View Full Version : hard & alkaline water?

10-10-2010, 11:00 PM
hi - my current tanks are both unplanted because I assumed the water here would kill anything I tried to grow. The pH out of the tap is around 8.0, maybe a little higher sometimes like 8.3, and extremely hard. I didn't bother buying a hardness test kit because I know it's insanely high. If you leave a pot of tap water to boil dry here there will be a fairly thick film of white deposit left over. (cichlids are SUPER popular in town because they thrive on our horrible tap water)

Are there any plants that can handle this? I don't adjust for either pH or hardness and don't want to start, as it gives the fish a more stable habitat. I know anubias, anacharis, and cabomba seem super hardy based on what I've read here - are they hardy enough for my conditions?

10-11-2010, 01:12 AM
I have very hard water. I have good luck with anubias, crypts, and swords. Not such good luck with any stem plants, and java fern is so/so. The guppy grass does not seem to be doing well, but I think that is more due to my salad shooter fish than to the water hardness. Java moss does not like my water either, but subwassertang does. I pretty much buy plants, throw them in, the ones that live I'll get more of.

10-11-2010, 02:04 AM
I pretty much buy plants, throw them in, the ones that live I'll get more of.

seems like a valid theory. I have sorted the store by cost and will start with the cheap ones lol.

also! I just got a moss ball and tossed it in there, we'll see how it does. I always assumed the "ball" part of moss ball was a stone in the middle with algae growing on it. Turns out it's a live thing all the way through! Who knew...

10-11-2010, 05:09 AM
Moss balls are actually Cladophora algae. I've got 2 and my shrimp love them.

10-17-2010, 02:48 PM
I have hard water as well, but out of the tap its 7.0. in both of my tanks, the ph stands around 8 to 8.4. I was wonde4ring what I could use to lower the ph?

Are there any natural ways to do this like adding citric acid or something else to lower the ph? I don't have any fish in my 75 gallon right now, so I could use it as a test bed after it cycles.

the PH doesn't seem to affect my fish in my 10 gallon, and I know that I have put sea shells and an oyster shell [which is mostly calcium carbonate] in the tank and that will increase the ph naturally. I would prefer the ability to manipulate the ph myself though.

If there is a link to a thread already describing this, please direct me, I found this one while searching the forums for "adjust ph".


10-17-2010, 07:42 PM
lowering ph is always harder than raising it.
You can use peat or driftwood to release tanins and acidify the water(best option really) but this will stain the water tea color for a while, only clears after a few months of water changes. And you gotta be careful not to put a too much in, then the ph drop will be to drastic for the fish to live.

You can infuse CO2 into the tank if its planted, this is a surefire way to decrease ph.

Lastly, you can mix in hydrochloric acid into your water prior to putting it into the tank after a water change. there might be something online as to how much ph drop you will get per fluid once depending on total water volume. But again, this can be risky, and i dont know that much abou it. I think you get the acid in and get the water to the ph value you want it, put in the dechlorinator to remove the Cl part of HCL. and the water should be safe to put in, but again id read up on this. Bonus is you can get a very precise pH by doing this, negative is you must know what your doing and it has to be done constantly to reinforce the low PH, every water change.

And to the OP, i have a brackish tank at 8.2 with crush coral substrate sand(bad idea, anerobic pockets do develop and worst option for plants i want to put it). However i threw in some anacharis from my FW tank and now its still thier but just scrapping by, new shoots develop as fast as old ones die off, but then again i have high ph, high hardness, and salt for the plant to do eal with.

I also have giant vallsalia( i think its called), or jungle val. Shit is growing and expanding, it should handle your water just fine, but its tall and big, so tank should be at least 2 feet tall.