Effective ways of lowering ph - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-12-2006, 08:16 PM Thread Starter
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Arrow Effective ways of lowering ph

There are different ways of lowering water ph. I am looking at a cost effective way of lowering ph in an X amount of tanks. The first thing that came to my mind was CO2. But for many tanks, it can get very expensive.

Then i started looking and found these things that also lower ph:
1. Peat
2. Oak bark extract
3. Distilled white vinegar
4. HCL(muriatric acid)

Anyone has any experience lowering ph with any of these four methods?
What are the advantages?method?disadvantages?Can they be effective?

Thanks,
Pedro
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post #2 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-13-2006, 01:15 AM
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First question is why?

If you are doing it for fish that require low pH realize that what they really want is low hardness and TDS. The use of HCL will increase the TDS. Vinegar (acetic acid) will do the same.

The first two are inexact at best.

And you missed one.

RO/DI water.
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post #3 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-13-2006, 02:53 AM
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You could mix RO or DI water with the tap water to lower the PH. This would lower the KH, and that would lower the PH. I don't think adding an acid like HCl or vinegar would work well at all. Peat works, but makes the water brownish in color and I think it would mess up the measurement of ppm CO2.

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post #4 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-13-2006, 03:56 AM
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Acid will work. Normally the acid used is phosphoric acid. Jack Wattley (the Discus Guy) uses it all the time.
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post #5 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-13-2006, 12:16 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rex Grigg
First question is why?

If you are doing it for fish that require low pH realize that what they really want is low hardness and TDS. The use of HCL will increase the TDS. Vinegar (acetic acid) will do the same.

The first two are inexact at best.

And you missed one.

RO/DI water.
This is for breeding some shrimp that require soft water and a ph in the range of 6.8. Not sure if I have to achieve both or not. Just looking for a cost effective alternative.

THe RO/DI unit is coming. I have read conflicting information about RO/DI units lowering the ph.
It some cases it says it did lower them and others that it did not.

Thanks,
Pedro
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post #6 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-13-2006, 12:17 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rex Grigg
Acid will work. Normally the acid used is phosphoric acid. Jack Wattley (the Discus Guy) uses it all the time.

So phosphoric acid does not add TDS to the water? Where can I get phosphoric acid? Do you know at what concentration?


Thanks
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post #7 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-13-2006, 12:45 PM
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Phosphoric acid does add to the TDS. Jack Wattley uses it to lower the pH to around 4.0 to treat a Discus disease.
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post #8 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-13-2006, 12:54 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rex Grigg
Phosphoric acid does add to the TDS. Jack Wattley uses it to lower the pH to around 4.0 to treat a Discus disease.

SO CO2 and peat does not add to TDS? So what would you do If you need to lower the ph to 6.8?

THanks
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post #9 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-13-2006, 01:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by milalic
SO CO2 and peat does not add to TDS? So what would you do If you need to lower the ph to 6.8?

THanks
Simple...C02 or RO/DI or both. It is to easy =)

Craig

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post #10 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-13-2006, 01:41 PM
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Haha, oh I think mine wins...

Collect rain water! It normally has a pH just below 7, and as long as you're not in a big dirty city, it does wonders for a fish tank AND IT IS FREE.


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post #11 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-13-2006, 02:18 PM Thread Starter
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I am in Texas and it does not rain that often...
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post #12 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-13-2006, 02:18 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WfxXx
Simple...C02 or RO/DI or both. It is to easy =)

Sounds good, but Co2 can get very expensive for three tanks...or maybe not?
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post #13 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-13-2006, 02:36 PM
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The DIY CO2 route can be relatively cheap, but most people argue that it is more expensive than compressed CO2 in the long run. The real difference is in the startup cost. I can make a very nice CO2 reactor for < $5 and buy sugar, yeast, protein drink mix and baking soda for < $25. The startup cost for my compressed CO2 was about $200, but I bet you could do it for $150.


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post #14 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-13-2006, 02:40 PM Thread Starter
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It probably will be more than $200, I need to add a manifold, check valves and bubble counters to be able to run three tanks with the same Co2 bottle.
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post #15 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-13-2006, 06:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by milalic
This is for breeding some shrimp that require soft water and a ph in the range of 6.8. Not sure if I have to achieve both or not. Just looking for a cost effective alternative.

THe RO/DI unit is coming. I have read conflicting information about RO/DI units lowering the ph.
It some cases it says it did lower them and others that it did not.

Thanks,
Pedro
There is no conflict about what I'm going to say, use RO if yuo want to bred the shrimp.

Stop worrying about pH, start worrying about what specific salts or total salts are in the water.

CO2 will not change that, but.....CO2 will change the pH, we can see this has no impact on fish/shrimps etc everytime we do a water chaneg with tap water in the CO2 enriched tank.

The only reason why softer water would not lower the pH, is if there was some other buffer being added they overlooked or did not consider.

If you remove a buffer, the pH should go down along with the pH.

Still, way too much obsession with pH here for breeding, fish health/shock etc.

Look at TDS, KH etc instead, it'll be more fruitful.
That + good feeding/foods will address most every breeding issue if you have enough breeding age individuals in a nice habitat.

Regards,
Tom Barr




Regards,
Tom Barr
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