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How to lower pH?

Discussion in 'FreshWater Beginner Information/Questions' started by newtofish, Mar 24, 2003.

  1. newtofish

    newtofish New Fish

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    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. DrakisSaltWater

    DrakisSaltWater Small Fish

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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. wayne

    wayne Elite 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. newtofish

    newtofish New 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. AmazonTankz

    AmazonTankz Large Fish

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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. RedTurquoise

    RedTurquoise Large Fish

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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!
     
  7. DFT1080

    DFT1080 New 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?
     
  8. wayne

    wayne Elite 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. RedTurquoise

    RedTurquoise Large Fish

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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!
     
  10. newtofish

    newtofish New 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.
     
  11. RedTurquoise

    RedTurquoise Large Fish

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    Glad to hear! It will be much easier and cheap. Ive been there and done it!

    If you read my posts, I keep cardinals, neons, discus, german rams, etc in my tap water with a ph of 7.6!
     
  12. newtofish

    newtofish New Fish

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    OK - now my PH is steadily rising and it is at 8.2! What could be the reason? My tap water pH is still only 7.8.

    I did a water change last week.
     
  13. RedTurquoise

    RedTurquoise Large Fish

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    One reason could be dissapation of C02! Another reason, depending on your substrate, it could be increasing your hardness and also affecting your ph!

    A simply test to check! Using a plastic container, fill it with water and aerate for 24 hours. This will give you the ph of your tap water and you can compare it to the ph in your tank.
     
  14. notavip

    notavip Small Fish

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    other than what people have already said, you can try adding co2 or i've used seacem neutral buffer before and it worked good. you might also have to get a water clarifier as well because i have really hard water and when i used it it caused my water to become cloudy because of all the "stranded calcium molocules" as the seacem tech explained it to me.
     
  15. exodon

    exodon Medium Fish

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    Do you have anything that contains calcium in the tank?
    Do you have any seashells, corals, ceramics?
    Do you have any rocks in the tank from outside?
    Where did you get your gravel ?
    How old is it?
    Have you tested the hardeness of both tank and tap?

    Co2 and peat will lower your pH , but must be monitered and regulated. Works well tho.
    Buffers also work well, but again requires monitering.

    Most typical aquarium fish are captive raised and can tolerate and adapt to many different water conditions, providing they are healthy conditions. Ammonia, NO2/3 is toxic and always will be to fish.
    pH, temperature, salinity, are varibles that we can messs with and climatize aquatic life to given certain conditions. A well balanced diet, regular maintenence and a clean environment is all they need. Give em that and they'll put up with alot of what we do.

    Exodon
     
  16. Walleye

    Walleye Small Fish

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    I heard bog wood works well.
     
  17. kool_sk8a

    kool_sk8a Large Fish

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    maybe someone should write a FAQ about pH altering, there seems to be so many questions about it
     
  18. RedTurquoise

    RedTurquoise Large Fish

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  19. Luca

    Luca Large Fish

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    Hard water is not necessarily a bad thing unless it's really really hard. My water is really really soft (0-1dh) and causes the ph to crash if i don't off-gass the CO2 with a bubbler.

    The ph is sweet for most if not all fish, otherwise i find "proper ph" is a good product, i use proper ph 6.5 when breeding. It holds the ph steady in the right quantities.
     
  20. AndyL

    AndyL Large Fish

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    Well, excellent responses from many people...

    As a beginner - pH modification, contrary to what your local pet store will tell you (as they're in the buisness of SELLING you products and replacement fish) is completely unecesary. My personal favorite anaolgy on pH is pH is to fish as humidity is to humans yes in the wild their great great great great grandparents may have grown in a low hardness/pH environment. But in reality, most fish we find at our local pet stores are bred/raised in radically different conditions, most fish farms in fact have near saltwater conditions in their breeding ponds - meaning a very high pH >8.0 and VERY high hardness. As per the analogy, if you acclimatize the fish to the pH from your tap - you won't have a problem. Modifying is completely unecesary and will just lead to fish deaths due to stress from the radicall swings (7.0 to 7.8 in a day to a fish would be similar to you being picked up from the middle of the rain forest and being dumped in the middle of a desert)

    I and many other of the more experienced hobbiests around here, tend to recommend that as a beginner you shouldn't own a pH test kit. It's probably the first test kit sold to a beginner, and the least meaningful. Ammonia (NH3) nitrite (NO2) and nitrate (NO3) are so much more important to own and understand as a 'newbie'.

    Red turquoise linked to a great resource, you would be well advised to also spend some time on www.thekrib.com reading up on water chemistry. There are some 'questionable' techniques there as well as data which should be taken with a grain of salt (ie ammonia's toxicity at various pH levels). Feel free to ask questions.

    Andy
     
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