Why don't you try to lower the PH down with driftwood and almond leaves.
The almond leaves and sometimes the driftwood will leak brown dye into your water but just use aquarium charcoal filter to remove the dye and you should be set.
Also driftwood and leaves look pretty sweet in a planted tank.
I keep Scarlet Badis and all my tanks are a PH5+- due to the ADA substrate, driftwoods and leaves.
Oh yes, I forgot to add I use lots of malaysian driftwood, and there's peat moss both in the filter and under the eco-complete I use for substrate. No almond leaves.
When my tanks are first set up they read 8.6 and even 8.8. After the tank matures and the water gets stained, the readings stay steady at 8.4. My year-old shrimp tank is 8.2, though.
All the tanks have lots of hardwater marks and crustiness. White vinegar helps though!