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My water is high 8's and I want it to be 6.8 - 7. I would like to be able to lower the Ph in the tank to start and then adjust each week when I make water changes. All the over the counter products to add to water have phosphate in them and since it will be a heavily planted tank, I don't want to use those. Since the tank is 75 gallons, I don't want to rely on RO water since that would mean lots of jugs of water to store and I would have to tinker around with the trace elements for the plants that have been removed in the process. I have heard of using sphagnum moss but that sounds again like a lot of tinkering around. I'm looking for something to add to water as I refill. I have heard also about using selzer water which, if it is safe and works, would be an option. Has anyone used that method? Has anyone found an over the counter product that does not contain phosphates? I'm new to this and want to do it correctly. Thanks for any assistance anyone can offer.
 

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Never heard of selzter water but that doesn't mean anything. I think selzter water is just Co2 in a bottle of water. However it is a planted tank, if you want to invest some money into it a injected Co2 system with a pin point or milwalkee ph monitor you can lower your ph and hold it at whatever ph you want. CO2 drive the Ph down and you plants will love it. Also Seachems makes a phospahte free water conditioner that will set you water at a Ph 7.0and you ad it when you do a WC. Diftwood tanis will lower your ph but that takes along time and will make your water tea color, when enough tanis are there to effect the Ph as much as you want.
 

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Thanks for the info. I have read that the CO2 is not good for fish which is why I have not gone that route. Could you educate me about CO2 and fish? I'll try to find the product that you suggest since that sounds like what I'm looking for. I do have driftwood in the tank but it has not changed the water color nor the Ph level. The tank is only set up for a week. No fish in it yet. I used gravel from a tank that I am taking down hoping that would speed up the cycle process. I have lots of plants: java fern, java moss, 4 kinds of crypto's and 3 kinds of anubias. I have seen a plan for a homemade CO2 set up. What does everyone think of those?
Again, thank you for the info.
 

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will the DIY system work but they are alot of work. consantly make yeast solutions, worrying if they spill did you put to much yeast in... I found them to be more work than what you get out of it... in small tanks they work will but any thing over 40 gal. yeast is to much work IMO. To much Co2 is not good for the fish as they can not breath, but like I seid a injection systems for controling ph you would need a monitor. I have 2 tanks set up with Co2 injection system just for pH is does help that they are planted as the plants use the Co2. I set mine at 6.5 and runs all night. I know some are reading this and are going what he runs his Co2 at night with the lights off, remember it only comes on when the Ph goes above 6.5 and shuts off when it reads 6.5. I using a reactor to difuss the gas so it come on for maybe 30 secs and then shuts off again. I been using the same 10lb tank for over a year now....
 

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i used two DIY yeast bottles on my first planted tank (125g) and had good growth. i changed them out every month. the only problem i had was if i squeezed the bottle I would get backflow.


with my first planted tank i circulated the water with a bag of peat for 24 hours to lower the ph and included some driftwood in the aquascape. eventualy the ph would rise aqain, but the frequent water changes prety much kept things in balance (aside from natural photosynthetic based daily fluctuations)

with future tanks, i never adjusted the water, and simply experimented to find plants that grew in my water. in high PH I've grown anubis, cryptocrines, aponegetans of several species, hygrophilia, valesneria, java fern, java moss, swords, and many others.

of course if you decide to go the high tec route, compressed CO2 and a PH controler will both provide CO2 for your plants and keep PH well ballanced
 

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Thanks to all that replied with info. Here is an update on my progress. First of all, seltzer water does lower the Ph of water but it does not last. I'm guessing that as soon as the CO2 dissipates, the Ph bumps back up. Probably good for the plants however. I am now using the Seachem phosphate free buffer and it is working very well. Added bonus is that it somehow creats CO2 for the plants in the process. I'm also using Seachem's Flourish Excel for the plants. Looks like my Ph problem is solved. Thanks again for everyone who wrote back. I would not have found these products on my own since they are not sold locally.
 
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