Perfecting PH

punkrockviolet5

This morning I figured out how to test the PH in my new 10gal tank.  It read 8.0.     It has been sitting for a week with nothing in it but the filter, which is running.  I have also added Tropical Fish Flakes but that make things SO smelly, I stopped and cleaned the filter.  What is the PH supposed to read and how can I get it to that level?  I read somewhere it is supposed to be 7.0? but I want to reaffirm that info.  Thanks!! 
 

Newtankdude

I'm not sure, I havn't really looked at PH, my dad is the one that tests PH because he has the kit. I think it is supposed to be around 8.0, but I'm not sure and mine is Saltwater tank.
 

Carillon

This morning I figured out how to test the PH in my new 10gal tank. It read 8.0. It has been sitting for a week with nothing in it but the filter, which is running. I have also added Tropical Fish Flakes but that make things SO smelly, I stopped and cleaned the filter. What is the PH supposed to read and how can I get it to that level? I read somewhere it is supposed to be 7.0? but I want to reaffirm that info. Thanks!!

I assume you added the fish flakes to try and get the tank to cycle? If you don't want the smelliness of the flakes, try to find a produce that is designed to help start the nitrogen cycle, like BioSpira or some kind of ammonia. Just don't waste money on Cycle! From all accounts, this product doesn't do much except create mini-cycles.

As to your pH issues, your ideal pH will depend highly on the species of fish you want to keep. Some fish prefer slightly acidic waters (pH around 6 or 6.5) while others like more basic water, like yours is right now. And some fish really don't care that much! You can buy products that help raise or lower the pH (often called creative things like "pH Up" and "pH Down") or you can just leave your pH where it is. If you choose hardy, tolerant fish species or species that like a pH of around 8.0, you shouldn't have any problems.

In fact, many people here believe that fish can adjust to a wide range of pHs, and it's actually better to just let them acclimate slowly to your pH when you bring them home than try to change the water! I tend to agree -- stability is more important than a perfect pH, as long as your fish are fairly tolerant.

Just research the species of fish you are planning to keep, and you should be fine.
 

Carillon

I should have mentioned this in my first post, but while you are learning to test for pH, another great test to learn to do are ammonia/nitrate/nitrite tests. These help you figure out when your tank has cycled and when it will be safe to add fish, as well as alerting you to toxic or stressful levels of ammonia that would be dangerous for fish. If you don't have one already, you should consider investing in a master testing kit. More info can be found under the section on nitrogen cycling.
 

punkrockviolet5

As to your pH issues, your ideal pH will depend highly on the species of fish you want to keep. Some fish prefer slightly acidic waters (pH around 6 or 6.5) while others like more basic water, like yours is right now. And some fish really don't care that much! You can buy products that help raise or lower the pH (often called creative things like "pH Up" and "pH Down") or you can just leave your pH where it is. If you choose hardy, tolerant fish species or species that like a pH of around 8.0, you shouldn't have any problems.

I have 1 Betta & 2 Plattys.  Are they ok with 8.0 PH??
 

Carillon

Yes, I think both those species would be able to tolerate a pH of 8.0 without a problem. Bettas prefer slightly more acidic conditions, I believe, but in my experience they can adjust to most reasonable pHs. If your pH were 3 or 11 ... then we'd have real problems!
 

armadillo

Mmmmh. Don't bettas like 7 and under in ideal conditions?

Not that it matters, in my opinion, because I agree with Carillon: what's important for me is the stability. My pH out of the tap is 8.0, and I won't change it with chemicals as I don't want to mess with it and cause fluctuations.
 

COBettaCouple

The main thing that we've found out about pH is to try to keep it stable. The fish you find at the local store are most likely used to the local water pH and big pH changes cause more damage than pH that's too high or too low.
 

punkrockviolet5

I should have mentioned this in my first post, but while you are learning to test for pH, another great test to learn to do are ammonia/nitrate/nitrite tests. These help you figure out when your tank has cycled and when it will be safe to add fish, as well as alerting you to toxic or stressful levels of ammonia that would be dangerous for fish. If you don't have one already, you should consider investing in a master testing kit. More info can be found under the section on nitrogen cycling.

I did it!!  I went and got the entire kit ($30 bones, whew!) and tested my H20.  I posted another thread about getting all the levels correct: .  Surprisingly, I have 0 Ammonia, 8.0 PH, .1 Nitrites, and .50 Nitrates.  Not ready for my fishies, just yet.   I also got a heater, a Roman Wreckage Bubble Stone Set (for the platties to get more H20), and some crazy colored plastic plants!  I can't WAIT to add the babies!  They're not going to know what to do with themselves!!   ;D
 

Carillon

Congrats on the test kit! And I sympathize about the anxious waiting to add the fish. It's so rewarding to watch them explore a new tank, isn't it?
 

sirdarksol

FLBettaCouple said it best, stable is the important part. (Well, stable and no ammonia, as a high or low pH can make the ammonia more toxic). As long as your water doesn't have the pH of vinegar or baking soda-water, your fish will probably adjust.
 

Amorinthe

...but wasn't it fun playing mad scientist with your fancy test kit? I felt so sassy with mine!
 

COBettaCouple

yea, it's HARD waiting for the time to put the fish in! if only BioSpira was readily available locally... hope you get to add your new fish soon so you won't have to watch the water swim around.
 

0morrokh

Yeah, waiting for the cycle to finish is the worst.

I keep Bettas and have had Platys too in my tap water which is a pH a bit higher than 8. They will be just fine.
 

armadillo

...but wasn't it fun playing mad scientist with your fancy test kit? I felt so sassy with mine!
It's great, isn't it? Just like being back at school! Although the novelty did wear a bit thin after cycling 2 tanks at the same time, and keeping the 3 others in check.
 

COBettaCouple

...but wasn't it fun playing mad scientist with your fancy test kit? I felt so sassy with mine!
It's great, isn't it? Just like being back at school! Although the novelty did wear a bit thin after cycling 2 tanks at the same time, and keeping the 3 others in check.

lol.. yea, and with more tanks, it's even more fun
 

punkrockviolet5

...but wasn't it fun playing mad scientist with your fancy test kit?  I felt so sassy with mine! 

It was!  I was so focused, everyone kept laughing at me... acting like I knew what I was doing...    I enjoyed it!  I'm going to tear down the new tank today and reset it up at home.  I can monitor it better that way and Hubby can watch his new fishies, too!   
 

armadillo

It's cool when the husbands get involved, isn't it? Then the guilt of how much time you spend on your fish is completely evaporated, as you know they're about to be hit too.
 

COBettaCouple

It's cool when the husbands get involved, isn't it? Then the guilt of how much time you spend on your fish is completely evaporated, as you know they're about to be hit too.

lol.. yea, my wife got me involved and signed up as the official tank cleaner and water changer.
 

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