06-25-2008, 03:12 PM
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I am like you starting up a tank that I want to keep soft water/low Ph species (some of the same as yours) in, though it isnt my first tank. Also, like you, my tap water comes out at around 8 Ph. I found this article on cheap ways to condition the water useful: http://www.skepticalaquarist.com/doc...oftening.shtml
It explains that the biggest reason for high Ph is dissolved bicarbonates, in my case, and maybe yours too, the water comes from an area of heavy limestone. The bicarbonates buffer acid in the water and raise the Ph. It says the easiest way to get soft, acidic water is collecting rainwater, which might be too soft/acidic, maybe find a ratio of rainwater to tapwater that hits your target, and that you can somewhat reduce those bicarbonates by boiling the water. A very good article, this afternoon I will boil some of my water and let it settle then get it out the way the author describes in order to test it, I'll post the results as far as both Kh and Ph.