Sick and Tired of Bad pH


The title says it. I'm sick and tired of my bad pH. My water source is naturally a 7.8 pH, and because I have Eco complete substrate mixed with sand my pH usually is around 8 to 8.2. I bought some of that Seachem pH balancer before, and it worked amazingly, but I did some more research and realize that it probably wasn't the best for my fish to have to deal with such a fluctuating pH all the time. I have put in so much driftwood, I have life plants, I have done everything I can think of to try to lower the ph naturally but I just don't know what to do anymore. I know my fish will adapt okay to the pH I have, but like, for my German Blue Ram, I feel worried that he's not getting the best quality of life he could get because my pH is bad. I don't know, I think I'm just more ranting than anything, and short of buying an RO system, I just wonder if anyone else has some suggestions I haven't tried. Thank you!


You have plants? Maybe introduce a CO2 system. Your plants will benefit and you could see a drop in PH of between 1 and 1.5. We started at 8.2 like you - our PH is now stable at 6.8. You may get small PH swings night and day (don't run CO2 in the dark) but if it's caused by safe levels of CO2 it should be fine.


I have that same issue, its really frustrating I don't have enough space for a RO and CO2 canisters aren't allowed because I am in a dorm, so I'm trying my best too but I just want my fish to thrive


I have the same issue too! Some recommended andler cones to me. I want to get into breeding apistos and am tring to find a way to drop it before I start.


About the only consistent way is with mixing rodI water with tap to get what you want. I heard you use a tds meter to figure it out.


to be fair, your pH isn't "bad" it's just not the best range for the fish you have. Have you thought of swapping them out for some fish that would be more tolerant of the high pH, like livebearers.
I haven't tried it myself, but I have heard of people using peat in their filters to lower pH and increase the tannins in the water to make it more hospitable to our South American fish.
Sort of like I would have to use crushed coral to keep livebearers in my water, which is 6.8 out of the tap and really low gH and KH, naturally. I just choose to keep fish that thrive in the water I have.
  • Thread Starter


Thanks everyone for the suggestions, super appreciate it. I'll look into peat moss and andler cones and read up on co2, though I really don't want to get into co2. Thanks again everyone!


Magicpenny75 gave you good advice. Your life will be easier, and your fishkeeping probably more enjoyable, if you keep fish that are suited to your water.


Ok is it eco complete Cichlid? If so it's going to buffer your pH high and you can't do anything about it until you use up it's buffering capacity.

It seems like pH and its regulation is the most misunderstood part of fish keeping. The most valuable piece of information here is the KH.

If your pH is high then chances are you have fairly high KH. Now, that being said I live in an area where water is treated with a strong base so I have a high pH and low KH...but that's a bit obscure.

Adding driftwood, leaves, alder cones, peat won't affect your pH until it strips your water of KH. So all you are doing is using up your buffer.

If you need lower PH, and you can't get RO water, then you have to add an acid buffer to your source water to strip the KH and lower the PH....then add back some alkaline buffer to increase your pH and KH to the desired level...else the low KH will allow for pH swings. Now that's being said you can take your low KH and low pH water and do small gradual water changes to lower your pH and KH of the aquarium.


7.8 is not a bad ph. Mine is 8.2 and I moved here after having 7.2-7.6 for over 20 years.... Proper research and acclimation and most fish especially those commonly available will be fine.

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