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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 72g bowfront with mostly South American species in it. Pencilfish, Endlers, Corys, Otos, Gold Rams and Ghost Shrimp.

Water Parameters
PH - 7.8 ( Most likely. Tap is 8. I do WC from tap so tank may reach 8 someday)
KH - 5
GH - 5 or 6 (API has questionable quality control these days. The two GH bottles I have refuse to drop one drop consistently)

The tank is about 10 years old. It has successfully held SA species as well as other low ph soft water species for many years in the 10 year time frame up until now. I always thought the ph was low, because I knew it was soft water. I used test strips to determine that in the past 10 years. I broke the tank down and restarted it about 2 months ago. After recently purchasing an API Master Test kit I now know I have high PH, soft water.

This revelation led me to look into Cholla wood, IA Leaves and Alder cones. I already have very large pieces of driftwood in the tank that I believe buffered the water to the difference between the tap and the tank ph. I went with Alder cones and Cholla wood but I'm hesitant about the use. I now like the looks of stained water so that's not the issue. Mostly I don't want to kill my fish by messing with the ph. I also don't want to kill my fish by not messing with the ph. I figured I could just slowly add the Alder cones one by one weekly. That would ease the adjustment. Then it occurred to me that I would still be using tap water for changes, and that may have an adverse effect on the fish.

Would that give a weekly ph spike after adding the Alder cones? Is high PH soft water even a problem for tank raised species?

If it's not a problem I'll just throw a few cones in for decor every now and again. I'm not buying a RODI system and would like to stay away from doing partial water changes with it unless it is a clear neccessity. I don't have a water store close to me.
 

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The mineral levels are good for a soft water tank. The pH is a bit high.
Adding alder cones, IAL, peat moss, driftwood or similar things may lower the pH.
Yes, the pH will rise when you do a water change, then slowly drop through the week.
You could minimize this by prepping the water in a garbage can by filling the garbage can the day before and adding a knee-hi stocking full of peat, then circulating the water.

My tap water is similar: GH and KH are usually about 4 German degrees of hardness, but the pH is in the upper 7s and occasionally in the low 8s. The water company adds sodium hydroxide to keep the pH up because acidic water is bad for the pipes.
 

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The water company adds sodium hydroxide to keep the pH up because acidic water is bad for the pipes.
Doesn't the effect of the sodium hydroxide go away soon after the water is in the tank? I recall that if you leave that water out in the air for a day the pH drops back down. But, I have no idea what would cause that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
The water company adds sodium hydroxide to keep the pH up because acidic water is bad for the pipes.
Doesn't the effect of the sodium hydroxide go away soon after the water is in the tank? I recall that if you leave that water out in the air for a day the pH drops back down. But, I have no idea what would cause that.
I did a ph test on two day old tap water, it was still 8. I'm thinking I may just leave it alone. The fish are doing well. PH is not a good thing to be playing with. I've learned it the hard way before. I'm not even sure I want to risk dropping any Alder cones in the tank.
 
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