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Re: Hydrochloric Acid use: Extreme Caution Advised

In a message dated 9/17/98 1:03:23 AM Pacific Daylight Time, Aquatic-Plants-
Owner at actwin_com writes:

 I remembered that someone had mentioned using Muratic (Hydrochloric Acid) to
 lower pH. I believe it was Wright. Where do I get this acid and how to I add
 it? I have tried peat, pH down, CO2 injection, adding about 10 gallons of RO
 water to my 100 gallon tank (making it 90 gallons of tap water and 10 gallons
 of RO water), and none have worked. I might see a drop of .1 or so but by the
 next day, it is gone. I have a pH of 7.4 and I need it around 6.8. My fish
 start losing color when the water is alkaline. Does anyone have a way of
 lowering pH?  >>
Three molar HCl is sold as Muriatic (in among other applications) for masonry
and swimming pool uses... but PLEASE DO look into all that's involved and be
very careful with this "fast" and relatively concentrated (compared with the
prep.s sold in the trade) proton donor/electron acceptor... Do become totally
familiar with Alkalinity and its accurate testing WAY BEFORE pouring HCl in a
system. As a self-confessed old-timer in the hobby and business of ornamental
aquatics incl. aquarium, lake and pond gardening, esp. the koi carp angle, I
will assure you that this is one area where many, MANY animals and plants have
been inadvertantly bumped off... Instead, let's get on with a general disc. of
methods of "softening" (as in removing some of the temp. or const. buffering
chemical species from waters... or maybe first of all, asking, what are your
water's parameters, what are you trying to do, and whether you should treat
your water esp. at all). I would encourage you first to investigate the 1)
Should I? Question last mentioned, 2) Investigate simple Reverse Osmosis and
various Deionization methods to just start with less pH buffering solutes from
the get go, 3) Look into the countervailing use of Carbon Dioxide infusion, 4)
Really try out "organic methods... Peat moss extracts, water percolated
through such materials... 5) Way before getting involved with inorganic acids
like HCl with high kh's... Stay tuned for other folks opinions. These are
Bob Fenner (no longer a H.S. chem. teacher, but missing the demand audience