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Old 11-29-2021, 09:47 PM   #1
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How to lower Ph before adding water during a water change?

Question: Is it safe to add vinegar to tap water before adding it to the aquarium? How much is safe? Or else, what are your other recommendations?

The situation:
We have a community well here and the pH of the water has been changing over time, but usually not much at once.
When the aquarium was first set up back in May 2020, the pH hung out 7.2-7.5 and gH 2, it was lovely.
Before getting nerites (and shrimp in another aquarium), we started gradually adding equilibrium during water changes and now keep our aquariums at 8 gH by amending the water we add during water changes.
Last summer is when we began to notice the pH rising (and this was when they took out a lot of fir & cedar trees to develop the neighborhood - I suspect this has something to do with the pH changes we've noticed). The gH is still 2.
In the past, I've been able to make a strong "tea" to add to my water (before it goes into my tank) by keeping several catappa leaves in a small closed container of water. It doesn't make a HUGE difference, but the pH wasn't creeping up too quickly either. This process allowed me to more slowly raise the pH in my tank to 8 without harming the fish. Now the pH of our tap water is suddenly up to 8.5 and I haven't been able to get catappa leaves.
What do I do?

Thank you!

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Old 11-30-2021, 05:02 AM   #2
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I wouldnt advise using vinegar to lower pH. Small amounts, 1 mL per gallon of water, is considered safe and will lower pH by a small amount but larger quantities cause other issues.

If the water from the well is a long term issue consider RO filter. A short term solution would be spring water or purchased RO mixed with your tap water. Natural ways to lower pH are driftwood in your aquascape, peat moss in your filter, and you already know about indian almond leaves.

Chemically altering water pH almost always leads to more problems than you solve. There are aquarium specific pH altering products, but i would still bracket these with the chemically altering stuff.

Any idea what your kH is?
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Old 11-30-2021, 10:57 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aiken Drum View Post
A short term solution would be spring water or purchased RO mixed with your tap water.
I didn't think of spring water, and it has the added benefit of not needing to add as much equilibrium. I picked some up today.
Thank you!

I left a tote of tap water to sit for approximately 16 hours (overnight and during work) and the pH of the water in that tote has dropped to about 8.0. I'm about to test the spring water, mix the two, then add prime and equilibrium as appropriate; because I suspect the pH will go back up when it is added into the aquarium
(due to oxygenation )


Quote:
Originally Posted by Aiken Drum View Post
Natural ways to lower pH are driftwood in your aquascape, peat moss in your filter, and you already know about indian almond leaves.
I have 4 large pieces of mopani and 2 large pieces of spiderwood in there. It is a blackwater aquarium, except the pH has risen to 8 over time..
I haven't tried peat moss, I'm not sure where to get safe peat moss and I've heard it can make the pH unstable.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Aiken Drum View Post
Any idea what your kH is?
My tap water kH is 3 and my aquarium water kH is 4. Despite that, my pH seems to be stable; sometimes it changes a little after water changes and, so far, I've made sure that has been gradual.


It sounds like I need to do some research to decide on an RO system and save up..
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