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Re: Keeping pH Down (Muratic Acid)

> How do I keep my pH down? Previously I had problems with lowering it. Now I
>  can't keep it down. I used a little Muratic Acid (31.4% Hydrochloric Acid) 
> to
>  lower my pH. It would drop all the way to 6.4 and my fish would gain a 
> bright
>  red color. My fish (blood parrots) need a pH of 7 or lower in order to have
>  red color. If the pH is 7 or higher my fish turn a pale color. (It's kind
>  like a pH test =P) After about 8 hours the pH shoots right back up to 7.4.
>  would like a pH of 6.8 but I just cant keep the pH down. I have set up 
> another
>  tank so that I could mess around with the pH without hurting the fish. Any
>  advice is apreciated.

	Two things happen with hydrochloric acid.  When it is first introduced to the
water, it will react with carbonates in the water, breaking it down in two
steps to carbon dioxide and water.  This reduces the acidity, bringing the pH
back up, but reducing alkalinity (the ability of the water to resist a drop in
pH).  Any HCl that survives this will evaporate overnight as hydrogen chloride
gas.  Then the pH returns to what it was.
	You might want to try sulphuric acid, which I have heard is sold in swimming
pool shops as 'dry acid'.  This will still respond to the carbonates, but it
won't evaporate away.

Bob Dixon