How Much Does Ph Matter?

Discussion in 'pH' started by DHIWZ, Jul 15, 2017.

  1. DHIWZ

    DHIWZValued MemberMember


    My tap water runs at about 8.0-8.2 so my aquariums are pretty alkaline. However the water quality is excellent and extremely stable. I am wondering if it is possible for fish that prefer lower pH such as ember tetra to thrive in my tank so long as the pH does not fluctuate. Any opinions would be greatly appreciated.
  2. goplecos

    goplecosWell Known MemberMember

    In my experience PH doesn't matter as long as the fish is captive bred. Wild caught fish have lived in a specific PH all their lives, and will be shocked if put in a different PH. Most captive bred fish aren't born in the right PH and are transferred through a lot of different PHs so it doesn't matter much. That is one of the reasons that I never get wild caught fish.
  3. BReefer97

    BReefer97Well Known MemberMember

    "One very important thing to know about the pH scale is that it is logarithmic. For example, a pH level of 5 is 10 times more acidic than a pH of 6, and a pH of 4 is 100 times more acidic than a pH of 6.

    So if your fish thrives in a pH of 7 but the water in your aquarium measures 8, your water is 10 times more alkaline than what it should be. If the pH is 9, then your fish are living in water 100 times more alkaline than recommended for optimal health. So it is easy to see why even a small change in required pH can be stressful - and potentially fatal - to your fish."

    With all that being said, yes Ph is EXTREMELY important. If your water doesn't meet the correct ph requirements for the fish you're wanting to keep, I would advise against it. However, there are ways to lower your ph.

  4. goplecos

    goplecosWell Known MemberMember

    With all that being said, yes Ph is EXTREMELY important. If your water doesn't meet the correct ph requirements for the fish you're wanting to keep, I would advise against it. However, there are ways to lower your ph.

    Again I guarantee you, most captive bred fish have never been kept in the correct PH. I have never tested my PH, and I never will. I also have fish that are supposed to be in completely different PHs living happily together.
  5. JesseMoreira06

    JesseMoreira06Well Known MemberMember

    It's better to have a stable PH then to mess around with it. Captive bred fish have adapted to higher PH, for example many have kept Electric blue rams who "require" a ph between 5-7 , I've and many others have kept EBR successfully at higher PH. I wouldn't worry to much to be honest as long as it isn't wild caught you'll be fine stocking your tank with most fish.

    the ember tetras will be completely fine, you can ask your LFS what PH they keep them at to see if it's a huge deference which I can almost guarantee isn't, also if your interested driftwood will lower PH naturally
  6. goplecos

    goplecosWell Known MemberMember

    Like I was saying, almost no captive bred fish live in the right PH.
  7. Mac's

    Mac'sNew MemberMember

    IME the Ph argument can go on for days. Something years ago I use to enjoy getting into heavily.
    For me I am more interested in maintaining a stable ph and under standing my Kh and Gh, for the aquarium.
    I have found most species adapt very well to high ph levels, due to a lot of species being captive bread vs wild. But they can show less color or become more sensitive/ prone to illness if the Kh and Gh isn't correct, or massively out of order.. Mostly though IME thats Rift lake cichlids and Dwarf south american Cichlids, being placed in ultra hard water.

    Stability is the key.
  8. OP

    DHIWZValued MemberMember

    Thanks! The LFS is in the same city as me and runs through the same water company so I would be *shocked* if they had a drastically different pH. Worst case scenario I'll quarantine at their pH in my 2.5 and bring it up slowly to my tank's pH over the course of a couple of weeks. Just worried if they can survive at 8.0 is all.
  9. Mac's

    Mac'sNew MemberMember

    Are you meaning to raise the pH up to the tank one through Ph up or additive??
  10. MC4RKiller

    MC4RKillerValued MemberMember

    IMO/IME KH is more important than wild or domestic fish. The reason for this is KH stabilizes whatever PH you have so you don't see rapid drops/changes in it.

    I keep mostly wild fish these days and they are typically preacclimated to general water conditions in the US of a PH in the 7s as that is what most of us have. Mine is about 7.4 out of the tap with a KH of around 180ppm. This means it doesnt shift rapidly despite tank conditions. Things you place in your tank can alter PH slightly or rapidly depending on your KH. I use a lot of wood, and my tanks have been going for some time so their PH is all around 7.2-7.4 depending. Not a huge swing by any means.

    Other things which affect your PH is decaying plant matter(all planted tanks have it if heavily planted), mulm, etc. Thus waterchanges are also very important to maintain stable PH as well as removing as much decaying matter as you can see. Now in my tanks I only use sand which I do not vacuum...I rely on MTS to take care of my sand for me. High turnover and excessive filtration takes care of any free standing mulm.

    Avoid additives; they are the worst thing you can do for your aquarium as they cause rapid shifts and are just a PITA to maintain. Your fish will honestly respond better to good husbandry than worrying about the PH. Chances are if you are buying these fish locally they are already acclimated to that PH level and as previously stated those imported or bred in the US are all pretty adapted to PH being somewhere in the you don't have that much to worry about.

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