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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am confronted with an interesting quandry. I live in a rural area, and we run off of well and spring water, not city water. When necessary, due to weather, drought, etc we switch from spring to well water. Well, we recently switched off of our well to our spring, due to a pump issue, and I tested the water coming out of the tap to find some extreme conditions....
All tested with the aquarium pharm. test kits
PH 8.4
GH 340.1ppm (19 DGH)
Nitrite 0ppm

my tank is currently at

PH 7.1
GH 89.5-107.4ppm (5 to 6 DGH)
nitrite 0ppm

So, how can I lower the PH of my water? Will my DIY CO2 do it? How about the GH?
What can I do?
What are the IDEAL water parameters (a range on each value, perhaps)? (the ideal water parameters would make a good sticky for the beginners forum, maybe??)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I'm more worried about plants than fish at this point. I currently have no fish in my tank, just shrimp. They are ok in what they are in now, but I'm afraid to do a water change with the new water.
 

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What is your KH? GH is essentially a measure of Ca and Mg, hopefully your GH increase is balanced with Ca and Mg and not just one of them. The KH will tell you the carbonates which are the ones that have the effect on the pH and thereby your CO2 calc's. If it were me, I don't think I'd worry about the higher GH, but do find out about the KH. My other concern would be if you had Crypts. A meltdown could well be expected.
 

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Am I remembering correctly that this is a 20 gallon tank?
How much water do you change each time?

If you're changing out 30% or so, you may not notice as much of a difference as you think.
My tap water is about 8.2 and I keep most of the tanks around 6.9 or 7. When I do a nearly 50% water change it only brings it up to 7.1 or 7.2. I'm not sure about your hardness (my KH is high), but you could try a small change of maybe 25% or less to see how much it changes your readings, then go from there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
SO your plants and your fish (and shrimp, if I remember your tank correctly) do fine in high GH, KH, as long as the CO2 brings down the PH?
And yes, it's a 20 H, and I am switching to a pressurized CO2 system with PH controller (woohoo!)
 

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iris600 said:
SO your plants and your fish (and shrimp, if I remember your tank correctly) do fine in high GH, KH, as long as the CO2 brings down the PH?
And yes, it's a 20 H, and I am switching to a pressurized CO2 system with PH controller (woohoo!)
My particular plants and fish/shrimp do fine with the high KH. I even have a couple of non-C02 tanks that I let the pH stay high in and everything does fine. It's just a matter of not getting plants that don't like those conditions.

Wow, congrats on the new plans for pressurized system and controller. That didn't take long. :) You'll love it!
 

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My KH is 9.5, GH is 12. Fish: guppies, cardinals, rasboras, sae, ottos. Shrimp: red cherries, amanos. No problems. I don't try to grow plants which supposedly need softer water.

You definitely will love pressurized. It makes life so much easier.
 
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