02-24-2012, 02:52 PM
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Reliable PH lowering
My tank mostly consists of Amazon fish that enjoy soft, acidic water. However my tap water is fairly hard and PH is 7.4. I don't have any rocks or buffering substrate in the tank. Some of my fish (namely Cardinal tetras) are perfectly healthy, but are not showing their colors as vibrantly as they could. All fish are active, eating and no recent deaths/disease. Parameters are 0PPM-ammonia, 0PPM-nitrite, 5PPM-nitrate. Temp is 78, again PH is 7.4 (matches tap water PH). 20% weekly WCs. I could be wrong, but I'm wondering if this is due to PH being out of their preferred range?
I don't want to be using chemicals, I don't like adding anything unnecessary to the water nor do I want to shock the fish with PH swings.
I don't really want to get into using RO/DI water (at least not yet).
Seems most people use peat moss, almond leaves or driftwood. What's everyone's experience with these methods? I'm leaning towards peat moss added to filter, but is it a set it and forget it kind of thing or does it have the potential to destabilize PH and cause swings as well?