Hi, guys! Long time reader, first time poster, and of course I have a problem
So, I have a 10 gallon I've been trying to raise shrimp in, and I've had terrible luck. It took me a little while to realize that my local water is insanely soft -- 0GH, 0KH -- which was why none of my little guys were surviving their molts. Started adding Fluval Mineral Supplement, baking soda, and some cuttlebone. When the GH and KH looked okay, I tried again.
They died even faster. I was kinda frustrated, so I let the tank go fallow for a bit, with just the (fairly happy) snail, the vals, and the java moss. They all did fine, although there was a nasty outbreak of bluegreen algae. Eventually I got sad looking at an empty tank, and got some tetras (they'll be moving into a 29 gal once we get it set up), and when I added them I tested the PH, which I hadn't done in a while.
It was above 9. I was sure I'd screwed something up in trying to raise the hardness, but then I went and tested our tap water, which had always been a nice, neutral 7. It, too, was up over 9 -- I guess the town must have changed something when I wasn't looking.
So, after that long preamble, my question is: How can I lower the ph in a way that will be safe for a future shrimp population? The good news is that it goes back down to 7 if I let it sit out in a bucket for a couple days, but a) that's kind of a pain and b) it risks contamination from cleaning chemicals and other crud. Will the ph still "gas out" if it's covered? How long can it sit before I have to worry about it growing its own ecosystem? Can it sit around after being dosed with prime and mineral supplements?
And (as if this wasn't long enough), what about products like API PH Down? I've seen mixed response online, but then, I don't see a lot of people in my exact situation, needing to seriously lower ph for changes, but not in the tank itself (which is back down to a cozy 7).
Anyway, thanks to those of you who are still reading