Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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Austin 05-14-2010 12:48 PM

How to get your PH lower?
Does anyone know of a way to make your PH around 6.5-7? Somewhere that angelfish like? My tap is about 8 or maybe a little higher.

redchigh 05-14-2010 01:27 PM

Well the first thing I would try is just set up the tank.

Add lots of driftwood to the tank and let it sit for a while. Then test the PH.
If its not low enough, then add a bit of Peat to the filter. (a tsp or so.). Let it run a couple days, and test it.
Follor the process until either you can't see in the water, or the PH is right. Angelfish like the brown-tinted water- their natural habitat is a jungle/forest river with lots of organic debri- thats what you're replicating.
The humic and tannic acid (tannins) have beneficial affects on angels health.

As a last resort, you may have to buy a RO unit or buy RO water.

Austin 05-14-2010 01:29 PM

Won't adding peat shock them when I do water changes and add in 8 PH water? The peat won't be able to change it that quickly right? I'd probably have to use RO water. Because I don't really wan t the water brown...

redchigh 05-14-2010 02:58 PM

Well I don't think a 20-30% water change will shock them.

And the water won't be brown like coffee, just a very slight tinge, like really really weak tea.
It's good for the fish... RO water has its own problems- It has literally no elements in it, which may require you to add something like blackwater extract or peat anyway.

You could try something like a brita water filter... Might absorb some of the metals out so its around 7.

If it was me, peat is really the best way to go.

Mikaila31 05-14-2010 03:05 PM

I think brita is just a carbon filter, an probably not going to effect the pH. Drift wood, peat, or RO are your only options. Or find a local breeder.

Austin 05-14-2010 03:49 PM

Can angelfish adapt and live happily/breed in 8 PH water? I keep some in another tank and they are fine but i just dunno if they breed. So by finding a local breeder u mean they CAN adapt and be ok?

Byron 05-14-2010 07:20 PM

If memory serves me, your water is quite hard, meaning the KH and GH are high. KH is what buffers pH and resists attempts to lower it. The harder the water, the less the effect of "natural" methods like peat and wood will be. I've never had to worry about this, having very soft water out of the tap, but if I did have this issue I would absolutely get a RO unit. It is far more reliable. Though initial cost is high, long-term you would need to buy a lot of peat to lower the pH significantly, and it wears out, faster the harder the water.

Now, having said that, if the angel fish are tank raised (most in stores are) they seem to manage with the pH in the 7's. And aquarists have them spawn; several memebers here have. Some fish are more adaptable than others. I'm not saying angels will live normal long lives in a tank with a pH of 7.8 or 8, but conversely I've no idea if it negatively affects them either. If you were dealing with wild-caught fish that would be a totally different matter.


Austin 05-14-2010 10:05 PM

Ah, I have some angels that I've had one for maybe 5 years in this water. It also has spawned with 2 different females (both died tho somehow) but I just didn't know if that was a fluke or not. If I do decide to get angels, I will probably just buy store bought RO water. :/ Now that I think about it, even if it's only 25 cents a gallon (its prolly more), it'll be about 5 dollars for 20 gallons so idk what I'll do. I'll think about buying an RO unit or something.

Byron, do you know if it is ok to start my plants in 8 PH water but then get down to 7 later on? Prolly is... but will it stunt their growth for a bit?

Byron 05-15-2010 03:10 PM

pH does not have as much effect on most plants as it would on fish.
Some plants do react to significant changes; crypts will usually melt, but if left alone generally grow back as the roots do not die.

Remember though that each degree of pH equals a ten-fold change in the acidity/alkalinity. In other words, water with a pH of 8 is 10 times more alkaline than water with a pH of 7, and water with a pH of 6 is ten times more acidic that water with a pH of 7. And a change from 8 to 6 would represent a 100-fold increase in acidity--there is a word for this, my mind is gone again and I can't remember it. For this reason changes in pH should always be gradual over time, if there are fish (and plants) in the aquarium.


Austin 05-15-2010 04:05 PM

Oh, ok, thanks! :) I didn't know that about PH. :O

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