ph level in planted tanks - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 04-27-2018, 09:39 PM Thread Starter
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ph level in planted tanks

Hi guys, I am starting a new tank and I got some question on pH level for my tank. I live in San Francisco, and we have very high pH in our water (8.8-9.8 with an average of 9.4 base on our water quality report, link below). I ran some high range ph test with the API water test kit, and they seem to confirm it as the color match the highest level in the chart.

Here are my questions, what are some safe ways to lower and maintain the pH? Do I need to lower the pH before I cycle my tank? Do I need to adjust the pH os the water before I water changes (during nitrogen cycle and after nitrogen cycle).

I also read that a 0.2 pH swing is bad for fish, do I need to worry about water parameter of my tank vs the store where I bought the fish? If the fish is kept at neutral pH and I have a tank with higher pH, would the big pH change kill the fish?

Lastly, for the nitrogen cycle, can I cycle with plants or should I wait?

Thanks for all your help in advance!

San Francisco Public Utilities Commission : Annual Water Quality Report 2016

Last edited by corgifishkeeper; 04-27-2018 at 10:48 PM. Reason: added question
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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 04-28-2018, 01:13 AM
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Here are my questions, what are some safe ways to lower and maintain the pH?
The only reliable way to lower PH that high is by mixing distilled or RO water with your tap water or just use RO water. The high ph probably is cumming from thing added to the water to prevent water pipe corrosion.

I also read that a 0.2 pH swing is bad for fish, do I need to worry about water parameter of my tank vs the store where I bought the fish?

Many people injecting CO2 can see daily PH changes much higher than 0.2. Especially after a water change. A PH change of 1 is safe. I did have a problem in my tank in the past that cuased daily PH changes from 7 to 8+ (maybe 9) that didn't harm my fish. But that said when I found the problem I fixed it. I believe rapid changes in GH are more dangerous for fish.

When adding fish to a tank they should be slowly introduced to the tank water to minimize shock temperature, GH, and PH shock.
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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 04-30-2018, 04:53 AM Thread Starter
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I talked to the guys at my local aquascaping store, they told me I should try lower the pH with acid buffer to around 7 for the plants. I also added a piece of drift wood to my tank along with some java and christmas moss tied to it. I do notice my pH lowered to around the upper end of 7 from the upper end of 8 after 2 days and seem to stablize at this range for now.

Will the pH continue to lower if I add more plants and I also have some cholla wood ordered and will be added to the tank. Will the lowered ph from the drift woods sustain after water changes?

How important is ph to the plants and fish? Our water is pretty soft and KH and GH is on the lower end despite the high pH.

I would like to lower my pH to around 7 naturally if possible. Would prefer not to use acid buffer unless I have to.
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