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Reducing PH in IBC

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Hi all.

I am preparing my water changes in a IBC, getting it to the right parameters and then keeping it that way. I change about 200L per week into my current breeding tanks.

I am using thetechden's blackwater extract (F***ING AMAZING STUFF, hats off to you) with a sponge filter to keep the water moving (this one Age of Aquariums - Bio - chemical sponge filter ( upto 1080 litre )).

I have got all the parameters right except ph. I have got some seachem acid buffer however, before I go ahead and use it, I want to see if anyone has had any success with Peat moss etc in a IBC?

I have attempted peat moss by adding it to a stocking and wrapping it around the spong filter (with the sponge taken off). I had it going for two weeks with not much change.

Any help/advice etc would be great as I am a little worried about seachem dropping the ph uncontrolably as my kh and gh are kept to a min. (i am breeding Albino LF, Peps and L002s)

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The basic problem is that Brisbane tap water has a high mineral content, that buffers the PH.

You can add all the peat and black water extract you want, but it's hardly going to drop the PH. Best way to lower the mineral content of water is to dilute it. An IBC holds a fair amount of water so using RO watre would be expensive, and produce a lot of waste water.

Which means rain water is likely your best option. You could then add peat or black water extract.

If you don't have access to rain water, well I don't know what you could.

I don't know how resins work or the science behind them.

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id rip off a downpipe from your guttering and plumb it onto the ibc rain water generaly comes at ph 7 with low amounts of elements in it (unless it hasnt rained for a while their will be abit of a build up in the rain) if u need a lower ph drift wood will help keep it down, for my bristlenose and americans i use the rain water but my frontosa he town water is perfect higher ph 7.7 most of the time and more trace elements(along with a salt buffer to bring it higher again upto 8.2) hope i was some help mate.

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For large water volumes the ion exchange resins (like macropore) will be an expensive option. Because of the high mineral content in the tap water you will have to a fair amount and regenerate/replace quite often.

the cheapest way for large water volumes is using hydrochloric or sulphuric acid. In large water volumes your risk of overdosing is much smaller and the black water extract will provide a small buffering capacity that will help as well.

get the hydrochloric acid from your hardware store, dilute with the same volume of water for easier handling and add a few mL at a time to your IBC until you get to the desired pH. From that you can calculate the volume you need to add per 200L so that you know how much to add each time you top up.

I do a similar thing for my 200L drum and get quite consistent pH out of that.

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Yeah, i did consider micro pour but its the $ and time Im not keen on.

what affect has the acids had on other factors ie gh kh etc.

Thank you all for comments!

Another thing, , won't impurities from your roof become an issue if you connect the down pipe to fish use water? Things like bird poo etc?

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I was dealing with high Ph and HUGE buffering capabilitys a few months ago, it would even buffer back up after acid. I solved it by speaking to techden, daydream and a bit of research.

1. I fill my IBC to full with tap water through a Carbon block (now adding setiment filter to increase carbon life as well) This helps remove heavy metals.

2. I add Chlorine nutrliser/water ager (i use superclor)

3. Check KH Levels

4. I connect my power head to a fluid bed filter that has 600ml of Macropore gold in it. Normally 2-3 days like this depending on how hard your water is.

5. Check KH levels (you will eventually figure out how long it take to get to your required KH)

6. Turn fluid bed filter off and recharge the macropore gold

7. I add Peat moss that has been pre soaked in the previous tub so it is ready to realise all the goodness. (peat moss is in stockings)

8. Watch Ph slowly drop over the next few day or so.

9. Do water changes

8. take peat moss out and repeat.

Now obviously its hard for me to tell you how much Peat moss you will need but eventually you will get used to the amount. I use a basket ball size one at the momment and it lasts about 3000L. i just let it sit in there and squeeze it when i go past. Obviously a power head as les suggested will speed this up more. Also i love Air so 4 good size air stones to mix the water up i always find beneficial.


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