How to raise or lower PH

myrxn

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So I have a 30x30x30 (12inches) tank ready to be set up but I'm not till I know exactly what I'm doing BUT if I have that tank planted with all sorts, it will affect my ph I think because I will have more plants then fish, I'm getting a betta, different types of small fish such as red cherry shrimp, blue area,. yellow golden back shrimp etc. Then also two ramshorns snails, now I know that shrimps breed and so do ramshorn snails but that's okay because if I get too many I will sell them or take them to a good fish store close to me so I'm not worried about that but because I will have more plants then fish because shrimp and snails won't make much ammonia in the tank and the plants will suck up the PH, how do I raise it? and how do I lower it? if I needed too. I just want to know what everyone here thinks I should do? Because I wanna get this really right


Then I kinda wanna know the same with the nitrate, dGH and dKH. On lowering it and raising it. Because I don't know if I will ever need to raise or lower and I'd prefer to know before I set it up, thx everyone
 
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itiwhetu

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I would just wait and see. Do consistent water changes, and monitor the pH etc. Then you can adjust more or less to keep the tank where you want it. This is only a small tank so should be easy to do. You can remove some plant or put more in until you get it balanced
 

mcordelia

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with pH, how much it will change and how much you are able to adjust it depends on the hardness of your water. Very soft water is susceptible to pH swings, whereas hard water can be near impossible to change the pH of. In general, harder water tends to have a higher pH and softer water tends to have a lower pH, but there are exceptions to that rule as well, depending on the mineral composition of your water.
I would not attempt to adjust pH via chemical means, since that is always just temporary and will lead to pH swings in your tank. If you need to adjust pH, you can decrease it by adding organics such as driftwood, peat moss, and plants to your tank. you can increase pH (via increasing dissolved minerals/hardness) by adding crushed coral, limestone or cuttlefish bone to the tank. In general, fish prefer a stable pH even if it is slightly out of their "preferred" pH range rather than a constantly fluctuating pH. like @itiwhetu said, keep an eye on your tank pH for a few weeks and see where it settles. If it ends up drifting away from your tap water pH by more than 1pH unit/week (test your tap water after letting it sit uncovered for 24h, since dissolved gases like co2 affect the pH reading), then you should ask on the forums for advice how to stabilize your tank pH (different techniques for up vs down, all very specific to an individual situation).

to remove nitrates, you can use plants. For some reason, plants that are grown emersed (like pothos) are known to consume large amounts of nitrates from the water. I don't know why you'd want to raise your nitrates, most people want to get rid of their nitrates, since they are the end product of the nitrogen cycle as fish waste breaks down.

for changing GH and KH, I am not an expert, but the gist is that you can raise hardness by adding things with dissolving minerals into your tank such as crushed coral, limestone, cuttlefish bone, etc. This frequently also has the side effect of increasing your pH. To lower hardness, you can mix in RO or DI water when doing a water change. In my opinion, it is important to choose a target hardness that you want to maintain for your tank (easiest is to "choose" whatever hardness normally comes out of your tap), and then just maintain your tank at that level of hardness and choose your fish accordingly. Water changes become difficult when the hardness of the tank is very different from what comes out of your tap, since you will have to have water that you have set to the correct hardness available for a water change whenever you need to do an emergency water change.
 

Retired Viking

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I lowered my water hardness by adding RO water like @mcordelia suggest and once I had it down to around 30ppm I maintain it there. My water PH has dropped a little also.
 

Colin_T

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What is the GH (general hardness), KH (carbonate hardness) and pH of your water supply?
This information can usually be obtained from your water supply company's website or by telephoning them. If they can't help you, take a glass full of tap water to the local pet shop and get them to test it for you. Write the results down (in numbers) when they do the tests. And ask them what the results are in (eg: ppm, dGH, or something else).

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PLANTS and pH
Unless you have a lot of plants that get lots of nutrients and light, and there is no surface turbulence, the plants will not affect the pH. About the only time the pH of water is affected by plants is when a pond/ aquarium is green soup from single celled algae, or the pond is completely full of plants, and there is no aeration/ surface turbulence.

When plants are photosynthesising they take in carbon dioxide (CO2) and release oxygen (O2). By removing the CO2, the pH can go up. At night when the plants are resting, they take in oxygen and release CO2. This can cause O2 levels to drop and CO2 levels to go up, and this can cause the pH to drop. However, if there is surface turbulence/ aeration, it will push out excess oxygen or carbon dioxide and help keep the dissolved gasses in the water at normal levels. Thus preventing the pH from fluctuating.

Plants will use ammonia, nitrite and nitrate in the water.

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pH is the measurement used to tell us if something is an acid, neutral or alkaline/ base. Pure distilled water has a pH of 7.0 and is considered neutral, and it has no mineral content (0ppm GH/ 0 dGH).

If something breaks down in pure water the pH drops and becomes acidic (pH goes below 7.0).

If minerals are added to pure water the pH goes up and becomes basic or alkaline (pH goes above 7.0).

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If you want to reduce the pH, you can add small amounts of acidic substances like carbon dioxide (CO2), peat moss, drift wood and things like sodium biphosphate to lower the pH. These acids get neutralised by the carbonates/ bicarbonates in the water, and when the carbonates and bicarbonates have been used up, the pH drops.

If you want to raise the pH, you can add sodium bicarbonate, calcium carbonate/ bicarbonate, limestone, sandstone, shells, dead coral skeleton, coral rubble. You add a small amount and monitor the pH over a week. If the pH is still too low, you add a bit more and monitor for another week. When the pH settles at the desired level, you don't add any more.

------------------
Carbonate Hardness (KH) is the measurement of carbonates and bicarbonates in the water. These normally increase the pH. When there are acids in the water, the acids cause the pH to drop. If there are plenty of carbonates/ bicarbonates in the water, they neutralise the acids and help stop the pH from dropping.

To increase the KH you add carbonates and bicarbonates (baking soda is sodium bicarbonate).
When you add carbonates or bicarbonates the pH will go up.

------------------
General Hardness (GH) is the measurement of minerals in the water and usually measures calcium and magnesium chlorides. The more calcium and or magnesium chloride in the water, the harder it is.

To increase the GH you add minerals like calcium chloride and magnesium chloride.

------------------
LOWERING THE HARDNESS
If you have hard water, it contains lots of minerals and it usually contains lots of carbonates and bicarbonates. To lower the hardness, you dilute the hard water with soft water.

Reverse osmosis (r/o) water, distilled water and rain water have no minerals and are types of very soft water. Mixing some of this soft water with the hard water will reduce the GH, KH and pH of the hard water.
 
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Retired Viking

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What is the GH (general hardness), KH (carbonate hardness) and pH of your water supply?
This information can usually be obtained from your water supply company's website or by telephoning them. If they can't help you, take a glass full of tap water to the local pet shop and get them to test it for you. Write the results down (in numbers) when they do the tests. And ask them what the results are in (eg: ppm, dGH, or something else).

------------------
PLANTS and pH
Unless you have a lot of plants that get lots of nutrients and light, and there is no surface turbulence, the plants will not affect the pH. About the only time the pH of water is affected by plants is when a pond/ aquarium is green soup from single celled algae, or the pond is completely full of plants, and there is no aeration/ surface turbulence.

When plants are photosynthesising they take in carbon dioxide (CO2) and release oxygen (O2). By removing the CO2, the pH can go up. At night when the plants are resting, they take in oxygen and release CO2. This can cause O2 levels to drop and CO2 levels to go up, and this can cause the pH to drop. However, if there is surface turbulence/ aeration, it will push out excess oxygen or carbon dioxide and help keep the dissolved gasses in the water at normal levels. Thus preventing the pH from fluctuating.

Plants will use ammonia, nitrite and nitrate in the water.

------------------
pH is the measurement used to tell us if something is an acid, neutral or alkaline/ base. Pure distilled water has a pH of 7.0 and is considered neutral, and it has no mineral content (0ppm GH/ 0 dGH).

If something breaks down in pure water the pH drops and becomes acidic (pH goes below 7.0).

If minerals are added to pure water the pH goes up and becomes basic or alkaline (pH goes above 7.0).

---------
If you want to reduce the pH, you can add small amounts of acidic substances like carbon dioxide (CO2), peat moss, drift wood and things like sodium biphosphate to lower the pH. These acids get neutralised by the carbonates/ bicarbonates in the water, and when the carbonates and bicarbonates have been used up, the pH drops.

If you want to raise the pH, you can add sodium bicarbonate, calcium carbonate/ bicarbonate, limestone, sandstone, shells, dead coral skeleton, coral rubble. You add a small amount and monitor the pH over a week. If the pH is still too low, you add a bit more and monitor for another week. When the pH settles at the desired level, you don't add any more.

------------------
Carbonate Hardness (KH) is the measurement of carbonates and bicarbonates in the water. These normally increase the pH. When there are acids in the water, the acids cause the pH to drop. If there are plenty of carbonates/ bicarbonates in the water, they neutralise the acids and help stop the pH from dropping.

To increase the KH you add carbonates and bicarbonates (baking soda is sodium bicarbonate).
When you add carbonates or bicarbonates the pH will go up.

------------------
General Hardness (GH) is the measurement of minerals in the water and usually measures calcium and magnesium chlorides. The more calcium and or magnesium chloride in the water, the harder it is.

To increase the GH you add minerals like calcium chloride and magnesium chloride.

------------------
LOWERING THE HARDNESS
If you have hard water, it contains lots of minerals and it usually contains lots of carbonates and bicarbonates. To lower the hardness, you dilute the hard water with soft water.

Reverse osmosis (r/o) water, distilled water and rain water have no minerals and are types of very soft water. Mixing some of this soft water with the hard water will reduce the GH, KH and pH of the hard water.
Thank you @Colin_T , you always do a good job of explaining things.:cool:
 

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