So how does one Neutralize PH without the use of Chemicals?

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Angeltold

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Alright so I am passed the Bacterial Bloom
How do i Neutralize Ph without the use of Chemicals?
I believe my tapwater to have a PH of 8+
I have a couple plants.
I’m just concerned because i know the gavel has to be cleaned eventually. What do y’all do with the plants when you do that?
Can i partially remove hand fulls of gravel and replace it with fresh sand every so often? (I want all sand but I already have cleaned my gravel. And i usually put sand on top)
Thanks for listening
 

Uberhoust

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If it were me I would not adjust the pH but go with fish that prefer higher pH and higher hardness (hardness and ph typically tied together). Also note that the pH of the water can change if left for 24 hrs or so as some suppliers add materials to increase the pH to prevent corrosion on the water lines.

You can remove and re-plant your plants, gives you an opportunity to prune and divide them. Remove the plants then clean the gravel. generally your gravel can be cleaned using the siphon, such as a python. I usually reach gently under the roots and slowly work to the surface.

I have done substrate changes without tearing down a tank but I don't recommend it. If you want to go to sand I would place your plants and fish in temporary tank, then do a full teardown and cleaning of the tank. Then change your substrate to sand at that time, ensure you keep your bacterial substrate from the tank moist and aerated (ie the bio balls, rings etc., perhaps even the filter sponges).
 

Byron

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I basically agree with above post. There are two significant issues here, the pH and the substrate question. Taking the latter first, "cleaning" the substrate depends upon the biological system. I have had tanks where I never touched the substrate, and in others I gently moved the water changer over the substrate just getting surface matter, or sometimes poking into the open areas. It all depends upon the substrate material and the fish load/feeding. Sand is much easier to "leave alone," whereas gravel if large can grab larger stuff and hamper the various bacteria that break it down, and even causing bacteria issues for substrate fish. Do not mix substrates. The smaller-grained sand will work its way down leaving the gravel on top. Do a substrate change in an empty tank, absolutely. You do not normally want to be changing out substrate (once you have a completely sand substrate) as you will be removing tons of important bacteria. The substrate is the bacterial bed of a healthy aquarium. You can do without a filter, but you cannot do without a healthy substrate.

On the pH...Adjusting water hardness and/or pH should only be done by natural means, never with chemicals and preparations because these will often be “blocked” by the initial KH and may have or lead to other effects that can be highly detrimental to fish and bacteria. Adjusting pH should not be attempted except in conjunction with altering the GH and KH, since these are closely connected. The GH and KH will remain steady once adjusted, provided no substances to increase it are present in the aquarium. Once the KH is low, the pH will naturally lower due to the carbonic acid being added to the water from natural biological processes such as fish and plant respiration, bacteria through the breakdown of organics such as fish waste, uneaten food, plant matter, etc. Regular partial water changes using either similarly-prepared water or even tap water [in smaller amounts] should not overly impact the hardness and pH if the tank is biologically stable.

Water authorities sometimes add chemicals to increase the pH if the source water is naturally soft and the pH acidic.

The first thing is to determine the GH, KH and pH of your source water. Find these values on the website of the water authority, or ask them. Also see if they do any "adjusting."
 

Playsander

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As above, I have never tried to adjust my pH its 7.8ish out of the tap. I have just gone with fish that do well in that range.
 

GaryE

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To me, the bottom line is you don't. In aquariums, pH is a secondary indicator anyway. What matters far more is hardness, whether you measure it in ppm, KH, GH, conductivity, tds.... pH tends to be low in less buffered, lower mineral water. So what needs to be changed, if you are unhappy with the water and want fish that thrive in other water, is the hardness. That usually means an RO system, and that gets expensive while using space.
I always adapted my fish choices when I moved, For a long time, I had hardwater libvebearers. Now, killies in softwater.

I've bred wild caught dwarf Cichlids from pH 5.5 in pH 6.8 water. But I had to reduce my 140ppm GH water to around 30=40ppm to get even a partial hatch, and I would have gone lower if I had wanted more fry.
 

On_a_dishy

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I had madly hard water and kept, at various times, very happy electric blue acara, gouramis (bubble nests everywhere), mollys (babies everywhere, which the gouramis would eat) plecos and corys. I had to have a massive tank, though, to keep the acara happy. But I didn’t have to use RO water (I do use a little now for my Betta) which would have become a bind. Almond leaves lower my ph successfully, but don’t touch the other readings.
I’d adapt the fish to the water, too, rather than the other way around. My cichlids thrived - but, again, needed a large tank!
 

10 Tanks

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Alright so I am passed the Bacterial Bloom
How do i Neutralize Ph without the use of Chemicals?
I believe my tapwater to have a PH of 8+
I have a couple plants.
I’m just concerned because i know the gavel has to be cleaned eventually. What do y’all do with the plants when you do that?
Can i partially remove hand fulls of gravel and replace it with fresh sand every so often? (I want all sand but I already have cleaned my gravel. And i usually put sand on top)
Thanks for listening
Hello Angel. You don't need to worry about keeping a specific water chemistry. It's not important for keeping a healthy tank. What is important is a stable water chemistry. You get that by just treating the tap water with something like Seachem's "Safe" to remove the chemicals your city puts into the water to make it safe to drink. Then, just remove and replace half the water weekly.

10 Tanks (Now 11)
 

TwoTankAmin

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Here is the thing. All of the above posts are pretty much on the money but also give a bit of a limited explanation. This is due the great diversity possible in different bodies of fresh water. Seawater tends to have many similar parameters as all the words oceans and seas tend to have connections to some degree.

But in the fresh water universe we have pH 4.0 with almost no hardness. Then we have rift lakes with very hard water and pH upwards of 8.5 in some instances. We have fresh water fishes living in temperatures which would kill most of the species we keep in our tanks.

The result of this diversity is it means it is very difficult to find any true hard and fast rules why apply to all species of fish commonly and uncommonly found in our tanks. I can offer only two things I know to be universal when to comes to FW fish. The first is easy, they all must be kept in water. So is the next, the nitrogen cycle plays a roll in tanks.

As for the rest of the"rules" we may read, hear about or watch on YouTube etc., They all have exceptions. I have dropped the pH in one of my tanks by one full point in under five minutes and the fish were perfectly fine. I learned I could do this from the person from whom I bought my first of these fish. He dropped the pH by 1.1. In both cases there was/is a digital monitor for pH, temp. and conductivity/TDS one the tank. The specific species of fish involved mattered.

Consider salmon. The are born in fresh water, migrate into salt and then return to fresh to spawn. What about brackish? What about fish which live in waters which alternate between a dry and a rainy season every year? The point is, the key to it all for use as ambitious and dedicated fish keepers to acquire the knowledge before we acquire the fish. So knowing where to get good information is half the battle.

When my first tank went up in the end of Jan. 01, there was no social media. There were only forums like this one, only many more. Social media has a lot of plusses, but I also believe it is where information goes to die.

You can start in two place I have used for a couple of decades. For general info and especially helpful with issues re water parameters is.
F I N S : T h e F i s h I n f o r m a t i o n S e r v i c e Aquaria FAQs
When there click on Your First Aquarium and then read the sections under Practical Freshwater Chemistry. Next, for decent information if fish species in general always start here and if they do not cover the specific species you are investigating, try elsewhere. I small amount of the info there is a bit off or incomplete. I do not agree that the nitrate test is essential- for me it is pH, ammonia and nitrite. Then KH and GH and finally nitrate if you can afford them.
Seriously Fish

I find the fastest way to get to the species page on the above site is to start on Google search and then type in either the scientific name or the common name of the species followed by the word seriously. Most time it takes you to the exact page. Some common names are shared by multiple species and this may or may not mean you find exactly for what you thought you were searching.

Also, always listen to Byron :teacher:, he and I almost never disagree.

edited for typos
 
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Olympia

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I basically agree with above post. There are two significant issues here, the pH and the substrate question. Taking the latter first, "cleaning" the substrate depends upon the biological system. I have had tanks where I never touched the substrate, and in others I gently moved the water changer over the substrate just getting surface matter, or sometimes poking into the open areas. It all depends upon the substrate material and the fish load/feeding. Sand is much easier to "leave alone," whereas gravel if large can grab larger stuff and hamper the various bacteria that break it down, and even causing bacteria issues for substrate fish. Do not mix substrates. The smaller-grained sand will work its way down leaving the gravel on top. Do a substrate change in an empty tank, absolutely. You do not normally want to be changing out substrate (once you have a completely sand substrate) as you will be removing tons of important bacteria. The substrate is the bacterial bed of a healthy aquarium. You can do without a filter, but you cannot do without a healthy substrate.

On the pH...Adjusting water hardness and/or pH should only be done by natural means, never with chemicals and preparations because these will often be “blocked” by the initial KH and may have or lead to other effects that can be highly detrimental to fish and bacteria. Adjusting pH should not be attempted except in conjunction with altering the GH and KH, since these are closely connected. The GH and KH will remain steady once adjusted, provided no substances to increase it are present in the aquarium. Once the KH is low, the pH will naturally lower due to the carbonic acid being added to the water from natural biological processes such as fish and plant respiration, bacteria through the breakdown of organics such as fish waste, uneaten food, plant matter, etc. Regular partial water changes using either similarly-prepared water or even tap water [in smaller amounts] should not overly impact the hardness and pH if the tank is biologically stable.

Water authorities sometimes add chemicals to increase the pH if the source water is naturally soft and the pH acidic.

The first thing is to determine the GH, KH and pH of your source water. Find these values on the website of the water authority, or ask them. Also see if they do any "adjusting."
Water companies dont seem bothered about whether our drinking water is suitable for tropical fish south east water is my company although values are very different
 

seangee

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Water companies dont seem bothered about whether our drinking water is suitable for tropical fish south east water is my company although values are very different
Your water will likely be hard enough to walk on. Best bet is to keep hard water fish or invest in an RO system if you prefer the soft water species.
 

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