June 15, 2023
How to Lower pH Levels in a Fish Tank | 2022 Guide

How to Lower pH Levels in a Fish Tank | 2022 Guide

Making sense of pH levels is important if you want your aquatic plants and fish to thrive. The standard pH scale ranges from absolute zero (very acidic) to 14 (very alkaline). The vast majority of freshwater fish species live in water with pH levels of between 6 and 8, which is fairly neutral.

However, not every fish species thrives in waters with a neutral pH level. In fact, some species of gourami prefer moderately acidic waters, while some cichlids prefer water that is significantly alkaline. Generally speaking however, most fish prefer something hovering around the 7 mark. If you find that the pH level of the water in your fish tank is particularly high, you’ll need to take care of it quickly.

Easy Ways to Lower pH Levels

If you have tested the water in your fish tank and found it to be veering on the alkaline end of the pH scale, there are several ways you can lower these levels. One of the easiest ways to tackle a high pH level is to treat water before you fill your aquariums with it. Standard tap water can be riddled with harmful chemicals, such as chlorine, with many regions having tap water that has a particularly high pH score. If source water has a high pH level, you can treat it with reverse osmosis.

In simple terms, reverse osmosis involves passing water through several different filters. The first step involves a sediment filter, before water is then pushed through a carbon filter. The final step in the process involves a reverse osmosis membrane. This membrane effectively removes larger mineral particles from the water which are known to contribute toward high pH levels. Reverse osmosis also removes harmful chemicals like chlorine, as well as phosphates and nitrates.

You can pick up reverse osmosis units fairly affordably from most aquatic centres and pet stores. You simply attach them a standard tap to make treating water as easy as possible. Although more expensive than water treatment products, a reverse osmosis unit will make your life easier when it comes to keeping your fish happy. It also provides you with a ready source of fish-friendly water.

Water Treatment Products

Another common remedy for high pH levels are water treatment products. One of the most popular treatment options is pH Down. This concentrated solution contains a type of phosphoric acid that effectively combats hard water and neutralises excess levels of alkaline.

However, such products are only really effective if the water you are treating is already fairly neutral. If the water you are looking to treat as a particularly high pH level, you will still end up with fairly alkaline water after using such solutions. However, if you only need to make minor adjustments to water neutrality, such products are always worth having in stock.

Why Regular Water Testing is Important

Ultimately, you should be pre-empting high pH levels by undertaking regular testing of your aquarium water. A basic pH testing kit will allow you to keep an eye on pH levels with relatively little effort. You will certainly want to carry out frequent testing if you have recently established a new aquarium. However, it is also a good idea to monitor pH levels after introducing new fish and plant species to your tank. You may also want to increase testing frequency if you are using a new type of fish food, especially if it is rich in protein.

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