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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Aug 2012
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    Thx. Have another on me! - pRED Enjoy the 4th brother :-) - Taurus Bleeding blues! - RiversGirl TGIF and here's to the bleeding blues Lee. - Taurus This one's on me.... - Slaphppy7 
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    Default Lowering pH Naturally


    2 Not allowed!
    I see people asking how to lower their pH naturally, here is what works for me using Peat and Driftwood.

    The water where we live is very good water but high in pH 8.0 and hard and I like to keep South American Characins so; buy yourself a box of AZOO peat moss or any organic peat moss. Put it in the bag that comes with it or if you buy the peat moss elsewhere you will have to buy a media bag. Put the bag of peat (after rinsing well) in with your filter media. After 3-4 weeks my pH lowers to 6.5; you must monitor this closely. Remove the Peat from the filter at this time (your desired pH) because it will continue to soften the water and that can mess up the ammonia level in your tank. This is where the driftwood comes into effect as it will help buffer the pH and hardness. You will notice the pH go back up after water changes but again the driftwood will help buffer it back down.

    You should not use chemicals to lower your pH. They work for some people but most others with experiance will tell you they are a quick fix and not good for your fish in the long run. Others will tell you to let the fish acclimate to the local pH which is fine, but alot of your South American and African Characins as well as many Chiclids from the same regions will realy show their best colors in lower pH. Plus if you become advanced enough to want to try and spawn most of them, they can't because they need soft water.

    This is only one opinion, I hope it helps.
    Last edited by steeler58; 02-12-2013 at 06:26 AM.
    Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence.
    Once you learn to quit, it becomes a habit.
    -Vince Lombardi

    Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are. ― John Wooden
    Sandy Hook Elementary......Lest We Forget
    See my profile for my tanks and what fish I keep

  2. #2

    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Nice first shot. I think it's a bit more complicated than that though. Let me ponder this a bit.

  3. Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Peat moss is going to require a frequent level of guess and check work. It does work for a lot of people but if your PH is below 8.0 I would avoid messing with it at all. Most fish will adapt to the PH of your water as long as its between 6 and 8. Slower acclimation is key when introducing sensitive fish to extreme PH's on either end of that.

    The best thing you can do is to use a method that avoids fluctuation. As you said chemical PH up or PH down products always fluctuate the PH wildly and that's why I would never use them. Even peat moss will do this to a lesser extent. The main thing to keep in mind is that if you are modifying your PH in a significant way then you need to monitor frequently so that the PH doesn't fluctuate. The fluctuation is worse for your fish than a less then ideal PH.

    I work at a fish store and for reasons beyond my comprehension we are constantly using products to raise the PH of our goldfish tanks up to about 7.0. Ideally that's good, and the goldfish do great at it as long as we keep using the product. But sometimes we run out of the product that raises the PH and when we do there is a decent level of die off. The PH will drop to 6.0 or so, a good number of feeders will die, and then after a few days things level off and the fish stop dying. Sometimes we run out of it for weeks or even a month at a time and the goldfish will do great without it, even at a PH of 6.0. The PH doesn't seem to matter. The fluctuation kills them. If we just stopped using the product at all we would never have the moments of die offs that we have when we run out.
    Last edited by Zander; 02-12-2013 at 07:53 AM.

  4. #4

    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    That depends on your buffering. If your water is reasonably hard, peat or driftwood will have little effect. And many do not like the appearance of the amazon tank that peat will give you.

  5. Default


    0 Not allowed!
    I agree with all the posts above, simply put, peat moss will naturally lower your ph but when it comes to water changes or any emergency, it will lead to an unstable/swinging your ph according to the hardness of the water.

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Gods Country, California
    Posts
    7,190

    Awards Showcase

    Thx. Have another on me! - pRED Enjoy the 4th brother :-) - Taurus Bleeding blues! - RiversGirl TGIF and here's to the bleeding blues Lee. - Taurus This one's on me.... - Slaphppy7 
    pizza for all.  I finished my book today!!! - fishmommie Congrats on 30th anniversary, Lee - SeaLady the Bleeding blue makes an appearance at last! - RiversGirl And one for you for as well. :) - Compass T.G.I.F.! - Slaphppy7 
    To new fishies and gambling addictions! lol - Compass Good to see your still at it. - Strider199 Happy 2 year anniversary! - Slaphppy7 Congratualtions on 2 years at the AC.  We are all better for it! - fishmommie Happy 2nd anniversary. to Many more - SeaLady 
    for the thing in your signature about saandy hook, i was in elementary during that time. - aquariumlover10 Thanks for the bucks!! - SeaLady No Message - RiversGirl New fishys - SeaLady Congrats on 7,000 posts! - Slaphppy7 
    Children with Disabilities - Parkinson's Disease - VACTERL - Young Onset Parkinson's Association - steeler1 Childhood Cancer - steeler1 Anti-Tobacco - Colon Cancer - Colorectal Cancer - steeler1 Mourning - Anti-Gang - Melanoma - steeler1 Mourning - Anti-Gang - Melanoma - steeler1 
    Bone Marrow Donation - Childhood Depression - Depression - Environment - Eye Injury Prevention - Glaucoma - Kidney Cancer - Kidney Disease - Kidney Transplantation - Leukemia - Lyme Disease - Mental Retardation - Missing Children - Organ Donation - T - steeler1 Troop and Military Support - Amber Alert - Bladder Cancer - Endometriosis - Equality - Liver Cancer - Liver Disease - Missing Children - POW/MIA - Spina Bifida - Suicide - steeler58 

    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    As I said, this is what works for me. It takes a little effort and close monitoring to work. If your happy to keep a nice community tank; than slow acclimate everything and your tank will be fine.

    If you know me by now this is "not a hill I choose to die on" just a suggestion.
    Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence.
    Once you learn to quit, it becomes a habit.
    -Vince Lombardi

    Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are. ― John Wooden
    Sandy Hook Elementary......Lest We Forget
    See my profile for my tanks and what fish I keep

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Ontario, Canada
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    Troop and Military Support - Amber Alert - Bladder Cancer - Endometriosis - Equality - Liver Cancer - Liver Disease - Missing Children - POW/MIA - Spina Bifida - Suicide - Strider199 

    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    I used peat moss in my canister when I first bought it to lower my 8.2 pH tap water. Between this and alot of driftwood it did actually lower the pH of my tank water to 7.4. It was a pain during water changes as is stated in the above posts so I ended up stopping the peat addition in my canister filter. None of the tetras past away during this experiment thankfully, but it will get the Ph down.

    After checking the pH of the local lfs where I bought my fish, which was also pushing 8.0 plus, I decided my tap water was good enough.
    It can be done but it's alot of upkeep. It takes time to lower the pH of your tank after doing a large water change which may just stress out the stock more then needed. Usually your only doing a large water change because something bad has happened and the last thing the stock needs is to be stressed out even more.

    But if you have the time, resources and expect no large water changes it does work.
    Last edited by Strider199; 02-13-2013 at 12:14 AM.
    Warning; Bulldog Pleco guarding my Sons tank now..

    Please remember; every keystroke has a consequence.

  8. Default


    0 Not allowed!
    There's another kind of moss that can be easier to find than peat moss, least for me it is. It's called pillow moss/frog moss and is in the reptile/amphibian section of a pet store if they have it:


    This is what I use in my tank, it doesn't seem to tannin the water like peat moss does which is good or bad depending on the look you're going for :)


    Quote Originally Posted by Strider199 View Post
    It takes time to lower the pH of your tank after doing a large water change which may just stress out the stock more then needed. .
    But the water you put IN your tank should already have been adjusted for pH before you do the water change :/
    70 Gal Planted Rio Negro Angelfish Biotope with:
    1 Whip Tail Pleco
    7 Hatchet fish
    11 Glo Light tetras, 6 Black Skirted Tetras
    6 Bronze Corys
    3 Wild Type Angelfish
    Current Plants:
    Giant Amazon Sword, Narrow Leaf Java, Val, moss on driftwood


  9. Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Won't the PH naturally go back up once the peat moss stops working (even if you don't do a water change)?

  10. Default


    0 Not allowed!
    I personally use a mix of natural and chemical and RO water to maintain my water quality. There's a LOT that goes into soft water tanks when it comes to maintaining them depending on your available water source. However, when the water itself becomes soft, the pH doesn't just go back up because you've lowered the KH through the decomposing moss. If your KH is low, your pH will stay low. Unless something is added that would change you KH, your pH won't really be affected. Now when using a chemical to force the pH to change, then discontinuing it's use WOULD cause a raise in the pH because it's no longer being forcibly lowered. Hence the difference between a true soft water tank and a purely chemically induced one. I hope that helps :)
    70 Gal Planted Rio Negro Angelfish Biotope with:
    1 Whip Tail Pleco
    7 Hatchet fish
    11 Glo Light tetras, 6 Black Skirted Tetras
    6 Bronze Corys
    3 Wild Type Angelfish
    Current Plants:
    Giant Amazon Sword, Narrow Leaf Java, Val, moss on driftwood


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