Best options for lowering pH?

Pareeeee

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My pH is over 8 right out of the tap, which obviously makes things a little difficult. What are some good ways of lowering it? I've heard adding catappa or oak leaves is a great, natural way to do so, but I don't really want brown water in my aquarium. Is there something similar that doesn't turn the water like tea?

Thanks!
 

PheonixKingZ

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Driftwood, Peat moss, RO (reverses osmosis) water, etc,

Dirftwood is probably the best, if you don’t want to use chemicals. You can use almond leaves, but they may stain your water.
 

seangee

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Have you tried testing it after standing for 24 hours? Sometimes water companies add stuff to temporarily raise the pH to avoid corroding pipes.

Do you know your KH and GH? pH is not actually as important for fish as many people assume - as long as its stable. KH acts as a pH buffer and if you have a high KH there is nothing you can do to lower your pH. It will drop for a time and then go back up again. This is much worse for the fish than just letting it to its own thing.

And finally what fish are you planning to keep? The KH and GH have a far greater bearing on this than pH.
 

Byron

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Agree with above. You must ascertain the GH and KH of your tap water as these are interconnected to the pH.

If you don't already know them, the GH and KH should be available from your municipal water authority, check their website for water data.
 
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Pareeeee

Pareeeee

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My test kit doesn't have a kH or gH test. It has Ammonia, Nitrite and Nitrate. Yes it is still over 8pH even after sitting for several days. Now, my 10gal does well with this, but I would like to expand the range of fish and plants available to me by lowering it in the 33gal.

Well water with high lime and high iron deposits makes things interesting...
 

Byron

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My test kit doesn't have a kH or gH test. It has Ammonia, Nitrite and Nitrate. Yes it is still over 8pH even after sitting for several days. Now, my 10gal does well with this, but I would like to expand the range of fish and plants available to me by lowering it in the 33gal.

Well water with high lime and high iron deposits makes things interesting...
No point in buying a test you may only use the once. Check the website of your water authority, or just call them. We need the number and their unit of measurement. I and others can easily explain things here, but not until we have the relevant affecting data.

EDIT. Silly me, missed the well water reference...ignore my suggestion. :rolleyes:
 
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essjay

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Well water with high lime and high iron deposits makes things interesting...
Do you have the well water tested? If you do, it may include GH (or hardness or total hardness)

If not you can take a sample of your water to a fish store and ask them to test for GH and KH (though if they use strips you'll get a range rather than a definite number).
 
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Pareeeee

Pareeeee

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Do you have the well water tested? If you do, it may include GH (or hardness or total hardness)

If not you can take a sample of your water to a fish store and ask them to test for GH and KH (though if they use strips you'll get a range rather than a definite number).
I would have to ask my landlords that - if I can ever catch them at home o_o
 
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Pareeeee

Pareeeee

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Oh I missed what you said about the fish store. Yes I could do that at some point when I am able to get to the city - kinda in the 'middle of nowhere' when it comes to LFS's
 

Retired Viking

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I bought a TDS-3 pen meter that will give you your water hardness in PPM. It was not expensive less than 10 USD. You can find them both on E-bay and Amazon. It was right on the money. I also picked up a PH-009(I)A pen meter to test PH. I use RO water to reduce the hardness of my tap water for my soft water tetra tank.
 
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Pareeeee

Pareeeee

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I bought a TDS-3 pen meter that will give you your water hardness in PPM. It was not expensive less than 10 USD. You can find them both on E-bay and Amazon. It was right on the money. I also picked up a PH-009(I)A pen meter to test PH. I use RO water to reduce the hardness of my tap water for for my soft water tetra tank.
Ooh that sounds like a great idea. I will look them up on Amazon! Thanks
 

seangee

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I would not rely on a TDS meter. It is at best only indicative as it measures total dissolved solids. This means everything in the water, but it has no way of knowing the composition of what is in the water. This is likely to be even less accurate with well water.
 

Realpedro

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Agree with above. You must ascertain the GH and KH of your tap water as these are interconnected to the pH.

If you don't already know them, the GH and KH should be available from your municipal water authority, check their website for water data.
OK, water chemistry is a new area for me. My ph for tap water is 8. The municipal water authority lists Gh as 7 grains per gallon (or 120mg/L). That's seems pretty hard. What is Kh?

When I bought my fish, I tried to pay attention to behavioral compatibility and temperature needs, but I didn't think of hardness at all. What kind of problems can overly hard water cause with fish that prefer soft water?
 

essjay

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7 grains per gallon is, as you say, 120 mg/l which is the same as ppm. It also converts to 6.7 dH. The two units used in fishkeeping are ppm and dH - some fish profiles use one, some use the other.

That isn't hard water it is round about the middle of soft.

KH is carbonate hardness, a measure of the amount of carbonates and bicarbonates in the water. These buffer the pH - they stop it changing. If KH is high, there is a lot of buffer which makes it hard to change pH but if KH is very low there isn't much buffer so it is easier to change pH.


When soft water fish are kept in hard water, their bodies still retain the hardness minerals so they end up with calcium deposits in their organs which shortens their lives. When hard water fish are kept in soft water they still carry on excreting the minerals and there's not enough in the water to replace them so they suffer calcium deficiency. This makes them more susceptible to disease.
 

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