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Re: Lowering pH when adding hard water nutrients to soft water

Any time you start adding chemicals to your water to change hardness or pH, 
it becomes a balancing act that keeps you juggling more and more stuff.  The 
more stuff you use, the more weird ions you have floating around causing side 
effects like phosphates or pH swings.

To keep it as simple as possible, I recommend you reduce the sodium 
bicarbonate to give you a KH of 3.  The more you have, the harder it is to 
move pH down.  Then use simple hydrochloric acid to bring the pH down.  This 
way the only negative ion you are adding is Cl -, which is not a problem at 
the levels you will end up with.  I buy mine as muriatic acid, which is 
available for about 3 bucks a quart at the local hardware store.  I used to 
dilute it with tap water at 4 parts water to one part HCl, but I found that a 
little weak.  Now I go 3:1.  Add 3 cups of water to a plastic bottle FIRST, 
then add one cup of muriatic acid.  This will give you roughly a 7% solution. 
 I rinsed out an old pH test kit bottle by popping the little squirt top out, 
then added the home-made pH-Down with a small funnel.  Pop the little top 
thing back in and you are ready to go.  Remember to keep the lids tight on 
all the acid bottles and keep them out of the reach of little people.

Bob Dixon
Cichlid Trader List Administrator        o
http://cichlidtrader.listbot.com               0