Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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tah1795 01-30-2011 03:59 PM

Planted tank, but need to lower PH
I have a planted tank with a few fish, I want to lower the PH so I can raise some Angel fish.
I was told to buy proper ph 6.5 by API but I just noticed it says not for use in planted tanks.:-?
What will happen? What do I do to lower PH in a planted tank?

Blabomb 01-30-2011 08:27 PM

Don't quote me on this but I have heard that limestone will lower pH?
Although I would wait for some other opinions before acting on this.

DanMarion 01-30-2011 08:34 PM

I wouldn't recommend using the Proper PH stuff. With that stuff, your PH will swing down FAST, and go back up just as fast when you perform a water change. This can stress out the fish.

One alternative for lowering PH in a planted tank is CO2 injection, but I would recommend doing alot of research before you make that move. It can be spendy for the high tech models, and the DIY CO2 systems are maintenance intensive.

My show tank naturally has a PH of around 8 or so. With CO2, it is at a neutral 7

redchigh 01-31-2011 01:15 PM

1. Buffers to lower or raise PH often contain phosphate and other chemicals, which promote algae. (ie, give algae an edge, even over plants. Plants need balance to outcompete algae, and adding those chemicals makes it impossible.)

2. Limestone raises ph. Definately don't want that.

If you want to lower Ph, I would use peat. Might need to increase the light a bit at the some time, since peat will color the water. I would start out with a couple spoonfulls of granulated peat (from your LFS) in your filter and see how it goes.

What's your Kh? If you have a high Kh, then you have no chance to lower ph. (kh 'buffers' the ph and prevents it from changing.)

Byron 01-31-2011 02:21 PM

Before you start fiddling with water parameter adjustments, we should know some things. What ideal hardness and pH do you want in the tank, and what is the hardness and pH of your source water (presumably tap)?

As others have noted, hardness is a big factor in pH as the two are generally linked. If you need to know the hardness of your tap water, contact the water supply people; some have websites but if not they can tell you as what is in your water is public info. Get the GH (general hardness) and KH (carbonate hardness) if you can, and the numbers. Then we will go from there.

I certainly concur with previous advice not to use any of the adjusting chemicals; they may or may not work, and the result can be fluctuating pH which is far worse for the fish. The hardness is tied to this.


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