Seachem Acid Buffer alright for plants? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-14-2013, 10:33 PM Thread Starter
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Seachem Acid Buffer alright for plants?

With a tap ph of 8.5, I impulse bought Seachem Acid Buffer at the fish store today when I picked up my harlequin rasboras to lower pH... without knowing whether it's harmful to my plants.

Is it alright to use with Taiwan Moss, Java Fern, and dwarf sag, as well as other potential plants?

Also, how do I dose it? Just dump half a teaspoon of it straight into the tank? It won't hurt the fish if they nibble at it?
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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-14-2013, 11:03 PM
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Better to find out why the pH is so high, and remove that from the water.

What is the KH? GH? TDS?

Does the tap water pH change if you let a glass of water sit on the counter overnight?

Fish are not really looking for a certain pH, but for the right mineral level, the right TDS.
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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-14-2013, 11:06 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Diana View Post
Better to find out why the pH is so high, and remove that from the water.

What is the KH? GH? TDS?

Does the tap water pH change if you let a glass of water sit on the counter overnight?

Fish are not really looking for a certain pH, but for the right mineral level, the right TDS.
I don't have testers for KH, GH, or TDS. It doesn't change, the tap from both the faucet and outside has a pH of 8.5 and stays that way, resulting in high pH in my tank.

Over a LONG time (a few weeks?), the pH in my tank will drop a bit, though not much. Maybe to 8.0

I'm looking to lower my pH for the benefit of both my fish and plants, since I've read that too high a pH results in a faster loss of CO2.
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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-15-2013, 02:37 AM
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I have to agree with Diana. Get yourself test kits and test GH and KH before you start messing with pH. You may have multiple water issues. No point in fixing one and leaving others behind.

It might also be worth having your LFS store test your pH also, just to make sure the reading you took is accurate. 8.5 is unusually high.

If your going to adjust pH I'd say the Seachem Acid Buffer would be ok to use. If you find yourself using a lot of it, you may have to look into other methods.
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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-15-2013, 03:02 AM
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Acid buffer = Dry acid or sodium bi sulphate from the pool shop at 1/10th the price.
If I need to adjust ph I do it in the WC water that is aging. but lately it has been 7.45 out of the tap. The only thing with dry acid is if you put too much the ph will get way low.

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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-15-2013, 03:23 AM Thread Starter
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Acid buffer = Dry acid or sodium bi sulphate from the pool shop at 1/10th the price.
If I need to adjust ph I do it in the WC water that is aging. but lately it has been 7.45 out of the tap. The only thing with dry acid is if you put too much the ph will get way low.
Would it be okay to get dry acid for pools to use in our aquariums then? Are there potentially harmful substances in it?
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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-15-2013, 03:30 AM
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So Cal has some really good water and some really bad. Your water provider should have a report on line.

dGH 55, dKH 12, TDS about 1000 ppm
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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-15-2013, 03:33 AM Thread Starter
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So Cal has some really good water and some really bad. Your water provider should have a report on line.
I know for sure the water in my area is the really bad half. :s Sigh
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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-15-2013, 04:06 AM
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Why not just try the water as is? It is very likely to work fine, and if you buy the fish at a local fish store they have probably been living in that same water for some time at the store. Once you start adding stuff just to adjust the pH you are asking for fish problems any time you make an adjustment in pH, because of the sudden KH/GH change from adding the chemicals. And it is more work than it is worth in most cases.

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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-15-2013, 04:34 AM Thread Starter
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Why not just try the water as is? It is very likely to work fine, and if you buy the fish at a local fish store they have probably been living in that same water for some time at the store. Once you start adding stuff just to adjust the pH you are asking for fish problems any time you make an adjustment in pH, because of the sudden KH/GH change from adding the chemicals. And it is more work than it is worth in most cases.
I'm worried about the effect it has on my plants. I've had bad luck with almost all kinds of aquarium plants ever since I started the hobby... and have had species that supposedly "spread like wildfire" or "grow like crazy" just not grow at all and slowly melt away (wisteria, water sprite, cabomba). I'm thinking that the reason all this time is due to my high pH, or at least something to do with my tap water quality, since my bad luck seems to be apparent in ANY plant I try, minus ALGAE and MOSS. ahaha...

I've also tried neon/cardinal tetras in my 8.0~8.5pH water. I've bought around 20 of these in the past 2 years, and now only 3 survive. They didn't all die at once though- just slowly vanished one by one, separate from each other. My guppies in the same tank are totally fine though, being species tolerant of higher pH. Since the south american species is the only one affected, I'm concluding that the high pH is the reason.
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post #11 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-15-2013, 05:01 AM
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Do not use this for planted tanks.

Plants want CO2, not some specific pH.
If you want to change anything with the tap, remove the KH.




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post #12 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-15-2013, 05:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by caykuu View Post
I'm worried about the effect it has on my plants. I've had bad luck with almost all kinds of aquarium plants ever since I started the hobby... and have had species that supposedly "spread like wildfire" or "grow like crazy" just not grow at all and slowly melt away (wisteria, water sprite, cabomba). I'm thinking that the reason all this time is due to my high pH, or at least something to do with my tap water quality, since my bad luck seems to be apparent in ANY plant I try, minus ALGAE and MOSS. ahaha...

I've also tried neon/cardinal tetras in my 8.0~8.5pH water. I've bought around 20 of these in the past 2 years, and now only 3 survive. They didn't all die at once though- just slowly vanished one by one, separate from each other. My guppies in the same tank are totally fine though, being species tolerant of higher pH. Since the south american species is the only one affected, I'm concluding that the high pH is the reason.
Try hornwort, anubius nana, crypt. wendti, sword plants. they work in my water. Guppies do well, neons don't. I'd bet it's the TDS more than the pH.

Oh, duckweed and some forms of algae do well for me.

dGH 55, dKH 12, TDS about 1000 ppm
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post #13 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-15-2013, 05:21 AM Thread Starter
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According to Seachem, this acid buffer lowers pH by converting KH into CO2 for plants, not phosphate based. Do you think it's reliable?

Just adding that my dwarf sag (started out with about 7 or so) only put out about 10 new plantlets in the past year. Something in my water must be totally wrong if I can stunt dwaf sag, right?

Last edited by Darkblade48; 07-15-2013 at 02:29 PM. Reason: Please use the edit function for back to back posts to keep threads cleaner
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post #14 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-15-2013, 03:13 PM
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Fish like stable water parameters, and most can adapt very easily to whatever they are in. Needing to add chemicals to alter water parameters makes them inherently unstable.

Is there a reason you believe you need to lower your pH? Are you planning on breeding sensitive shrimp or fish? If not, you should be fine with what you have. Just adequately acclimate your fish before adding. Anything wild caught is going to have a struggle, potentially, especially if you do not acclimate first.

Acid buffer is not going to magically solve all of your woes. I have read through your journal and the problems you have been having. The tank looks very nice aside from some hair algae battling. You don't have too much light, but I've not seen you mention photoperiod nor your nutrient levels in the tank.


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post #15 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-15-2013, 04:17 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by TexasCichlid View Post
Fish like stable water parameters, and most can adapt very easily to whatever they are in. Needing to add chemicals to alter water parameters makes them inherently unstable.

Is there a reason you believe you need to lower your pH? Are you planning on breeding sensitive shrimp or fish? If not, you should be fine with what you have. Just adequately acclimate your fish before adding. Anything wild caught is going to have a struggle, potentially, especially if you do not acclimate first.

Acid buffer is not going to magically solve all of your woes. I have read through your journal and the problems you have been having. The tank looks very nice aside from some hair algae battling. You don't have too much light, but I've not seen you mention photoperiod nor your nutrient levels in the tank.
Thanks for the reply- like I mentioned in the above post, I'm more mainly worried about the effect it has on my plants.
This particular acid buffer I'm using also states it helps plants by directly converting KH into CO2, THUS lowering pH as well. It's apparently not phosphate based like many other acid buffers are. Do you think it's reliable?

Last edited by caykuu; 07-15-2013 at 05:11 PM. Reason: edit
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