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vwsinner asked in PetsFish · 10 years ago

I have very soft water and high alkalinity.?

I need to lower the alkalinity without further lowering the softness of the water, it's already to the point that I should be ADDING ions. Will peat moss do the trick?

3 Answers

  • Gary C
    Lv 7
    10 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    The terms can be confusing here. "Alkalinity" can mean simply a high pH, or it can refer to carbonate hardness, also known as buffering capacity.

    To make things worse, "soft water" can mean a variety of things, chemically speaking. In aquarium terms, we usually say "soft" to mean that the water has a very low mineral content, but water can also have a lot of dissolved solids (minerals) and still be "soft" in the sense of sudsing readily when detergent is added. The classic example of this is water coming out of a household water softening device. Such water is low in calcium, but quite high in sodium (water softeners typically exchange sodium ions for calcium ions), so it is more or less brackish water for aquarium purposes. (As you know, common salt is sodium chloride, which breaks into sodium and chloride ions when it is dissolved in water.)

    Soft water with a high pH is unusual, but quite possible. If your water is soft overall (meaning low in total dissolved minerals), I suspect that your buffering capacity is also low. In that case, it will be easy to reduce the pH. You can use any of the acid buffers sold for aquarium use. Peat moss in the filter or bogwood in the tank will also usually reduce the pH, although the pH of both peat moss and bogwood can vary considerably, depending on the source of the peat or wood. In addition, peat moss and bogwood will add tannins and humic acids to the water (staining the water brown or yellow), which is beneficial to most rain forest fish, especially those from "blackwater" habitats such as much of the Amazon Basin.

    If, on the other hand, you have high alkalinity in the sense of high carbonate hardness, it will be very difficult to bring down the pH of the water and keep it down. You can add acids, but the carbonates will react with the acids to neutralize them, and the pH will soon rebound to its former level, or close to it. (That's why carbonate hardness is known as "buffering capacity." Buffering capacity is defined as resistance to a drop in pH.) Usually, a different water source, such as RO or distilled water, is the only practical solution to this problem.

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  • 4 years ago

    3 hundred what? Alkalinity is frequently expressed as gadgets dKH and hardness gadgets dH. 3 hundred is impossible with the two. Are you measuring factors consistent with million or milliequivelants consistent with litre? Bettas do properly in hardness as much as dH 19. Ghost Shrimp Fan gave outstanding suggestion on a thank you to of course decrease dH. i'm a huge fan of rain water for gentle water loving species. yet another previous trick is to apply peat moss interior the filter out (will discolor the water). a huge element to examine is any substrate used. Shells, crushed coral, argonite sand are purely a number of the failings which will shop your dH severe. i might advise checking out your faucet water (maximum fish shops will try this for loose) additionally. it relatively is extremely significant to verify water hardness subject concerns. keep in mind that maximum commercially produced assessments have purely specific effective tiers.

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  • 10 years ago

    yes, aquatic plants will help. driftwood will help, but to be honest, fish can readily adapt to soft water unless the fish you are getting are very sensitive to pH.

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