How to lower pH
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How to lower pH

This is a discussion on How to lower pH within the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium forums, part of the Freshwater Fish and Aquariums category; --> Hi everybody! I'm having problems with lowering pH in my planted aqua. I've tested my pH in tap water and it's 6.4 but in ...

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Old 04-15-2012, 09:50 PM   #1
 
How to lower pH

Hi everybody!
I'm having problems with lowering pH in my planted aqua.
I've tested my pH in tap water and it's 6.4 but in my tank it's 7.6 and for my fish it's too high, I'm looking for something around 7.0

I have 66 gallons
kH 10
GH 16

I've had this aqua running since January/February but my pH stays stable. Any adjustments to lower pH don't work at all (pH Down). When I used it next day result was the same.
2 weeks ago I've started to use Co2 (home made) but nothing happens.

I've bought recently proper pH 7.0 but I might give it back since it says "not for use in planted aquariums" - not sure why though, I wonder if it will kill my plants or something.

Anyway I don't want to use RO so only options I see it's peat or maybe rain water.
I'm not sure if rain water will help me since my tap water doesn't.
Do you think it'll change anything or I should go for peat?

Only issue I have with peat is that I will need to use it regurarly (when changing water) but I would preffer something more stable.

So since chemistry and tap water doesn't make any difference my question is will rain water change anything, same thing goes for peat?

I've read in book that turf is best way to change pH but I'm not sure how much it will change (too much means lots of dead fish) and I'm not so much convinced since I have high KH and GH.

Any suggestions?
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Old 04-16-2012, 02:20 AM   #2
 
My suggestion is to stay away from chemicals as they can hurt the fish. The best idea i have is to add drift wood. Drift wood has been proven to lower ph. It worked in my planted tank.
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Old 04-16-2012, 08:39 AM   #3
 
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I wondered if adding some prime to the boiled tannins from driftwood would lower the ph if added to my tank...
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Old 04-16-2012, 10:02 AM   #4
 
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KH is the pH 'buffer', so if it is high you can not expect your pH to vary much. Peat and driftwood will both slightly lower pH and slightly soften water, but the degree to which they do that is dependent on your KH. I have extreamly soft tap water, and with driftwood my pH only went from 7.2 to 6.8. Over time, since my KH is so low (2 dKH), in three months it has dropped to 6.4.

When you test your tap water, do you let the tap water sit in a glass for a day? You can also shake it vigorously before testing, this will get ride of any CO2.

If you do not want to use a mixture of RO/DI to lower you KH, then rain water is your best option. You can also boil water to reduce the KH, but that's not very practical for the volume of water you need to do water changes on a 66 gallon tank.

What fish are you concerned about? 7.6 isn't that high, and most tank bred soft water fish will tolerate that, wild caught would be more particular.
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Old 04-16-2012, 10:27 AM   #5
 
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Not trying to thread steal, but it might help the op as well;
Geomancer (love the AV btw, I am a huge RPG nerd) what about using the water from boiled driftwood? I'm wondering because I would eventually like to keep angelfish.
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Old 04-16-2012, 10:29 AM   #6
 
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And along the same lines, what about these peat products? http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/f...um-safe-98940/
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Old 04-16-2012, 11:38 AM   #7
 
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First, stop using pH adjusting chemicals. You are literally killing your fish. I'll come back to this.

Second, something in the tank is clearly raising the pH, most likely it is a calcareous substance that is usually the substrate (gravel, sand) or rocks. There is no other way in which the tap water pH of 6.4 could become 7.6, since natural biological processes will lower the pH as the water acidifies (subject to the buffering of the KH) unless this is being affected by minerals. What is the substrate? And are there any rocks?

Third, are the KH and GH numbers degrees or parts per million?

Now, back to the fish and chemicals. These are highly stressful, and while it may not show in the fish, they are being hampered internally and this can be irreversible. You can read about stress here, please do:
http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/f...um-fish-98852/

I can offer more when I know the above answers.

Byron.
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Old 04-16-2012, 02:44 PM   #8
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Byron View Post
First, stop using pH adjusting chemicals. You are literally killing your fish. I'll come back to this.
I stopped using this about 2 weeks ago since it doesn't help at all and I'm not a fan of chemistry.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Byron View Post
Second, something in the tank is clearly raising the pH, most likely it is a calcareous substance that is usually the substrate (gravel, sand) or rocks. What is the substrate? And are there any rocks?
I have gravel 3mm (read somewhere that's best one for plants - Tropica Aquarium Plants)
I have 3 rocks quite big (something like a cave, from local pet store), one bogwood and one root (I dig it out from backyard-doesn't harm fish) they've been there for long time and nothing happened untill my mom started to put in more fish ( 13 recently)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Byron View Post
Third, are the KH and GH numbers degrees or parts per million?
I don't know, I use Tetra test 6 in 1
It's shown as 10 degrees dH in instruction (not sure what that means)

[quote/Now, back to the fish and chemicals. These are highly stressful, and while it may not show in the fish, they are being hampered internally and this can be irreversible. You can read about stress here, please do
[/quote]

I now but I have slightly too high pH for neons.

I have in tank:
red tail shark 2
neons 12
clown loach 3
cory panda 4
sucking loach 2
angel fish 2
danio 4
lamp eye 3
rummy nose 4
kuli loach 1
platy 4 ( tiny ones)
sword tail 2 (males)

I think that'll be it

Recently we introduced new fish (angel fish 2, swordtail 2, red nose 2, neons 6, 4 gourami)
and as I presumed half of them died - 2 angelfish old one and new one, one female swordtail, one neon) red noses seams ok and neons but one gourami looks suspicious.

I observed that in most cases fish swimms just below water level for a day or lays in one place( plant or gravel) and doesn't really eat - next day it's dead.

I don't really know what to think since other fish seams ok, this could be cause of red tail shark chasing other fish on their territory ( doesn't happen all the time cos there's lots of fish) and danios are swimming like crazy (sometimes accidently chase other species). I know it can be stresful and that could be a problem.
I have CO2 (home made - about 1 bubble per second so it's ok -60 to 100 is recommended for my tank) and I had O2 running for 1 hour a day but I've changed it to 24/7

It annois me that every time I set it up to run for 3 hours before air will go through it'll take 2 hours so I plugged that to run constantly. If I'll disconnect that for 10-20 minuts then I'm gonna have to wait another hour to break through water.


I don't think it's a problem with air, old fish never complained and I haven't seen any problems with it.

It's probably cos of too many fish in the tank and that danios stressing rest but I don't really know what to think.

All I know is that my pH is bit too high and I would need to lower it.Also I've read in book that for plants I have too high kH and gH (they're ok though)

Also I have media in cover ( that bio balls and ceramic bio rings -I removed carbon cos I have water really clean - just that root iscoloring it a bit)

What seams strange that when I put first fish into the tank (about 8-10) I didn't had any ammonia or nothing - probably cos of that media but still there should be at least something.

Last edited by Norbert; 04-16-2012 at 02:52 PM..
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Old 04-16-2012, 03:11 PM   #9
 
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In regards to fish ... you've managed to get just about everything that doesn't work with anything else on that list o.O

Okay, so not quite that bad, but close, and a lot of them are shoaling fish (need numbers of 6+ in a lot of cases).

Almost all of them have a profile here, top of the page, blue bar, second link from the left. They will tell you what they are compatible with, their temperament, and the kind of water they need. Even with a pH in the 6's you're going to have lots of deaths with a stock load like that.

As for the pH problem, where did you get that gravel? Pet store, outside, landscaping company? If you bought it in a pet store, was it meant for marine tanks?
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Old 04-16-2012, 03:19 PM   #10
 
It's from local store, normal aquarium gravel but it wasn't been prepared so I had to clean it up and pour boiling water into bucket to kill bacterias. I didn't bother to boil whole gravel since I have 30 kg. That store doesn't have marine gravel
As for shoaling fish I know I should have 5-6 in most cases and with neons at least 10.....it's really bad mix I know but I'm working on it - for now I think it will have to stay like that untill everything will settle inside.

Last edited by Norbert; 04-16-2012 at 03:22 PM..
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