Have been using it on various of my ponds and found it to be the best apart from fiber glass(if your budget allows)
Should not peel as it is a cement based product. The liquid that comes with it is latex based, so I suppose if you do not mix properly, the latex can peel but should be sucked into the plaster. If you paint on already sealed cement, it might peel due to the latex that can not be sucked in. The product should be used on raw cement, preferably shortly after you plastered.
You now also get a marble re-enforced Hydro seal which is a bit more expensive.
Th pH is not a major issue. I normally wash a bit with pool acid as Pieter suggested, fill to half, add pool acid, leave for a day, empty, fill again and two days later the pH is fine and I add fish.