Lowering ph in 75 gallon tank

Brendoboi

I got a new 75 gallon aquarium for bala sharks and added water. I was going to do a fish less cycle and tested my water ph and found out it was 8.6 ph. Is there a way to lower while keeping the water clear?
 

MacZ

Is there a certain reason why you want to lower the pH? Because the pH will go down while it cycles anyways. Give it a week or two and you should see changes.
 

RonP

Based on experience trying to lower ph , I believe it is better to consider fish compatible with natural pH.

African Cichlids, even dwarf cichlids like Multies will thrive.
My ph is naturally 8.2..I have tried to lower it for a breeding pair of Kribs..I have used Indian almond leaves, and Mopani drift wood. Hard to keep pH down. Frequent changes to pH are tough on fish.
There are chemicals to reduce pH. I have not used them, but knowledgeable people on this forum have advised against using them.
 

LowConductivity

I got a new 75 gallon aquarium for bala sharks and added water. I was going to do a fish less cycle and tested my water ph and found out it was 8.6 ph. Is there a way to lower while keeping the water clear?
Before we go all crazy playing chemistry set, can we wait 24 hours and check the pH again?
 

Brendoboi

Before we go all crazy playing chemistry set, can we wait 24 hours and check the pH again?
I tested it after 2 days
 

LowConductivity

I tested it after 2 days
That makes it easier.

I’d be less concerned about the PH, and more concerned about the hardness. Probably time to google up your city water quality report, or test the well. Let’s see where the total dissolved solids fall
 

Rye3434

without reverse osmosis not really, is there a particular reason why? Are the fish suffering?
 

Brendoboi

That makes it easier.

I’d be less concerned about the PH, and more concerned about the hardness. Probably time to google up your city water quality report, or test the well. Let’s see where the total dissolved solids fall
The hardness is about 226ppm
 

GlennO

Best to keep hard water species. The tank is a bit small for Bala sharks anyway.
 

Brendoboi

without reverse osmosis not really, is there a particular reason why? Are the fish suffering?
With reverse osmosis what level would the ph go down to
Best to keep hard water species. The tank is a bit small for Bala sharks anyway.
I am just keeping them in there temporarily
 

LowConductivity

The hardness is about 226ppm
Not bad. I expected worse.

I'd go buy a 40 gallon can to age water in, and a jug of Kleen Strip concrete cleaner (muriatic acid) from home depot. Add a few mL of acid to the storage water, and measure PH 48 hours later. Repeat until you like your PH, and there ya go
 

ruud

RO water itself is neutral (pH 7) until it contacts with air, absorbs CO2, making the water acidic. But when you fill your tank with RO water, obviously other factors are at play. In general, it is pretty hard to get below pH6, unless you start using peat (which is not something I recommend) or some pretreatment as LowConductivity suggests.
 

MacZ

RO water itself is neutral (pH 7) until it contacts with air, absorbs CO2, making the water acidic. But when you fill your tank with RO water, obviously other factors are at play. In general, it is pretty hard to get below pH6, unless you start using peat (which is not something I recommend) or some pretreatment as LowConductivity suggests.
It comes down to acid (which might end up getting too low and has no buffer capacity even in low pH), peat (usually stabilizes between 5 and 6 pH) or botanicals (stabilizes at 5.5 - 6.5, takes weeks and months to reach below 6.5).

Using RO water makes you dependent on it. If you want the levels to be constant the mix ratio should be kept up with every waterchange.
 

ruud

It comes down to acid (which might end up getting too low and has no buffer capacity even in low pH), peat (usually stabilizes between 5 and 6 pH) or botanicals (stabilizes at 5.5 - 6.5, takes weeks and months to reach below 6.5).

Using RO water makes you dependent on it. If you want the levels to be constant the mix ratio should be kept up with every waterchange.
I think you are right. My wannabe blackwater tank reads 6-ish, but perhaps I should not rely too much on a 5+ year old test set....
The substrate is nothing but a layer of leaves and botanicals that I've been keeping for years. Water is ~50% RO, ~50% tap.
 

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