Want to lower PH, RO or C02 ?

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10 Apr 2014 21:24 #1 by amp2000 (amp2000)
Want to lower PH, RO or C02 ? was created by amp2000 (amp2000)
Hi All

I've a 120 litre tank with a PH of 8.1

I want to bring the Ph down enough so I can get a pair of german blue rams but money is tight so I need to do this on the cheap.

I make RO water with a PH of 7.0 elsewhere I could use for weekly water changes but I'm thinking this isn't a great idea mixing hard & soft water, too many unknowns?!?

2nd option is making a homemade C02 system using sugar & packets of yeast like this

I'm leaning towards option 2, I really don't like option 1.
At least making the C02 one I could actually see something happening & I've everything here to make one :cheer:

All opinions welcome, this is my 1st tank & I'm still learning.

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10 Apr 2014 21:56 #2 by Hicker12 (Stephen Hickey)
Hello,

I would go with the RO option. Mix it 50/50 with tap water and do a 25% water change then check PH. I don't know much about them home made co2 setups but I think you will get much more stable water parameters with the RO/tap water method. My tap water is also around the 8 mark so I mix 50/50 RO and tap and the PH is a very stable 6.5. I am using ADA amazonia which prob helps also.

Stephen.

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10 Apr 2014 22:00 #3 by eugene99 (eugene)
RO and tap lot safer pal 50/50

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10 Apr 2014 22:41 - 10 Apr 2014 22:43 #4 by amp2000 (amp2000)
Replied by amp2000 (amp2000) on topic Want to lower PH, RO or C02 ?
50/50 RO & tapwater, that makes sense actually, I'm going to try that tomorrow on my water change. It'll probaly take a few weekly water changes to to stabilise?!?

Thanks for the replies lads, much appreciated.
Last edit: 10 Apr 2014 22:43 by amp2000 (amp2000).

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10 Apr 2014 22:48 #5 by Hicker12 (Stephen Hickey)

amp2000 wrote: 50/50 RO & tapwater, that makes sense actually, I'm going to try that tomorrow on my water change. It'll probaly take a few weekly water changes to to stabilise?!?

Thanks for the replies lads, much appreciated.


Yeah. When adjusting PH its best to do it very slow as to not shock and stress out any fish you have already. Best of luck with it.

Stephen.

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10 Apr 2014 22:53 #6 by amp2000 (amp2000)
Replied by amp2000 (amp2000) on topic Want to lower PH, RO or C02 ?
So your mixing the RO with 8 tapwater for a while then ye? ie months, years?

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10 Apr 2014 23:12 #7 by Hicker12 (Stephen Hickey)
Yes I have been doing it for a long time without any problems. I use the 50/50 method in my planted tanks and remineralised RO water in my shrimp tanks.

You can also use bog wood, alder cones, almond leaf etc to lower PH.

Stephen.

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10 Apr 2014 23:26 - 10 Apr 2014 23:27 #8 by amp2000 (amp2000)
Replied by amp2000 (amp2000) on topic Want to lower PH, RO or C02 ?
Nice one hicker, 50/50 it is tomorrow.
I have bogwood & a couple of plants but they don't knock a dint off that 8 PH

P.S. If I didn't have 7.0 PH RO water what would people have recommended for a hard water area?!?
Last edit: 10 Apr 2014 23:27 by amp2000 (amp2000).

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10 Apr 2014 23:32 #9 by Hicker12 (Stephen Hickey)
Out of interest what substrate are you using? Do you have any rocks in the tank? These things will also affect the PH. Even if you are adding water with a PH of 7 some rocks and substrates can buffer the PH back up.

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10 Apr 2014 23:45 - 11 Apr 2014 01:23 #10 by amp2000 (amp2000)
Replied by amp2000 (amp2000) on topic Want to lower PH, RO or C02 ?
I've this stuff 3-4mm shale www.seahorseaquariums.com/No-56-Green-Sh...ilo/Green-Devil/6061

I've rocks I picked off the beach, boiled them all & in the tank months, I've none of the hollow rocks (dunno what they are called) that bring the PH up.

Ill try get a pic up...
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Last edit: 11 Apr 2014 01:23 by amp2000 (amp2000).

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11 Apr 2014 00:16 #11 by Hicker12 (Stephen Hickey)
Sure see how ya get on with the RO/TAP water mix. I would be concerned about them rocks you picked up at the beach. If the PH starts going back up after you do your water change I would remove the rocks.

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11 Apr 2014 05:34 #12 by paulv (paul vickers)

Hicker12 wrote: Hello,

I would go with the RO option. Mix it 50/50 with tap water and do a 25% water change then check PH. I don't know much about them home made co2 setups but I think you will get much more stable water parameters with the RO/tap water method. My tap water is also around the 8 mark so I mix 50/50 RO and tap and the PH is a very stable 6.5. I am using ADA amazonia which prob helps also.

Stephen.

Stephan is right go with 50/50 mix. The home made co2 is too hard to control quantities.

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11 Apr 2014 07:11 #13 by anthonyd (Anthony Debesne)
I tried ro before to lower my ph but didnt work for me so now i use peat instead and it work a treat for me.
Google marksfish peat filtering you should find the method he uses.

Anthony

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11 Apr 2014 10:09 #14 by hammie (Neil Hammerton)
Test your tap water ph
if its up round the 8 mark, your wasting your time trying to lower it using water from your taps in my opinion

I use this ( www.seahorseaquariums.com/JBL-Tormec-active-black-peat-g//1726 ) in my filter brought mine down from 7.6 to around 6.4
make sure and read the instructions.... it tints the water very slightly but I actually like it that way!!!

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11 Apr 2014 10:49 #15 by Hicker12 (Stephen Hickey)
Yes peat works well but its has it has bad points also. You really require an external filter unless you hang a bag of it in your tank which looks ugly. If you do put it in your filter you lose filtering capacity and it can discolor the water. Also filter peat takes some time to lower PH so when you do a water change with tap water with a PH of 8+ the ph in your tank will fluctuate. You have to weigh up and good and the bad. If you have assess to RO water try the 50/50 method you will see improvements and is simple, if it dose not get you where you want to be PH wise then think about adding things like Filter peat and alder cones etc but its always better to add water with the correct parameters then to add water with incorrect parameters and try to change it when its already in your tank. Water quality and stable water parameters are fish keeping 101.

Stephen

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11 Apr 2014 10:52 #16 by amp2000 (amp2000)
Replied by amp2000 (amp2000) on topic Want to lower PH, RO or C02 ?
Cheers for the replies, the peat filtering looks interesting, it might be an option for me if this doesn't work.
My tapwater must be about PH 8, the RO water is from another source PH 7 so the 50/50 method should work for me, I'll see this evening.

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11 Apr 2014 10:56 #17 by Hicker12 (Stephen Hickey)

amp2000 wrote: Cheers for the replies, the peat filtering looks interesting, it might be an option for me if this doesn't work.
My tapwater must be about PH 8, the RO water is from another source PH 7 so the 50/50 method should work for me, I'll see this evening.


Best of luck keep us posted. Don't expect a big change in PH but the slower you change it the better for your tank inhabitants and bacteria.

Stephen

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11 Apr 2014 10:57 #18 by hammie (Neil Hammerton)
Stephen is correct about the PH fluctuation when using peat
so what I do now, fill a container and leave a bag of peat in it at all times, throw in a small pump to move / circulate the water and that stops the fluctuation in the ph too much.
it also helps to be able to throw a heater into the container to stop the temp fluctuation too badly too

every little helps!!!!

Im going to have an auto topup system on the container of tap water (eventually) to keep this container toped up for the water change process..... it will make thing alot easier in the long run

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11 Apr 2014 11:04 #19 by amp2000 (amp2000)
Replied by amp2000 (amp2000) on topic Want to lower PH, RO or C02 ?
Nice one, I'll post the before & after results tonight :)

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11 Apr 2014 13:00 #20 by anthonyd (Anthony Debesne)
Here is the link for the peat method.
It is really cheap and everything is done outside your tank.
My blue rams seem to like it, they spawn 3 days after i bought them.
www.marksfish.me.uk/tips/peat-filtering

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11 Apr 2014 14:16 #21 by anglecichlid (ciaran hogan)

anthonyd wrote: Here is the link for the peat method.
It is really cheap and everything is done outside your tank.
My blue rams seem to like it, they spawn 3 days after i bought them.
www.marksfish.me.uk/tips/peat-filtering

I've use this method last year when I ran out of rain water,
And it works well ;)

Anyone with a aquarium can keep fish,
But it takes real skill to be a fish keeper,


And it's spongeBob,
SpongeBob lives in a pineapple under the sea
BLANCHARDSTOWN

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11 Apr 2014 14:33 #22 by igmillichip (ian millichip)
There is a major risk in changing pH without considering more important water parameters.

There are many principles of changing pH and within each principle there are many ways of changing pH.

Ie it gets complex, and all too often I see dead fish or fish that do not obtain anything near thriving conditions for long as a result of keepers messing around with pH.

Changing pH by lowering the concentration of acids and bases (eg by mixing with RO water) is fine but it also increases the potential for unsuitable buffering (pH or other parameters).

The pH does not necessarily decrease by mixing with RO water…..and, it may even increase.

Changing pH by addition of acids or bases may totally go against the idea of changing pH if that addition increases such parameters as alkalinity or conductivity.

Addition of peat should not be seen as just a method of decreasing pH but also as a method of getting some important solutes into the water (if the particular species of fish benefit or tolerate those solutes).

Ram’s are fish that prefer stable water of low conductivity or TDS……that should be kept in mind when attempting to change pH.
ian

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11 Apr 2014 23:17 #23 by amp2000 (amp2000)
Replied by amp2000 (amp2000) on topic Want to lower PH, RO or C02 ?
As it turns out I'm an idiot, I moved house 2 months ago with half a tanks worth of PH8.1 water, I'm 99% certain I tested the PH in the new house about 6 weeks ago & it was 8.1.

Anyway, I mixed up the 50/50 batch today & measued the PH, it was 7.2, I then measured my tank & it was 7.3 WTF, the tapwater is 7.3 aswell :ohmy:
If I had of checked it yesterday I wouldn't have needed to start this thread, but I'm glad I did, some great info from everyone.

As soon as I realised it was 7.3 & I didn't need to do anything, I went to an lfs & got their last 2 blue rams :) I also threw out the 50/50 mix, if it's not broke don't fix it. I'll stick with the tapwater.

igmillichip, out of interest, how do you lower the TDS without RO water ?

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12 Apr 2014 08:12 #24 by igmillichip (ian millichip)
Yep. Stick with tapwater as much as you can is always my advice before doing water manipulatrion stuff.

Your Rams are not wild Rams anyway.

If your Rams breed and the eggs keep failing to hatch then look at either duff fish or the water chemitsry; but if the eggs hatch then leave it.

TDS in a set-up tank can be lowered simply by doing regular partial water changes using tap water (if we assume a normal freshwater tank.....not a marine tank nor one with some wild bettas in it).
As simple as that.

If, though, the tap water has a high TDS reading then firstly you should realise that very few fish demand ultra low TDS anyway.
There are a few more that require it for breeding, but many of them are fish that few people breed anyway.
If the TDS of the tapwater is higher than most freshwater fish can handle then there is more concern than simply fish keeping at stake.

Lowering TDS in high TDS tap water is via diluting with RO/Distilled/De-Ionised water (the last 2 are very expensive) or passing some of the water over double de-ionising resins.
TDS can be lowered in some cases by boiling the water (expensive, and only works if you have substantial solutes in it that are subject to double decomposition reactions....ie the "lime coming out of the water in a kettle opr washing machine").
You may find that addition of some chemicals will precipitate out of solution some solutes (not recommended !!!).
Peat can act to remove some solutes from water but can also add other components.

Personally, though, peat is a good piece of kit especially for Rams.

But when you do lower TDS you may increase or decrease pH (it can go either way)....the same is true of mixing with RO water.
And your water can become unstable.


ian

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