I have always struggled witk low pH in my tanks. One thing occurred to me the other day as I was topping off my water - I was adding neutral water to the tank. Certainly this will drag down my pH. So now I am thinking of adding buffer to my top off water, maybe trying to raise it to 8.4? Where is my thinking gonna fall?
When I test it at the end of a light cycle, it can be as low as 7.7, after a dark cycle, I have recorded 7.5 at times. I use an API test kit. I strive for 8.2, but can not seem to keep it there. Whenever I visit a LFS, I have them test it as well. Always, the comment is the same - low pH.
I don't see anything suffering, per se; but I am not knowledgeable enough to say whether or not things are truly "thriving". Though, I'd like to think so! I have been told that a higher pH will help to keep my Ca levels higher, too.
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