Lowering pH?! - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 08-21-2011, 04:52 PM Thread Starter
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Lowering pH?!

My tanks pH is 7.8-8.0 and I'm not sure why.. I do tops offs and water changes with pure RO water.. I don't remember if I started the tank with pure RO water but I think I did. It's only a 30 gallon well planted and nearly fully stocked.. The tank has been up for over a year now. Everything is doing fine except for some plants mainly my mosses and the only thing I can think of is the pH.. What is raising the pH? I only have driftwood, petrified wood, and the fluorite enriched gravel in there. I do have one sizable rock in there but it's not a lava rock and shouldn't effect pH.. Any help/suggestions? Thanks!
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 08-21-2011, 04:56 PM Thread Starter
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BTW I do water changes every 6-8 weeks.. Minus the high pH; My nitrites and all other parameters are exactly where they need to be and stay that way with extremely happy fish.. My tank has on open top and have a couple danios and other jumping fish and never had any fish try to escape or show signs of stress (Heavily planted = excellent water quality IMO).. Does pH rise over time? Why?
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 08-21-2011, 05:08 PM
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Lowering pH

Hello I...

I don't think your pH is too high. As long as it remains constant, tropical fish will adjust to the alkaline water and can live in water with pH levels as high as 8.5 with no trouble.

I've never used distilled or R/O water. These contain no buffers, calcium and no natural minerals the fish and plants need for health and good growth. They can also permit sudden changes in the pH of a tank. This may be your problem.

I'd recommend stopping the use of the R/O water and just top off your tank with treated city water and see what affect that has on the pH.

As always, just one old "water keeper's" opinion.


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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 08-21-2011, 05:21 PM
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First, any kind of rock can affect pH depending on what its made of. Second, if you're not adding something back to your RO water, then it can affect the pH. What I did is mix a bit of distilled water with my tap water to lower the TDS without having to add anything back to it at all. Maybe try doing a mix of treated, aged tap water with RO water and see how that affects your pH. Also, are you testing the pH of the RO water before hand to make sure its actually good. Some of the cheaper fill-it-yourself RO water places don't change their media that often and sometimes they don't end up doing that much at all to the water you're buying.

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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 08-21-2011, 05:53 PM Thread Starter
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Hmmm, interesting... This is my method behind the madness.. My tap water is relatively hard at about a 11 with a high pH.. So, my tank right now has a GH of 4 and pH of 7.8/7.9.. Wouldn't adding tap water raise the GH and pH which I don't want to do.. Most of my plants are soft water and mildly acidic to neutral water loving plants.. When I do top offs it is pure water evaporating so I try to put pure water back in to keep everything stable.. If I do a substantial water change I will use some equilibrium to raise the GH a bit.. Now, would it be advantageous for me to do a large water change keeping the same GH in the new RO water in hope of lowering the pH? Or does a higher pH not have much effect on the plants? I think it's my problem..
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