pH wont go down - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old 11-16-2018, 03:07 AM Thread Starter
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pH wont go down

So I have been trying to lower my pH to about 6.8 because I have really high pH and hard water. I have been using seachem neutral regulator and the discus buffer to lower it. After a couple days of lowering it to 6.8, it rises after a few days. I have no rocks or stones that could increase the pH. Any ideas?

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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old 11-16-2018, 03:10 AM
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pH wont go down

Your best bet is to use RO water and use their Acid and Alkaline buffer to their directions. Trying to buffer already buffered water is usually a no-go. Alternatively you could try adding peat moss to your filter, but if you have liquid rock, that might not yield the results youíre going for.

If you go the RO route, make sure to also use GH booster too.


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post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old 11-18-2018, 02:00 AM
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Originally Posted by varanidguy View Post
Your best bet is to use RO water and use their Acid and Alkaline buffer to their directions. Trying to buffer already buffered water is usually a no-go. Alternatively you could try adding peat moss to your filter, but if you have liquid rock, that might not yield the results youíre going for.

If you go the RO route, make sure to also use GH booster too.


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Greetings, is it possible to successfully use a combination of RO water and regular ( Arrowhead Spring Water ) water to reach a consistent PH ? I have a 5 Gallon tank with many plants and a Betta. All my water parameters are fine but the PH is a constant 7.2..... 0ppm Ammonia-10ppm Nitrate-0ppm Nitrite- KH=4 - GH=10 and PO = 0.5ppm.



I change out 3 gallons every 10 days but the PH is a constant 7.2 and I was thinking of using 2 1/2 gallons of Alhambra Spring Water and a half gallon of RO water. What say you ?
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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old 11-18-2018, 02:15 AM
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Greetings, is it possible to successfully use a combination of RO water and regular ( Arrowhead Spring Water ) water to reach a consistent PH ? I have a 5 Gallon tank with many plants and a Betta. All my water parameters are fine but the PH is a constant 7.2..... 0ppm Ammonia-10ppm Nitrate-0ppm Nitrite- KH=4 - GH=10 and PO = 0.5ppm.



I change out 3 gallons every 10 days but the PH is a constant 7.2 and I was thinking of using 2 1/2 gallons of Alhambra Spring Water and a half gallon of RO water. What say you ?


All of those parameters look perfect, I wouldnít change a thing, tbh. The biggest thing will be consistency and with the maintenance schedule you have, it will be consistent.

Why do you want to lower the pH? Does your tap water have a lot of nitrate or phosphorus, or something else, in it?


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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old 11-18-2018, 02:34 PM
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Originally Posted by varanidguy View Post
All of those parameters look perfect, I wouldnít change a thing, tbh. The biggest thing will be consistency and with the maintenance schedule you have, it will be consistent.

Why do you want to lower the pH? Does your tap water have a lot of nitrate or phosphorus, or something else, in it?


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Much obliged for your reply varanidguy. My tap water is loaded with Municipal mandated junk. The PH is off the charts, there is Ammonia in the water along side Chlorine and a bunch of other stuff.


The Alhambra Spring Water I use is pretty clear of all the " stuff ". I check the water parameters every other day. I was thinking that if I added a half gallon of RO water to 2 1/2 gallons of the Alhambra Spring Water it would bring down the PH closer to Neutral.


Another reason I wanted to bring down the PH is because over the last 6 months, Ive bought 3 Ottos and 3 Chinese algae eaters and as of today only 1 Chinese algae eaters is still with us. My Betta has a calm attitude so I don't think he was bothering them, I thought it might be the PH.


Oh....what does tbh mean ; I'm old and don't get the lingo
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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old 11-18-2018, 03:21 PM
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Much obliged for your reply varanidguy. My tap water is loaded with Municipal mandated junk. The PH is off the charts, there is Ammonia in the water along side Chlorine and a bunch of other stuff.


The Alhambra Spring Water I use is pretty clear of all the " stuff ". I check the water parameters every other day. I was thinking that if I added a half gallon of RO water to 2 1/2 gallons of the Alhambra Spring Water it would bring down the PH closer to Neutral.


Another reason I wanted to bring down the PH is because over the last 6 months, Ive bought 3 Ottos and 3 Chinese algae eaters and as of today only 1 Chinese algae eaters is still with us. My Betta has a calm attitude so I don't think he was bothering them, I thought it might be the PH.


Oh....what does tbh mean ; I'm old and don't get the lingo


TBH is to be honest

What is your quarantine routine?


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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old 11-18-2018, 05:32 PM
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A Ph of 7.2 is fine. I raise discus in water of 7.4.
Just use a de-chlorinator for the chlorine, most of us have to do the same thing.
A Ph of 7.2 would in no way kill your fish.
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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old 11-18-2018, 10:41 PM
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TBH is to be honest

What is your quarantine routine?


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TBH I had no quarantine process for adding the Ottos or the Chinese Algae Eaters except for acclimating them to the aquarium water. Most of them did last for a couple of weeks and then for no reason, went belly up. Ive read up on both of them them and it seems as if its a hit or miss as to their lifespan. Ive fed them and the other fish live worms, live brine shrimp , blood worms , and a host of other flake foods and algae tabs. The temperature is a steady 78* and am using a AquaClear 20 filter with a Purigen bag and the various " innards " the filter comes with.
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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old 11-18-2018, 10:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Discusluv View Post
A Ph of 7.2 is fine. I raise discus in water of 7.4.
Just use a de-chlorinator for the chlorine, most of us have to do the same thing.
A Ph of 7.2 would in no way kill your fish.

Thanks for replying Discusluv, I have been using Alhambra Spring Water in the 5 gallon and the 10 gallon that was in question. I never thought to use a chlorine remover in the Spring Water but I'm not objecting to it. Ill get some of the API conditioner to be on the safe side.Other than the PH of that water everything else shows good readings.Perhaps I'm overly concerned with the PH .



On a side note, there is an Aquarium Store run by an older Gentleman... ( I think Herman is in his late 80's now ) and his store is Fairy Lake Discus Palace. At one time, he and his wife supplied tank raised Discus to many of the Bay Area Aquarium Stores. I have been privy enough to get a tour of his " back room " where he had been raising all types of Discus. I'm not so sure Herman is still raising Discus as age is creeping up on him, but his operation at one time was quite impressive.


Best of success to you and thanks for your reply.
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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old 11-18-2018, 10:55 PM
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TBH I had no quarantine process for adding the Ottos or the Chinese Algae Eaters except for acclimating them to the aquarium water. Most of them did last for a couple of weeks and then for no reason, went belly up. Ive read up on both of them them and it seems as if its a hit or miss as to their lifespan. Ive fed them and the other fish live worms, live brine shrimp , blood worms , and a host of other flake foods and algae tabs. The temperature is a steady 78* and am using a AquaClear 20 filter with a Purigen bag and the various " innards " the filter comes with.


I think that may be your problem, especially with otoís. Look into setting up a quarantine tank. 10 gallons with a sponge filter is all you really need. You can keep it cycled by adding small amounts of ammonia a couple times a week, very easy. And while youíre quarantining the fish, medicate them with General Cure, EM Erythromycin, and ICH-X. Let them stew in that cocktail for a week, and let them fast (I feed small fish once or twice in that week, larger fish no food). Do at least a 50% water change, add some carbon to soak up the rest of the medications, and feed like normal. If they do well without showing illness for another week or two, add them to the main display tank.

Iíve had virtually no fish losses since starting that routine. If they show illness during that period, I immediately halt the meds and treat the fish for what is visible until itís gone.


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post #11 of 21 (permalink) Old 11-18-2018, 10:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Hi-Chiu View Post
So I have been trying to lower my pH to about 6.8 because I have really high pH and hard water. I have been using seachem neutral regulator and the discus buffer to lower it. After a couple days of lowering it to 6.8, it rises after a few days. I have no rocks or stones that could increase the pH. Any ideas?

My apologies for completely Hi-Jacking your posting Hi-Chiu. I'm concerned with my PH also and have gotten some good tips from varanidguy and discusluv. Are you still experiencing high PH ?
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post #12 of 21 (permalink) Old 11-19-2018, 12:54 AM
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As others have said: don't worry about your pH. If you want to gauge your overall water quality, get a TDS pen ($10-$20) and measure your TDS. This can be especially important when acclimating new fish to a quarantine tank and then to your main tank. It is also good to monitor your main tank so that you don't have wide swings and try to keep it below 400ppm, better is below 200ppm. Yes: adding RO water to your tap is a good way to drop all the things that contribute to a high TDS and, since you're overly worried about pH, the RO water will help bring down your KH which, in turn, will help prevent pH from rising.

It is rarely a good idea to force pH down with additives, Seachem or otherwise. As you saw, they have a very short duration of effectiveness. some water companies add sodium hydroxide to raise pH. You may want to check with your water company. However, at 7.2, I doubt it.
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post #13 of 21 (permalink) Old 11-19-2018, 01:17 AM
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Ph doesn't matter. Just stop trying to mess with your water! That's my advice, take it or leave it! Nature has a way of sorting itself out on it's own...if you let it.
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post #14 of 21 (permalink) Old 11-19-2018, 02:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hi-Chiu View Post
So I have been trying to lower my pH to about 6.8 because I have really high pH and hard water. I have been using seachem neutral regulator and the discus buffer to lower it. After a couple days of lowering it to 6.8, it rises after a few days. I have no rocks or stones that could increase the pH. Any ideas?
Why do you want to lower your pH?

Do you know what your GH and KH are? If yes, what are you using to measure these two?

Most often, products that are meant to change pH are meant to be a *temporary* fix, not a long term one. By using these products you are causing a swing in parameters which may not be healthy for the inhabitants and raising the TDS through the roof each time you use them. What everyone calls "pH shock" is actually "TDS Shock" - aka osmotic shock. This is the change in pressure in the water, or how hard or how soft that water is.


If you want acidic water, then it's recommended to use a buffering substrate that lowers the pH along with RO water or distilled, then GH minerals. No KH in the tank. In this way, you can better "dial in" the parameters that you want.

On the other hand, if you simply want a lower pH without using a buffering substrate, it may still be a good idea to switch to RO/distilled water and a GH/KH remineralizer. You can then add in leaves, peat moss/granules or alder cones to the water. However, by using these items, it may stain the water tea colored and you may want to consider pre-treating new water with what you have in the tank as well.
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post #15 of 21 (permalink) Old 11-19-2018, 01:36 PM
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Originally Posted by varanidguy View Post
I think that may be your problem, especially with otoís. Look into setting up a quarantine tank. 10 gallons with a sponge filter is all you really need. You can keep it cycled by adding small amounts of ammonia a couple times a week, very easy. And while youíre quarantining the fish, medicate them with General Cure, EM Erythromycin, and ICH-X. Let them stew in that cocktail for a week, and let them fast (I feed small fish once or twice in that week, larger fish no food). Do at least a 50% water change, add some carbon to soak up the rest of the medications, and feed like normal. If they do well without showing illness for another week or two, add them to the main display tank.

Iíve had virtually no fish losses since starting that routine. If they show illness during that period, I immediately halt the meds and treat the fish for what is visible until itís gone.


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I barely have enough room or electric outlets in my studio apartment for the tanks I have now.Have a new 20 gallon tank that I will be setting up shortly and that one will pretty much safely use the outlets. I also have a Parrot that likes to chew and camouflaging wires can be tricky.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by KleineVampir View Post
Ph doesn't matter. Just stop trying to mess with your water! That's my advice, take it or leave it! Nature has a way of sorting itself out on it's own...if you let it.

Perhaps I have been over thinking the PH in both aquariums. I really haven't messed with the water except for the exception of asking questions about it. I appreciate your advice and welcome more of it if you care to share.
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