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High PH and Hard Water


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I live in northern Indiana and we have really hard water.  My pH is testing at 8.0 or a bit higher and I know I likely have very hard water even though my test kit hasn't arrived yet so I haven't tested that yet.

Anyway, I have a new planted tank (20 gal.) that is currently cycling. 

Question:  how do I safely lower my pH and soften up my water?  RO is not an option.  I've yet to add any fish or invertebrates to my tank but i want to have things ready when it's time!

Thank you in advance!  

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I have the same issue. I ended up allowing my current fish to get used to the pH instead of "chasing" an ideal pH, and any new species will have to be ones that are fine with a high pH. As for hardness, I stick with animals and plants that are okay with it. (Livebearers definitely are.) Maybe it's both worth it to you, and possible for you, to change your water. But just adapting to it is probably far less work. 

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Hello @Mread, why do you want to lower your pH? Are you attempting to breed a certain fish species? If you could provide an idea on what species you would like to keep, that would be helpful. 

It is often not necessary to attempt to chase certain water parameters. Typically stability in an aquarium is all you need to keep a healthy thriving environment. 

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12 hours ago, Mread said:

. . . Question:  how do I safely lower my pH and soften up my water?  RO is not an option.  I've yet to add any fish or invertebrates to my tank but i want to have things ready when it's time!

Thank you in advance!  

 

Don't.  I have a wide variety of fish, invertebrates, and plants thriving in 8.2 pH water.  I don't remember what my gh and kh are, but when I checked with the liquid test kit it took more drops than were on the chart.

Unless you're planning to stock with discus or German Blue rams you'll probably be fine, and most fish will do better with stable parameters somewhat outside their "ideal" than they will with them fluctuating while the fish keeper chases "perfect" numbers.

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On 5/24/2021 at 10:49 PM, Isaac M said:

Hello @Mread, why do you want to lower your pH? Are you attempting to breed a certain fish species? If you could provide an idea on what species you would like to keep, that would be helpful. 

It is often not necessary to attempt to chase certain water parameters. Typically stability in an aquarium is all you need to keep a healthy thriving environment. 

On 5/25/2021 at 9:46 AM, JettsPapa said:

 

Don't.  I have a wide variety of fish, invertebrates, and plants thriving in 8.2 pH water.  I don't remember what my gh and kh are, but when I checked with the liquid test kit it took more drops than were on the chart.

Unless you're planning to stock with discus or German Blue rams you'll probably be fine, and most fish will do better with stable parameters somewhat outside their "ideal" than they will with them fluctuating while the fish keeper chases "perfect" numbers.

I’m not looking to breed any particular species.  I’m just looking to house a nice community tank.  I wanted to see if I actually needed to worry about my high ph/water hardness.  

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@Mread personally, I think you will be fine with your water. My ph is between 8.0-8.4 usually and I have no issues. I think you can have a great community tank. I would focus more on keeping a stable environment rather than chasing certain numbers. It is much easier on you and the fish that way. Plus, you can save that money and time for buying more plants and spending time enjoying the fish and inverts! 

Let me know if you have any questions given that we have similar water, I would gladly assist in any way I can. Good luck with the cycling process! 

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