Low Ph In My Betta Tank

Discussion in 'Freshwater Beginners' started by Luke Woolsey, Jul 21, 2017.

  1. Luke WoolseyNew MemberMember

    Hi guys,

    So I've been running a 5 gallon betta tank since January. In there I have a single Betta and a Nerite snail.

    Other than an occasional algae bloom I've had no issues with it. The betta has been perfectly fine. But lately I've been having an issue with my nerite snail. Specifically, after a water change he just stopped moving. For just over two weeks he would move just a little bit, but mostly stay in the same spot. I thought the poor guy was on his way out.

    I decided to move him yesterday into a small 1 gallon tank I have for quarantines and he's been moving around much more than usual. It's not a cycled tank or anything so I'd really like to fix the main tank soon so I can put him back in.

    After looking over at my water parameters I think that the issue is my PH is lower than neutral.

    Ammonia - 0
    Nitrite - 0
    Nitrate - About 20
    Soft water
    Alkalinity is 40KH
    PH is 6.2

    Now I compared the PH in the fresh conditioned water I placed in the emergency tank and it's at 6.8.

    I had a Amazon sword that was struggling to get enough nutrients and had started to die. I thought that was perhaps sucking up a lot of the nutrients for the tank, so I've removed it in the hopes of helping out the tank.

    Any suggestions on sorting out the tank would be great! I've heard baking soda is a temporary fix but I'm a little nervous about using it in the tank. I've seen that crushed coral is also good, but it might raise my PH to 7.7 rather than keeping it around 7.0


  2. Aquaphobia

    AquaphobiaFishlore LegendMember

    You don't need to keep the pH at 7, or any exact number, unless you're keeping extremely sensitive species.

    What are the parameters of your tap water?
  3. OP

    Luke WoolseyNew MemberMember

    Tap water seems to come out at 6.2, so on the acidic side and it's also soft.

    Since I have a nerite snail I was under the impression I should it up to 7.0 or there about, so that his shell doesn't corrode.

    I was thinking of adding a bag of crushed coral into the bottom of the filter. Would this help stabilize things for me?
  4. Aquaphobia

    AquaphobiaFishlore LegendMember

    Ok, it's possible that your water has dissolved CO2 in it. I suggest leaving a bucket of water to sit out overnight or for a couple of hours with an airstone in it and test the pH again. It may be that you need to let your new water sit out to prevent pH swings at water change time.

    And yes, I would add crushed coral to stabilize the pH. If you can't find it there are other options.
  5. Honey gourami guy

    Honey gourami guyNew MemberMember

    My experience was quite the opposite of yours with ph mine sky rocketed after a water change, because my well water got very hard. The reason that happened was melting snow bringing the minerals in the ground into my well. So if you can get your hands on some well water directly after a big rain storm. I'd recommend doing small water changes with that for a few days.
  6. NavigatorBlack

    NavigatorBlackFishlore VIPMember

    Nerites breed in brackish water, so I would assume that when they move into coastal freshwater, that will be mineral rich water. I am a snail hater, so I haven't researched that directly, but their east African origins puts them squarely in a hard water habitat.

    I expect the low mineral habitat (as reflected in the low pH) is the problem for them. It would be great for a Betta though.

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