12-08-2009, 08:19 AM
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In my view, the best ph is that which you readily have available from the tap. Then research the fish that interest you and see what the recommended ph values are for that fish or fishes.
Making water hard,or more alkaline,is much easier than making water soft or acidic. Many of the products sold to adjust the ph do just what they claim to do although the effects are usually temporary. When effectiveness begins to fall off ,so to speak, then the water will bounce back or try to bounce back to what it was before product was used due to the minerals in the water that act as buffers to resist the change. This makes the water unstable and stresses the fish while also affecting it's internal methods of adjusting to the water (osmoregulation).
Best way to determine what your ph values are ,is to run a bucket of tapwater and let it set overnight . Then test the pH or have it tested by someone else. That number will tell those who can recommend fish,which fish would be best suited for your particular source water or the water you will be using for weekly water changes.
I will let others speak as to adjusting the ph for as stated,,I haven't had the need or much success with doing so.