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drmunroe

DIY water buffer for softer acidic water...

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couple of months ago i questioned the use of epsom salts at part of a water change. I was informed about DIY buffer recipes. I checked a few out but they are for harder more alkaline water & i keep tropicals with prefer a softer more acidic water.

Anyone know of a buffer recipe to suit tropicals? im trying to keep my water neutral or slightly acidic & my tap water comes out fairly alkaline. Dont want to use pH down all the time...

tried google but didnt come up with much....

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found this info thought it may help:

the pH of an aquarium is specifically a result of the chemical reaction that causes a shift between carbon dioxide, carbonic acid, bicarbonates and carbonates. This means that the most natural way of reducing pH would be to introduce carbon dioxide to the water. Carbon dioxide reacts with water to produce carbonic acid which results in a reduction in pH. Most pH buffering chemicals produce some form of acid, causing carbonates and bicarbonates in the water to convert to carbonic acid and carbon dioxide. Some use sodium biphosphate which reacts with water to produce phosphoric acid, some use sodium bisulphate which creates sulphuric acid. By using driftwood you are adding tannic acid to the water. Using peat moss you are introducing humic acid. All of which will essentially do the same thing (though some acids are stronger than others).

There is really nothing "unnatural" about buffering chemicals and you should not be wary of using them as long as you do not overdose. The only downside to phosphate based buffers is the potential to cause algal blooms.

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G'day drmunroe,

I buy a product called Eheim Torf pellets. I used to buy it from PetWise, but they are no longer stocking it, so I am going to try and order it through PetCity.

Each box of peat comes with a porous net bag and a zip tie. I fill the the net bag and place it in the top compartment of my canister filter. If you can find a box in a LFS, it has a picture on the back of the box how they recommend to use it.

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Peat will make your water acidic but will not soften. I reckon plants do more to soften water than peat....

Epson salts will increase gH without increasing kH - which is not much use for what you want to do..

In my opinion you need either reverse osmosis, tank water to soften the water, or alternatively just don't worry about it. Most tropicals will not be that stressed and stability is more important that the actual pH value. So what tropicals are we talking about?

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