01-10-2011, 02:30 PM
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Pierce, I responded to your PM before seeing this thread, so I'll continue here.
All aquaria tend to acidify over time. The extent this occurs depends upon several things: hardness of your source water (tap water), objects in the aquarium that could affect the water (calcareous rock or gravel, bogwood, leaves, live plants), substrate material, fish foods, and fish load (type of fish and numbers). First thing we need to know is the hardness of your tap water; rather than wasting money on another test kit, check with your water supply people, some have websites with a chart of the water analysis or they should be able to answer you directly.
As for the acidification, this can be a very good thing if you intend keeping soft water fish. Most of the cyprinids, all of the characins, most catfish, and all dwarf or South American cichlids prefer soft water that is slightly acidic. And live plants tend to all come from such water naturally. Alternatively, hard water fish such as livebearers and rift lake cichlids will need to have the water hardened and made alkaline, and this can be done fairly naturally. If you tank is lowering as you describe, I would expect your tap water to be quite soft, but I'll wait for the numbers before suggesting what if anything may be advisable.
I am blessed in Vancouver with very soft water, the GH and KH is < 1 d out of the tap. The pH is 7, so in my aquaria it lowers easily to 6 or below. Which is great because I have all soft water fish and most are wild caught. And the photos indicate how well my plants grow in this water.