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soft water :: high pH

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Aloha

I've been slowly converting my office tank into a black water set up, in order to see if I can my Chili Rasboras to breed.

My office water has always held a steady pH of 7.6 (+/- .2). The water has be remarkably soft with a GH of 107.4 (6 drops*) and KH of 71.6 (4 drops*)

I've have been adding dried banana leaves (and tannin there in) by either putting the crumbled leaves directly into the water or by soaking the crushed leaves in hot water over night and pour some of the water and putting the leaf bits directly into the tank (the shrimp and cory cats love them).

I'm only using a sponge (air bubble type). All other water test are normal (zero), Nitrate just above zero.

My water readings since adding the pH is a rock steady 7.6, with the hardness barely dropping GH 89.5 (5 drops*) and KH 35.8 (2 drops*)

I'm worries my water will turn into a pillow top mattress, before the pH starts to drop.

*results from API hardness test kit

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We used distilled water and Brightwell substrate and our GH & KH fell to 0, Ph went to well below a 6.0 (lowest our kit went) and they looked awesome! I think they would have easily bred, but the tank was meant for CBS and they did not enjoy the parameters. Thus the experiment ended. I'd recommend using distilled water for small water changes and it will start falling. Remember that bacteria no longer function below a 6.0, so it will stay as Ammonia, but Ammonia in a lower Ph will shift into far less deadly Ammonium which plants can uptake or water changes should eliminate. Nitrates and Nitrites should never register. Chili rasbora are found as low as 4.0-4.5 so no real worries for going too low in that regard, the lower and softer you can get the better and the more colorful they will get. Ours were bright red and far more active.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
We used distilled water and Brightwell substrate and our GH & KH fell to 0, Ph went to well below a 6.0 (lowest our kit went) and they looked awesome! I think they would have easily bred, but the tank was meant for CBS and they did not enjoy the parameters. Thus the experiment ended. I'd recommend using distilled water for small water changes and it will start falling. Remember that bacteria no longer function below a 6.0, so it will stay as Ammonia, but Ammonia in a lower Ph will shift into far less deadly Ammonium which plants can uptake or water changes should eliminate. Nitrates and Nitrites should never register. Chili rasbora are found as low as 4.0-4.5 so no real worries for going too low in that regard, the lower and softer you can get the better and the more colorful they will get. Ours were bright red and far more active.
Mahalo!

I'm taking my water change kit with me to work Monday. I'll bring along a gallon of distilled water. I'll quick swap a gallon and then only top of with more distilled in the future. Hopefully I'll start seeing a change in the pH in the next week or so.
 
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