How do I raise Ph and what causes it to go down?

Durbkat

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I have a 10 gallon tank that had 3 black tetras in it and a common pleco ( about 5" long) And when I got the water tested the ph was 6.8 and the lps said it should be 7.6. So I was wondering what caused this and what can I do to raise it up.
 

Isabella

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You can raise the pH by adding certain rocks to your tank that increase pH. And you can lower the pH by adding wood to your tank (wood needs to be soaked, rinsed, and boiled well before put in the tank), or you could use peat in your filtration system. However, you always have to be careful when changing your pH. Most fish will thrive in a wide range of pH. Sudden pH changes are more harmful than maintaining a stable - even if a bit higher or lower than the recommended for your kind of fish - pH. There are chemical solutions that lower or increase pH but I would strongly advise you not to use them because they usually have disastrous effects on the fish. If you really want to change the pH, better resort to the natural means. Good Luck.
 

Isabella

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You mean, what causes pH to rise and fall? I am not an expert and I don't really know, however I would guess that: the amount of the fish you have, the size of your tank, the type of decor you have, how often you perform partial water changes - all probably influence your pH level. It also has to do with the water's buffering capacity. If you have the rocks (that lower the pH) or wood - these would be some of the reasons. How long have you had the tank? What decor is in it? What and how many fish are currently in there? The only sure advice I can give you is this: doing frequent partial water changes and vacuuming the gravel are the most important things you can do to keep water pH stable.

Here is an article about adjusting the pH - maybe it'll be of some help:
 
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Durbkat

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Well I found out what the reason was. It was because I haven't did a water change for about 2 months. :-[ And I did have 3 black tetras and a common pleco that is about 5 inches long. But now the pleco is the only one in their. The tetras have been moved to my long 20 gallon tank and the pleco will also. And also the people at the lps said to do some water changes and vacum the tank which I also haven't done for about 2 months. Then to add some baking soda to raise it up. Do you all know how much I should put in for a 10 gallon tank.
 

Isabella

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Yes, so it was one of the reasons. You need to change 20-25% of your tank water approximately every 2 weeks or every week - depending on how stocked your tank is. If you have very few fish, then once every two weeks should be enough. As to the baking soda, I am sorry, I have never used anything to raise or lower my pH, and I do not know. You could ask this question Gunnie or AquaGirl - they are very helpful and knowledgeable in many aquarium matters. OR you could try and find it out on the Internet. OR could call the store where they told you to use baking soda and ask them how much of it to add. Besides, first make sure it is really safe to do that. Sorry I couldn't help you with that one!
 

Isabella

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Or you can also ask Butterfly; she is also very knowledgeable.
 
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Durbkat

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Thanks. So Gunnie can you answer my question about the baking soda?
 

Butterfly

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Durbkat, first before you start adding chemicals to your tank do an experiment. put water in a container, put dechlor in it if you use it, let it set for 24 hours then test your ph. please let us know what it is. It may be that your ph is naturally low.
Since most fish are captive bred they are very adaptive to differing ph. Big fluctuations are what usually cause problems. At least 25% water changes each week or so is very important to your fishes health. Adding chemicals unless you keep a very close check on your parameters can cause large fluctuations and stress your fish.
If your ph is naturally low and your fish seem healthy I wouldn't change it. Just my thoughts.
Thanks Isabella
Carol
 
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Durbkat

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That can't be it about the ph being naturally low because my other 4 tanks have perfect ph. And their wasn't going to be fish in the tank if I put the baking soda in it.
 

Butterfly

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Durbkat did you try the baking soda? If so how did it go?
Carol
 
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Durbkat

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No I haven't tried yet because I was going to try a vacum cleaning first for a few times before I try the baking soda. And If I have to use baking soda how much should I put in for a 10 gallon tank that has a p.h. of 6.8?
 

Butterfly

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I'm not sure how much baking soda to use . Check your ph again after a couple of gravel vac's and a couple of water changes. That way you'll know how much you want to raise it if any.
Carol
 
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Durbkat

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Thanks everyone I'll write back in a while to let you know how it went.
 

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