Planted tank, but need to lower PH - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 5 Old 01-30-2011, 03:59 PM Thread Starter
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Planted tank, but need to lower PH

I have a planted tank with a few fish, I want to lower the PH so I can raise some Angel fish.
I was told to buy proper ph 6.5 by API but I just noticed it says not for use in planted tanks.
What will happen? What do I do to lower PH in a planted tank?
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post #2 of 5 Old 01-30-2011, 08:27 PM
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Don't quote me on this but I have heard that limestone will lower pH?
Although I would wait for some other opinions before acting on this.
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post #3 of 5 Old 01-30-2011, 08:34 PM
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I wouldn't recommend using the Proper PH stuff. With that stuff, your PH will swing down FAST, and go back up just as fast when you perform a water change. This can stress out the fish.

One alternative for lowering PH in a planted tank is CO2 injection, but I would recommend doing alot of research before you make that move. It can be spendy for the high tech models, and the DIY CO2 systems are maintenance intensive.

My show tank naturally has a PH of around 8 or so. With CO2, it is at a neutral 7

Dost thou love life? Then do not squander time, for that is the stuff life is made of.

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post #4 of 5 Old 01-31-2011, 01:15 PM
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1. Buffers to lower or raise PH often contain phosphate and other chemicals, which promote algae. (ie, give algae an edge, even over plants. Plants need balance to outcompete algae, and adding those chemicals makes it impossible.)

2. Limestone raises ph. Definately don't want that.

If you want to lower Ph, I would use peat. Might need to increase the light a bit at the some time, since peat will color the water. I would start out with a couple spoonfulls of granulated peat (from your LFS) in your filter and see how it goes.

What's your Kh? If you have a high Kh, then you have no chance to lower ph. (kh 'buffers' the ph and prevents it from changing.)

Originally Posted by Christople View Post
^^ genius

Soil Substrates Guide:
Part 1
--------- Part 2

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post #5 of 5 Old 01-31-2011, 02:21 PM
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Before you start fiddling with water parameter adjustments, we should know some things. What ideal hardness and pH do you want in the tank, and what is the hardness and pH of your source water (presumably tap)?

As others have noted, hardness is a big factor in pH as the two are generally linked. If you need to know the hardness of your tap water, contact the water supply people; some have websites but if not they can tell you as what is in your water is public info. Get the GH (general hardness) and KH (carbonate hardness) if you can, and the numbers. Then we will go from there.

I certainly concur with previous advice not to use any of the adjusting chemicals; they may or may not work, and the result can be fluctuating pH which is far worse for the fish. The hardness is tied to this.


Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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