How to Lower pH In water

The pH of water determines the quality of the water. By quality, we mean that the water could be hard, very hard, soft, and very soft. The pH of the water could also be acidic or alkaline. Water with a high pH can have some adverse effects on your health, pool, and the fish tank.

Your pool water with a high pH can cause skin irritation. The fish in the tank could die, for example, if the water pH is high. I'm sure you are already asking yourself how to lower pH in the water for fish.

If you discover that the water's pH in your pool or fish tank is high, how can you control pH levels in water? Fortunately, this is what we shall be discussing in this how to lower pH in water article.

What is the pH Scale?

What Is The PH Scale?

pH is a measure of the concentration of hydrogen ion, acidity, and alkalinity of a solution. This measurement is usually based on a pH scale that ranges from 0 - 14.

What Causes pH to Rise?

pH levels rise due to photosynthesis and respiration undergoing in the water. Carbon dioxide is the most common cause of this Rise as it affects the acidity of water. An increase in carbon dioxide increases acidity.

How to Lower pH in water

How to Lower pH in water

1. Drinking Water

Add Lemon Juice

If you really don’t mind the taste of lemon in your water, you can add a few drops of lemon juice or citric acid to a full glass of water. Lemons are known to lower water pH by making the water acidic.

Install a Water Filter on Your Tap

A water filter is an efficient tool that removes minerals, sediments, odor, and impurities from water using a chemical process, porous materials, or biological process. This, in turn, makes it safe fo drinking. Water filters remove minerals like sodium, fluoride, etc. These minerals are known to raise the pH of water, and installing a water filter on your tap lowers the pH.

Install a Water Filter on Your Tap

There are many types of water filters in the market which includes mechanical filters, ion exchange filters, absorption filters, reverse osmosis filter, etc. All these filters work to improve the pH of water in different forms and purify about 36L of water every hour.

For instance, mechanical filters use a physical barrier like a mesh or ceramic filter to remove dirt and other impurities from the water.

Depending on the type of water filter system that you choose, you can simply install it on your faucet. Once you turn the tap on, the water filter will lower the pH and, at the same time, remove impurities. 

Lower the pH of Large Amounts of Water With Food-Grade Acids

Citric acids, lactic acids, and other food-grade acids lower the pH of water when used in some proportions. The amount to be added depends on the type of food-grade acid that you choose, so endeavor to read the label carefully before using it. Most of these food-grade acids leave harmless compounds under the water after it has been neutralized.

Install an Acid Injection System

Install an Acid Injection System

This kind of an automated system balances the pH of water once it notices the pH level as the water emerges from its source. An acid injection system injects food-grade acids into the water, thereby lowering the pH. This system requires a professional to install it, and the cost can reach several thousands of dollars.

2. Pools

How to lower pH in pool water includes:

Add Muriatic Acid for a Quick Adjustment in Your Pool

HCL or hydrochloric acid and muriatic acid are two commonly used solvents that lower the pH of water in pools. You can either add one of these solvents directly into the pool or prepare one of them by diluting it in a bucket of water and pouring it into the pool.

Add Muriatic Acid for a Quick Adjustment in Your Pool

You should be careful when pouring these solvents in water because they can easily splash back on you due to reaction with water - and when they do, they can easily destroy your skin, except you have an overall or a protective clothing worn. It's essential that when pouring the acid into the water via a bucket, hold the bucket down close to the water’s surface. Remember to work in a ventilated area.

For additional protection, wear gloves and safety goggles if the acid splashes back onto your eye. Wait for at least 4 hours after adding the muriatic or HCL acid before allowing anyone in. If the pH of the water is still high, add a little more.

Opt for Sodium BiSulfate for  a Gentler Solution

Just like HCL or muriatic acid, sodium bisulfate lowers the pH level of your pool water to achieve balance. You can add sodium bisulfate directly into the water or dissolve them in a bucket of water, and then pour into the pool. Unlike HCL or muriatic acid, sodium bisulfate is gentler, but still highly corrosive and may not be as efficient as the former.

Remember to read the instructions on the label carefully to know how to administer the package expertly.

Install a CO2 Bubbler to in Your Pool for Long-term Balancing

Most CO2 systems are automated systems that will monitor your pool's pH levels and add the required amount of CO2 to lower the pH. You can find others that are manually operated, so you will have to be the one to monitor the pH levels of your pool and decide to add CO2 as needed.

Install a CO2 Bubbler to in Your Pool for Long-term Balancing

Installing CO2 systems can cost you several thousands of dollars, depending on if you want the automated system or the manually operated one. However, installing these systems will save you some bucks on buying one chemical to the other in the long run.

3. Aquariums

Let’s see how to lower the pH in an aquarium.

Install a CO2 Bubbler to Temporarily Lower the pH

CO2 bubbler will quickly lower the pH level of your aquarium or tank if added. This would be an excellent option if your tank's pH peaked suddenly.

The issue with this option is that it's expensive. Once CO2 is no longer available, the pH level will go back to being high or even worse. Unless you are not bothered about spending some cash on it, it can be a good option.

Another issue with CO2 bubbler is that adding it to water can kill the fish since it quickly lowers the fish tank's pH. This sudden change in pH can end the lives of your fishes. So to avert this disaster, ensure to remove the fish in the tank before trying to lower the pH with CO2 bubbler.

Place Driftwood in Your Fish Tank for Natural Filtration and Decoration

Adding clean, fresh, natural driftwood to your aquarium will lower the pH in your fish tank and help filter the water in the tank. Driftwood will give your fishes a natural, new place to explore in the water while adding some decorations.

Place Driftwood in Your Fish Tank for Natural Filtration and Decoration

The issue with driftwood is it can discolor your aquarium, making it look brownish. You can avoid this by soaking it in a container or bucket of water for about five days to remove toxins present in the wood. After that, you can add it to the tank. 

Add Peat Moss to Your Filter

Adding peat moss is another way to lower the pH in your fish tank and filter it. You should put peat moss in a mesh bag, and then place the bag tank, rather than adding it directly to the fish tank. Peat moss can clump together if you add it straight, and when you intend on cleaning your tank, they might be removed as well no matter how careful you are with the cleaning.

To get the perfect amount of peat moss that your fish tank needs, you need to measure the size of your tank first. Like driftwood, peat moss can discolor your water, so you should soak it in a container or bucket of water before adding it to the tank.

Remove Crushed Coral From Your Tank

Crushed coral can raise the pH level of your fish tank, even though it looks fantastic in the tank. Also, if you want to use it, use it only if you have fish that love an alkaline environment and not an acidic environment. 

How to lower PH quickly Easy and Natural

How to Lower pH In water FAQs

Can Vinegar Lower pH?

Vinegar is one of the cheapest and effective ways of lowering the pH of water. If anyone asks you, “Does vinegar lower pH in water?", the simple answer is yes. The only issue with vinegar is that it can alter the smell and taste of the water. So you may be cautious with adding it to your drinking water.

Does Baking Soda Lower pH?

Sodium bicarbonate or baking soda is a popular method of lowering the pH of the water and raising the alkalinity of water.

What Does Boiling Water Do to pH?

When you boil water, the hydrogen ion and hydroxide ion both increase to some extent. This increase in hydrogen ion concentration decreases the pH of water from 7 to 6.4, making it acidic.

Does Chlorine Lower pH?

Chlorine gas will lower the pH of water, but not liquid chlorine or powder chlorine, which will raise the pH.

What Should Be Adjusted First? Alkalinity or pH?

Alkalinity should be tested first before the pH, as it will buffer the pH. If alkalinity is high, then you will need to either increase or lower the pH.

How to Test the pH of Water at Home?

You can test the pH of your water at home by using litmus paper test strips. Fill up a container with clean water, and dip a test strip into the water for a few seconds. Litmus will either indicate red or blue.

How to Read pH Strips?

pH strips are used for determining the acidity or alkalinity of a solution. After dipping your test strip in the water, if the color is yellow, it indicates that the solution is slightly acidic. The acidity of a solution reads between 1 and 7, and they are indicated by warm colors of yellow, orange, etc.

The alkalinity of a solution is indicated by cooler colors, such as blue, purple, green, etc. On the pH scale, they read between 8 and 14, with 14 being most alkaline.


It isn’t rare to see that the pH of your water has become high. All you have to do is look for ways to reduce the pH, and that’s what we have provided in this how to lower pH in water article.

You can use one or a combination of methods to lower the pH of your water. However, you should carefully read how to apply each method as some are deadly if misused or in quantity larger than required.

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