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I want to start by saying I am getting all SA fish for my 10g. So the fish are:

Xiphophorus maculatus(Platy,already owned)-5.8-8.5 pH, medium-hard water
Paracheirodon innesi(Neon Tetra, going to buy)-5-7.5 pH, soft-medium water
Corydoras aeneus(Albino/Bronze Cory Cat, going to buy)-5.8-7 pH, soft-medium hard water

I want to get an average 5.8 pH with medium water hardness. What is the best way to effectively do this? I want it to be as natural as possible(minus plants lol) so any suggestions?
 

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Children Boogie
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driftwood will help lower the ph naturally in a tank... and some put peat moss in the filter or nylon mesh and let it hang in the tank... oh, some put it under the gravel too.
and 5.8 is pretty low... i'd stick with 6.5 - 7
 

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Injecting CO2 would go a long way towards dropping the pH to where you think you want it. But, it doesn't really matter to the fish if the pH is 6.6 or 5.6. Keeping the KH and GH low will be more likely to suit the fish than a low pH which just follows the KH down. For that you can use DI or distilled water mixed with your tap water.
 

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About ph under 6

The ideal ph for the nutrient absorption is around 6 to 7. Going out of these range will cause difficulty for certain nutrients to be absorb.

ex: Phosporus that have around 100% of absorption at 6.5 ph drop at only 25 % under 6

Fe under 6 is absorb at 100% and go in a falling curve at higher ph, going to around 65 % at PH 7 to 0 % at ph 9

another thing to know is that low ph can harm the biological filter.

Secondly, nitrifying bacteria are very sensitive to pH as shown in Figure 3. Nitrosomonas has an optimal pH between approximately 7.0 and 8.0, and the optimum pH range for Nitrobacter is approximately 7.5 to 8.0.
 
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