can i use lemon to decrease pH - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-14-2014, 08:20 PM Thread Starter
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can i use lemon to decrease pH

Hi all

i wonder if i can use lemon to decrease pH the lemon we have in Egypt is very acid we have the small lemon not like the big lemon that is not very acid well i toke about 1 litter of my tank water and added some lemon drops the pH went from 8.4 to 7

my question if i will keep using lemon every time i change my water is it a safe way and is it safe for the fish and the cherry shrimp
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-15-2014, 01:21 AM
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Why are you looking to lower your pH through the addition of chemicals (or in this case, citric acid)?

The fish you have, unless wild caught, are most likely adapted to local water conditions. Similarly, the RCS will probably be fine, despite the higher pH.

If you want to lower the pH, you could always use RO water and/or inject CO2.

Anthony


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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-16-2014, 09:33 AM Thread Starter
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the reason i want to lower the pH because someone told me that the higher the pH is the more different to the plants to absorb the Fertilizers and i tested the pH of my tank and it was 8.4 i have tried driftwood but no use and i dont have RO filter thats why i have tried lemon on 1 liter of my tank water and it worked so i needed advice about lemon
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-16-2014, 12:42 PM
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i bet you will get PH swings which is worse than just stable high PH
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-17-2014, 12:31 AM
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I think using lemon juice is probably not a good idea. I'm generally of the opinion that trying to adjust your water pH is wasted effort at best, and possibly dangerous.

I'd try adding peat or driftwood to the tank and see if that helps. Also, a lot of tanks tend to get more acidic as they age.

Some people set up a bucket/bin/trashcan full of water and an airstone/pump, and add a bag of peat to that, and let it condition the water for a while before adding it to the tank.

If you have to add something, I'd go with as close to a pure acid as possible, you are adding all sorts of other chemicals and compounds with the lemon juice, and I'm not sure how they would affect other life in the tank.
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-17-2014, 07:00 AM
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What you are talking about is using citric acid to lower pH. The problem with using lemon juice it that it contains a crap load of organics as well. Don't use it.
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-17-2014, 07:52 PM Thread Starter
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ok i wont use lemon then thank you for the advice

but is it true that the higher pH the more different to the plants to absorb the Fertilizers ?
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-17-2014, 08:07 PM
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It is true that at different pH ranges different ions become more or less available. And not only fertilizers - the ammonia/ammonium balance is pH related, for example.

Iron is a good example for a nutrient that becomes less available as the pH raises. However, that's why we dose it in chelated form, which keeps it stable/plant-available even at higher pH.

Like others said, just lowering your pH isn't a great idea, and using lemon juice is a very bad idea. Animals "breathing" the water will not be happy!

One side-effect of injecting CO2 is a lower pH. Whether the lowering of the pH or the addition of carbon or even both makes your plants grow better - that I don't know. Either way something to look into.


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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-17-2014, 08:19 PM
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Most plants are adapted to fairly wide pH ranges, so the effect is not that great in the most common pH ranges. I wouldn't worry about it unless the plants were dying or showing unusually slow growth. I have a new tank at pH 6 that's showing nice growth, but also another tank that's showing good growth at pH 7.6.


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