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Hello.

Since the IRON supplement requires a lower PH in order to be effective, I tried to lower my PH level by using a air line house with a needle valve to make a slow drip system.

When I completed several hours of a slow drip, I measured the PH which seem to be pretty low. The next day, I tested the PH and it appears it rose back up to the level of before the drip.

Does Eco-complete or something else act to keep the pH at a certain level making drips of PH decrease only temporary?

I need to find a way to either lower my PH level or find a different type of Chelated IRON that works at a higher PH.

Thanks.
 

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If you need to lower ph ph lowering chemicals are a waste as the buffers in the water do exactly that. I would worry more about what the livestock needs than the iron. What is your ph?
 

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Unless you use 100% RO water and add you own buffer/chemicals then messing with pH is dangerous and mostly a waste of time. It will be what it is, you will not successfully change it with chemicals and if you do you will cause dangerous swings which are highly likely to kill your fish.

Steady pH is much more important than what the actual number is.
 

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I agree with the sentiment expressed by the other members, commercially available additives that lower the pH are difficult to work with and problematic since most companies provide no description of the ingredients. Since you do not know what you are adding to the aquarium, you run the risk of interactions with the vital plant nutrients/biological pathways....

If you want to lower the pH, the best way to do it in planted aquariums is CO2 :) If you lower the KH low enough into the 1-2 range you can even reach a pH below 6, which might be too low. Peat is another good way, if you are ok with the color.

Most of the fauna is actually really tolerant in terms of pH, most of us have a drop of 1 or more in pH from on/off CO2 injection pattern. Rapid changes in GH/KH/osmotic pressure, which may also change the pH indirectly, are responsible for the deaths. A constant pH of 3 will do more harm than jumping from 6.5 to 7.5


If you are concerned with iron chelation, different chelators are effective in different pH ranges, EDDHA and DPTA keep iron chelated at a pH over 7.EDTA might also do the job. A starting point https://www.akzonobel.com/micronutrients/products/product_stability/
 

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If you need to lower ph ph lowering chemicals are a waste as the buffers in the water do exactly that. I would worry more about what the livestock needs than the iron. What is your ph?
The natural PH of my tap water appears to be 7.6.

According to this chart, I will only loose like 97% of the iron I pet in because it EDTA-type iron.




Maybe I have to dose the IRON and PH decrease chemical at the same time?


If I can find the DTPA or EDDHA type iron, they are usable at much higher PH levels.

Unless you use 100% RO water and add you own buffer/chemicals then messing with pH is dangerous and mostly a waste of time. It will be what it is, you will not successfully change it with chemicals and if you do you will cause dangerous swings which are highly likely to kill your fish.

Steady pH is much more important than what the actual number is.
I am fine with the PH at whatever it ends up being its just all the money I spent on liquid Iron supplements with EDTA chelating agent will be completely ineffective at my current PH.

If I use the Ferrous gluconate type seachem has, the liquid C02 part of it will kill the Jungle Val.

I think my only choice is to lower the PH perhaps using C02 or use something like iron EDDHA chelate which is stable at the higher PH levels.
 

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I am fine with the PH at whatever it ends up being its just all the money I spent on liquid Iron supplements with EDTA chelating agent will be completely ineffective at my current PH.

If I use the Ferrous gluconate type seachem has, the liquid C02 part of it will kill the Jungle Val.

I think my only choice is to lower the PH perhaps using C02 or use something like iron EDDHA chelate which is stable at the higher PH levels.
I would try more natural means to lower the pH in your case then.

Adding peat to the filter is a common solution. It will steadily lower it, though you will need to add new peat every few months I believe. This will also add a color tint to your water, though that can probably be removed with proper filtration.

CO2 is your other best bet. Pressurized CO2 can lower your pH by over 1 and will also help your plants take off. I don't actually know if excel type products actually lower pH, as they are a different form of carbon. Someone else will have to answer that.

Finally there are also various substrates that lower pH which you can switch to, but that is more work and may not be a desirable outcome for you.
 

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The warning about trying to mess with the PH should be taken very seriously. Really do some serious thought before going that way. What you may find is that it looks like things are okay except you have to constantly fight it. While you are fighting the losing battle, plants, fish and algae are all slowly getting out of control.
I suggest looking carefully at the GH/KH/ PH relationship to study what "buffer" means. I might guess that you have somewhat high PH but at the same time have high GH/KH which buffers the PH. That is what I have in my water. Buffers resist change. So before you can get the PH to really change and stay there, you will have to deal with the hard water, first.
I am not a chemist and not an expert at changing water but there are several here who do understand it. I would far more recommend looking at different iron, if that is needed, than trying to fight nature. Nature has a way of dealing with us when we resist?
 

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and, as to the Ecocomplete question about it raising the pH......it certainly did for me. My tap pH is 6.7. I started a new tank, put the Ecocomplete in, checked the pH, was 7.8. Measured with the same recently cailbrated pH meter and probe. Other specs....
Tap: TDS=57
pH= 6.7
dKH= 4
dGH= 5

once added to tank:
TDS= 126
pH= 7.8
dKH= 4
dGH= 5

oh, and there was no fish or plants in the tank....just the Ecocomplete and 2 pieces of Mopani wood


dont believe everything the bag says
 

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A buffer is a combination of a weak acid and its conjugate base - the same compound minus one H atom. The buffer we all have in our aquarium is made up of carbonic acid, a weak acid made by dissolving the atmospheric CO2 in our water, H2CO3. Its conjugate base is HCO3-, which is the bicarbonate ion, the KH of our water. That combination holds the pH constant at a level determined by the KH of the water and the ppm of CO2 dissolved in the water. When you add a weak acid to the water, the pH drops, then slowly rises back to the original level. Add a strong acid in a sufficient quantity and the KH is reduced, allowing the pH to drop lower and stay there. But, that is a very bad way to get lower pH water. When we have lots of tannins in the water, that is enough to override the buffer, so the pH drops and stays there. Adding peat moss to the water continuously adds tannins to the water, preventing the buffer from bringing the pH back to its original level.

Chemists: Please clean up my explanation if it is off base.
 

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Simply stated you have hard water and the buffer is only bring your ph down why your dosing. I would guess your kh & gh are very high. If you want to lower the ph you will need to soften your water. Get your kh and gh in line and it will take very little buffer to lower the ph and it will stay down.
 

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When I first started keeping fish in 1980 I was always messing with pH. it would do exactly what you are experiencing. Eventually you learn that you need to work with what you are dealt. I through out every pH modifier I had and never looked back. Like water seeking its own level so will pH. Stop trying to change it. Even if you were able to keep the water where you want it for a while as soon as you do a water change you're re-fighting the same battle. Over and Over again.

Bump:
Simply stated you have hard water and the buffer is only bring your ph down why your dosing. I would guess your kh & gh are very high. If you want to lower the ph you will need to soften your water. Get your kh and gh in line and it will take very little buffer to lower the ph and it will stay down.
Softened water adds its own problems to the mix. It's always better to work with what you have. One thing to remember most of the things we have in our tanks are bred in Florida. In liquid rock.
 
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Raising the temperature will help lower the pH. So straight from the tap @ lower temps will have a different pH than water that has been heated in my experience. Maybe you could keep a 'hot tank', over 80F? I don't know if it would bring your pH down to the range you want.
 

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When I used to test such thing's as pH, I noted that over time the pH in my tanks drifted downward a bit with no help from me.
My tanks with no substrate just plants and fish, sometimes coir, go up from 5.8 to 6.8 by the end of a week or two. I assume the mechanism is carbonates mostly from decaying plant matter and photosynthesis. I don't use CO2. But I am not sure.
 

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My tanks with no substrate just plants and fish, sometimes coir, go up from 5.8 to 6.8 by the end of a week or two. I assume the mechanism is carbonates mostly from decaying plant matter and photosynthesis. I don't use CO2. But I am not sure.
Is odd to me, unless you are using R/O water and topping off with tap water .?
Usually the breakdown of organic matter and biological processes unknown to me, will produce acids that slowly over time drive my pH down but I am no chemist .
Prolly a good thing I just stopped testing for such thing's. :grin2:
 

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Is odd to me, unless you are using R/O water and topping off with tap water .?
Usually the breakdown of organic matter and biological processes unknown to me, will produce acids that slowly over time drive my pH down but I am no chemist .
Prolly a good thing I just stopped testing for such thing's. :grin2:
No RO. Just tap.
 

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Before you alter conditions in a tank with livestock do some tests in several jars with different ingredients, one variable in each jar.
Examples:
Pure tap water
Blend tap + RO
Tap + substrate
RO + substrate
Tap + peat moss
And others
Test GH, KH, pH, TDS in each set up. See how close you can get to where you want it to be.
Once you decide what you want institute the change slowly if there are fish or shrimp in the tank. Then maintain it that way with water changes with only specially prepared water.
 
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