Should I be doing something to lower my pH? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-04-2013, 04:27 AM Thread Starter
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Should I be doing something to lower my pH?

My tap water has a pH of 8.5. With CO2 injection, my pH goes down to 7.3. I feel like this is still a bit high. Should I be doing something to help lower the pH? I really don't feel like playing the chemical game unless its necessary.
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-04-2013, 04:42 AM
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My tap water has a pH of 8.5. With CO2 injection, my pH goes down to 7.3. I feel like this is still a bit high. Should I be doing something to help lower the pH? I really don't feel like playing the chemical game unless its necessary.
Most fish these days are no longer wild caught and are captive bred instead (though it depends on the species). This means that they are usually quite comfortable in water that does not necessarily meet their "ideal" demands.

I would stay away from chemical buffers that try to change the pH. These will only increase your TDS, and you will be constantly adding chemicals to try to decrease the pH, leading to wild pH swings (which are more harmful to fish than a steady pH).

Your water parameters are fine as they are.

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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-04-2013, 06:27 PM
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I think the way people usually handle that problem, if it is a problem, is to use a mix of RO/DI water and tap water. But, that does mean that every time you do a water change you have to get nearly the same proportions of RO/DI and tap, or you subject the fish to rapid changes in TDS, which isn't a good idea.

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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-04-2013, 07:51 PM
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You can add some driftwood to lower it slightly.
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-05-2013, 12:38 AM
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Do you know which kinda driftwood lowers the PH? I got a driftwood from LFS and it hasn't lowered my PH... Its been stable at 7.4
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-05-2013, 04:19 AM
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Do you know which kinda driftwood lowers the PH? I got a driftwood from LFS and it hasn't lowered my PH... Its been stable at 7.4
Bogwood and Malaysian is all I know of. They're pretty common.
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-05-2013, 04:48 AM
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I have extremely hard water with high ph. I tried most things over the years to lower it naturally and finally gave up and resorted to keeping Saltwater and African Cichlids. I didn't like dumping a ton of chemicals in my aquariums to artificially lower my ph, plus they were extremely expensive. I also found it difficult to maintain the ideal water using chems alone. Seemed like no matter how much "Lower ph" I added, my ph would ultimately rise again. Fast forward a couple dozen years and now I use an RO unit. ActuallyI just bought it last month specifically for a planted aquarium and the thought of keeping Discus. I was using a 3:1 ratio between my Tap and RO water, but I have slowly changed over to GLA GH Booster and Baking Soda. I have much better control of my water and know exactly what is going in my tank. My water is stable and consistent with a ph approaching 7.4, which is down from the 8.6-8.8 range, and my kh is down from 18+ to 8. Gh is hovering around 5. Needless to say, the colors on my fish are much more vivid and the plants seem much happier. I'm no expert or chemistry major, but I do know happier fish and plants when I see them.


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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-06-2013, 05:05 AM
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Best way to deal with water chemistry is Dx3Bash's example:
Use a blend of RO and tap water to set the GH and KH to where you want it. Fine tune if needed with GH booster and baking soda.
Let the pH do what it wants. By keeping the KH on target the pH will highly likely fall in the right range for the fish.
Filtering through peat moss can add the organic acids that many soft water fish like.

Fish are not looking for a particular pH.
They need a certain mineral level.
Fish from acidic water need low mineral level.
ADDING stuff (to lower the pH) is not how you get a LOWER mineral level.
REMOVING stuff is how you get a LOWER mineral level.
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