Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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-   -   Lessen PH with store bought chemicals? (http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/freshwater-tropical-fish/lessen-ph-store-bought-chemicals-115336/)

otter 09-24-2012 02:18 PM

Lessen PH with store bought chemicals?
 
Hello,
My tap water has an oddly high ph of 9, and it is a problem.
I have tried oak leaves, but I hate the way they look in the tank, and they turn the water yellow.

I was thinking of getting those chemicals that you can find in some pet stores that lessen PH, but I have heard that they can be bad, because they replace some elements with other toxic ones.

Do you have anything to say about them.. your experience, or tips on how to lower water ph in alternate ways?

Oh yes, and my tanks are not salt, they are cold water/tropical

DragonFyre14 09-24-2012 04:19 PM

I don't have much experience with changing pH but from what i heard i wouldn't mess with it. You have to be pretty precise, otherwise fluctuations can kill the fish. really, most fish should be able to adapt to the pH (as long as it isn't really far out the range they prefer.)

Byron 09-27-2012 07:34 PM

I agree, it is usually best to select fish that will thrive in the water parameters out of the tap. But it is possible to adjust the parameters, provided it is done correctly.

The chemical issue with these pH adjusters is a valid concern; they also add to the TDS (total dissolved solids) which is hard on soft water fish. But they also frequently fail to do the job, and this is because of the relationship of pH with the hardness, the GH and especially KH (carbonate hardness or Alkalinity). Knowing the GH and KH of your tap water [you can ascertain this from the water board] is essential before using any method to lower (or raise) pH. You can read more here:
http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/f...quarium-73276/

When the GH and particularly the KH are high, as they likely are if the pH is 9, the pH adjusters will lower the pH but within 24 hours the buffering of the KH will have it back. And this back and forth is very stressful on any fish, and weakens their immune system and often causes premature demise.

Byron.

DragonFyre14 09-27-2012 07:40 PM

I'm not sure how well it works (especially if there is a high GH and KH which if i understand correctly may conteract this...) but i've heard driftwood can help lower ph. some people use it to lower their PH. I haven't added my driftwood to my tank yet, so I can't tell you how much it lowers the ph by.

Byron 09-27-2012 07:57 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by DragonFyre14 (Post 1258428)
I'm not sure how well it works (especially if there is a high GH and KH which if i understand correctly may conteract this...) but i've heard driftwood can help lower ph. some people use it to lower their PH. I haven't added my driftwood to my tank yet, so I can't tell you how much it lowers the ph by.

There is a limit to the effect. Wood, dry leaves, peat are all organic matter that release tannins in to the water over time, and these tend to soften the water (the GH lowers) and the pH lowers with it due to the acid. But the extent to which this occurs depends upon the water volume, the amount of organic matter, and particularly the initial GH and especially KH. If the GH is high, i.e., hard water, with a high KH, the effect of a tank full of wood will be very minimal. Whereas in soft water with a low KH, a few pieces might effect a drop of several decimal points in pH. Again, the article I linked previously goes into this relationship.

Byron.


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