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pH 8.5! Now What?
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fishy me
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Joined: 22 Nov 2006

PostPosted: 2006.12.28(Thu)19:43    Post subject: pH 8.5! Now What? Reply with quote

I just tested my tap water with my test kit and it was pH 8.5!!! I would like to have a school of cardinals but I read that they survive in at highest 7.0 pH. Can I use pH down to lower the pH and hardness? because I don't want to use RO water. Also, if I can find peat (where do I find it) will it stain the water? Would I have to use activated carbon to get it out? If anyone can help that would be appreciated
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FiftyCalibre
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Joined: 09 Mar 2006
Location: Sydney

PostPosted: 2006.12.28(Thu)21:06    Post subject: Reply with quote

I use buffer powders to make my pH at a stable 7.0

with pH down, you will have to calculate how much to use, and keep retesting etc. Buffers are a lot easier
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Minsc
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Joined: 03 Jan 2006
Location: Framingham, Mass

PostPosted: 2006.12.28(Thu)21:34    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tap water is often stripped of CO2 to raise the pH. Try testing water that has been sitting out for 3 days.

Also, plenty of fish considered soft/acidic water have been kept successfully in high hardness/pH.
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fishy me
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Joined: 22 Nov 2006

PostPosted: 2006.12.28(Thu)21:52    Post subject: Reply with quote

Is it something like Proper pH? I checked the Petsmart website and it says it is a powder that "sets" your water's pH to a certain point. For tetras, corys,otos, and a betta (something like that) what would be best to use?
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unissuh
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Joined: 29 Mar 2005
Location: Melbourne, Australia

PostPosted: 2006.12.28(Thu)22:37    Post subject: Reply with quote

fishy me wrote:
Can I use pH down to lower the pH and hardness?


No. 'pH down' is either an acid or a phosphate based buffer. The former will lower your pH unpredictably (and unstably) while the latter will adjust pH to about 7 (more stable). Neither will affect hardness.

fishy me wrote:
because I don't want to use RO water.


In my opinion, RO is the easiest and best choice.

fishy me wrote:
Also, if I can find peat (where do I find it) will it stain the water? Would I have to use activated carbon to get it out?


Yes. Try your LFS, not sure where else you can get it (there has to be a cheaper place) since I never needed large quantities of it. Yes (if you want, the staining won't do any harm).


What is your KH? That is what I would be focusing on modifying to alter pH, it is the 'predominant' buffer system we all know and love (refer to the article on KH and pH). You can't test the amount of a phosphate based buffer in your system if you use it.
Also, GH has more of an 'effect' on fish than pH (at least in my experience) - this is why I say that using RO water would be the best and easiest method because it will solve both high pH/KH and GH problems.
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loveforfish
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Joined: 28 Dec 2006

PostPosted: 2006.12.29(Fri)1:19    Post subject: Reply with quote

my fish tank is on its 2nd day cycle and the pH is at 8.5 also, I then took a pH test of my betta fish water from his bowl and it messured 7.0? same water I used for my aquarium only difference is I put bubble buddies in the bettas new water.
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fishlover888
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Joined: 20 Dec 2006

PostPosted: 2006.12.29(Fri)8:40    Post subject: Reply with quote

Try Discu Buffer or Acid Buffer. It works for me.

pH down will never work unless you have RO water. Just ignore it.
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fishy me
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Joined: 22 Nov 2006

PostPosted: 2006.12.29(Fri)10:42    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just have a couple more question.

Should I just forget pH down?

With the peat, does it keep lowering hardness or does it stop at some point? Do you have to take it out?

Is the powder buffer better than pH down?

I'll do some gh and KH tests today and tell you guys later.
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unissuh
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Joined: 29 Mar 2005
Location: Melbourne, Australia

PostPosted: 2006.12.29(Fri)10:55    Post subject: Reply with quote

loveforfish wrote:
my fish tank is on its 2nd day cycle and the pH is at 8.5 also, I then took a pH test of my betta fish water from his bowl and it messured 7.0? same water I used for my aquarium only difference is I put bubble buddies in the bettas new water.


I'd say it's one of faulty test kit, user error, low CO2 levels in tap water (CO2 acidifies water, equilibrium will bring CO2 levels up after it comes out of the tap) or very poor long-term maintenance (leading to high nitrate and organic buildup which acidifies the water). Possibly could be something else, those were just off the top of my head...need more details to figure it out for sure.

fishlover888 wrote:
Try Discu Buffer or Acid Buffer. It works for me.


Although fishy me hasn't posted GH or KH readings, generally high GH goes hand in hand with high KH/pH. The problem with buffers and pH down is that it doesn't solve the GH problem (which is actually more important than pH).

fishy me wrote:
Should I just forget pH down?


In my opinion, yes. If you are going to use it, at least understand how it works and it's limitations.

fishy me wrote:
With the peat, does it keep lowering hardness or does it stop at some point? Do you have to take it out?


No, there is no real 'end' to peat softening of the water. The peat will continually soften the water as long as there is hardness in it, or until it 'runs out' and loses effectiveness. Just put it in the filter and change it every so often - you will have to monitor your water parameters.

fishy me wrote:
Is the powder buffer better than pH down?


Marginally. Still doesn't address the probable high GH issue.
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fishy me
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Joined: 22 Nov 2006

PostPosted: 2006.12.29(Fri)12:43    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just tested my tap water. The GH is 5.5 and the KH was 13.5. I think that's a little high...
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