commonly would be swings down but could go up if there is something being leached into the water.

CO2 for seven tanks in one room would not cost that much.

Regulator $50
Cylinder $80
Manifold $10
Needle Valves $70
Fittings $25
Reactors DIY $25
Tubing $15

Total $275 or $40 a tank. Not bad at all. Much cheaper than chemicals in the long run.
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post #10 of 29 (permalink) Old 12-12-2003, 07:30 AM Thread Starter
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$275 is a lot. Not even all my fishes costs that much. I'm a fish enthusiast; not a fish extremist. I'm not that fanatical on spending money like crazy on fishes. For $275, I can buy a almost new 100+ gallons tank or pay my rent to the landlord.

I'm possitive the gravel doesn't change the pH. I have tested it myself before. And if it does, it should be metioned on the bag; I did not buy assorted gravel. The gravel is natural; no colouring/coating added.

The tap water is obviously from the city/town. The test yields 7.0 before and after. The chart scales are either -.5/+.5. Even if the test before and after is different, it would be more or less the same since it the chart can't measure the exact number.

I don't really have to explain this; it's common sense. pH will change in time. Nothing stays fine for ever. What I do not want to know is, why does pH change after a month. It's been a month, I don't expect water pH to be perfect as it was. Also, there's the fact that I want to lower the neutral pH level down to 6.5 for my neons and other slightly acidic fish. I want to know how to make some cheap pH down.

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post #11 of 29 (permalink) Old 12-12-2003, 10:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cyberian
Also, there's the fact that I want to lower the neutral pH level down to 6.5 for my neons and other slightly acidic fish. I want to know how to make some cheap pH down.
Ok, simple answer for you. Do nothing! Your neons will live longer if you do nothing, cause if you add commerical pH down, and you have a high kH all you will be doing is creating high pH swings what will stress and kill your neons faster then steady pH 8.0 will.

Note: I kept neons for about a 1.5 to 2 years in water that is very close to 8.5

If you are hellbent on getting to 6.5 then you will have to supply more info. Most notably, do you have a skeliton of hard coral in your tank for decoration? How about sea shells? Do you have large decoative rocks in your tank?

If you said no to all 3 questions, its your gravel... throw it away and get different gravel.
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post #12 of 29 (permalink) Old 12-12-2003, 12:56 PM
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One of my fish cost $1750..believe it? Yours is considered cheap.

By the way ph at more than 8 is it safe for plants?sounds like they will choke from the ph
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post #13 of 29 (permalink) Old 12-12-2003, 05:25 PM
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$1750

I hope it tap dances, cooks, and does the laundry! :lol:

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post #14 of 29 (permalink) Old 12-12-2003, 08:40 PM
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$1750 :shock: For that is better clean its own tank not to mention the whole house..... I am interested.... What kind of fish????


Jason

120g, Flourite & Sand. DIY Stand and Canopy. CF lighting 3wpg, Pressurized C02, DIY reactor. 2-XP3's, 500watt heater.
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post #15 of 29 (permalink) Old 12-12-2003, 09:24 PM Thread Starter
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All 3 answers are no. And no for gravel too. My 5.5 and 10 gallons has no gravel and reacts the same way.

Neons will only mate in slightly acidic water. That is what I'm trying to do. I want my neons to have fries. I'm well aware that neons can survive fine in up to 8.0 or so.

In contrary to the pH raising materials. i.e. shells and corals. Is there rocks out there that I can buy that keeps my pH at a stablelized slightly acidic level?

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