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Hello I know there are a ton of questions and answers to this topic but it’s sometimes seems confusing. So I’m coming from the saltwater hobby and still learning all of this. So my house is using a whole house water softner, and my understanding this is not good to use correct? So I’m using my RODI unit that I have, I’m adding GH to it to bring it up to close to the 120tds mark. However my PH is very low 6.1-6.2 I get this is normal for RODI, but when looking up if I should raise my PH some websites say yes and some say I shouldn’t do anything.

So when using my CO2 I’m reading my PH should drop 1.0 to get best results for the plants, well that would drop me all the way to like 5.2, that seems crazy low. I know the PH reading during the CO2 phase is somewhat false, but still very low. I’m reading this off of my Neptune Apex controller ph probe.

I have no fish at the moment, but a ton of plants, some higher end a lot of stem plants, kind of doing a Dutch style in a 40 gal tank. So is my ph ok like this should I raise it, I would like to get fish but worried I’ll just kill them with the low ph. The plants I have are brand new only a couple of days, just hoping they will be ok as well. I have very high lighting, and adding ferts as well. So any help or answers to this would really help, should I raise this PH level, and could I add fish with it like this? Thank you
 

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So when using my CO2 I’m reading my PH should drop 1.0 to get best results for the plants, well that would drop me all the way to like 5.2, that seems crazy low. I know the PH reading during the CO2 phase is somewhat false, but still very low. I’m reading this off of my Neptune Apex controller ph probe.
low ph is no problem. i know people with ph in low 4's. unless you plan on keeping hardwater plants/fish such as vallisneria or livebearers you'll be fine. cheers, plantnoob.
 

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I do not plan on having hard water plants or fish. Some people say low PH is ok while others say it will kill your fish and hurt your bacteria.

I just remember back when I first started saltwater in the early 2000 we were chasing 8.4 ph all the time, until people quit and found no harm in it. That’s where I was at again hearing all these different answers. I’m just ready to add some fish and want them to be ok with my system.
 

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Some people say low PH is ok while others say it will kill your fish and hurt your bacteria.
Since you're using a buffering/active substrate, you'd want to avoid adding kH to the water because it'd just be removed by the substrate until it's exhausted. The substrate will keep your kH and pH stable. If you were using an inert substrate like sand or gravel, you'd want to add a bit of kH.

While critters that need to be kept in harder water may not do well in a tank like this, soft water species will be fine. And many species that are commonly kept in the hobby are quite adaptable, living in a wide range of water parameters.

CO2 injection doesn't impact hardness or osmotic pressure, so it's not harmful for your livestock. At least as long as there's enough oxygen for them to survive. And it's clear you already understand that bit. The formation of carbonic acid from the injection is what causes the pH drop.
 
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