My tap water scares me
Sooo I finally got around to testing my tap water because I'll be ordering plants this week. My results weren't surprising given the water report from my local water authority, but I am concerned about plants and especially fish.
My pH direct from the tap is 7.6. The fish I want to keep prefer a pH of 5-7 and the plants I'm interested in prefer about the same. The general advice seems to be that consistent pH is more important than the right number, but since the pH scale is logarithmic I'm a bit worried that my water is much too basic to use right out of the tap. (According to OCWA, my water authority, the pH can be as high as 8.4). Our water is moderately hard.
This is my first aquarium, and it will be low-tech (no CO2, EI fertz, light is probably about 70-75 PAR.) I'd like to avoid monkeying around with pH because I'm fairly certain that in a nano aquarium I'm likely to do more harm than good, but I'd also like to have happy, colorful fish and plants.
I've taken several chemistry classes and I can balance equations like a boss, but somehow the only thing I learned about pH was how to measure it and change it using acids and bases. Is it likely that the pH in my tank with plants and substrate will be different from the tap water I condition and put into it? Can pH change if water has been left out for 24-48 hours? Should I consider buying water from a grocery store or something? Am I worrying too much?
Maybe Buddhists shouldn't have fish tanks. I swear I have nightmares of burning, gasping, pale little fish swimming around in brown and yellow plant detritus. And I haven't even flooded my first tank.