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Ozalie

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Aug 31, 2002
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My brother has deceiced to have a aquarium. He said he likes fish that require low p.h (6.5-7)His p.h is around 8 out of tap. I keep cichlids so have never had to lower ph before! So my question to everyone is What will work the best to lower his ph and not cost a fortune?? He plans on a 55g. thanks
 

Ozalie

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I can do that , what if its not low enough? I don't want him wasteing money on all the stuff out there that doesn't work.....
 

OrionGirl

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First off, he can acclimate many fish to a higher pH, and should try that route before messing with his water chemistry.

Keeping driftwood in the tank will naturally lower the pH, but as with most methods, will add tannins to the water, resulting in a tea stained look (which amazonian fish will love). Adding a baggie of peat to the filter will do this as well. Both methods are cheap but won't take really high water down to a really low pH.
 

keely

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Nov 28, 2002
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You say "fish that require low p.h (6.5-7)." What fish are these? And do they require it for survival, or just for breeding?

The ideal range or recommended range of pH that you read in all the species descriptions is a TOTALLY different thing than the range the fish can live in comfortably.

My tap is 7.8. All my current fish prefer a neutral or acidic pH, according to the literature, and do great. It's stable and water changes are a breeze. Both the fish stores I go to regularly use city tap water just like me (dechlorinated) and it's what the fish are used to when I bring them home.

If your brother is a beginner the best advice I can give is NOT to play with pH. Beginners have enough problems without dumping more stuff in the tank thinking their pH needs to stay at 7. It makes everything more expensive, more of a hassle, tends to result in fluctuations which are harder on fish than a stable high pH, and is totally unnecessary in most cases where your tap water is drinkable.

If you could specify what particular species your brother has in mind, it would be easier to say what conditions they require. :)
 

Ozalie

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All you said is pretty much what I told him.I've had other fish (silver dollar's)and have pitus cats which do great in my tanks even though they like lower ph then I have.
He wants to try discus. He has his mind set to give it a shot,even though I told him to start with something less diffacult. so I would like them to survive in his water !From what I understand they like a p.h of 6-7 .
 

keely

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Discus, huh? Well that's ambitious for a first tank ;)

I think the pH would be a problem for discus. I think your brother is in for a few headaches using discus as "learning fish" but you never know. You could try cutting your tap water with RO water in varying amounts, and see whether you can get into range that way.

The commerical pH adjusters tend to use phosphates, which can create an algae problem among other things.
 

Ozalie

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hey I give him a A+ for researching his fish before buying anything ! Yeah I told him not even to mess with ph down.
 
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