Anthony L020674 asked in PetsFish · 1 decade ago

The ph in my fish is way too low despite trying various products. What is the best way to raise the ph?

Currently I have a tank with Blood Parrots and an eel fish.

6 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    First test a sample of your tap water. Let it sit out for 24 hours in the vial. If the pH in your water is low, problem found.

    If not, first thing I would suggest is more frequent water changes. About 20% of the total volume with a gravel vac. On a regular basis, you should be doing this at least every two weeks. Ideally once a week. For the purpose of getting things right, once a day for two days. If necessary, take a day off before a 3rd change.

    Waste is a low pH. Human urine is about 5.5 pH. I would assume fish urine is about the same. Lots of urine in the tank would drag the pH down. If a kid pee's in an above ground pool, that pint of urine in 5,000 gallons of water will send your pH down.

    You have to find the source of the low pH. Treating it with chemicals or compounds does not eliminate the root cause, just masks it. You can only put on so much deodorant, sooner or later, you're still going to have to take a shower. Deal with all problems at their cause.

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  • Palor
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago

    A good way to keep a more constant ph and raise the ph at the same time is to add some sea shells, limestone rocks, chunks of marble (or a marble statue even) or some little pieces of coral to the tank. This raises the hardness of the water too, which can help with ph stability.

    Just be careful and make sure those shells have NEVER been bleached! The bleach can leach into the tank and kill your fish.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Don't add baking soda. Someone told me to do that and my fish died. What is your PH now? Anything between 7.2 and 8 is fine for your fish. Changing or using chemicals to change your ph isn't going to last long and it will be an every day battle to do so. If it is between 7.2 and 8 let it be. Adding chemicals to change the water will do more harm to your fish than good. Mine survive fine with the 7.5 PH

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  • 1 decade ago

    Try placing some crushed coral in a nylon bag in the filter. That will usually raise the pH and hardness slowly and evenly into the 8.0-8.2 range. Slowly is obviously better when fish are in the water. For a fast method like to prepare water for a water change, you can use a small amount of baking soda. I would say start with about 1/8 teaspoon per gallon and see what that does and slowly work your way up until you get the results you need. Again, this will increase both hardness and pH. I find that this usually gets the job done for me.


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  • 1 decade ago

    they have products that will bring the ph up to level.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Before trying to add anything to your tank, what type of water are you using in the tank? If you are using distilled water, stop. Distilled water is very soft and won't hold a higher ph.

    This is going to sound dumb but what kind of gravel do you have? Believe it or not certain types of gravel will keep your ph from increasing or increase it too much.

    The property of water to resist changes in pH is known as buffering capacity. You can determine the capacity of your buffering system by measuring total hardness. A reading of 4-6 dH or higher is usually adequate to keep the buffering system in place and maintain a stable pH. A reading under 4 dH means there isn't enough of a buffering system and the pH is likely to drop. For higher pH levels, you will probably want to aim for 6-12 dH. Many hobbyists choose to measure only Carbonate Hardness (KH), which is a measure of the calcium carbonates in your water. This test is also effective in maintaining a proper buffer system. When testing for Carbonate Hardness, a reading of 75-100 mg/L is adequate for most aquariums, while a reading of 100-200 mg/L would be desired for higher pH levels. For the purpose of freshwater aquariums, measuring either total hardness or carbonate hardness is necessary, but measuring both independently would not be needed.

    You need to know that anywhere in your aquarium where detritus (a fancy term for dirt) accumulates is a source of Phosphate production. As detritus accumulates in your gravel bed and on your filter pads, the Phosphate levels in your aquarium rise. Free Phosphate ions may bond with calcareous buffering material, precipitating calcium from your aquarium, and reducing your aquariums ability to keep pH stable. This is why it is so very important to clean your filter pads regularly and vacuum the aquarium gravel with each water change. In addition, your tap water contains buffering ions. Doing regular partial water changes will help to replenish the buffers which have been lost. This is important in all aquariums, because fish respiration and organic wastes alone will cause a gradual drop in the ability of your aquarium to buffer against pH swings.

    Now the question becomes what to do if the fish you want to keep have very special pH requirements. If your fish prefer a pH level which is reasonably close to the pH your aquarium water is naturally buffered to, then I do not recommend you make any changes at all. Unless you are keeping an extremely specialized fish your fish will be fine. On the other hand, if your fish have pH requirements which are far from the values in your tank, then you have work to do.

    Let us consider methods of raising the pH of your tap water. There are many additives on the market today which claim to raise your pH. Most of the liquid products on the market today are a 50/50 success at best when used alone only to find the ph will soon return to the normal level of 6. You also need to use a product to increase the buffering ability of your aquarium. To maintain a stable pH in the upper levels of the pH scale for fishkeeping, I would recommend using a buffering substrate such as crushed coral. You can add crushed coral to your existing aquarium. You can place larger amounts of shells or chrushed coral beneath the substraight in the tank. I personally place the crushed coral in a mesh bag and place the bag in my filter. You will want about 1 kg of crushed coral per 40 liters of water to buffer the water to hold a pH around 7.6. This method does not allow for the use of large quantities of crushed coral, but can be effective if you only need to make small adjustments to your aquariums buffering ability. This is why ocean items such as shells and ocean sand should not be used in a fresh water aquarium. It does raise the PH level.

    Be assured that attempting to control pH is the most frustrating experience for a fish hobbyist. I would guess that 50% of the problems encountered in new aquariums are a result of the aquarist attempting to change the pH level. Few fish keepers actually need to adjust their pH. For the majority of aquarists your tap water pH will be adequate. The dangers of adjusting the pH incorrectly far outweigh any benefit you may receive by moving your pH a few points on the scale.

    Remember, when it comes to adjusting your pH, less is more! Stability is most important. Routine maintenance is the key to keeping your pH stable and your fish healthy!

    Also, do not use baking soda in your tank. It does not contain the correct buffers and leaves the PH hanging. Over doing the ph (for a short time) plus adding too much additional salt is not going to do your tank any good. It will also revert back to whatever it was before when the carbon filters pull the Soda out. (less than two days)

    Hope this helps

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