Lowering PH of a 55g tank

Sanderguy777

Backstory: I have a 55g tank with a green terror, 2 firemouths, a Honduran Red Point, and assorted cories and plecos. (for those who saw my thread about the GT, I ended up adding him yesterday, and he seems fine (hasn't shown any aggression), but I'm keeping an eye on him (the HRP is in there also, but I think he will be rehomed because of the 2 firemouths picking on him.)
The tank has:
between 7.6 and 8 ph
40ppm nitrates
0 chlorine
0 nitrites
0 ammonia
300 ppm GH
180 ppm KH
temp is something around 75 or 80, but I think I need to invest in better thermometers than the $2 digital ones on amazon...

Actual questions:
1. I want to lower the PH ONLY (no need to lower the hardness, but if there is a slight drop in hardness that isn't the end of the world)

2. can I use regular peat moss, like the gardening kind, to do this? Or do I have to get the Fluval branded stuff? (sera makes it, but I'm NOT giving them $17 for 500g lol)

3. If I keep the parameters stable, do I NEED to lower PH?

I know this is going to probably be controversial, but I am curious what y'all think.
 

Revan

From my (EXTREMELY) limited research, I've found that trying to lower the pH with artificial modifiers might only be a temporary effect, and that makes sense to me due to water changes re-introducing water with the old pH levels. I've heard that the best course of action is to just keep the water params stable, and the fish should do fine. I'm not sure about the pH tolerance of the fish you listed, so I can't say if the effects would be bad or meager-none, unfortunately.
 

carsonsgjs

No need to change it in my opinion sanderguy. Looks like an ideal ph for those fish as they are CA cichlids.
 

Sanderguy777

From my (EXTREMELY) limited research, I've found that trying to lower the pH with artificial modifiers might only be a temporary effect, and that makes sense to me due to water changes re-introducing water with the old pH levels. I've heard that the best course of action is to just keep the water params stable, and the fish should do fine. I'm not sure about the pH tolerance of the fish you listed, so I can't say if the effects would be bad or meager-none, unfortunately.
That's what I've heard too, but I think the chemical ones are the worst, then the peat moss/wood is better.
No need to change it in my opinion sanderguy. Looks like an ideal ph for those fish as they are CA cichlids.
Oh, I thought they needed like 6.5 or something because they were SA lol. Good to know.
 

carsonsgjs

That's what I've heard too, but I think the chemical ones are the worst, then the peat moss/wood is better.

Oh, I thought they needed like 6.5 or something because they were SA lol. Good to know.
True for some (though not all) south american cichlids. Central american species are generally known to come from slightly harder, alkaline waters but again not all.
 

jpm995

I tried lowering the ph years ago on a 150 gal tank. I tried water softening pillows, added driftwood but in the end every water change brought the ph back up. To me it's not worth it. Most fish do fine in that ph range why add additional maintenance procedures? Over time this will lessen your enjoyment of the hobby.
 

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