Ph Suspiciously Low?


hey guys

So I recently set up my first five gallon planted tank with some fluval stratum, which is supposed to keep the tank water around 6.6. I believe this is also a pretty good pH for Betta fish which is why I chose it.

However I’ve also tested the water today and the pH is about 6. Currently I am running a fishless cycle with some Anubias on driftwood, Java fern and S. repens, as well as some random snails which managed to hitch hike on the plants.

I tested my tap water and when it first comes out of the tap it’s about 7.4. Another member recommended letting it sit for about 24 hours to see if it drops and it does, to about 6.8. However for some reason the pH in the actual tank is still consistently 6 which is way too low.

The tank my Betta is in now is about 7.4. Therefore I don’t know what to do about this drop, or even how to properly acclimate him when the tank is ready. Another member said that using chemicals is probably not a good idea, so what exactly should I do to fix this?


Zigi Zig

Your driftwood most likely dropping your PH as driftwood will release tannins into your tank.. try to add crushed corals or limestone aquifers. Limestone contains carbonate, which when dissolved in water increases PH to balance your resources..


As ZigI said its probably the driftwood but it could also be something with your kh. The lower your kh the more easily your ph will swing. I suspect you may have a low kh and that the driftwood (which normally wouldn't have such a quick and drastic affect) caused it to drop. 6 isn't necessarily a bad ph but if you'd like to increase it you can do the crushed corals or limestone thing.
You could also use the alkaline buffer from Seachem- it will raise both ph and kh slowly and is designed for planted tanks. It is meant to buffer between 7.2 and 8.5 if used alone but is designed to be used along side their acid buffer. However, with the fluval stratum substrate I suspect you (in theory) should be able to get away with just the alkaline. I myself use the acid buffer because my tap water comes out with a ph of almost 8.5 and a kh of 10. I currently have it stable at a ph of about 7.5 and a kh of 5 and have had it this way since April.

As far as acclimating goes I would recommend drip acclimation over the course of several hours. If you're unfamiliar with this there are a lot of good tutorials on here and youtube that will explain it much better than I could. If you decide to use the seachem buffers though you could also just use the acid one to lower the ph- though the measurement for a 5 or 2.5 tank is smaller than half of 1/4 tsp and could be a bit difficult to eyeball.

Most photos, videos and links are disabled if you are not logged in.

Log in or register to view

Top Bottom