how to lower pH from 7.4 to 6.8 or so? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-13-2005, 04:31 AM Thread Starter
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how to lower pH from 7.4 to 6.8 or so?

Hello Everyone,

I just started adding plants to my aquarium and no fish yet.
I have a 55 gal with a canister filter and about 3 wpg. I am dosing with flourish and flourish exel. My plants are growing fast.

My water parameters are:
pH - 7.4
GH - 4
temp 78
ammonia - 0
nitrates, nitites - 0
phosphates - 0

I was wondering what I could do to make my water more acidic....I will later do CO2 but not now....is there any liquid, or powder I can dose with to make my water just a bit more acidic for my fish??

Thanks a lot!

SS
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-13-2005, 07:06 AM
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Muriatic acid, aka HCl, you can buy that from a hardware store, dilute 1000 times before use, slowly add the diluted solution into your tank, depending on your tank size and KH you may need anywhere between 1/4 tablespoon or many cups, add very slowly, and add it near the filter intake, measure pH after 10 minutes, add more till desired pH.
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-13-2005, 07:37 AM
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I understand you will do CO2 later, but just to share my experience.

I find it a lot easier to lower to desired pH with CO2 alone. When I use other acid buffers or acidifier (such as pH down), I always find pH were suppressed for a few hours and quickly jump back up.
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-13-2005, 11:43 AM
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SS, I think you're going to run into a wall very soon with your setup. You have 3wpg over the tank and no fish and no CO2 and no Nitrate, K or PO4 dosing. Flourish does not contain enough of the macros and even Seachem recommends:

"For macro element (NPK) fertilization, use Flourish Nitrogen™, Flourish Phosphorus™ or Flourish Potassium™ as needed."

Excel will help a bit with the carbon but your plants are going to burn through all the available nutrients and then stop. Then the algae will take over.

I wouldn't worry about the pH of 7.4, it's fine as it is. Please do not start adding acids or pH down products to your tank!

If you take good care of your plants and have healthy growth, the fish will be happy and algae can't take hold.

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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-13-2005, 01:12 PM
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Great post Laith!
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-13-2005, 02:14 PM
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NO acids! Its not a good idea to lower your ph with acids for the fish. Fish that prefer a lower ph need softer water more than just a lower ph, so if you really want to lower ph use a R.O. filter and add a combination of tap and ro water to the tank, this will reduce hardness and in turn ph. Even so many people keep soft water fish in harder water and they do fine except for maybe spawning, a ph of 7.4 is not that high. \
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-13-2005, 09:02 PM
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There is nothing wrong about adding acid into your tank, people are saying no because
1: lots of commercial products have phoshpate in them and will cause algae problems, so avoid using these products
2: Some people have limestone in their substrate or rocks and it will bring pH up after a day or two.
3: people want to use CO2 alone to lower their pH, however, little do they know that once their CO2 bottle used up their tank pH go straight up.
4: people change their water with straight tap water, well once you bring your pH down you'll need to stick to it, add acid to tap water and use that to change your tank water.
5: people thinking acid will harm their fish, raise water hardness etc, it's not true, sure it will increase total hardness a little but not noticeable in most cases.
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-13-2005, 09:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yznj99
There is nothing wrong about adding acid into your tank, people are saying no because
5: people thinking acid will harm their fish, raise water hardness etc, it's not true, sure it will increase total hardness a little but not noticeable in most cases.
Your missing the point, fish that come from low ph waters generally are coming from soft water which does more to the fish than the ph. For example Discus/tetras are said to need soft water, not a low ph although that comes with it. IF your not going to adjust the gh to the fishs ideal I really dont think just changing the ph is going to be any better for the fish. IF you need to fix the problem of high ph then fix it, adjusting the ph with acid is treating symtoms rather than the problem. GH or hardness is the bigger factor in fish biology, the ph just correlates to it, changing just the ph using an acid does not help the problem of hardness for a soft water fish.

150 g heavy planted
Discus, cardinals, bristle nose, cherrys amano's
6.6 ph with ph controller and glass diffuser.
.5ppm p, 2t k added along with 80ml csm(weak solution) per week
300 watts cf
3.5-4 kh
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-13-2005, 10:53 PM Thread Starter
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After reading everyones advice...I decided to get a more comprehensive test kit (hagen) and got these reading from it. The prev ones were from a pet store...I these are MORE ACCURATE!

GH-3
pH-7.6
Nitrites- .1 mg/l
Nitrates- 5 mg/l
Ammonia- 0

I hope this helps. So far All the plants seem to be growing pretty well. And I added one fish (a cat fish..silver with black spots and large white feelers) from a friend who was getting rid of it.

I am going to add more plants and fish this week. I am going to go for the docile small schooling fish planted tank theme.

Thanks again for the info and opinions...please keep them coming.
Also, let me know of my new params and if the pH is still OK. Most of the fish I want are in the neutral 7.0 range...is it still OK to add these fish or try to get the pH more acidic?
Thanks again

SS
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-13-2005, 11:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sexishrimp
is it still OK to add these fish or try to get the pH more acidic?
Fish are more adaptable then we think and MOST will do just fine in that pH. Go ahead and get the fish without worring about pH.

...but to avoid the risk of generalities, if you plan to have some rare or fragile species run it past us.
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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-13-2005, 11:55 PM
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How long did you set this tank?
Seeing that you still can read Nitrite, I'd guess not too long ago.
Especially with no fish in the tank.

Light, CO2 then ferts (don't forget regular water change)

Otherwise, like Laith said, you'll hit the wall pretty soon

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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-14-2005, 01:28 AM Thread Starter
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the tank is 2 weeks old....
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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-14-2005, 02:32 AM
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I agree with fish are quite tolerant comment. I've had neons in the past and they were doing fine with straight tap water (pH 7.8, Los Angeles area). For all living breathing organism, I think the key is stability.

True some species would prefer slightly acidic water, but that's not saying they will do worse in others. Pretty soon you will find you need extra CO2 for the plants to thrive, and with CO2, your water's acidity will lower with it, naturally without the help of other chemicals.
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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-14-2005, 03:03 AM
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You also need to test for kH.
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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-14-2005, 05:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by freeflyer
Your missing the point, fish that come from low ph waters generally are coming from soft water which does more to the fish than the ph. For example Discus/tetras are said to need soft water, not a low ph although that comes with it. IF your not going to adjust the gh to the fishs ideal I really dont think just changing the ph is going to be any better for the fish. IF you need to fix the problem of high ph then fix it, adjusting the ph with acid is treating symtoms rather than the problem. GH or hardness is the bigger factor in fish biology, the ph just correlates to it, changing just the ph using an acid does not help the problem of hardness for a soft water fish.
His water is already very soft, pH and hardness are NOT related, pH and carbonate hardness KH are related you are confused here, adding acid in your water will not alter water hardness, pH is a very important factor for a fish, it's an integal part of water chemistry, all enzymes require a certain range pH to function properly for example.
Tap water is typically changed to alkaline to reduce corrosion. If you are blessed with soft water, changing pH is easy, if you have hard water, most likely you will need to reduce hardness first because fish that live in acidic water often requires soft water too, the reason is because rain water is soft and acidic (due to CO2 in the air)
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