Is pH too low? Question

Discussion in 'pH' started by escapay, Mar 22, 2012.

  1. escapay

    escapayWell Known MemberMember

    Questions first... Is 6.0 pH too low for bettas? What will be the least stressful way to raise the pH value overtime?

    My bettas currently have something wrong [fin rot, fungus/bacteria issues ... not sure fully]. Tank is cycled again (see aquarium info for my 10 gallon). pH tests are showing 6.0 on the API Master Kit.

    My plan was to use Seachem Alkalinity Buffer. I was recommended this when I had my 36 gallon up at my parents... used that because my KH was super low (like 0...) and it did eventually work. I did not use it yet since I recently had ammonia. I think the tank had a mini-cycle or lost its cycle and regained it later on. Ammonia and higher pH values do not mix from my understanding.

    I do have extremely soft water - we're talking like 0 KH or a little above that.

    Also, I do have plants in this tank. Substrate is gravel mixed with flourite. I have a HOB filter. I did have an airstone but it didn't produce as many bubbles as it should... I think the thing that powered the air (air filter?) wasn't strong enough-- it is many years old, like 12 years at oldest. :;tea
  2. MatildaLjungberg

    MatildaLjungbergValued MemberMember

    IMHO I think 6.0 is too low for a Betta. I too live in an area with almost no buffers & it's very hard to maintain a stable ph because of that. I use a product from Seachem called Gold Buffer & it works wonderfully. It's basically just a kh buffer mix, no weird chemicals & it keeps my tank at a steady 7.5 ph.
    I would recommend adjusting it slowly over a period of a few days.
  3. Lexi03Well Known MemberMember

    I do not have this problem, I have high ph hard water, but I have seen other thrads where crushed coral was recommended to fix buffering/ ph issues. I am not excatly sure how to do it, but maybe a search for threads about raising ph with crushed coral could get you some answers?

  4. Aquarist

    AquaristFishlore LegendMember

    Good morning,

    Below is a link on how to maintain a pH level. I agree that 6.0 is a bit low. If the pH should fall below 6.0 then the beneficial bacteria needed to sustain the tanks cycle may go dormant causing increased ammonia levels.

    Personally, I do not recommend using chemicals to alter your pH levels. They can be unstable, leading to a pH crash resulting in fish loss.



  5. pirahnah3

    pirahnah3Fishlore VIPMember

    the drop in pH is probably due to the cycle, a little help is probably needed to get things moving along nicely again. I would use some of the natural methods mentioned above and go from there.

    while the pH is not low persay if it drops at all like mentioned the beneficial bacteria can go canibalistic and dormant. If the pH of your tap water is that low then you may need to look into a little pretreating of your water to keep things a bit better ballanced.
  6. catsma_97504Fishlore LegendMember

    Knowing that a liquid reagent is unable to test pH below 6.0, I'd be concerned the pH was even lower.

    Having plants will make it extremely difficult. Do you know what the KH and GH levels out pf the tap are? What plant ferts are you dosing?

    Sounds like you have the perfect environment for discus, if the tank was large enough.
  7. OP

    escapayWell Known MemberMember

    Why do plants make it difficult? Plant ferts are Flourish Comprehensive and I have Seachem Root Tabs in the tank.

    According to my expired (as of Feb 2012) testing strips... GH is 0ppm and KH is amazingly at 80ppm. That is right out of the tap after 30-60 seconds of the water running both warm (well, didn't warm up in that time) and cold water.

    Current parameters for today are:
    pH - 6.0 (or less)
    ammonia: 0ppm
    nitrite: 0ppm
    nitrate: between 20-40... so 30ppm?
  8. pirahnah3

    pirahnah3Fishlore VIPMember

    Do you have a store that does free tests around you? (I know petco offers free water tests) Im not doubting your tests, ok well I am to a point, but I always like to verify when things are at these unusual levels.

    If your pH is really that low I would look into some of the stones that they put into the chiclid tanks that help buffer the pH a bit. I wish I could remember the name of them for you but someone on here certainly will help my morning brain fart (Sorry havent finished my second cup yet)
  9. catsma_97504Fishlore LegendMember

    Try testing the hardness on the tank water for comparison. When plants do not have enough available carbon, they will deplete the carbonate in a tank. I would also take some tank water, let it sit for a day or two, and then test it for pH. See if there is any difference.

    As your tank is able to process waste, based on your parameters, I would suspect the actual pH is above 6.0 degrees.

    Do you have Epsom Salts? If so, you could try dosing your tank to raise the hardness. It doesn't hurt the fish either. I've done this in my planted tank a few times when the pH crashed from depleted GH/KH.

    Good luck figuring out your tank.
  10. OP

    escapayWell Known MemberMember

    Yesterday (after I posted), I used one of those test strips in the tank. The GH was 25ppm and the total alkalinity (KH) was 40 or 80.

    Plants in the tank include 5 American Vals, 2 Cryptocoryne (spiralis or balansae), 4 Amazon Swords (compact), a moss ball that was split into 3, some wisteria or watersprite, and 2 Java Ferns.

    I had used Aquarium Salt for two water changes. Would that be the same concept as epsom salt?

    I can probably go to the LFS to have my water tested today... though I should probably wait until Sunday or Monday due to Prime being added to water late last night when I did a water change.

    Funny thing is that the test strip said nitrates were between 0-20ppm and pH was 6.8 area.
  11. catsma_97504Fishlore LegendMember

    Kosher Salt, aka Aquarium Salt, is nothing like Epsom Salt. Epsom Salt is a magnesium sulfate product where kosher salt is sodium chloride (with no additives). Magnesium is one mineral that makes up water hardness and is also utilized by plants.

    Amazon Swords can literally remove all nutrients from a tank. They are very heavy feeders that require root substrate ferts as well as ferts dissolved into the water column.

    While I would not trust the results from a test strip, I am wondering if the liquid reagents are still good. Taking a water sample to a LFS for testing with liquid reagents would answer that question.

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