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pH problems and Pinpoint monitor

I have a pH problem that I can't seem to tackle.  My pH is 
standing at about 7.4 (or higher?) and I can't get it to
lower.  I use the "Tapwater Purifier" for bi-weekly water
changes, which supposedly outputs neutral water, and my 
tank's been running for about two years.  This would make 
me think the tank would be slightly acidic, but it's not.
The tank is fully planted, with fish, and I have regular 
gravel with a few large sandstones and lava rocks.

I had some of the ph-lowering chemical, but I don't want to
mess with it.  Last time I used it (about a year ago), I 
killed off about half of my fish (ouch!)

On a somewhat related note, I bought a Pinpoint pH monitor 
from my LFS, and I've had some trouble with the readings
being inconsistant.  From my pH chemical test, I've
determined the pH to be about 7.4, or higher (pure blue).
The pH meter initially read about 7.4, but now hovers at
about 7.7 to 7.8.  One thing I considered was temperature
change (it's hard to regulate on these hot days).  But,
I seem to recall that higher temperatures LOWERED the pH.
What gives?  I've seen these things work reliablly before! 

I'd like my pH to be slightly acidic to neutral, for a 
wide variety of community tank fish, and some plants such
as Hygros, Ambulia and Crypts.

Thanks for any help you can provide...
tparnell at oeonline_com