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Wow, looks lengthy. I can't wait to take a look at it more. A LFS (chain) complained that my pH was too high. MY API Test Kit shows 7.6 on the pH Low but 7.4 on the pH High. They claim it should be exactly 7, and I said show me the test on their water and they wouldn't LOL. I always thought 7.4 was pretty good.

I use pH Down too. Now that I know a fair amount about fish and plant keeping, I should really start learning more about the advanced topics. I have no idea what my gH and kH is.
 

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While there is a vast amount of information there and I am sure that much of it is correct, I would add a word of caution. It has often been my experience that the person who sells a product will often slant the facts in such a way that it just happens to make his product look better or more necessary that it really is in real life. Do not accept this as totally true information. Accept it as an advertisement giving some information which may or may not be totally correct.
As in all things, it pays really big dividends if you look and read many different places before spending your money. There are dozens of places on the net for information on the subject, so read several before making your decisions.
 

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No need to alter the pH with materials designed JUST to play around with the pH.

Keep the mineral levels (GH, KH, TDS) in the right range for the fish, and the pH will probably be pretty close to the right level for those fish.

No, pH of 7.0 is not the goal.

Here is how I do it:
1) Make the GH right for the fish. Gotta research the fish, find out what is good for them. What sort of range is acceptable.
2) Make the KH pretty close to the GH.
3) If the fish are from black water systems, then filter the water through peat moss.
Let the pH do whatever it wants.

I do monitor the pH, but more as an indicator. If the pH stays the same over time, then I know other things are probably just fine, too. If the pH starts changing I start looking for an explanation. I do not grab a bottle of pH Up or pH Down.

With readings you are getting where the pH is right at the bottom of the high range test, and the top of the low range test, just call it whatever test it is closest to. At the extreme ends these tests have a little overlap, but not much. It does not really matter, either way.
 

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Fresh Fish Freak
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No need to alter the pH with materials designed JUST to play around with the pH.

Keep the mineral levels (GH, KH, TDS) in the right range for the fish, and the pH will probably be pretty close to the right level for those fish.

No, pH of 7.0 is not the goal.

....

I do monitor the pH, but more as an indicator. If the pH stays the same over time, then I know other things are probably just fine, too. If the pH starts changing I start looking for an explanation. I do not grab a bottle of pH Up or pH Down.
Ditto.
 
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