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How to lower pH?

This is a discussion on How to lower pH? within the FreshWater Beginner Information/Questions forums, part of the FreshWater Topics category;
I have an Eclipse tall 37g tank with the in-built filter system. Tap water pH is 7.8. Would like to ...

  1. #1
    Teenie Weenie Fish
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    Default How to lower pH?

    I have an Eclipse tall 37g tank with the in-built filter system.

    Tap water pH is 7.8. Would like to drop it to a neutral pH level. Have tried adding acid drops/acid buffer. And even though new water pH is way low (6.0), pH spikes back to 7.8 in the aquarium with a day even with 30% water change.

    Any recommendations on how to lower the pH safely and stabilize it at that level? Please be specific with product names. The ones that I tried did not work.

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Teenie Weenie Fish DrakisSaltWater's Avatar
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    You can try using peat moss, it will soften the water and lower the ph. but it does make your water alittle yellow. I had the same problem so I just got african cichlids, they like the high ph. Also a RO unit will make neutral water.

  3. #3
    Super Fish
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    If it's bouncing around as you describe it normally means you have quite hard water. You need to remove this hardness withan RO or DI device, then it's much easier to manipulate pH, so it will stay down.
    Don't try to chemically reduce hardness as it's just monkeying around with dissolved stuff, and not really useful to the fish.
    Really 7.8 is not high, and unless I was trying to keep breed something difficult I wouldn't bother

  4. #4
    Teenie Weenie Fish
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    Thanks for the updates. I was hoping to keep community fish in the aquarium including neon tetras that prefer neutral to acidic water, hence trying to lower the pH. Did a quick research on RO units, and they appear to be on the pricey side ($100+). Any recommendations on a specific type/brand?

    If I can't get the pH to reduce, would appreciate suggestions on hardy african cichlids. Which ones can be kept with mollies, platys?

  5. #5
    Large Fish AmazonTankz's Avatar
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    Listen neon tetra do best in lower PH but it is not nesessary! Almost all my tanks have Amazon type fish all likeing low ph but my tap water ph is around 7.8. It is better to have a high steady Ph then to have a bounceing around ph that is never steady. Even with peat moss it is difficult because the water you use for changes has to be peat moss filter as well. Keep your ph at 7.8 and get whater fish you'd like, the only fish I can think of that you might have to have low ph is the discuss.

  6. #6
    Large Fish RedTurquoise's Avatar
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    I agree with amazontankz and I might add that even discus do well in tap water with ph of 7.8! Sounds like you have the same water parameters as my tap water. THe only time I change the water parameters is for breeding. My growout tanks use tap water parameters with a ph of 7.6!

    Therefore, do not bother with changing water parameters as it will harm you fish more than anything. Steady water parameters is the best. The fish will be fine!
    This hobby is addicting. I want more Discus!!!

  7. #7
    Teenie Weenie Fish
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    i have the same question. Ive got a 46 gallon planted community tank. My water is rather hard and the pH is around 8.2. So far ive tried a water softner pillow but i was sold the wrong size and its too small. ive also tried pH down droplets but i havent seen an improvement yet. Whats the best way to lower it and keep it down?
    Tank: Perfecto Aquarium 46 gallon Bow Front Tank
    Filtration: Aqua Clear 300 and Whisper 2 Power Filter
    Aeration: Profile 1000 Air Pump w/ air stone, AQT 3001 w/ 16 in. bubble bar
    Light: 36 in. Eclipse Fluorescent Bulb
    Gravel: 40lbs Ocean Gravel, 30lbs Flora-Max Substrate, 20lbs Black Beach Sand
    Heater: Visi-Therm 200watt submersible
    Temperature: 74 F
    Plants: Water Wisteria, Red Indian Hygro, Amazon Sword, Light Green Anacharis, Crypt Petchii, Sagataria Sublulata, and many more now.
    Landscape: Large Fossil in Limestone rock, 3 pieces of driftwood, various small rocks
    Fish: 7 Tri-Color Sharks, 2 Bumble Bee Catfish, 2 Boesemani Rainbows, 1 Turquoise Rainbow, 2 Silver Hatchet fish, 2 Albino Pristilla, 2 Bleeding Heart Tetra, 1 Fiddler Crab, 1 Common Pleco, 1 Algae Eater.


  8. #8
    Super Fish
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    RO the water going into the tank. It's very difficult to keep the pH down if you have hard water. Does it drift down between water changes? How hard?

  9. #9
    Large Fish RedTurquoise's Avatar
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    Again I would like to comment on the fact that you do not need to lower ph. It is a pain in the arse and expensive. You will end up hating it. The fish are not going to be any happier if the ph is 7.2 or 7.8 or 8.2! Therefore if you do not have a goal like breeding, do not bother.

    The most important factor in keeping fish is constant water parameters Keeping a steady ph is very, very important!

    I growout discus in my tap water that has a ph of 7.6! My planted community tank with cardinals, discus, rams without C02 injection is also at 7.6 (with c02 around 7.2). Therefore, there is no reason to that you must change the ph.

    If however you will not be convinced otherwise, RO filter mixed with tap water is the best way to lower ph. There are other methods like using peat that work. Do not use chemicals to adjust ph. Too much room for error causing stress and disease. Also, we do not know how these chemicals effect the fish!
    This hobby is addicting. I want more Discus!!!

  10. #10
    Teenie Weenie Fish
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    Based on the various responses, I am going with not messing with PH and letting it stay at 7.8. Makes the water changes much simpler!

    Question still is - has anyone tried keeping neon tetras or any other tetras at this high pH level? I am very interested in getting these fish.

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