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Old 08-19-2005, 04:19 AM   #1
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Need to lower pH for my snails

I need to lower my pH in my 15 gallon. Before anyone says "don't mess with your pH, your fish adapt" I know it already. The reason is for my ramshorn snails, not my fish. My snails' shells are getting really bleached out. 8O They are turning white when they should be a dark brown. I found out at applesnails.net that if your pH is too high (or too low) it is rough on the snails' shells which is the reason for the bleaching effect. Above 8.0 is not good for them.

I did a search on lowering pH in this forum. It seems that most people who used peat or driftwood were able to reduce the pH slowly and keep it stable. I'll try adding a tiny amout of peat to my filter -- gumball size -- and track how it works.

My tank params:
ammonia = 0
nitrite = 0
nitrate = 20
pH = 8.4+
water is very hard (300+ppm) but I have a water softener (w/sodium) so the test reads "soft" at 75 ppm. (What does that mean for buffering and changing the pH?)
15 gallons: 2 zebra danios, 1 dwarf cory, 1 neon & 3 ramshorn snails. (I know the fish are lonely for more of their own kind. Need to get them some more buddies.)

If anyone has more info or links they'd be welcome. Otherwise, wish me luck.

Thanks for listening.
coolchinchilla (snails: "help us, please!" )
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Old 08-19-2005, 06:44 AM   #2
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you can buy some crystals that you add to the water ad it drops the ph level. You keep adding until you get what you want.
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36"x18"x11" 25g
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30"x12"x15" 18g
2angelfish,3dwarf cichlids(1gold ram,1bolivian ram and 1ram),3corys,3clownloaches and 1zebra loach.
A tank with 3 fighters;1 male, 2 females
Please can you all at least take a look at my post in the unhealthy fish forum. Its called 'whats wrong with my tank'. I really wold like some replies because my fish are dying one by one and i dont want to lose all of them!
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Old 08-19-2005, 09:01 AM   #3
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Coolchinchilla...I have a tank full of bleached out ramshorn snails due to the same problem you mention. Though my ph is only 7.2 to 7.4
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Old 08-19-2005, 09:09 AM   #4
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maybe they require calcium that might be lacking?
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Old 08-19-2005, 10:24 AM   #5
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calcium or carbonate from carbonate hardness.
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Old 08-19-2005, 03:43 PM   #6
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I think I read somewhere on this site that you can use peat to lower ph.
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Old 08-19-2005, 05:15 PM   #7
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Peat or drift wood will help, but they will also make the water color much darker. If you don't mind that, they are probably better than adding chemicals to the water.
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Old 08-19-2005, 05:19 PM   #8
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What's your gh? Snails need calcium in the water besides calcium carbonate. Are you feeding any high calcium veggies like kale or leaf lettuce?
Lowering that hard of water with peat moss is going to take alot of peat and I highly doubt you'll be able to run enough carbon to remove the color. You're going to have a very dark tank. I would suggest using ro or distilled water mixed with your water to dilute it. I just don't think your going to have any luck with peat. 8.4ph is actually a bit high for fish to adjust to as well. It depends on the fish but I'd try to bring it down below 8.0 even if that isn't the snails problem.
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Old 08-19-2005, 08:27 PM   #9
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Thanks for the comments.

jchillin: Hmmmmm.... so your pH is "ideal" for snails and they still bleach out. Hope it works for my snails.

aqh: I only have strips for hardness tests so this isn't very precise but GH =200-300 ppm and KH = over 300 ppm (beyond what the test can measure)

As far as the mineral content of the water, for each wc I get a few gallons from my outdoor spigot for water that has not passed through the water softener. That way the snails have some minerals instead of all sodium ions. I replace maybe 3 gallons from my tap and 2-3 gallons from my spigot with each wc.

<sigh> So peat won't work that well? I hate to use chemicals because I'm not secure on being able to keep the pH stable. Not sure what to do now. Maybe I'll go with a piece of driftwood to start with. I was thinking of peat because it would be cheaper. But a piece of driftwood may help some and it would look cool in the tank.

Thanks again everyone.
coolchinchilla
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Old 08-19-2005, 10:47 PM   #10
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My tanks pH is 8.4 and it hasn't hurt those (four letter or more word of choice) rams or pond snails. They just keep on trucking. After losing the use of my finger from over exertion (squish and flick). I purchased three striata botias and have been hapily vacuuming snail shells ever since.
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