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Because my tank has an active substrate, I want to match the new water with the pH of the main tank as much as possible. To do this, I have put a little bit of new active substrate in my new water and let it age until it becomes the same pH as my main tank. I also checked the TDS of the new water with the little added active substrate, and the TDS does not change from what I've previously mineralized it to. The pH does match the main tank though.

Has anyone tried this? Is this a good idea? 99% of the time, people just drip in the new water without active substrate, which does fluctuate the pH a bit. I want to avoid fluctuations as much as possible. I also want to avoid wearing the active substrate of my main tank too.
 

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I think you are over analyzing this. And focusing on ph rather than kh/gh. Although I understand pH is the easier parameter to measure. It doesn't necessarily give you the full picture, though.

I use active substrate in my tanks but use RO for water changes. I just reconstitute to my preferred parameters and don't worry about tank fluctuations.

All the tanks that I follow that use active substrate, and live in hard water areas using tap for changes, just do normal, sometimes large and frequent, water changes. I don't see them having issues with fluctuations.

But those are just my observations. :)

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If the water you're using for changes has KH in it and you're housing shrimp, yes it's a good idea to buffer that you before adding it. If you don't have KH in the replacement water or you're just housing fish and plants, just do a regular water change, it shouldn't hurt anything.
 
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