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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Im running a bio cube 29 gal, currently its a freshwater setup. i have a few plants and 3 plattys with one yoto loatch. Its a new tank, its been up for a month and a half now. My ph levels have always been on the high side, my tap waters ph runs in the 7.6.

I have two pieces of drift wood that iv been saoking and i hope they will help lower my ph, I wanna keep shrimp and other fish but before I decide to add any more fish I want to try and lower the ph leves a little less.

This past sunday, i did a water check, ph was probably at 8.2 amonia was at the first bar, no nitrites, and nitrates were close to 40ppm.

I did a 30% water change and today this morning i checked my water again. readings were ph 8.0 no amonia, no nitrites, and nitrates were around 20-30. On the nitrate side I wondering about adding a couple of plants on the rear side of the tank, maybe a couple of large anubias plants to try and get my nitrates lower.

I dont want to add any type of chemicals. tips, thoughts appreciated
 

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Return the Yoyo Loach. They are diggers, and grow to 6" or so. Highly active fish. 4' minimum tank size, and several friends.

pH is not a stand-alone value. Other things in the water (yea... 'Chemicals') control the pH. By controlling the minerals in the water you can alter the pH.

What is the KH of your water?
Carbonates are one of the main buffers in aquariums.
If the KH is high the pH will usually be high and hard to change.
If the KH is low the pH will be controlled by something else.
For example, if the water company adds something to keep the pH up for the pipes, then the tap water pH can be high (usually upper 7s to low 8s) but the KH may be quite low.

Here is how I deal with this:
1) Find out the optimum GH for the fish I want to keep. (Platies are hard water fish, but adaptable. GH from about 5-20 degrees is fine)
2) Make the KH about equal to the GH.
If you will want to add softer water fish then keep the GH and KH closer to 5 degrees.
3) If I want black water species (Platies are not black water fish.) I add peat moss to the filter.

Let the pH do what it wants. As long as the mineral levels are good the fish are tolerant of a much wider range of pH.

To get an accurate nitrate test shake the reagents and test tube REALLY WELL.

Anubias are very slow growing plants and will not do much about the nitrates in the tank. Get some faster growing plants. Hornwort is very good in hard water, Anacharis is a good and easy one. (fish may eat it, but that saves on the food budget).
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
looks like you know your water diana. with all tese test tubes takes me back to science glass, anyhow I do have a gh/kh testing kit from api. I checked both in my tank and both took about 9 drops to change water colors. 160.1 ppm is what the chart suggest i have.

the pieces of drifwood i have soaking i tested the ph on that and it read 7.4. ph in my tank is at 8.0. I plan on adding the drifwood this thursday and im sure it will drop the ph a little.

fast growing plants you say? i will look into that to help out with the nitrates.
 

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9 German degrees of hardness for both GH and KH.

The KH will buffer your pH right back to what it is.

If you want to lower the pH you will have to start by lowering the KH.

Easiest way to do this is by blending your tap water with distilled or reverse osmosis.
A blend of 50/50 would set the GH and KH about 4-5 degrees, and the pH would probably come down some without having to do anything else.
Adding driftwood or peat moss will help to drop the pH some more, but dropping the KH is the first step.
 
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