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Old 02-27-2011, 02:29 PM   #1 
LolaQuigs
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How to Safely Lower ph?

My tap water has a ph of 8.0-8.2. I know bettas are very adaptable to different levels of ph, but other fish aren't. I really want to stock my 10 gallon with some cories once I have it cycled, but I'm afraid my ph is too high. I also have tentative plans at some point in the semi-near future for a 30 gallon community tank, and some of the species I would like to stock require a much lower ph than my water has. I know people here generally say don't use artificial methods to alter ph because they can lead to instability. But is there anything I can do to lower it? I've read that peat alters the softness/hardness, does it have any effect on ph? I thought I also read somewhere that driftwood can affect ph, but I don't know for sure.
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Old 02-27-2011, 10:07 PM   #2 
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Check your KH and GH first before you make necessary adjustments. I don't see the big deal with that pH IMO. A lot of fish have been bred in captivity over the years and are able to adapt quickly and well to various water conditions than wild forms.
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Old 02-27-2011, 11:30 PM   #3 
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Thanks for the reply; I think I'll take a water sample to the lfs and see if they can test kh and gh for me; I have the API kit and it doesn't have a testing solution for those.

I was mostly concerned about cardinal tetras and panda cories--I'd really like to stock them but I know both can be sensitive to params, and they tend to do best in more acidic water (I read even 7 is high for cardinal tetras). But if these guys will still thrive in a higher ph I really don't want to have to mess with that stuff! I got a c in high school chemistry. :p
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Old 02-28-2011, 12:07 AM   #4 
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I've kept these guys in pH of 8.0 before. The only troublesome fish to keep are pandas. Cardinals are sooo hardy in my experience.
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Old 02-28-2011, 12:12 AM   #5 
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So what IS the safest way to lower pH anyway. Now I'm curious.
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Old 02-28-2011, 12:22 AM   #6 
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Aww I'd really like the pandas for my 10 gallon because they stay smaller than a lot of cories, and they're so cute! But I don't want anyone to get hurt so maybe I'll try a hardier species of corydoras if ph could be an issue for them. Thank you for the information!
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Old 02-28-2011, 02:43 AM   #7 
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Originally Posted by LolaQuigs View Post
Aww I'd really like the pandas for my 10 gallon because they stay smaller than a lot of cories, and they're so cute! But I don't want anyone to get hurt so maybe I'll try a hardier species of corydoras if ph could be an issue for them. Thank you for the information!

A smaller cory that is hardier than pandas is the albinos, usually only getting around 2-3 inches, and in my opinion the albinos seem to be a bit more active than most cory. I personally LOVE my habrosus cory, who only reach just over an inch full grown, but it is said that they are very sensitive to water parameters and some dont have great success with them. Thankfully I have had much success with my little guys and think they are the cutest cory ever!!! However, habrosus cory wouldnt do so great in the pH you are talking about. I too considered panda cory, but after much research decided not to get them from many stories about them being rather delicate....and then I end up with an even more delicate cory (habrosus), but it worked out. lol

As far as adjusting pH, (I have posted many times before about this product, some might not agree, but in my experiance it has been WONDERFUL, and know many who use it)...It is called "Correct pH" by Jungle and is sold for $3 and some change at Walmart. They are dissolving tablets, one per 10 gallons of water every 3-4 weeks (or when pH starts to raise). They are relatively harmless and keep the pH as close to 7.0 as possible, and it also eliminates the ammonia in the tank. (Each box contains 8 tablets, enough to treat a 10 gallon tank 8 times, so for about 6 months give or take.) I use this product regularly in both of my tanks. It keeps my pH between 6.8 and 6.9 in both my tanks. It is specially designed not to immediately change the pH but very slowly as to not send the fish into a deadly shock.
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Old 02-28-2011, 05:40 AM   #8 
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The whole pH change totally depends on the hardness levels. Unless your water is soft, you will have a hard time lowering the pH anyway. You may need to combine tap with reverse osmosis water. However, you cannot use pure RO water as the lack of minerals is not healthy for the fish and can cause osmotic shock possibly killing the fish in the process.
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Old 02-28-2011, 08:47 AM   #9 
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Thanks, I will check the hardness before I do anything. If it's softer maybe I will experiment with those tabs since the tank is empty. Though if they cut down ammonia they might ruin my cycle....Maybe I'll set up my empty five gallon to test them out.


I've heard great things about how active and social albinos are, but tbh they kind of creep me out. XD Maybe if I actually have some and got to see their personalities, they will grow on me though.
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Old 02-28-2011, 06:11 PM   #10 
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Thanks, I will check the hardness before I do anything. If it's softer maybe I will experiment with those tabs since the tank is empty. Though if they cut down ammonia they might ruin my cycle....Maybe I'll set up my empty five gallon to test them out.


I've heard great things about how active and social albinos are, but tbh they kind of creep me out. XD Maybe if I actually have some and got to see their personalities, they will grow on me though.

LOL I said the same thing about the albinos...that they creeped me out!! lol Now I have 4.

I used the tabs through the cycle on both my tanks, never messed up my cycle.
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