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Re: Water conditioning

Dave writes:

> The tap water coming into my house is ringing in at a pH of 10 or a
>  little under and a KH that varies between 3 and 4.  What do you think
>  would be the best way of going about  conditioning this water for the
>  purpose of getting a planted tank with some Angel fish going?
>  (Preferably 6.5- 7.0 pH, little change in KH if at all possible, yes?)
>  I'm working on getting a CO2 rig together, but won't have it complete
>  for some time. I have had some recommendations on the Seachem Acid
>  Buffer, but I'm concerned about the low KH being a liability there.

It sounds like you have one of those really unique water suppies.  Such a low 
KH usually is not accompanied by that high of a pH.  If  I had such a water 
sourse, I would buy some muriatic acid at the local hardware store, for about 
$3/quart, and very, very carefully add it to three quarts of distilled water 
from the grocery store.  Then I would have a gallon of really cheap, really 
effective "pHDown", with nothing it it but H2O and about 7% hydrochloric acid 
(that's what muriatic is).  Then I would set up a gallon of this weird tap 
water, and add some amount, say ten drops, of my dilute acid.  The next day I 
would test it to see what effect ten drops/gal has on the water.  From there, 
it would be easy to bring down the pH to where I want it, and use that same 
approach for every water change.

Seachem Acid Buffer has stuff in it that I don't know what it is.  I like to 
have control of what goes into my tanks.  Once folks travel down the path of 
commercial additives with unknown ingredients, they often find themselves 
adding chemical product "A" to get one effect, then countering some side 
effect with chemical product "B", getting a new side effect which calls for 
chemical product "C", and before you know it, you've got fish swimming around 
in water with more chemicals than a toxic waste site.

Bob Dixon