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I am helping a friend breed some fish that need soft water, dose Lava rock raise the PH of the water? Its just the lava rock that can be purchased from Home Depot. The water in this area comes out of the tap at 8.1 PH and its fairly hard. I am wondering it the lava rock is acting as a buffer or is it just the water.
 

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Lava rock is usually inert, but can contain contaminants that have given folks an absolute miserable experience without warning so it is possible that it is to blame.

The best way to find out is to start removing variables one by one... check pH, GH and KH of your tap water right away, after 24 hours in a bucket and after 24 hours in the aquarium...

if it's different, then you pull stuff out of the aquarium and place in the bucket test... scoop if substrate, rocks, etc.

Hope that helps.
 
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