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Hi, any suggestions on the best way to lower pH and soften water? My water is pretty hard, and the pH is about 8.0. I bought pH "neutralizer," which is a powder you mix in the water to bring pH to 7.0. However, this doesn't seem to be making any change after a week. What is the most effective way to lower pH? How can I soften my water a bit? Thanks!
 

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do frequent water changes using distilled/spring/ro water...thats what i did...i filled my tank with tap water initially, but the ph was so high i changed to using spring/distilled water for the changes and after about a week the ph came down...you dont want it to come down to fast cuz it will stress your fish. also, i wouldnt recommend using those chemical products, they mostly dont work and turn your tank into chemical soup which is bad for your fish. there are natural ways to bring it down. good luck

bri
 

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There are also water conditioners that you can buy which will remove chemicals from your water. However, if your water is really hard it might not be effective enough. We use TetraAqua brand AquaSafe. It's a liquid. It works well, but our water isn't incredibly hard either. :)
 

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Should make a note, problem is if your not careful when mixing that RO/distilled water with tank water can really mess up the tank and cause a ph crash when ammonia gets in the tank, fish do well and chances are already apapted to your waters as it is...
 

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i filled my tank with tap water, and then used spring water when doing my water changes and i never had a problem, my ammonia spiked during cycling but since then ive had nothing. i never knew about that.
 

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I use R/O water, its the one thing that is so critical to a quality setup!
You can get by with out CO2 but you have to be in complete control of what you put into your tank water chemistry wise.
 

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Lowering pH seems to me like a chemistry project. I believe you also need to work with kH and gH, but I've always been confused about it. Ever since our water supply company changed to Lake Michigan water, our pH is a nice 7.4, so I never really had to mess with it.

Succesful methods of lowering pH...
1. Pre-mix RO and tap water before pouring into the tank to gradually lower pH.
2. Pre-mix acids, such as Muriatic acid and your tap water. Muriatic acid is cheap, but a dangerous chemical to work with since it is a weakened state of Hydrocholoric acid contained in water.
3. Use woods that release tannins. Tannins will usually turn your water brown in color, like the color of tea.
4. Using presurized CO2.
 

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Well i would use a ph lowering conditioner- that way you wont do any drastic damage, adding CO2 will lower ph, by adding co2 you are creating carbonic acid, however unless you have a kit which is slow and cumbersome or, a ph probe which is quick and consistent, you will be shooting blind.
I saved for a ph controller for my CO2- lazy i know but it takes the stress off, you just set the Ph and the CO2 keeps it at that level= happy plants + happy fish!
 

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Why are you trying to lower your ph?

Ive never done any changing to ph. all my tanks are 7.4 other than my salts. If you do a proper aclimation with the fish you shouldnt have a problem keeping fish in your tap water unless you have high minerals like in a lot of well water.
 

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I'll agree with the question as to why lower the pH? What kind of fish are you keeping? There are many safe ways to soften water, but be careful not to make drastic changes, as the fish won't be able to handle it.
Adding peat moss to the filter will also soften pH, and it happens gradually, and safely. There is nothing dangerous to leech into the tank this way, nothing to measure, and no way to "overdose" a chemical.
It's important to know what fish are in the tank before lowering pH, though, as some fish cannot handle the softer water.
 
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