09-03-2009, 10:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Phatfish
When ammonia is converted to nitrite and the finally nitrate, the pH lowers naturally. If you're familiar with marine aquariums that happens pretty often when something in the tank dies. The body decomposes and there's a sudden ammonia spike. The pH then lowers.
If you want to do it naturally, throw a raw shrimp in your tank since there's no fish in it and let it decompose.
If you want to add something that's not very chemically, add a bit of vinegar. I don't remember the exact dosage but just google it.
Though that is true, it also depends a lot on the buffering capacity of the water. Water with low buffering abilities may show a significant change, while water with high buffering abilities may not even budge.
As for the OP I would go with the R/O filter. Judging from your location and that you mentioned a water softener, you naturally have hard water. If you deal with lime scale at all in your home, your water is still considered hard and has a high buffering capability. Changing the pH of it will be a pain using just the tap.
Another way to test this, is to get some pH down, don't use it on the tank as its not good stuff IMO. Test a gallon of water, count how many drops you need to drop the pH to what you want. Then monitor the pH of the water of the next couple days and see how quickly it goes back up.