Tap pH of 9
I have a 75 gal with lambchop rasboras, cherries, and amanos.
My tank pH rests around 7.2-7.6 which everyone has no problems with.
When I first tested my tap water a few months ago (February & before) everything was golden, it was hovering around 7.2ish which is perfectly acceptable.
I got the shrimp a few weeks ago and when I did my first water change with them the amanos shoot all around the tank. I'd read about them "dancing" around the tank after a water change (which I now know is due to pH changes in added water), so I figured everything was fine.
However, I added the rasboras shortly afterwards and had my first water change with them on Tuesday. After the new water went in I noticed clear signs of distress from them and so I immediately tested the tap water for everything under the sun, and saw that the pH of the water was off the charts (with some later research about Boston water I found that the water municipality has been trying to keep the pH around 9.3 out of the tap - which doesn't explain why the pH has been fine up until now, my theory is that they treat it in cycles and I managed to hit it at an inopportune time).
I treated the tank water with a mixture of lemon juice (not too much) and baking soda mixed with tank water to drop & buffer the pH a little (I'm not sure it helped all that much, my pH was around 7.8 after the water change. The next morning (around 8 hours later) the pH was back down in the 7.4-7.8 range.
My question is if anyone has any experience dealing with high tap pH.
I could attempt to fill some containers with water and let it sit with an airstone for a few days before each water change, but I live in a small apartment and don't have an easy way to store 15 gallons of water a week. I'm worried if I continue stressing the fish and shrimp out each week (or every other week if I decreased my frequency of water changes) that I could do some serious damage to them overtime from the stress. I've heard bad things about chemical pH adjusters as they act too quickly, but perhaps they could be appropriate in my case?
I was wondering if anyone had any recommendations for dealing with this.