1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data Prior to introducing livestock, a fishkeeper may establish colonies of nitrosifying and nitrifying bacteria by repeatedly inoculating an aquarium with a solution of ammonia (to simulate the presence of fish). At the end of the process there is a high concentration of nitrate in the water - typically of the order of 80mg/l. May such a concentration of nitrate lower pH? 2. Relevant equations [none understood] 3. The attempt at a solution And anyway, what kind(s) of nitrate is it? Cations can come only from the virgin water (usually tapwater) in which there is typically a preponderance of calcium and magnesium. Is calcium nitrate more likely than magnesium nitrate? I have read that the former's pH is around 4 or 5 ; while the latter's is around neutral. So if calcium nitrate forms there'll be a heap of extra H+ ions around ... ... which is fine so long as there's sufficient buffer (in the form of bicarbonate) to soak them up. If not, then presumably high nitrate in low-buffered water would indeed tend to acidify? Would nitric acid form? Or am I on the wrong track altogether?