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

> Date: Thu, 31 Aug 2000 17:47:52 -0400
> From: Susi Barber <wanderer35 at operamail_com>
> I live in Vancouver, which has very soft water with no hardwater nutrients.  I 
> have very small tanks, a 3 gal and 6 gal Eclipse.  
> ...
> Equilibrium has 18.9% K, 4.3% Mg, 2.7% Ca, 0.47% Fe, and 0.08% Mn.
> However:  the pH obviously, is rising all the time with all of these buffering 
> additives - adding enough Equilibrium to get to 4 degrees GH, plus Bicarb soda 
> to get to KH of 4 (there is 0 calcium in the tap water), means a pH of 8+.  

Based on the what you've listed above, the Equilibrium does not add buffering. I 
don't know if that list is complete. I would suggest you lower your KH to around 
2 (KH of 4 to 5 is recommended with CO2). You will still have a pH above 7 but 
don't worry about it.  Note that calcium, magnesium (or GH) does not affect pH.  

> I 
> was using vinegar to reduce it (from 8.0 + to my goal of 7.0), but too much 
> results in little white floaty bits precipitating out (at least, I think 
> that's what caused it!). 

Yuck! Vinegar is better for salads than aquariums. Don't do that!

> I have used a bit of Proper pH the last day or two, 
> but read a post on the Krib today that says it has too much phosphate for 
> planted tanks, and recommends Seachem's Acid Buffer instead.  But I don't have 
> acid water...???  

Don't use any of that stuff.  Stick with a small amount of sodium bicarb to get 
about 2 dKH and accept the pH that results. Nothing really "needs" a pH of 7.0; 
a stable pH without a chemical soup is much more desirable. 

George Booth in Ft. Collins, Colorado (booth at frii_com)