First of all, let’s learn what the term PH is and find out the situation. The term PH stands for “the power of hydrogen”, and since “H” is the atomic symbol of the hydrogen element, “H” in pH is always capitalized. pH is the acid-base balance of a solution and is measured from 1 to 14.
At the beginning of our learning life, we learned that water consists of H2O, that is, hydrogen and oxygen atoms. Neutral water contains equal amounts of hydrogen ions (H +) and hydroxide ions (OH-) and the pH is given as 7.0. Dissolved chemicals and minerals in water can change the balance of these ions acidically from a neutral state if there are more hydrogen ions than hydroxide ions or may be basic if there are fewer hydrogen ions. While the pH value of acidic solutions is lower than 7.0, the pH value of basic solutions is higher than 7.0. The more these values decrease or increase from 7.0, the more acidic or basic the water becomes.
What is Normal pH?
There is no “normal” pH that applies to all fish. Since fish live in ponds, rivers, streams, lakes, and oceans with different pH levels, the optimum pH levels for fish vary by species. Saltwater fish prefer a pH of 8.0 or higher. African bubble gum usually comes from lakes with a pH above 8.0. Tropical fish from Brazil can live in acidic water with a pH of 5.5 or lower.
Let’s not forget that the PH value is not static, it changes over time, it can even change in a single day. For example, in nature, due to photosynthesis by plants, the pH usually drops at night and rises during the day. Also, as new fish are added to or removed from our aquarium when we add or change the water, and the biological processes in the aquarium change, the pH ratio may change. How often should you check the pH of your aquarium?
We should test the pH value of our aquarium at least once a month, preferably once every two weeks, so that we can detect any deficiencies or excesses of pH values that may occur in advance. We should record the test results in a notebook to make a good evaluation in the future. We should not forget that the tests to be carried out in the aquarium can give different results since the pH can vary depending on the time of day. Therefore, we must run each test on the same day and time of the week, preferably in the afternoon.
How to increase the pH of your aquarium?
A common method of raising the pH of the aquarium is to add sodium bicarbonate. By adding 1 teaspoon per 20 liters, we can usually increase the pH value in a small and safe amount.
It will be beneficial for them to remove the fish from the tank before increasing the pH level. Then, we can add the required amount of sodium bicarbonate in some rested water and add it to the aquarium. When the pH level reaches the desired level, we can put the fish back into our aquarium as you did when you brought the fish from the store to the first home.
The most important factor in this regard is that we never make sudden and large pH changes. Because it can have serious effects on our fish. We need to gradually increase the pH, starting with 1 teaspoon of 20 liters of water. This will allow our fish to get used to the new tank conditions. As an alternative to Sodium Bicarbonate;
By adding coral shards, we can increase the pH of the water. Many mollusks, including corals, contain high amounts of calcium carbonate in the skeletal structure. If we use coral fractures while decorating our aquarium, the pH value will naturally increase. In order to measure the pH value in the aquarium, we should wait for a while after putting the coral fractures and measure it.
We can use various stones to prepare a beautiful environment for our fish. When we use Dolomite Stone, which is rich in calcium and magnesium, it will increase the pH value of the aquarium. This stone is especially preferred by people who want to build a marine aquarium. It can also be used by placing it in the filters used.
How to lower the pH of your aquarium?
If you have checked the pH level in the aquarium and found it higher than the ideal level, there are quite easy and natural methods to safely lower the pH. Using these methods, we can easily pull the pH value of the water to optimal levels.
The main reason why aquarium water has a high pH level is the high ammonia in the water. Therefore, we need to make a regular water change to get rid of ammonia, which is caused by fish waste and food residues.
Also, do not forget to clean the decoration materials such as gravel so that you can clean the rash and algae while changing the water.
The most common and productive method of naturally lowering the pH of our aquarium water is adding peat moss. We can easily find this moss in pet stores. We can add peat moss to the aquarium in different ways. One of the most common is to add directly to the filter. We can also place it in any area inside the tank. Since peat moss is lighter than water, it will surface on the water. To prevent this, we can compress it between the materials we use in decoration.