Ph won’t go down

RLI

So I just started 2 tanks up 20 and a 29 gallon I use well water and it’s ph is naturally around 7.8 and I threw driftwood in my tanks and the ph wasn’t going down so I went to my local fish store and they gave me acid and alkaline buffer and told me to follow the instructions and it would lower my ph. It’s almost been a week and instead of using a little alkaline buffer I started using none because the ph was still not moving so for the past 5 days I have been using no alkaline buffer and today I just doubled the dosage I was using and now I still don’t under stand why my ph hasn’t moved a single bit can someone please help me figure out a way to lower my ph.
P.s my other water perimeters are pristine

Here are my tanks
 

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imyourhuckleberry

Edit to clarify: What was the KH of your water before adding the alkaline? If it is high that “buffer” determines how much acidity is required to move the ph.
 
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RLI

What is the KH of your water? If it is high that “buffer” determines how much acidity is required to move the ph.
The Kh is 3 in the 20 and 8 in the 29
 
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StanV

Have you tried PH Regulator? Seachem Neutral Regulator could work. I used to have a low ph problem. My ph was at like 6.5 for like 2 months and I kept doing water changes and adding buffers and nothing. Lastly I added that ph regulator and after like 2 days I added ph buffer by API and now it’s at 7.2, If you do end up trying the regulator try to use the exact amount it tells and a teeny bit more. // Seachem Neutral Regulator https://www.amazon.com/dp/B000255P9E/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_glt_fabc_VHCFC0KTKT6WYB82MSZ2?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1
 
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RLI

Edit to clarify: What was the KH of your water before adding the alkaline? If it is high that “buffer” determines how much acidity is required to move the ph.
I don’t remember but I can test my well waters kh
Have you tried PH Regulator? Seachem Neutral Regulator could work. I used to have a low ph problem. My ph was at like 6.5 for like 2 months and I kept doing water changes and adding buffers and nothing. Lastly I added that ph regulator and after like 2 days I added ph buffer by API and now it’s at 7.2, If you do end up trying the regulator try to use the exact amount it tells and a teeny bit more. // Seachem Neutral Regulator https://www.amazon.com/dp/B000255P9E/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_glt_fabc_VHCFC0KTKT6WYB82MSZ2?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1
Ok thanks I’ll try it
 
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LowConductivity

2nd for figuring out the KH from the faucet.

What fish are you keeping that makes 7.8 problematic? Are we trying to lower it to hatch/breed something specific?
 
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RLI

2nd for figuring out the KH from the faucet.

What fish are you keeping that makes 7.8 problematic? Are we trying to lower it to hatch/breed something specific?
I want to keep corys, Gbr, Apistos, otos, rummy nose, and phantom tetras and im planning on breeding the apistos, i really dont want my fish to have health problems because it sucks when they do so i want them to have a good ph
 
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Pfrozen

Alkaline buffer raises pH first of all... But you shouldn't be remineralizing tap water unless you already have ultra soft water.. Those products are for RO water

Cut your tap water with distilled if you want to lower your pH or switch entirely to RO and remineralize properly
 
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RLI

Alkaline buffer raises pH first of all... But you shouldn't be remineralizing tap water unless you already have ultra soft water.. Those products are for RO water

Cut your tap water with distilled if you want to lower your pH or switch entirely to RO and remineralize properly
My well water is naturally high and we use salts to clean it so water conditioner doesnt work but i have to use the well water before its filtered so there are still tons of minerals and i bought the alkiline buffer to balance it out
 
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MacZ

i have to use the well water before its filtered so there are still tons of minerals and i bought the alkiline buffer to balance it out

Alkaline buffer IS minerals. So you add more minerals to already high minerals.
 
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LowConductivity

Cut your tap water with distilled if you want to lower your pH or switch entirely to RO and remineralize properly

This^^^.
7.8 and "hard" water is fine for general maintenance of your fish, I'd even argue its better for growing out fry. For breeding Apistogramma, you'll probably need to remove a large portion of the KH/GH to get eggs to hatch for species other than borellii, cacatuoides, and macmasteri.
 
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RLI

This^^^.
7.8 and "hard" water is fine for general maintenance of your fish, I'd even argue its better for growing out fry. For breeding Apistogramma, you'll probably need to remove a large portion of the KH/GH to get eggs to hatch for species other than borellii, cacatuoides, and macmasteri.
Im also concerned about my other fish too they wouldnt necessarily be considered hardy and my
Im also concerned about my other fish too they wouldnt necessarily be considered hardy
Alkaline buffer IS minerals. So you add more minerals to already high minerals.
I havent been using alkaline buffer i just got it too keep it as a just in case type of thing, i bought the alkaline buffer because just in case it dropped too low i could put a little in
 
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mattgirl

In most cases chasing a specific pH value isn't advised. Most of the fish available to us have been tank raised. Unless you are getting wild caught fish yours probably weren't born and raised in the same type of water their wild cousins live it. The numbers you see online refer to the waters the fish originate from.

Unless you plan on going full on RO water and remineralizing to specific parameters it might be best to just work with what you have.

I am going to call on StarGirl I know she has very hard water. Hopefully she can tell you what type fish she has. I suspect the ones you have will do fine with the parameters of your water as long as they are acclimated to it.
 
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RLI

In most cases chasing a specific pH value isn't advised. Most of the fish available to us have been tank raised. Unless you are getting wild caught fish yours probably weren't born and raised in the same type of water their wild cousins live it. The numbers you see online refer to the waters the fish originate from.

Unless you plan on going full on RO water and remineralizing to specific parameters it might be best to just work with what you have.

I am going to call on StarGirl I know she has very hard water. Hopefully she can tell you what type fish she has. I suspect the ones you have will do fine with the parameters of your water as long as they are acclimated to it.
Alright thanks i didn't know that the numbers online were just where they came from thanks
 
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MacZ

I havent been using alkaline buffer i just got it too keep it as a just in case type of thing, i bought the alkaline buffer because just in case it dropped too low i could put a little in

In such a case a waterchange would be much more effective than an additive.

While I agree with mattgirl that CHASING pH is a bad idea, a very conscious reduction in hardness and pH, for example for breeding, is ok.
BUT (you all knew there is a but): Before even starting the basics have to be absolutely clear. Because any mistakes based on wrong ideas about how water chemistry works will be potentially dangerous for the fish.
 
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mattgirl

Alright thanks i didn't know that the numbers online were just where they came from thanks
This is what it is in most cases. There are some fish that have to have specific parameters. When folks keep those kinds of fish they normally strip the water of everything in it and then add back what is needed in the proper proportions.

In your case you may want to use water straight from the well instead of using it after it has gone through the softener.
 
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RLI

In such a case a waterchange would be much more effective than an additive.

While I agree with mattgirl that CHASING pH is a bad idea, a very conscious reduction in hardness and pH, for example for breeding, is ok.
BUT (you all knew there is a but): Before even starting the basics have to be absolutely clear. Because any mistakes based on wrong ideas about how water chemistry works will be potentially dangerous for the fish.
So doing waterchanges is better than trying to lower the ph even if the ph stays high
This is what it is in most cases. There are some fish that have to have specific parameters. When folks keep those kinds of fish they normally strip the water of everything in it and then add back what is needed in the proper proportions.

In your case you may want to use water straight from the well instead of using it after it has gone through the softener.
I use the water straight from the well and im assuming thats why its so hard
 
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MacZ

So doing waterchanges is better than trying to lower the ph even if the ph stays high

No. In case you have a pH drop (which is absolutely unlikely) you do a waterchange and don't add anything.

In your case you may want to use water straight from the well instead of using it after it has gone through the softener.

Not with this goal:

I want to keep corys, Gbr, Apistos, otos, rummy nose, and phantom tetras and im planning on breeding the apistos

I see three fish in this list, that are actually best kept in softer, more acidic water. GBRs, Apistos and Otos.

But reading this threat I find there are some misconceptions at work about the fish, about water chemistry and about how to keep them.

I bet LowConductivity can contribute a bit more than 1-2 sentences about breeding apistos and safely lowering pH.
I could write up something in general, but I'll be offline until late at night today (and there is the problem I live in a time zone at least 8 hours apart from most of you).
 
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RLI

No. In case you have a pH drop (which is absolutely unlikely) you do a waterchange and don't add anything.



Not with this goal:



I see three fish in this list, that are actually best kept in softer, more acidic water. GBRs, Apistos and Otos.

But reading this threat I find there are some misconceptions at work about the fish, about water chemistry and about how to keep them.

I bet LowConductivity can contribute a bit more than 1-2 sentences about breeding apistos and safely lowering pH.
I could write up something in general, but I'll be offline until late at night today (and there is the problem I live in a time zone at least 8 hours apart from most of you).
Ok thanks for the help im extremely glad to find out i can still keep otos, gbrs, and apistos
 
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MacZ

Don't be too enthusiastic. Wait until we provided all the basic info you need. And while GBRs are only one species with domestic forms, Otos are actually about half a dozen species you can hardly distinguish unless you are one of maybe 3-4 specialists on this planet and Apistogramma are at about 100 scientifically described species, at least 50 undescribed and a few dozen domestic strains.

I'll be off now for some hours, hopefully some people can fill you in on some stuff i the meantime.
 
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StarGirl

Most aquarium fish are used to the water of farms and not the natural habitat. If high pH was a issue the whole state of Michigan would have issues. It runs 8.2 pH everywhere. I have hard water 8 KH and 15 GH, I have had many different types of fish. Including Rams. Yeah I wont be setting up a Discus tank any time soon....lol
 
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MacZ

All well, now for some fish there is the problem of being most often wild caught (Otos are finnicky anyway, hard water is one of the many things that contribute to their often quick demise) or if you want to breed fish, if the water isn't soft and acidic the eggs won't hatch or fry won't develop well, which is the case for many Apistogramma, though far from all of them.

How to reduce pH safely, in a nutshell:

KH (measure of carbonates) and pH (measure of H+ions, the more H+ the lower the pH) are connected. KH determines how many H+ are necessary to lower pH, because it counterbalances the H+. If there is KH in the water, the H+ first have to "neutralise" it, before there is any change in pH. Only the surplus over the amount necessary to neutralise changes it. In addition the pH scale is logarithmic. You need double the amount of H+ to get from a pH of 6 to 5 than from 7 to 6.

Problem with hard water: When you do that with hard water you have a high amount of carbonates to neutralise, meaning you have to add a lot or very strong acids AND with each waterchange you remove H+ and replenish KH. So you have to add H+ again each waterchange. And that's the dangerous part: It leads to fluctuations that are not easy to predict and happen fast.
PH-chasing is the approach to do exactly this. Mixing and matching with additives and acids without changing anything about the water before.

Safe pH reduction is based on the principle: Remove KH first, so you need little and weak acid for results without endangering the fish.
There are two ways of doing this. One is RO (reverse osmosis), one is DI (de-ionisation). While RO removes almost everything (to a degree) from your water and leaves you with GH and KH below detection level, DI removes all ions and minerals, leaving organic compounds (like nitrates) in the water. Both have their pros and cons. Google the rest. ;)

I work with RO, so I'll use that for the example. When you use that stuff, your water will be extremely soft, so a little mixing in of tap is almost necessary, so at least a minimal amount of minerals is present needed for the fish. One can then use botanicals or peat to lower pH.

Botanicals are the mild way, but don't get you to very low pH numbers. They also won't get you there fast. Only an approach for the patient ones. Peat (not peat moss, there's a difference) will get you to pH readings between 5 and 6 quite fast, but it usually stabilises in that region. Perfect actually.

People might say a tank in that low pH won't cycle: Yes it does cycle. Just slower and different. There is a lot of misinformation about the cycle anyway, but that's not the topic here. I can tell, as can others: It does work in low pH, no question.
 
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RLI

All well, now for some fish there is the problem of being most often wild caught (Otos are finnicky anyway, hard water is one of the many things that contribute to their often quick demise) or if you want to breed fish, if the water isn't soft and acidic the eggs won't hatch or fry won't develop well, which is the case for many Apistogramma, though far from all of them.

How to reduce pH safely, in a nutshell:

KH (measure of carbonates) and pH (measure of H+ions, the more H+ the lower the pH) are connected. KH determines how many H+ are necessary to lower pH, because it counterbalances the H+. If there is KH in the water, the H+ first have to "neutralise" it, before there is any change in pH. Only the surplus over the amount necessary to neutralise changes it. In addition the pH scale is logarithmic. You need double the amount of H+ to get from a pH of 6 to 5 than from 7 to 6.

Problem with hard water: When you do that with hard water you have a high amount of carbonates to neutralise, meaning you have to add a lot or very strong acids AND with each waterchange you remove H+ and replenish KH. So you have to add H+ again each waterchange. And that's the dangerous part: It leads to fluctuations that are not easy to predict and happen fast.
PH-chasing is the approach to do exactly this. Mixing and matching with additives and acids without changing anything about the water before.

Safe pH reduction is based on the principle: Remove KH first, so you need little and weak acid for results without endangering the fish.
There are two ways of doing this. One is RO (reverse osmosis), one is DI (de-ionisation). While RO removes almost everything (to a degree) from your water and leaves you with GH and KH below detection level, DI removes all ions and minerals, leaving organic compounds (like nitrates) in the water. Both have their pros and cons. Google the rest. ;)

I work with RO, so I'll use that for the example. When you use that stuff, your water will be extremely soft, so a little mixing in of tap is almost necessary, so at least a minimal amount of minerals is present needed for the fish. One can then use botanicals or peat to lower pH.

Botanicals are the mild way, but don't get you to very low pH numbers. They also won't get you there fast. Only an approach for the patient ones. Peat (not peat moss, there's a difference) will get you to pH readings between 5 and 6 quite fast, but it usually stabilises in that region. Perfect actually.

People might say a tank in that low pH won't cycle: Yes it does cycle. Just slower and different. There is a lot of misinformation about the cycle anyway, but that's not the topic here. I can tell, as can others: It does work in low pH, no question.
Thanks so much that clears a lot up so unless I want to spend a ton a ro or di I have to either deal with high ph or try to bring it down with tap or distilled water, if I can should I just buy a ton of almond leaves and try that out yesterday I tried somthing new with the acid buffer where I put it in the tested it like 1 hour after I did then tested it once every hour after that but what I found happened was that my ph did go down but bounced back up really quickly after that and it also destroyed my kh so what I did was put some baking soda in there and I’m going to try to get my kh up and then try to do the acid buffer so that it will hopefully stay down after that. Another thing I’m going to do is bring my well water to the local fish store and ask them to test it for everything they can and then get a diagnosis on what is good and what is bad then I might buy a couple of cheap fish to put in the tank and see if they can adapt well then I will slowly put the rest of my fish in and see how they do and work my self up to my more expensive fragile fish
 
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Pfrozen

IAL will work to soften your water in the tank with KH 3 but it won't do anything in the tank with KH 8. It also happens slowly over time as opposed to right away
 
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MacZ

yesterday I tried somthing new with the acid buffer where I put it in the tested it like 1 hour after I did then tested it once every hour after that but what I found happened was that my ph did go down but bounced back up really quickly after that and it also destroyed my kh so what I did was put some baking soda in there and I’m going to try to get my kh up and then try to do the acid buffer so that it will hopefully stay down after that.

This is exactly the mix and match approach I warned about. "Acid buffer" (an oxymoron btw.) is diluted hydrochloric acid. I wouldn't do this. But your decision.
 
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RLI

This is exactly the mix and match approach I warned about. "Acid buffer" (an oxymoron btw.) is diluted hydrochloric acid. I wouldn't do this. But your decision.
What I think im going to do is a big water change leave my ph where it is and just get some livebearers and maybe apisto cacatoidese
 
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