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Anyone tried to reduce PH with black tea?


inkspot007
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i'm trying something and wondered if anybody else have tried it. I have seen from many fellow aquarium keepers that, to lower PH in your water, adding driftwood, leaves, etc. will reduce PH and the tannins in the wood and dried leaves will do the trick. So, I thought, black tea might do the same. I drink black tea and, since I have used teabags every time I have tea, why not try it in my higher-PH aquarium and see. I checked with simple strip and, indeed, the black tea I was drinking was more less acidic, below 6.8 PH.  My well water for my aquarium (30 gallon) is about 7.2 PH. While it is fine for my fish and shrimp, I just wanted to experiment a bit. Seeing that black tea is safe to drink, it should be safe for fish tanks as well. I guess if you want quick result you could use a fresh new teabag but I thought that might be too strong. Anyways, just thought I put it out there and see. My result is, yes, it does reduce the PH but slowly.  I am cautiously checking and see if my fish/shrimp will behave differently in lower PH.

Teabag.jpg

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That's an interesting experiment. It will obviously brown the water, and you need to be sure the tea is organically produced, and some bags have a staple for the chord so this can't be copper etc?

Most people use RO water for shrimps that need a low PH and RO water has a low PH anyway.

I will be interested to hear how you get on though!

Simon

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Using tea to add tannins and reduce pH is not new. All sorts of tea leaves can be used. I have personally tried and used Green tea leaves, Jasmine tea leaves and Rooibos.

And yes they work, very effectively. I suggest Rooibos, as that is supposed to have no caffeine. Black tea is much higher in caffeine content than the tea leaves I listed above. Just boil it, let it cool and add into the tank.

It's not for everyone, as Simon indicated. It turns the water a ... tea colour. 🙄 😅

But I used it to recreate an Amazonian biotope. That dark tea colour is perfect for dwarf cichlids, discus, angels, tetras, anything from South America. Apart from colour, there are natural anti bacterial properties due to the increased tannins as well. So it's good for the fish.

You will need to keep adding new tea leaves if you want to keep maintaining a low pH however. Unless you do something about the water that is being added. If your water changes are with Hard water, it will be a constant battle to reduce pH.

Edited by jayc
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My shrimp tank uses dried Indian almond for the food and grow biofilm, Indian almond leave also stabilize the water for the right condition right for shrimps.

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  • 9 months later...

It is an interesting experiment! Most people use RO water for shrimps that need a low PH and RO water has a low PH anyway.

I will really be interested to hear how to get this though. 

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  • 9 months later...

The pH of drinking water is very important and should be between 6.2 and 8.5, with a domestic ro system the alkalinity level varies depending on location, but may vary from 80 to 400 ppm (mg/L). Although domestic ro systems are great for removing contaminants that have low solubility at high temperatures, they are not good at removing dissolved metals or organic chemicals which have high solubility in water. Another interesting tip is that domestic ro system filters should be changed on a regular basis, some domestic ro systems have cartridges that need to be replaced every 3 months, while some domestic ro systems can last up to 6 months.

Edited by Franks
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