High pH vs peat moss vs cabron filtration
So my pH is around 7.8 :( I have some platys and rummynose tetras right now. Plan to add some kuhli loaches and killifish. So I need to keep my pH at about 7 exactly. I also have low alkalinity and high hardness...uh...I"m not sure exactly what all this means but at LFS they recommended that I drop the pH. I was planning to use peat moss planters for some of my plants because peat moss lowers pH right? But I was told that I can't use carbon filtration w/ peat moss bc the carbon sucks it up (I have power filter). I'd like to stay away from chemicals if at all possible, any other suggestions?
High hardness means your water has a high mineral content and thus a high carbonate hardness. This means that your pH will stay above 7.
Lowering your alkalinity (Carbonate Hardness) will also in contrast cause the pH to lower as less calcium is acting as a buffer.
An easier way to reduce pH is by using pure Reverse Osmosis Deionized water (RO/DI). This will contain virtually no calcium and therefore nothing to keep the pH up. RO/DI water can be found at fish stores that sell Marine (saltwater) fish, some supermarkets or you make your own with a bought filter system.
BARE in mind that Peat Moss will likely cloud your water for some time with tannins. The lowering of pH is difficult to do and keep stable.
What size is your tank?
It's a 22 gal. What about black water extract? Is this more easily controlled?
Something like this may work
I'm in line with what has been suggested. But I would first look at the fish, as you have some incompatible fish in terms of water parameters and this should be examined before you start tampering with the water.
Livebearers including platy need mineral in the water, and pH above 7. What you have may be ideal for the platy now; you haven't given the number for the GH (in ppm or dGH) and that would be worth knowing. You can probably get this from your water supply people, they may even have a website.
The GH is just as important as the pH. Not only due to the relationship between these, but GH affects fish as does pH. I've already mentioned that the platy need this, but the rummynose are exactly the opposite; they need soft acidic water or they simply will not last long-term. Most rummys are wild caught and they occur in very soft, acidic water.
My suggestion is to decide on the fish, then adjust (if necessary) the GH and pH together. If you want more background on these and how they relate, have a read of this:
We also have fish profiles, second tab from the left in the blue bar across the top of the page. Check the profiles for the mentioned fish, the preferred water parameter range is included for each species. If the name is used the same in posts as in the profile it will shade, as it did with Platy, and here is the rummy, Hemigrammus bleheri. The other species are in the profiles too.
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