Is your aquarium pH level off the normal level? If so, what do you do about it? Fish Tank pH levels, like any water chemistry problem, can usually be fixed with chemicals. The only problem is that these chemicals have side effects and they sometimes cause more problems than they help.
What Aquarium pH Level Should I Keep?
First, let’s take a minute to learn a little bit about your aquarium pH. You fish tank water has a pH measurement of somewhere between 0-14. A measurement of 7 is neutral, 0 is the most acidic, and 14 is the most alkaline. I won’t bore you with any more chemistry. You can pick up an aquarium pH meter or test kit if you do not have one already to give you your tanks reading. The target range for most freshwater fish is 6.5-7.5. There are exceptions to this rule, so it is wise to read up on you specific fish species.
How Do I Adjust My Aquarium pH Level?
It’s important to realize that your fish will adapt to small fluctuations of pH. The small changes within the 6.5-7.5 range are nothing to worry about. If you see your levels falling outside of the optimal range you will want to address the problem. As I said before, there are chemicals available that will either lower or raise your pH level.
How to Raise Your Aquarium pH
To raise your aquarium pH I would first try a couple of water changes. Many times this will do the trick before introducing chemicals. If you see no change after a couple weeks of these changes, you’ll probably need a pH raising chemical
Be Careful with Lowering Your Aquarium pH
Lowering your aquarium pH is the trickier of the two. Here’s the problem with using chemicals to lower your fish tank’s pH levels. Most of these pH lowering products are phosphate based and have a huge side effect on your fish tank. They promote algae growth which can be more difficult to get under control than pH. All I am saying is be careful and use these chemicals sparingly. It would also be wise to first try some more natural ways to lower your fish tanks pH.
Some Safe Ways to Lower Your Aquarium pH
There are some alternatives to chemicals to lower you tanks pH. Adding driftwood or bogwood to you tank can have a lowering effect. Pumping CO2 through your tank can lower you aquarium pH. Make sure your aquarium gravel is neutral. Crushed corals and other substrates can raise you aquarium pH. Using peat to lower your aquarium pH has also proven effective.