Friday, July 26, 2013

Addressing pH Issues in Aquarium Water

Addressing pH Issues in Aquarium Water – Steps to Establish and Maintain Aquarium Water pH

Once you have evaluated water quality using water test kits, the measures that you will introduce will depend on the results of the test. You may have to make specific adjustments depending on the species of fish that you are keeping.

Creating an Ideal Aquatic Environment for Acidophiles

Acidophiles or acid-loving fish species such as the popular Amazonian soft water fishes—Angelfish and Neon Tetras—will thrive well in fish aquarium tanks with a pH range of 6.5-6.8. If you have any of these acid-loving fish species, you can create and maintain an ideal acidic environment using any of these product combinations:

If you are maintaining a soft water fish aquarium tank, placing API Water Softening Pillow in the filter. The softening pillow functions in eliminating excess carbonate ions that cause an increase in water alkalinity. You will also find a subsequent reduction in water cloudiness. Be sure to carefully read the product instruction before adjusting the pH to ensure that you are using the product optimally.

Additionally, selecting the suitable aquarium decoration and substrate is also an important factor that should be taken into consideration particularly for acidophile fish species or those that love soft water.

Aquarium decorations which are recommended by our team of experts at JUST AQUATIC have been carefully assessed to ensure that they are neutral and are suitable for specific fish species. To maintain aquarium water pH at 6.5, we highly recommend Malaysian Driftwood Creation  with live plants and Indian Almond leaves. These products will work well under ph 6.5 and help create a natural-looking underwater environment for your fish species.

Malaysian Driftwood Creation
                     Malaysian Driftwood Creation                             Indian Almond leaves

Achieving Alkaline Conditions for Alkalophiles

On the other hand, alkalophile fish species such as African Cichlids prefer a pH of 8.2 while marine fishes and invertebrates prefer a pH range of 8.2-8.4. Alkaline conditions in fish aquarium tanks can be maintained using these products:

If you are using coral sand and calciferous rocks, be aware that these will dissolve over time and release bicarbonates and carbonate salts into the water. The presence of these substances will result in an increase of water pH, thus creating alkaline conditions.

Bicarbonates and carbonate salts in the tank water will act as buffers to reduce the effect of the acidic nature brought about by the presence of dissolved carbon dioxide (CO2) and ammonia. Over time, these substrates will lose its buffering capacity as a result of being covered by layers of organic and mineral deposit. In order to maintain a desirable alkaline pH range, it is important to use API Proper pH 8.2.

Another product worth mentioning here for African Cichlid enthusiasts is API Buffer Max Cichlids. This product is specifically designed to maintain a pH range of 7.8 – 8.8.

Maintaining Neutral ph for Neutrophiles

Fish species that thrive well in an aquatic environment with neutral pH are collectively called neutrophiles. These fish species are best recommended for beginners since most of these are hardy fish species. The most popular neutrophiles include Goldfish and Livebearers such as Guppies which all prefer a pH of 7.5 while Mollies and Swordtails thrive well at pH 7.2-7.5. Some of the most best-selling products which are designed to create and maintain a neutral pH range include:

When there is a need to adjust the aquarium pH, make sure to make gradual pH changes by 0.3 pH difference every 24 hours to allow fishes to adapt physiologically to the change. Both recommended API pH test kits are effective and sensitive to cater to such small pH adjustment. API pH test kit reads pH from 6 – 7.6 with increments of 0.2- 0.4 while API High Range pH test kit reads pH 7.4 – 8.8 with increments of 0.2 -0.4.

Remember that a partial water change and a weekly pH test are highly recommended.

We hope that this article has given you additional gems of knowledge that will help enhance your skills as an aquarist and help you create an ideal aquarium setting for your chosen fish species.

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