PH and aeration

srw123

I am having issues with high pH. Current setup is over two years old. I do 10% changes weekly. I use water straight out of the tap, which is pH 7. My tank seems to sit at pH 8.

I had a betta that died suddenly and couldn‘t figure out why; it was a few weeks after I added an aerator so that was the only change. I had had the betta for a couple of years, though, so I concluded it was just old. I added another betta and it died within a month. I don’t know what my pH was before the aerator because I never tested it.

The tank is packed with plants. It’s overgrown and I don’t do any maintenance on it. The substrate is CaribSea Eco-Complete, which is inert. There are big pieces of Malaysian driftwood in there, but they’re well past the point of leeching any tannins. Filter medium is sponges, ceramic noodles and PhosGuard. Like I said, it’d been running for over two years without issue.

I haven’t tested an aged/aerated sample of tap water yet. But I’m assuming it has to be above pH 7.

My working theory is that the plants and aerator together are driving up the pH by removing CO2. I have now put the aerator on a timer so that it only comes on at night. Is this a good idea? It doesn’t seem to be having any effect, but it’s only been a few days.

I only added the aerator because I was worried about oxygen levels at night (there are bottom-feeding plecos in there which I read like well-oxygenated water), as without the aerator there is no surface agitation. Should I just get rid of it?
How do I maintain a neutral pH? It stays stable at 8, but as I said the tap water I use for changes is 7, and also I would like to keep a betta again. The other fish in the tank (bn plecos, otos, cardinal tetras, swarms of cherry shrimp) all seem to be thriving.
 

BigManAquatics

A betta would be fine at 8 really. I know, thats not what the book says, but the "book" numbers are typically the pH fish have in the wild. Most aquarium fish are 100+ generations from having touched the wild. Tank-bred fish have a tendency to be adaptable. However, where it could be trouble is if it was at 7.0 or 7.2 one night and swang to 8.0 overnight.

Remember, a stable pH is always better than the "right" pH.
 
Upvote 0

srw123

Thanks. It’s pretty stable even now when I’m messing with it. I got it down to 7.5 over a few days through water changes and adding almond leaves (and maybe putting the aerator on timer helped) and it doesn’t seem to be moving back up.

I‘m just reluctant to put a beta in there since the last one didn’t last long.
 
Upvote 0

Similar Aquarium Threads

  • CJLand
  • pH
Replies
4
Views
161
mattgirl
  • Question
  • chamisal
  • pH
Replies
4
Views
322
chamisal
  • loveagoodleaf
  • pH
Replies
4
Views
104
LowConductivity
  • beagle
  • pH
Replies
3
Views
110
jtjgg
  • Question
  • Gracelovesbettas
  • pH
Replies
5
Views
146
StarGirl

Random Great Thread

New Aquarium pH Threads

Latest Aquarium Threads

Top Bottom