Re: Aquatic Plants Digest V2 #423

Paul Lesniak asked re use of inorganic acids to "adjust" pH.

Paul: be very careful in using hydrochoric acid... Do you have a good grasp
of the relationship between pH and alkalinity/acidity? I'm very sure other
folks are going to jump in and tell you where you can find faq's, other web
pages on the topic. You might want to consult a "good" aquarium reference, or
chemistry text as well. If you are going to stoop to shift pH with HCl, do
 so only outside your main system... with make-up water.... prepared a week
or so in advance.
     More to the point, why do you want to change pH? And, have you
considered other methods (more safe and sure?). Do you pre-treat your tap?
Ever consider a R.O. device? How much of the hardness in the way of
carbonates is affecting pH of your water? (what a funky sentence; I've gots
to wake up).
     Though some folks in "the trade" utilize inorganic acids (in concert
with alkaline reserve test kits, meters, amperometrics) to mass-shift
(generally only temporarily) large volumes of water's pH, this is a dangerous
proposition for a hobbyist. Too easy to burn your livestock, a bunch of
residual chloride (in HCl's case) in your water, and often the vagaries of
"bounce" of the chemistry back to high pH.
     Please, before experimenting, read up a bunch and consider pre-emptory
tap filtering, or organic means (e.g. cycling the water change water over or
through a peat moss mix, in a hard and alkaline tub or tank of plants before
use in your soft and more acidic system... And many more suggestions I'm sure
we're to see from others.