How to lower pH quickly?

sheila1998

My balloon german blue ram arrived a few days ago. He is doing great and today I tested the water. Everything is at or near 0. But for pH shows pretty high pH. I’m hoping to be around 5-7. How do I quickly lower that? And keep it lower in the future? Will using filtered water from a Brita filter help? In the photos, the blue bottle is pH range results and orange brownish bottle is high range results.
 

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octo90

I’m trying to do the same thing before my raspora get delivered, ive added a couple of almond leaves to mine which should do the trick at lowering Ph
 
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angelcraze

Don't worry about pH. My pH is the same and I keep and breed south American fish including rams.

You'll want to test hardness (KH and GH). My tap KH and GH are both 2 degrees which makes my water soft with a high pH. I believe it's something my municipality adds to keep the acid water from eroding pipes, but my water is actually soft.

Another good thing to monitor is TDS (Total Dissolved Solids). My tap TDS is 40 to 80ppm confirming that my water is nice and soft for SA fish. I got my TDS meter for 40$ at my LFS, but the same one is available on amazon for 15$. I got the EZ brand.

Having said that, unless you are breeding them, most SA fish including rams can adapt to different params. It would be very helpful to acclimate them slowly to your tank with different parameters.
 
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sheila1998

I’m trying to do the same thing before my raspora get delivered, ive added a couple of almond leaves to mine which should do the trick at lowering Ph
Ive got a few almond leaves in there too and no difference yet but hopefully helps in time!
 
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Frank the Fish guy

If you really want to try to have soft acidic water, it all depends on the KH of your water source. You are going to need to know that. Get a KH kit.

You can't adjust the pH down with things like almond leaves if the KH is high. The high KH will resist the change, so you first have to remove the KH so that the natural acids (leaves, peat) will have any effect.

To reduce KH you basically have two choices. Dilute your source water with RO water, or remove the KH from the water. RO costs money.

Removing KH means that you add HCL (Hydrochloric acid, which is dangerous if you don't know how to handle it) to water in a barrel, and run an air stone The C02 will out gas slowly which is removing the KH. Once your KH is low, you can use the water to in your tank.

Basically if you have low pH source water with low KH then you are set and the leaves will work. If not, then it becomes a chemistry project. Leaves and simple additives don't work because they don't remove the KH (carbonate hardness) which buffers the pH and keeps it hard to change.
 
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sheila1998

Don't worry about pH. My pH is the same and I keep and breed south American fish including rams.

You'll want to test hardness (KH and GH). My tap KH and GH are both 2 degrees which makes my water soft with a high pH. I believe it's something my municipality adds to keep the acid water from eroding pipes, but my water is actually soft.

Another good thing to monitor is TDS (Total Dissolved Solids). My tap TDS is 40 to 80ppm confirming that my water is nice and soft for SA fish. I got my TDS meter for 40$ at my LFS, but the same one is available on amazon for 15$. I got the EZ brand.

Having said that, unless you are breeding them, most SA fish including rams can adapt to different params. It would be very helpful to acclimate them slowly to your tank with different parameters.
Is this good news? I do want to get a pair eventually to breed but for now just want my little one to be as comfortable and healthy as possible!

If you really want to try to have soft acidic water, it all depends on the KH of your water source. You are going to need to know that. Get a KH kit.

You can't adjust the pH down with things like almond leaves if the KH is high. The high KH will resist the change, so you first have to remove the KH so that the natural acids (leaves, peat) will have any effect.

To reduce KH you basically have two choices. Dilute your source water with RO water, or remove the KH from the water. RO costs money.

Removing KH means that you add HCL (Hydrochloric acid, which is dangerous if you don't know how to handle it) to water in a barrel, and run an air stone The C02 will out gas slowly which is removing the KH. Once your KH is low, you can use the water to in your tank.

Basically if you have low pH source water with low KH then you are set and the leaves will work. If not, then it becomes a chemistry project. Leaves and simple additives don't work because they don't remove the KH (carbonate hardness) which buffers the pH and keeps it hard to change.
I will get a KH test! I ordered a water hardness test a while back from a water company not an aquarium one but this is the results now. I’m not sure what it means
 

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Frank the Fish guy

BTW you are showing pH of 7.8 which is very normal and typical for many aquariums.

And no, the water filters in pitchers do not remove KH. You need a RO filter to do that. Which is not practical if you just want fish water for one tank. Folks end up going to buy the RO water by the gallon. My fish store sells it for .59c a gallon. This adds up.

Better to keep fish that like your source water. That is part of the hobby, getting to understand how we relate to the fish!
 
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sheila1998

BTW you are showing pH of 7.8 which is very normal and typical for many aquariums.

And no, the water filters in pitchers do not remove KH. You need a RO filter to do that. Which is not practical if you just want fish water for one tank. Folks end up going to buy the RO filter. My fish store sells it for .59c a gallon. This adds up.

Better to keep fish that like your source water. That is part of the hobby, getting to understand how we relate to the fish!
Great to know! I thought the pH was way off got worried for a second. I love my little ram so much he’s the reason I went and got a water test kit as I wanted to make sure things were perfect for him and now I’m wishing I had done this sooner. Idk why I avoided it! Guess out of fear that my water was way off which meant more problems
 
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Nickguy5467

ive tried going down this road and was pretty much told it was fine. but i just have a tetra tank
 
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sheila1998

ive tried going down this road and was pretty much told it was fine. but i just have a tetra tank
That definitely seems to be the answer. Which is great news
 
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Frank the Fish guy

I will get a KH test! I ordered a water hardness test a while back from a water company not an aquarium one but this is the results now. I’m not sure what it means
You are showing general hardness test (GH). Unfortunately that is not KH. KH is the key factor for the pH, not the GH.

Although your GH is reading soft. Your KH may be low too. If so you may be in business and already have soft water with low KH.

There are two kinds of softness GH which is salts and minerals and does not control the pH directly. Then there is KH which buffers and raises the pH, this is carbonate hardness.
 
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sheila1998

You are showing general hardness test (GH). Unfortunately that is not KH. KH is the key factor for the pH, not the GH.

Although your GH is reading soft. Your KH may be low too. If so you may be in business and already have soft water with low KH.

There are two kinds of softness GH which is salts and minerals and does not control the pH directly. Then there is KH which buffers and raises the pH, this is carbonate hardness.
Okay still possibly good news then! I will order a KH test today. I didn’t realize you could have high pH with soft acidic water since the common thing seems to be high pH with hard alkaline. Geez this is why I failed every science class in high school lol. He seems to be doing great though. Started eating on the first day he arrived too. I was just worried about his colors they’re a little dull but could be because he’s pretty young too?
 
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angelcraze

Is this good news? I do want to get a pair eventually to breed but for now just want my little one to be as comfortable and healthy as possible!
It can be good news is what i'm saying. And as said, your GH is relatively low which means your KH could also be low. The next step is to test that KH.

If he's eating on the first day that is great news! They are not as colorful when young and if he is new, he will likely color up some in a week or two once he is used to the tank and more comfortable. Totally normal imo.
 
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sheila1998

It can be good news is what i'm saying. And as said, your GH is relatively low which means your KH could also be low. The next step is to test that KH.

If he's eating on the first day that is great news! They are not as colorful when young and if he is new, he will likely color up some in a week or two once he is used to the tank and more comfortable. Totally normal imo.
He was totally colorless when he arrived so I’m happy theres some color showing I just hope it stays. I can’t wait to get that test in the mail. Thank you so so much for all your help
 
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RishonRJ

but if ph is over 8, try adding some 1 drop of vinegar.that should help.
 
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