Ideal pH for Betta tank with RO/DI

Arkodios

Hello guys, I am setting up a Waterbox Cube 20 for a Betta. I’m not sure if I will spend the extra money on a Betta Imbellis or if I will just get a pretty Betta Splenden from my LFS, but either way, I am using RO/DI water in my tank (remineralized with Seachem Equilibrium and Fresh Trace) and I was wondering on adjusting the pH. Since RO/DI water has pretty much nothing in it, there are no buffers for the pH so I got Seachem Neutral Regulator and Discus Buffer (gives me a range from 5.8-6.8 depending on my ratio between Discus Buffer and Neutral Regulator) to help maintain a stable pH. I’m thinking doing a pH of 6.4, do you guys think this will be good? I can do any pH listed above (5.8-6.8), so it’s really whatever is best for the fish. I will be able to keep it stable with my weekly water changes, so stability isn’t a concern
 

FishandCatlover

If you buy a CB imbelis or a splendens, You need a ph of 6.5 -7. If you get wild caught imbelis, then you need a ph of around 6. Hope I could help! Don't forget to post pics when you get your betta!
 

Arkodios

If you buy a CB imbelis or a splendens, You need a ph of 6.5 -7. If you get wild caught imbelis, then you need a ph of around 6. Hope I could help! Don't forget to post pics when you get your betta!
Sweet. Thank you for the reply. My tank is a biotope-inspired (cannot confirm it will be a true biotope when I add plants, it will be more like an Amazon-South Asia-Southeast Asia fusion) blackwater tank, it will look awesome with a pretty betta. **** I might even look online to see if anyone is done with their betta and is giving them away, I can give them the life they deserve
 

MacZ

I'm not into Bettas, but I'm into softwater and blackwater aquatics. Obviously.

You have two different buffering systems at your disposal: Carbonates (KH) and Humic substances (aka tannins).

With carbonates you can dial in a pH as you want. While you can do this quite accurately by measuring the buffers, it means you have to buy the stuff, measure it, and be vigilant to do this each time you do a waterchange.

With the other option pH will naturally dial in between 4.5 and 6 pH while hardness can stay low. This comes much closer to what the fish know by nature.

Sidenote: pH crashes are a rare occurance and not to be feared. A true pH crash happens when Nitrates accumulate (solved in water as nitric acid), using up KH to zero and then the high nitrates bring down pH. You have to leave a high stocking density tank without waterchanges for months for this to happen.

It is a myth that the water in a tank always has to have KH and GH. That's only true if you have a standard planted community tank with invertebrates. Many standard aquarium fish originally come from waters without detectable hardness and pH below 6.

Take a look at my blackwater article. Might help.
 

Arkodios

I'm not into Bettas, but I'm into softwater and blackwater aquatics. Obviously.

You have two different buffering systems at your disposal: Carbonates (KH) and Humic substances (aka tannins).

With carbonates you can dial in a pH as you want. While you can do this quite accurately by measuring the buffers, it means you have to buy the stuff, measure it, and be vigilant to do this each time you do a waterchange.

With the other option pH will naturally dial in between 4.5 and 6 pH while hardness can stay low. This comes much closer to what the fish know by nature.

Sidenote: pH crashes are a rare occurance and not to be feared. A true pH crash happens when Nitrates accumulate (solved in water as nitric acid), using up KH to zero and then the high nitrates bring down pH. You have to leave a high stocking density tank without waterchanges for months for this to happen.

It is a myth that the water in a tank always has to have KH and GH. That's only true if you have a standard planted community tank with invertebrates. Many standard aquarium fish originally come from waters without detectable hardness and pH below 6.

Take a look at my blackwater article. Might help.
Great information. To help keep my dosages constant and exact, I will be getting small bottles (maybe a little bigger than a shot glass? its just like 2-4 gallons a week) and adding all the supplements I use in there, filling up 5 bottles for 5 water changes with their corresponding doses. I will stabilize the pH at 6.8 but if my botanicals and wood bring the pH down, I will just let it do its thing. I should have the fish by then and it should acclimate
 

MacZ

You're welcome.

Honestly... while this is a legitimate course of action... It's maybe a bit much fuzz.

Important: RO has to be stored unadultarated! Only add anything before putting it in the tank. Unchanged RO can last for years in an airtight container. As soon as you add minerals, you also add the prerequisites for bacteria, yeasts and algae, which come in as spores via the air. So that water has the ability to tilt biologically.

You can't really stabilize the pH at 6.8. 6.8-7.2 is considered neutral and the most unstable pH measurement you can find. From there it can always be moved up or down.

I would use just straight up RO, add leaf litter and botanicals and let it do it's thing. You only have to acclimate your fish accordingly.

Also important: Be it in the tank or outside the tank - If you add botanicals for the first few days it may come to oxygen depletion as bacteria are colonizing the material. So keep it well aerated.
 

Arkodios

I'm not into Bettas, but I'm into softwater and blackwater aquatics. Obviously.

You have two different buffering systems at your disposal: Carbonates (KH) and Humic substances (aka tannins).

With carbonates you can dial in a pH as you want. While you can do this quite accurately by measuring the buffers, it means you have to buy the stuff, measure it, and be vigilant to do this each time you do a waterchange.

With the other option pH will naturally dial in between 4.5 and 6 pH while hardness can stay low. This comes much closer to what the fish know by nature.

Sidenote: pH crashes are a rare occurance and not to be feared. A true pH crash happens when Nitrates accumulate (solved in water as nitric acid), using up KH to zero and then the high nitrates bring down pH. You have to leave a high stocking density tank without waterchanges for months for this to happen.

It is a myth that the water in a tank always has to have KH and GH. That's only true if you have a standard planted community tank with invertebrates. Many standard aquarium fish originally come from waters without detectable hardness and pH below 6.

Take a look at my blackwater article. Might help.
Sorry for reviving a dead thread + speaking on an unrelated topic but I am looking into aquarium/aquatic books and I would like to read more about blackwater tanks.

I have a decent understanding on at least basic aquarium water chemistry so I would like something more advanced/academic (as in, if the book is going to cover say, the nitrogen cycle, for example, I would love something more advanced than just a basic overview of ammonia > nitrite > nitrate, such as the bacteria that perform these processes and the conditions they need to live and reproduce). I’m trying to create a very well-done blackwater aquarium and also I think they’re fascinating so I’d love to see if there are any books you recommend, as you seem to know your stuff
 

MacZ

Frankly, there are no books specifically about the topic of blackwater, yet. It's a lot of biotope/habitat research, general interest in fish physiology and the like. Additionally hobbyists and people like Scott Fellman (of Tannin Aquatics), are experimenting and sharing their experience. When it comes to biotopes you might be interested in the work of Ivan Mikolji and Heiko Bleher. You will find overlap with wild betta keepers, dwarf cichlid nerds, Discus fans, licorice gourami enthusiasts... and so on.

So... start off at a tank size, think about what fish you might be interested in that fit. And then research their natural habitat.

Edit:10 Gallon Tank - Which bottled bacteria is best? | Aquarium Nitrogen Cycle Forum | 493877

Ignore the topic of the thread. I linked some articles there, you might find interesting.
 

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