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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Alright, so my PH is at around 7.6. I know it has a very high buffer capacity. Now im looking to keep shrimp that require much lower ph. I have tried natural ways such as drift wood and almond leaves but the ph shifts only slightly. Is there anyway i can lower my ph safley with ph down?

3,702 Posts
IMO avoid any additives to the aquarium.
You could place a bag of SafeTSorb in your filter.
It will lower your pH. $6 for a 40lb bag @ Tractor Supply.
You could test it with a bucket from a water change first.
Determine how much you may need in a filter sock?

11,721 Posts
pH is not a stand alone value. The minerals and other things in the water dictate the pH.
In aquariums the most common buffer is carbonates and bicarbonates, which we measure as KH.
Get tests for GH, KH, and a TDS meter (if you can).
Get a gallon of reverse osmosis or distilled water (grocery store or other stores) or some rain water (if you are in an area where the rain is safe for your livestock)
Research the needs of your livestock:
GH, pH, TDS, and if they are a blackwater species.

Make a few blends of tap water + RO. Perhaps:
25% RO + 75% tap
75% RO + 25% tap
See which one comes closest to the GH, KH and TDS without going over, of the shrimp you are keeping, and which pH is fairly close. Make a note of GH, KH, pH and TDS.
Next, add peat moss to the sample that seems closest. Stir it a few times, or add a bubbler or small pump to circulate it. (not critical- the peat moss could just sit there).
Test GH, KH and pH again. See if the TDS has changed.

The values in the tap water might not all be in the right ratio for the shrimp.

If you have to dilute the tap water a lot to get the pH to drop, (you are actually diluting the carbonates), then maybe the GH is too low for the livestock? Add Seachem Equilibrium (if that is OK for shrimp) or some other GH booster.

If the GH in the tap water is way too high, and you end up diluting the tap water a lot to get the GH in range, perhaps you have made the KH so low that this allows the pH to drop too low. If so, add a very small amount of baking soda or potassium bicarbonate to raise the KH enough to stabilize the pH.

Once you get the recipe correct, you can substitute IAL for the peat moss (or just go ahead and use them to begin with).
You will have to prepare the water correctly to fill the tank, and repeat that preparation for each water change.
Top off with only reverse osmosis, distilled or rain water.

424 Posts
It is a challenge. I am doing the exact same thing right now....very similar to what Diana has stated....but my tanks were already up and I am trying to change tires on a moving semi...

I am;
slowly mixing RO water into my three shrimp tanks to lower TDS, GH and KH and PH....
I was:
TDS- over 600
GH- 180
Ph 8.2

I am now...after about a week of slow change

TDS- under 400
GH- still high at 160
Kh- 100
ph about 7.8

I am NOT remineralizing my water until I get my gh and kh down...I am adding almond leaves to the tanks and I also started floating a nylon full of peat in my RO prior to doing a water adds to my TDS but I figure that is ok as long as I am moving in the right direction....

Shrimp? well shrimp are stupid but the RC tank seems to be happier....lots of berried females.
Blues? I only have three left...not sure if I have both sexes....waiting to see
Yellows; there were 5, I see 1....this is a co2 tank so the ph has dropped to about 7.2

all mine are neo's so they are supposed to be more hardy.....

I never wanted to be a Chemist dork...but now I have test kits and tds meters and ph meters. and an ro unit.......I guess I am on my way to becoming a water dork

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