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Discussion Starter #1
Any suggestions?

My tank has been a pretty steady 8.0 pH. Not sure of the other hardness/softness parameters. All of my amm/nitrate levels have been steady for a couple of months now (0/0/5). (Tank is 3ish months old).

I would like to get the pH down to 7.8. Nothing too drastic.

Do my live plants play any role in the pH of the tank?

Do plant fertilizers generally have any impact on pH? (I'm currently using Flourish Excel which is I think a carbon additive of some sort).
 

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First off (and I honestly will NOT care what anyone else on here say's) do NOT use chemicals offered out there. That'll cause too drastic swings up & down and that's totally NOT good for your fish at all.

Neither your plants nor your Excel will up the pH (what is the PH from the tap water)?

What worked well for me to lower it for my Killi's and also darken the water a lil to make it more natural for them was peat and bunch of driftwood. You can either add peat in a lil sock or alike into your filter (depending what kinda filter you have) or hang it in the tank. I had a mixture of using peat under my gravel as well as having some hanging in the tank. That in my eyes is the safest method to slowly lower pH a LITTLE (It will not lower it from 8 down to 2).

Also keep in mind what other tank decor you have: Some rocks will give off hardness and make your tank water harder then the tap, in doing so its automatically upping your pH.

In the end: What fish do you have in there? You may be better up leaving it as it is unless you're housing the kinda Tetra's that really love soft acidic water.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
It wouldn't be for my tetras, it would be for my bristlenose. I've read that they prefer a lower pH (I've read that they prefer anywhere from 7 to 7.6 max, not sure what to believe). I just want to make sure he has ideal water conditions because, um, he's my favorite fish.

I've read about using peat and it says that you supposed to use it to treat the water outside the tank, and then put the water in the tank after it levels out because the pH can be a bit unsteady at first. I wonder if putting the peat in your tank has the same impact? I've also read that it has a minimal impact on the pH, lowering it by only .2-.4.

How much do you use, and where do you buy it?
 

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I got my peat at the pet store.
I used both methods, I had peat in the tank and I had a secondary "sock" stuffed with peat that I'd use for my w/c in the Killi tank, I'd fill up the necessary buckets with water & conditioner 1 day prior and hang the sock in it and refill the tank with it.

That said, it will stain your water slightly brownish, just so you're aware of that!

To tell you the truth, I'd leave your water as it is. Most fish we're getting at the store are captivity bread fish and are much more tolerant then the wild caught one's. If you begin "messing" with your water now because of a 0.5 difference you're more then likely going to do more harm then good, ultering the pH has to be done super carefully to avoid permanent up's & down's in your tank's pH cause these swings stress fish pretty badly. So yea I'd leave it as it is to be honest with you.
 
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