A method to lower the PH directly - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-04-2015, 01:48 AM Thread Starter
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A method to lower the PH directly

I am wondering is there any other method that I can lower the Ph directly beside of adding API PH down? I need to lower the PH of the new water before filling back to the tank when I am doing water change. My tank PH is always stable at 6.4 due to I having ada soil but my tap is 7.8
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-04-2015, 02:09 AM
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Pretty much my issue, except that my ph in the tank is 6.7 because of co2. I just add the water straight in with a little prime. I do 50% water changes and my fish suffer no ill effects.
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-04-2015, 02:25 AM Thread Starter
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Well i just did a the same thing but my all my cardinal seem feeling ill but they still eating like crazy. I just have 20 cardinal and three flying fox.
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-04-2015, 02:29 AM
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Temp difference?
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-04-2015, 02:43 AM
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pH is not a stand alone value.
pH is controlled by the minerals and salts in the water.
If you control these things, then the pH will be what you want it to be.

Water companies often add something to the water to keep the pH up. Acidic water can harm the pipes.

Fish want a consistent mineral level that is within the optimum range for the species. Fish that you think of as requiring low pH are actually soft water fish- They want low GH and KH. Low Total Dissolved Solids, if you have a TDS meter.
When you have water with low KH, the pH will almost always be low, and easy to change, unless something else is in the water controlling the pH. Such as materials added by the water company. If this is the case, many people use reverse osmosis to remove most of the minerals and salts from the water. Then they add just the minerals the fish want.

Here is how I do this:
You can try making a blend of tap water + reverse osmosis to get the mineral levels lower in the water, or you can work with pure reverse osmosis.
If you start with RO, add enough Seachem Equilibrium to make the GH right for the fish. Soft water fish generally thrive when the GH is in single digits, and many prefer it about 3-5 German degrees of hardness.
Make the KH match the GH by adding baking soda or potassium bicarbonate. If the KH is 3-5 German degrees of hardness, then the pH will be neutral or acidic, usually within the right range for the fish.
If you are keeping a black water species, then filter this water through peat moss to add the organic acids these fish need.
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-04-2015, 04:11 AM Thread Starter
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I just sold my rodi unit because i dont have space for it. My tap water kh is 6 but i didt test the gh yet.
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-04-2015, 12:51 PM
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KH of 6 German degrees of hardness (ALWAYS include the units) can stabilize the pH somewhere around neutral to mid 7s. If this is too high for your livestock then you will have to remove some carbonates, or dilute them with water that has no carbonates.

First aim is to get the GH in the right range for the critters you want. If the GH is right, they may be OK with the pH being somewhat off.

What fish, shrimp or snails (or other critters) are you keeping? What is their preferred mineral levels?
Post the GH of the tap water when you get it.
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-04-2015, 04:39 PM
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Cool

I'm going to do an experiment on this. You might do the same. Take a bucket of your water, place fallen and dried oak leaves in the bucket, and check the pH each day. I'm also going to test a bucket with wood. I'm betting it will bring the pH down a point at least.
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-04-2015, 05:05 PM
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Follow what Diana is saying. You will have a much better experience if you don't try to artificially decrease the PH once it starts high. Yes, there are all sorts of ways to do so, but most of them are going to have side effects and/or slowly fall back. While over-simplified, high ph is because there is too much "stuff" in the water (KH). To lower it, you need to remove something. Adding more doesn't remove it, it just shifts it around where it often settles back where it was. Again, over-simplification, but in concept right. RODI works because it removes everything and you get to mix to suit; almost anything else that comes in a bottle is a long term hassle at best, and may make things worse.

I think for most (not all) situations, people obsess far, far too much about PH, often doing more harm than good. This has historic basis in that PH tests are cheap and easy, and tests for TDS, KH and GH are (or were) harder and more expensive, so in the early aquarium days everything focused on PH because it's often related to changes in the others (in particular KH) and was easier to monitor.

More continuous fixes (like peat or leaves) are a somewhat different matter in that they tend to be a continuous feed of offset. Not knocking those at all, I'm talking about the fixes-in-a-bottle that the big companies like to sell.

Personally I think (most) fish get used to whatever you have, so long as you give them opportunity to do so over time, and don't make huge changes quickly. For many people chasing a perfect PH often results in such massive changes by accident (say you mix up water not fully aerated, it looks to be 7.0 and perfect, and after aerated it ends up at 5.5 because you dumped all that "acid buffer" in it that finally got hit with the CO2 from aeration -- making this up, but such things are pretty easy to do by accident).

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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-04-2015, 06:37 PM
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How about natural peat or fluval peat granules? care about the color of your water?


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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-04-2015, 08:15 PM
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We use KH plus atmospheric CO2 (or pressurized CO2) to buffer the tank water against pH changes caused by weak acids or bases in the tank. That makes it difficult to change the pH by adding something, like acid, to the water. Adding a little acid drops the pH, but it soon goes back to where it was. The only good things to add to alter the pH are CO2, to drop the pH, or carbonates/bicarbonates to raise the pH. Those cause stable pH changes.

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