06-21-2008, 02:00 PM
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There are ways to lower your pH, as well. Using aquarium peat in your substrate or filter will help. Driftwood will also slowly lower the pH of your water. I would definitely shy away from chemical products like pH Down as these can cause all kinds of problems. Some people say that API's Proper pH is a worthwhile product but it still seems to fall into that "unneeded chemical" category for me.
Using distilled water can bring your pH closer to 7, but distilled water is also devoid of any minerals and other nutrients that can benefit your fish. Also, if you used distilled water, you'd have to use a mix of distilled and tap water every time you did a water change, which could end up costing a lot. The peat and driftwood will be less expensive in the long run.
Then again, unless you plan on keeping really sensitive fish that prefer a lower pH, I think you'll be fine with your relatively high pH.
Look at the bright side: if you ever decide to keep African cichlids, you'll be all set!