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Old 07-22-2008, 05:42 PM   #11 
okiemavis
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I have heard that peat moss lowers pH and I think that I will try to find some to put in my filter.
Peat moss is good, you shouldn't have any trouble finding it at a Home Depot type store. Just make sure it's pure peat moss and doesn't have any additives in it.

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I also have a few pieces of driftwood that I could use. They are pieces that I found on the Merrimack River and I was going to boil them for several hours, then let them soak for a day or so before I put them in. Should they be safe by this time?
That should work, although personally I'm paranoid, so I'd probably throw a ghost shrimp in with the wood first as a guinea pig (shrimp are much more sensitive to chemicals and such).

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I am guessing that my kh and gh are high, because I have tried some pH 7.0 powder and it only lowered it to 7.2 with about twice the recommended dose (I did not put this water in the aquarium to be safe). That is why I figured the natural method would be more effective.
Sounds like you do have very hard water. Unfortunately, that probably means that the natural means are not going to be very effective. Acid Buffer by Seachem may be the way to go as it lowers kh and ph. Another option is to mix R/O water from your LFS with your tap water. R/O water is very soft and acidic, and your water is very hard and alkaline, so by mixing the two, you shouldn't have any trouble finding a happy medium. That would probably be the most natural and stable.

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If it did not work, is it safe to use antibiotics in a tank with driftwood (hopefully this will lower the pH enough for them to be effective) or will the driftwood always retain some of the medication?
It depends on the medication. You may want to boil the driftwood afterwards or at least run carbon in your filter for some time. That reminds me- have you been removing carbon from your filter before treating with medication? The carbon will render the medicine useless.

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Also, when I do water changes if the water from my tap has a higher pH than the tank (which will hopefully be lowered by the peat moss and driftwood) will this shock my fish?
If the water chemistry isn't too different from the tap water, and you do small water changes, it should be fine. You can also pre-prepare the water by leaving it in a bucket with some peat moss for a few days.
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Old 07-23-2008, 08:08 AM   #12 
Kim
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Yes, I have been removing the carbon from the filter when I use the medications. The product that I tried is made by Seachem and is called neutral regulator. I think that I will try it again in a 5 gallon bucket, it will have to be tomorrow though, because I have to let the water age. When my water comes out of the tap it is at a pH of 6.4, and over the course of about a day or two it rises to 7.6. No, this is not a typo, that is how much it rises. Also, I use a liquid test kit, not strips. As for the RO water, I am trying to use this as a last resort. I don't have my license yet, and am too young to get a real job so paying that much on a weekly basis (plus convincing my mother to drive me) would be quite hard for me. Oh, and I have 3 fishtanks. A 15 gallon that I am cycling for my betta and a few tank mates, a 10 gallon full of guppies (who do fine in the high pH) and my 5.5 that I may turn into a hospital tank once my betta is moved. Maybe if I used the neutral regulator to soften my water, then the driftwood and peat moss would be more effective, even though the chemicals don't lower the pH to 7 like they say. Anyway, thanks for taking the time to reply :) .
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Old 07-24-2008, 10:30 AM   #13 
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Well, I decided that I am not going to use that driftwood. I did a little research on the Merrimack River and found out that it is still polluted with waste overflow, pesticide runoff, and mercury! I will instead get some from Lake Massabesic. I know the water is clean there because it is Manchester's water supply, and people are not allowed to swim in it, never mind dump stuff in it. There are also no pesticides in use near it. I am going to get some today, then I will boil it for several hours before I use it. I am also going to get some peat moss to put in the water as it ages before I put it in the tank, and maybe in the filter as well if just the driftwood doesn't do the trick. The good news is, that I tested the water from the bucket that was holding the old driftwood, and the pH was 6.8 even after sitting out a few days :D. Well, right as I was writing this, a storm just blew in, so hopefully it will clear up enough for me to go get that driftwood . Every time I try to get someone to bring me something like this happens ! I still can't tell if the medication worked or not though.
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