06-02-2010, 06:40 PM
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My main point in responding is to warn you against the pH adjusting chemicals. They usually don't work because the pH is determined (largely) by the carbonate hardness of the water which buffers it against changes. Adding a pH low product will drop it, but the naturally carbonate buffers will kick in and raise it back. Adding more just repeats. The fluctuating pH is worse on any fish than a stable one that may be somewhat out of the preferred range. If the afore-mentioned back and forth continues, at some point the acid being added may be sufficient to offset the carbonate buffering capability, resulting in a very sudden pH crash, and dead fish.
There are safe methods to lower pH, such as RO (reverse osmosis) or even peat and wood, but these depend upon the hardness; the latter is fine if it is low, but the harder the water the more peat and more often it needs replacing, so RO would be better.
As for the present water, rift lake cichlids would be fine, and most of the livebearers could handle this, although I'd like to know the actual hardness numbers first. If the hardness is low, the pH will naturally fall over time, and one can work with this to effectively lower pH.
There are a lot of inter-related issues, but the first thing we need to know is the actual hardness. Your water board should have this data available, and it will be more accurate than our tests.