Lowering PH - The Planted Tank Forum
 6Likes
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-27-2015, 03:32 AM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: Harford co MD
Posts: 10
Lowering PH

Anyone have any good natural ways to lower the ph, that won't change the color or dirty up my water. I saw peat moss, driftwood and almond leaves. Anyone else have any recommendations? I'm trying to avoid chemicals. Also I'm currently at 7.8 I would like to be high or mid 6. There are plants and fish in the tank, it is 46G low tech
tdurham19 is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-27-2015, 03:39 AM
Planted Tank Obsessed
 
bsherwood's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Grand Forks, ND
Posts: 424
I added driftwood and almond leaves. It brought the PH down to about 6.9 couldn't seem to get it lower (started about 7.3). The water tinted lightly at first. Then it got a bit worse. I thought maybe I had left the almond leaves in too long....swapped them out and added a small pouch of purigen to my cannister...cleared water in about 3 days and ph rose to 7.0

I have some kind of "ph down" drops and confess that I have squirted a bit here and there....

North Dakota
125 planted, angels, rummies, c02 tank
72 bow, mystery snails and angels
55 planted, yellow neon shrimp
55 shrimp tank, rcs
29 shrimp tank, blue- not sure what kind
40 long - winter koi home
40 breeder- planted
10- nursery
10- quarantine
5.5- cycling to be another shrimp tank...
bsherwood is offline  
post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-27-2015, 03:56 AM
Planted Member
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: New York
Posts: 231
tdurham19,

one of the best methods to lower pH is to add a few drops of vinegar (5% acetic acid). You probably use it in your kitchen. Acetic acid is safe, in fact plants can use it to grow, so sometimes you have to use it repeatedly. Start slowly first, then increase dose if needed.
g4search is offline  
 
post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-27-2015, 04:00 AM
Planted Tank Guru
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Contra Costa CA
Posts: 11,721
Quote:
I'm trying to avoid chemicals
Well, if you start with pure dihydrogen monoxide and add selected doses of calcium carbonate, magnesium carbonate and some other nasty stuff (like fertilizers) you can control the chemistry of your water to suit.

Seriously, get of the 'anti-chemical' kick.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

pH is not a stand alone value. The various minerals and salts in the water control the pH. By controlling these things, you control the pH. Here is how I do this.

Test tap water for GH (general hardness), KH (carbonate hardness), TDS (total dissolved solids- if you have a meter), pH.
Research the fish you want to keep. Especially the GH.
If your tap water has too-high GH, KH, pH, TDS, then start with reverse osmosis water. You can try blending RO + tap water. See if you can find a recipe that suits your fish.
Example: If your tap water has a GH of 8 German degrees of hardness, and the fish you want to keep thrive with a GH under 5 degrees, then a 50/50 blend RO + Tap should bring it into this range. This recipe will also cut the KH and TDS in half.
Carbonates are the most common buffer in the aquarium. If the KH is high, then the pH is usually going to be high, and difficult to change. If the KH is low, then other things can control the pH. The pH will usually be fairly low. The water company may be adding something to the water to keep the pH up, to protect the pipes.
If you can get the KH down to around 3-4 German degrees of hardness, then the pH ought to drop, too. But if the water company has added something, then the pH might stay higher.
This is not usually a problem for the fish. Soft water fish thrive in water with low mineral levels. Low GH, KH, TDS. When these are in the right range, the pH may not be quite right, but the fish will usually be OK with that.

If this is not close enough, you may need to increase the ratio of RO, then add back some of the minerals.
For example, if you started with pure RO (no tap water) you would need to add GH booster and some form of carbonate for GH and KH.

see- you cannot escape chemistry or chemicals. Your tank is filled with it.
dukydaf, dukydaf, Hoppy and 3 others like this.
Diana is offline  
post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-27-2015, 09:59 AM
Planted Tank Enthusiast
 
PTrader: (2/100%)
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: california
Posts: 727
I agree with Diana. The 'chemicals' you're adding to the water are naturally occurring compounds that are pretty harmless and very stable. They're not some sort of dangerous substance that is poisoning your tank. In fact as shes laid out, its actually just simple chemistry.
inthepacific is offline  
post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-27-2015, 12:40 PM
Wannabe Guru
 
BBradbury's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Greeley, CO
Posts: 1,945
Hello td...

Changing the pH of the tank water and maintaining that level is difficult. A pH between 6 and 8.5 is manageable for most fish as long as the level is steady. It would be wise not to try and change it. Your fish and plants will appreciate it.

B

"Fear not my child, just change the tank water."
BBradbury is offline  
post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-27-2015, 12:57 PM
Planted Tank Guru
 
roadmaster's Avatar
 
PTrader: (1/100%)
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Missouri united states
Posts: 5,576
I am on board with other's ,once you start messin with pH, you will need to store mixed water lest weekly water change with water much different(GH,KH,pH) from tap, cause sharp pH swing's and changes in GH that fish don't appreciate.
Or you would need to have R/O/tap water mix on hand for weekly water changes to keep stable environment, which is much more important than some magical pH.
roadmaster is online now  
post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-27-2015, 01:24 PM
Planted Tank Obsessed
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Mississippi
Posts: 370
Quote:
Originally Posted by g4search View Post
tdurham19,

one of the best methods to lower pH is to add a few drops of vinegar (5% acetic acid). You probably use it in your kitchen. Acetic acid is safe, in fact plants can use it to grow, so sometimes you have to use it repeatedly. Start slowly first, then increase dose if needed.
I'm curious about this.....how much vinegar would you use in a 75 gallon tank?
bassbuster23 is offline  
post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-27-2015, 01:35 PM
Wannabe Guru
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Baltimore Maryland
Posts: 1,701
Quote:
Originally Posted by tdurham19 View Post
Anyone have any good natural ways to lower the ph, that won't change the color or dirty up my water. I saw peat moss, driftwood and almond leaves. Anyone else have any recommendations? I'm trying to avoid chemicals. Also I'm currently at 7.8 I would like to be high or mid 6. There are plants and fish in the tank, it is 46G low tech
Add co2.
Audionut and Audionut like this.
Steve001 is offline  
post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-27-2015, 02:37 PM
Planted Tank Enthusiast
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: Queensland
Posts: 525
Quote:
Originally Posted by Diana View Post
If this is not close enough, you may need to increase the ratio of RO, then add back some of the minerals.
For example, if you started with pure RO (no tap water) you would need to add GH booster and some form of carbonate for GH and KH.
For stable mineral levels, at their desired levels, then,

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve001 View Post
Add co2.
To lower the pH, with bonus CO2 for plants, without the tannis look.

Feel free to edit.
Audionut is offline  
post #11 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-27-2015, 09:20 PM
Planted Tank Guru
 
PTrader: (84/100%)
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Sacramento, CA
Posts: 21,015
Quote:
Originally Posted by g4search View Post
tdurham19,

one of the best methods to lower pH is to add a few drops of vinegar (5% acetic acid). You probably use it in your kitchen. Acetic acid is safe, in fact plants can use it to grow, so sometimes you have to use it repeatedly. Start slowly first, then increase dose if needed.
If you have any KH, and almost all tap water does, adding a mild acid like vinegar isn't going to make much change in pH. The bicarbonate in the KH and the carbonic acid caused by atmospheric CO2 dissolved in the water, form a buffer that will resist changes in pH from vinegar. Sometimes people get the pH down that way, but it soon rises back to where it was.

Hoppy
Hoppy is offline  
post #12 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-28-2015, 03:01 AM
Planted Tank Enthusiast
 
Argus's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: May 2013
Location: California
Posts: 584
Quote:
Originally Posted by g4search View Post
tdurham19,

one of the best methods to lower pH is to add a few drops of vinegar (5% acetic acid). You probably use it in your kitchen. Acetic acid is safe, in fact plants can use it to grow, so sometimes you have to use it repeatedly. Start slowly first, then increase dose if needed.
Quote:
Originally Posted by bassbuster23 View Post
I'm curious about this.....how much vinegar would you use in a 75 gallon tank?
I made the mistake of trying to control pH by adding acid (Tetra pH Down). I ended up stressing the fish and several died. The pH would drop to the levels I wanted and then climb back up.

GH, KH, TDS, ammonia, and nitrate levels are much more important.
Argus is offline  
post #13 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-28-2015, 12:11 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: Harford co MD
Posts: 10
Thanks for the input defiantly a lot of good info.
I don't have anything to test the GH or the KH but I know that water is definitely high for hardness just from talking to other people in my area. Unfortunately tho I'm really trying to avoid holding water for water changes to mix RO/tap. I was hoping that there would be something similar to the almond leave strategy where the ph could subtlety be lowered by adding them to the filter.
But from what I'm understanding from you guys is that achieving a more neutral ph comes from softening thus improving the overall water quality.
For the c02 I tried that in the liquid form I used half the recommended amount and I lost two guppies so I'm trying to avoid that. For adding vinegar it seems like it will just make it unstable, meaning it will temporarily go down then go back up after a water change.



Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
tdurham19 is offline  
post #14 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-28-2015, 12:47 PM
Planted Tank Enthusiast
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: Queensland
Posts: 525
Your trying to achieve the impossible. All methods have drawbacks...........depending on how you look at them.

Pick a method that has the least possible drawbacks for you and your situation.

Vinegar is not a suitable solution for you and your situation.
Audionut is offline  
post #15 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-28-2015, 02:07 PM
Planted Tank Guru
 
roadmaster's Avatar
 
PTrader: (1/100%)
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Missouri united states
Posts: 5,576
Quote:
Originally Posted by tdurham19 View Post
Thanks for the input defiantly a lot of good info.
I don't have anything to test the GH or the KH but I know that water is definitely high for hardness just from talking to other people in my area. Unfortunately tho I'm really trying to avoid holding water for water changes to mix RO/tap. I was hoping that there would be something similar to the almond leave strategy where the ph could subtlety be lowered by adding them to the filter.
But from what I'm understanding from you guys is that achieving a more neutral ph comes from softening thus improving the overall water quality.
For the c02 I tried that in the liquid form I used half the recommended amount and I lost two guppies so I'm trying to avoid that. For adding vinegar it seems like it will just make it unstable, meaning it will temporarily go down then go back up after a water change.



Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Guppies you mention thrive in hard alkaline water and do poorly over the long haul in soft acidic water.
If your local fish store can keep fishes alive in the water you have locally,then you should be able to as well not withstanding some soft water species that may not breed but could still do well enough.
Would not try and keep fishes such as apistogramma,German blue ram's (for example) in hard water for they are often NFL (not for long).
But for most fishes commonly offered,a pH between 6.0 and 7.8 is suitable for the majority.
roadmaster is online now  
Reply

Tags
None

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the The Planted Tank Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome