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post #1 of 9 Old 03-07-2019, 11:14 PM Thread Starter
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Help with Lowering my pH

I have been trying to lower my pH to 7.0-7.2 (from 8.0). I have done quite a few readings about water parameters and would prefer to attempt through the Tap/RO mix option (instead of using peat moss/driftwood/buffers/chemical). However, I have not been successful. So I am looking for a suggestion or (at least) a confirmation that my effort is heading in the right direction.

Here are the numbers:
(pH/KH/GH). KH/GH are in dKH/dGH respectively
Water source:
Tap: 7.4/12/20
RO: 6.4/0/0
1 tap:2 RO mix: 7.0/5/8

My tank (10-gallon/I know it’s small but am enjoying the hobby ��)
Date - pH/KH/GH
2/23/19 – 8.0/9/18 (Starting point)
2/26/19 – 30% water change with 1:2 Tap:RO mix
2/27/19 – 8.0/7/13
2/28/19 – 8.0/7/13
3/1/19 – 8.0/8/16
3/2/19 – 8.0/8/16
3/3/19 – 30% water change with 1:2 Tap:RO mix
3/4/19 – 8.0/6/11
3/7/19 – 8.0/6/10

As you can see, I can reduce the water KH/GH but the pH remains the same. My understanding is that as KH becomes lower, pH should go down as well.

Should I give it more time since the fish/food waste will make the water to be more acid?

Is my understanding of this process completely wrong?

Is there anything I need to do differently?

I hope I give enough information. However, please let me know if you need more info.

PS: I don’t have any plant except for 2 moss balls.

TIA!

Last edited by adriant42; 03-07-2019 at 11:16 PM.
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post #2 of 9 Old 03-08-2019, 07:38 AM
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I would go on youtube and search to see how discus owners do it, if there's no response here.
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post #3 of 9 Old 03-08-2019, 07:46 AM
You should give peat moss a try. I found this lowered my PH from 8.3 to 7.6 (and I did not use a lot). Just put some in a filter bag. Bog wood did nothing for me. You could also mix rain water in as it has hardly any minerals.



Also, leave you tap water in a bucket for a day and then test it. I find my tap water comes out low, but goes up after a day. Water companies but all sorts of gasses in the water which will gas off when out of the tap.



...And what substrate are you using?
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post #4 of 9 Old 03-08-2019, 10:42 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ben199131837575 View Post
You should give peat moss a try. I found this lowered my PH from 8.3 to 7.6 (and I did not use a lot). Just put some in a filter bag. Bog wood did nothing for me. You could also mix rain water in as it has hardly any minerals.



Also, leave you tap water in a bucket for a day and then test it. I find my tap water comes out low, but goes up after a day. Water companies but all sorts of gasses in the water which will gas off when out of the tap.



...And what substrate are you using?
Did your water get brown using peat moss? Did you cure it before putting it in your filter?

That's a good idea. I will do that and report back.

I am using Gravel. I tested it using Vinegar to see if it released Calcium. It did not release any foam.

Thanks!

Last edited by adriant42; 03-08-2019 at 10:45 AM.
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post #5 of 9 Old 03-08-2019, 12:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adriant42 View Post
I have been trying to lower my pH to 7.0-7.2 (from 8.0). I have done quite a few readings about water parameters and would prefer to attempt through the Tap/RO mix option (instead of using peat moss/driftwood/buffers/chemical). However, I have not been successful. So I am looking for a suggestion or (at least) a confirmation that my effort is heading in the right direction.

Here are the numbers:
(pH/KH/GH). KH/GH are in dKH/dGH respectively
Water source:
Tap: 7.4/12/20
RO: 6.4/0/0
1 tap:2 RO mix: 7.0/5/8

My tank (10-gallon/I know it’s small but am enjoying the hobby ��)
Date - pH/KH/GH
2/23/19 – 8.0/9/18 (Starting point)
2/26/19 – 30% water change with 1:2 Tap:RO mix
2/27/19 – 8.0/7/13
2/28/19 – 8.0/7/13
3/1/19 – 8.0/8/16
3/2/19 – 8.0/8/16
3/3/19 – 30% water change with 1:2 Tap:RO mix
3/4/19 – 8.0/6/11
3/7/19 – 8.0/6/10

As you can see, I can reduce the water KH/GH but the pH remains the same. My understanding is that as KH becomes lower, pH should go down as well.

Should I give it more time since the fish/food waste will make the water to be more acid?

Is my understanding of this process completely wrong?

Is there anything I need to do differently?

I hope I give enough information. However, please let me know if you need more info.

PS: I don’t have any plant except for 2 moss balls.

TIA!
Hi adriant42,

You are on the right lines. As KH reduces, so does pH and vice versa. Now, if I start with tank water KH=3.5dH, then pH=7.08. By adding sodium bicarbonate, the KH will increase. So, when KH=5.0dH, the resultant pH=7.39. This would suggest to me that you could try lowering KH to 3.5dH and you may get the result you're looking for. I add the cautionary 'may' because water is complex stuff. Although I have some academic qualifications in chemistry, fully understanding the behaviour of water is a specialist area. I would also add that accurately measuring the pH of RO water is tricky as it has a very low ionic strength (i.e. virtually nothing dissolved in it) and requires specialist (i.e. very expensive) lab equipment.

Let me know how you get on.

JPC

Last edited by jaypeecee; 03-08-2019 at 12:44 PM.
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post #6 of 9 Old 03-08-2019, 02:49 PM
I was expecting it to turn my water my brown, but it stayed clear.
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post #7 of 9 Old 03-08-2019, 05:31 PM
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High pH is an indicator of low CO2.


My tanks are planted and have pH in your ranges yet even fish like tetras which supposedly "require" low ph soft water thrive and live for years.


Peat moss is in my tanks also with the main effect to keep KH and GH constant (4dkh 9 for degrees general hardness). Without the peat Kh and Gh rise to high levels and neon tetras don't do well.


I would not change the Ph. I have not heard of any fish that doesn't thrive in a low co2 and elevated oxygen environment.


my .02

maintain Fw and marine system with a strong emphasis on balanced, stabilized system that as much as possible are self substaning.

have maintained FW systems for up to 9 years with descendants from original fish and marine aquariums for up to 8 years.

With no water changes, untreated tap water, inexpensive lighting by first starting the tank with live plants (FW) or macro algae( marine)

see: https://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/a...-build-295530/
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post #8 of 9 Old 03-08-2019, 05:39 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jaypeecee View Post
Hi adriant42,

You are on the right lines. As KH reduces, so does pH and vice versa. Now, if I start with tank water KH=3.5dH, then pH=7.08. By adding sodium bicarbonate, the KH will increase. So, when KH=5.0dH, the resultant pH=7.39. This would suggest to me that you could try lowering KH to 3.5dH and you may get the result you're looking for. I add the cautionary 'may' because water is complex stuff. Although I have some academic qualifications in chemistry, fully understanding the behaviour of water is a specialist area. I would also add that accurately measuring the pH of RO water is tricky as it has a very low ionic strength (i.e. virtually nothing dissolved in it) and requires specialist (i.e. very expensive) lab equipment.

Let me know how you get on.

JPC
That's great data. I will play with the Tap/RO mix to get 3.5dKH target and see what happens. Yes, your disclaimer is well noted :)

Thanks!


Quote:
Originally Posted by ben199131837575 View Post
I was expecting it to turn my water my brown, but it stayed clear.
I will keep peat moss as an option. I am thinking continue the Tap/RO experiment first before I change method.

Thanks!


Quote:
Originally Posted by beaslbob View Post
High pH is an indicator of low CO2.


My tanks are planted and have pH in your ranges yet even fish like tetras which supposedly "require" low ph soft water thrive and live for years.


Peat moss is in my tanks also with the main effect to keep KH and GH constant (4dkh 9 for degrees general hardness). Without the peat Kh and Gh rise to high levels and neon tetras don't do well.


I would not change the Ph. I have not heard of any fish that doesn't thrive in a low co2 and elevated oxygen environment.


my .02
This is also another good advice and an option. I am afraid I am suffering from OCD :) But, I certainly know my limit. I am steering away from non-natural method. If none works, I will call it a day.

Thanks!
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post #9 of 9 Old 03-08-2019, 05:53 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ben199131837575 View Post
I was expecting it to turn my water my brown, but it stayed clear.
Ben, in case I decide to try this method, which peat moss (brand/type/link) did you use?
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