PH after cycling and water change

NewAtFishKeeping

I did a 50% water change Thursday evening to decrease my nitrates level after being fully cycled.

I checked my water's pH level this morning. I'm using the API test kit. My regular pH level is at 6.8. The high range pH level is a light yellow, it doesn't match any of the colors under the high range pH level column. It looked more like 6.0 pH level under the regular pH column. What does this mean?

I am looking to have the following fish in my tank:
6-8 Neon tetras
2-3 Molly
1 Dwarf gourami
6 Corydoras
 

FishGirl38

Sometimes, the PH and nitrate tests appear a bit 'off', I have to re-test mine sometimes just to make sure the first test wasn't a flop somehow. (if I didn't shake the bottle enough or added one too many or one to little drops).

The high range test is more meant for saltwater and african cichlid tanks, but using it for regular ranges gives us a good, whole look at where the general PH is sitting. So, if on the regular PH kit, you're testing low. Than on the high PH kit, the test will appear 'off the chart' low. This isn't a bad thing, just means your PH is below neutral. The next big things here would then be...

"Is there enough KH in my tank to keep my PH stable, or will it keep going down?" - first potential thing.
"Am I okay with having a lower PH?", your proposed neon tetra and corydoras tend to do best in lower/closer to neutral PH, whereas molly and gourami can tolerate slightly higher PH (but are hearty enough to acclimate lower).

I personally think the number is fine, so long as you have enough KH in the tank to keep it there. It can drop lower and still be 'fine' too, but, if say, there isn't enough KH in the tank, and the PH drops down below 6.0, (unlikely with tap water changes) this can be stressful/dangerous for your fish at prolonged periods.
 
Upvote 0

NewAtFishKeeping

Sometimes, the PH and nitrate tests appear a bit 'off', I have to re-test mine sometimes just to make sure the first test wasn't a flop somehow. (if I didn't shake the bottle enough or added one too many or one to little drops).

The high range test is more meant for saltwater and african cichlid tanks, but using it for regular ranges gives us a good, whole look at where the general PH is sitting. So, if on the regular PH kit, you're testing low. Than on the high PH kit, the test will appear 'off the chart' low. This isn't a bad thing, just means your PH is below neutral. The next big things here would then be...

"Is there enough KH in my tank to keep my PH stable, or will it keep going down?" - first potential thing.
"Am I okay with having a lower PH?", your proposed neon tetra and corydoras tend to do best in lower/closer to neutral PH, whereas molly and gourami can tolerate slightly higher PH (but are hearty enough to acclimate lower).

I personally think the number is fine, so long as you have enough KH in the tank to keep it there. It can drop lower and still be 'fine' too, but, if say, there isn't enough KH in the tank, and the PH drops down below 6.0, (unlikely with tap water changes) this can be stressful/dangerous for your fish at prolonged periods.

Thanks so much for your detailed response!

How do I know how much KH is in the tank?
How would I get the pH up a little higher?
 
Upvote 0

FishGirl38

You'll need a KH test kit. aka as a 'Carbonate Hardness' test kit.

To raise your ph, I would add some crushed coral. That should increase your GH (which will increase the overall PH number - refers to the amount of heavy minerals in the tank) as well as your KH. (carbonate hardness, the measure that's responsible for keeping PH 'stable'.). Low PH isn't terrible so long as you've got a healthy stock of KH floating around. Low PH with Low KH can be a cause of concern because if there is no KH to buffer the acids from eating away at your minerals, than the overall mineral concentration (what makes up PH) will decrease and PH will drop along with it. .

just remember, GH is your 'General Hardness' and measures the total number of dissolved solids in the aquarium. Literally, 'how many molecules of Calcium and Magnesium are in here', the greater the amount, the higher the PH.

KH is your 'Carbonate Hardness' and refers to the amount of carbonate and bi-carbonate in the tank. Carbonate is a mineral compound, like calcium and magnesium but acids tend to bind to it before they bind with your Calcium and Magnesiums, which is why it's important to have a healthy stock of it.

Ultimately, if you're doing regular water changes with tap water and keeping 'regular community' fish - hearty guys, than it shouldn't matter much and PH should generally remain constant. If your PH is low right from the tap and you're keeping fish that like a higher PH (like african cichlids), I'd say to add the crushed coral. But otherwise, I really would not worry about your PH. So long as it stays constant, that's the important thing. Is your PH testing similar from your tap? If it is, I really wouldn't do anything to change it. It's likely too, if the store where you get your fish from are in the same city, than their water is likely very similar (in terms of PH) and that's a good thing. You wouldn't want to make it harder on yourself when bringing new fish home (in terms of acclimation).
 
Upvote 0

Similar Aquarium Threads

  • 12thFins
  • pH
Replies
11
Views
375
Skavatar
  • Frankenstein chef
  • pH
Replies
8
Views
464
Hunter1
Replies
7
Views
667
xandraspook
  • MaverickCoast
  • pH
Replies
2
Views
301
MaverickCoast
  • FishyGlenda
  • pH
Replies
3
Views
372
david1978

Random Great Thread!

New Aquarium pH Threads

Latest Aquarium Threads

Top Bottom