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-   -   How can I lower pH? (http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/beginner-freshwater-aquarium/how-can-i-lower-ph-18628/)

ruthirons 10-15-2008 03:50 PM

How can I lower pH?
 
Hi,
I have a 160L tank that has been running sucessfully for around 3 months. My ammonia and nitrite levels are zero and I have 20 community fish. I cant get the pH down from 7.8 (sometimes even higher) and I know that is way too high. I have 2 really big pieces of bogwood and green, black and blue filter sponges. I dont want to use proper pH because I have lots of really nice plants that are growing very well and proper pH buffers phosphate which the plants need to grow. Is there anything else I can use? By the way, the water is coming out of the tap at 7.6!

iamntbatman 10-15-2008 09:47 PM

What sort of fish do you have? 7.8 isn't over-the-top high, and most community fish can adapt well to it. If you have wild-caught fish or discus or something of the sort, lowering it might be more important, but using chemicals to lower it will likely cause a lot more headache (and likely dead fish). How long has the bogwood been in the tank? That can lower your pH but that can take a while to happen. You can also try using peat in your filter to lower pH.

ruthirons 10-16-2008 10:40 AM

I have neons, rummey nosed tetras, guppies, swordtails, dwarf gouramis, clown loaches, a female siamese fighter and a plec. I had a male fighter too but it died. The bog wood has been in for three months. Does peat in the filter make the water brown or would it be ok?

iamntbatman 10-16-2008 11:34 AM

It will make the water tea-colored but it won't be cloudy. Some people (me included) like the way it looks. Using carbon in your filter will help fight this coloration, but it might also work against the pH-lowering abilities of the peat.

Chrisseh 10-16-2008 01:22 PM

I think that your pH is in a good range. 7.8 is a tad basic, but I don't see if having ill effects on the fish. Are they acting normal? My Rainbow tank is running at 7.6 and their colors are becoming so beautiful.

SinCrisis 10-23-2008 12:15 PM

i have a similar problem, my ph out of tap is 7.8 and in my tank its 8.1. Ive been trying to lower it with driftwood, but it also doesnt work. My water has softener in it to remove excess calcium which i need to put back in for my snails but i need to lower teh ph before i can add calcium which will raise my ph.

Kim 10-23-2008 02:07 PM

I have found that you really can't lower high pH (unless you use r/o water which is $$). The buffering capability is just too high. If your fish are doing fine then I would just leave it as is, because fooling with it is worse for your fish than having a stable pH that is a little high.

iamntbatman 10-23-2008 02:21 PM

High pH and hard water don't always go hand-in-hand, but it happens more often than not. Before you mess around with things like driftwood or peat (that is, if you want them strictly for their pH-lowering abilities) I suggest you get your water tested for hardness. If the water is very hard, the water will have a lot of buffering capacity and therefore the pH might be very hard to decrease. However, there's the chance that your water has a high pH and is still very soft, in which case lowering the pH can be much easier to do.

FuzzAz 10-23-2008 02:42 PM

thats not too bad
 
7.8 isnt so bad, I would leve it alone and just keep constistant in whatever you do. Mine was 8.2-4 and I have a similar population, aside from worring about it there wasnt really any problems. I tried fixing it but soon gave up because nothing workd well. I have recently started injecting CO2 for the plants and have found my high ph to be somewhat of a nice thing because at 30ppm of CO2 the alcalinity of the water buffers it to about 7.2 which is muy bueno.

flight50 10-23-2008 05:43 PM

if your fish are fine, leave it alone. they have adapted. your toxins are in check so no danger there. now as the above post stated your parameters can vary and just because part A is one thing, don't assume part B or C is also something else. My tank is a prime example. My tap is 7.6, kh is 4-5 and my gh is off the charts. Last time i attempted it was over 50 degrees using the AP water testing kit. But if you want to lower your ph your choices are slim and already mentioned. Using straight RO isn't good. though If you use straight RO its dead water until you add back in your trace element. Or you can use a mixed ratio of RO and tap. You can also collect rain water, filter it for about 1-2 weeks with active carbon and aerate the water. You can use non-chemical peat. Peat does change your water and i agree it does look kinda cool and more natural. peat can be unpredictable though. its a trial and era thing to get it right. high ph in a planted tank can aslo be lowerd by co2 as mention above. a pressurized co2 kit is best and most reliable. to do this, you need 20-30ppm of co2 to lower your ph .6-1.0. co2 can lower it quite quickly so start out slow considering you have fish already in your tank that have adapted to the 7.8.


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