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Old 04-01-2013, 04:29 PM   #1 
mermaid77
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Blackwater Extract

Hey all :)

If possible, I'd like to hear some opinions on using Blackwater Extract to help lower my tap's pH. It tests somewhere between 8.4 and 8.8...( API Master Test kit, not the strips) Inexperienced as I was and still am ( AND foolish for not doing my homework in researching all I needed to know before I even got into keeping fish in the first place), I've been using 2 drops of pH Down/gal, which does successfully lower it to 7.4 and does keep it stable...however, I believe, but I'm not able to know for sure until I get my hands on a gH/kH test kit (Petco was sold out), that it may be tampering with gH/kH levels and thus 'may' be one of the contributing factors that may have brought on my male veiltale's current condition (HITH)...at least that's what I've researched online has lead me to believe so far, but by all means, correct me if I'm wrong :)

I know the best ways are to invest in an R/O system, mixing with some distilled water, using peat, IAL...but, I'm looking for a COST effective way that can ensure that I'm able to dose/pretreat the water I use for changes that's dummy proof (such as me lol) and have the same/stable results each time...

Having said ALL that ( sorry I know I'm prone to rambling on endlessly lol), who here has or continues to use this kind of product, and would you recommend it?

Thanks :)
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Old 04-01-2013, 04:32 PM   #2 
MattsBettas
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I use real ial leaves and I don't worry about ph, but the benefits are numerous. I recommend ial leaves (Amy lim on eBay) . Black water extract I have no experience with, but it would give you a similar effect.
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Old 04-01-2013, 04:42 PM   #3 
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Thanks Matt :) Yes, I have read of the great benefits of IAL, the only thing that concerns me about them is getting the same strength/concentration by also steeping them in my clean water ...aren't fluctuations just as harmful? I've been reading how important it is to keep things stable first and foremost...that's why I thought my best bet is to work with something I can accurately measure each time :) I ALSO want to make sure this kind of product doesn't have any lurking adverse effects such as the pH Down!
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Old 04-01-2013, 04:47 PM   #4 
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If your KH is naturally high (which could explain the high pH), the only way to bring your pH down is to cut it with something like RO water.

IAL, peat, blackwater extract etc. do little in the way of budging the KH. This is usually the main driver behind a high pH. There is a reason people have to go out and purchase RO systems rather than just use IAL when keeping soft water species.
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Old 04-01-2013, 04:54 PM   #5 
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I could never get a r/o system. For now, ial will have to do. I don't notice fluctuations and my fish are happier then ever with ial.
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Old 04-01-2013, 05:00 PM   #6 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LittleBettaFish View Post
If your KH is naturally high (which could explain the high pH), the only way to bring your pH down is to cut it with something like RO water.

IAL, peat, blackwater extract etc. do little in the way of budging the KH. This is usually the main driver behind a high pH. There is a reason people have to go out and purchase RO systems rather than just use IAL when keeping soft water species.
+1!

Blackwater extract, IAL, PH Down, etc, only add acids to the water. Your ratio of acids in the water will be higher, but your hardness will still be the same, with the same issues that can bring.

If you really want to lower the PH, you should look at RO (really low PH) plus a remineralizer (to bring the PH back up). In a pinch, RO plus tap water can do this, but it's less reliable than dosing a true remineralizer. Stable PH is more important than low PH, so be careful with adding anything to the water to drop it down... you don't want any shocked fish.
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Old 04-01-2013, 05:02 PM   #7 
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Thanks, yes well the test kit is #1 on my list which I'm about to go out and find right now...
Matt, may I ask how you treat your water exactly? I have two tanks, they're only a 3 and 5 gallon...how er...many leaves would I need....and also, my method for water changes was simply to match the temp and pretreat right into a couple of gallon jugs...so I haven't aged the water....
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Old 04-01-2013, 05:02 PM   #8 
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Well for normal betta splendens you really don't need one. They are a very adaptable fish.

However, there are species (not just bettas) out there that basically require soft water or they tend to waste away and die early on.

If you have a higher KH value, you shouldn't see fluctuations in pH when using IAL, because the KH helps buffer the pH. It's why to change the pH, you have to first work on your carbonate hardness.

This was to Mattsbetta as you two hadn't posted while I was writing this.
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Old 04-01-2013, 05:06 PM   #9 
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I agree with lbf. Splendens are naturally adaptable. I don't mess with water chemistry, I add the ial because it helps mimic their environment and IME, I have happy fish while using it. To treat my tanks I rinse the leaf (just in case), then add one leaf/ten gallons normally or one leaf/five gallons while spawning. Replace the leaf when it starts to decompose. That's usually a few weeks for me.
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Old 04-01-2013, 05:08 PM   #10 
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That's the thing...the pH using the pH Down has tested repeatedly at the same 7.4, even after 3-4 days at which point I'll do a partial water change...

If it's considered safe to leave it at the approx 8.6 that it is...I'd slowly acclimate to that...though I know it's far from their ideal...unfortunately R/O isn't an option for me...:(
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