What is proper ph and water hard or soft?

Heat20

I have had bettas in past but it was before google. I have studied and researched until I am confused about ph and water hardness for betta fish. I live in Florida and LFS tells me these bettas are used to hard water and higher ph so don’t worry about it. That betta died had dropsy and I had to euthanize. I am now obsessed with keeping this fish in perfect conditions. But I’m quite confused on what my base line should be. . So could any of you out there tell me proper ph and if water is better hard or soft. Slightly acidic, or is a ph of 7.6 constantly better than messing with ph?
I use seachem prime to condition water
API quick start (with water changes)
API Stress coat W/ water change)
Tested with A.P.I master test kit
Current ph 7.6 to 7.8
Ammonia 0.00
Nitrite 0.00
Nitrate 2.0pm
Water hard
I have added IAL in last 2 weeks
1.5 gram aquarium salt per gallon (slowly over 5 days)
8 gallon bioorb
Definitely cycled tank before I added him:)
 

carsonsgjs

Honestly, I’d stick with your tapwater parameters rather than trying to chase a perfect ph. A wild caught fish may require different conditions but tank-bred should be fine in 7.6.

On your water changes, just use prime - you don’t need to keep dosing the other stuff.
 
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MacZ

By nature almost all Betta species live in soft (GH/KH below 5°) acidic (pH 6-7) water. Often very soft (GH/KH 0°!) and very acidic (down to 4pH).

The domestic fish available in masses are undefinable in that regard. Tendency is they do better in soft acidic water as do most domestic breeds of softwater fish, like apistogramma, rams or gourami. Do they require it: No. Will it be better for them: Likely. You decide.

When changing pH, start with reducing hardness (especially KH has to be lowered). Best way is RO to dilute and then add acidity in the form of humic substances. No danger of pH crashes then.
 
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GlennO

Why is salt being added?
 
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Heat20

I added api aquarium salt
By nature almost all Betta species live in soft (GH/KH below 5°) acidic (pH 6-7) water. Often very soft (GH/KH 0°!) and very acidic (down to 4pH).

The domestic fish available in masses are undefinable in that regard. Tendency is they do better in soft acidic water as do most domestic breeds of softwater fish, like apistogramma, rams or gourami. Do they require it: No. Will it be better for them: Likely. You decide.

When changing pH, start with reducing hardness (especially KH has to be lowered). Best way is RO to dilute and then add acidity in the form of humic substances. No danger of pH crashes then.
Thank you so much for this clear information. This helps a lot . My current ph is 7.6 I will try to slowly lower ph I have seen that a consistent ph is better than trying to lower it quickly. I started with RO water 3/4 to 1/4 conditioned tap (tap is 7.0ph) the result has been 7.4 - 7.6 . I will introduce more IAL to break down and slowly lower it . Are you saying that perfect goal would be 4.0?
Honestly, I’d stick with your tapwater parameters rather than trying to chase a perfect ph. A wild caught fish may require different conditions but tank-bred should be fine in 7.6.

On your water changes, just use prime - you don’t need to keep dosing the other stuff.
I am using quick start still because it has been newly cycled.. I will back off of that in a month or two . I put in aquarium salt because he had Popeye and small white patch on head and they both went away in 3 days (and I was using half recommend dose for normal aquarium use (not sick fish) I am not adding salt back now as I do 25% water changes . But I will keep a extremely low amount in there as I have had betta thrive with a small amount in their tank.
Why is salt being He had Popeye and white patch that went away quickly (3 days ) after adding aquarium salt
 
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MacZ

Thank you so much for this clear information. This helps a lot . My current ph is 7.6 I will try to slowly lower ph I have seen that a consistent ph is better than trying to lower it quickly. I started with RO water 3/4 to 1/4 conditioned tap (tap is 7.0ph) the result has been 7.4 - 7.6 .
WAIT! First read up on how it works, because you are already on the wrong track.
You NEED to know your KH at least. pH readings alone are useless. Do a thorough analysis: GH, KH, pH, before you do anything. You'll find info on that in my blackwater article. It's not that simple.
I will introduce more IAL to break down and slowly lower it .
This will only work in 100% RO.
Are you saying that perfect goal would be 4.0?
I am absolutely NOT saying it. Those are the levels for WILD fish.

About the salt: Do not add that regularly. Especially in (technically) softwater fish, this is a bad idea. You want conductivity low, not sky high. Many people think if they regularly add it it is good, like it was a vitamin or something. It is not.
 
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RayClem

Remember that there are fish in nearly every body of water on earth with the exception of the Dead Sea, the Great Salt Lake and some polluted bodies of water. The water conditions range from almost freezing to warm, very soft freshwater to salty ocean water, and from fairly acidic to somewhat alkaline. Fish have adapted to live in all these conditions. That does not mean that any fish can adapt to any condition, but it does mean that there should be some fish that can adapt to the water you have available. lt is usually best to pick fish that will work with your water than it is to try to change your water parameters to meet the needs of the fish. It is certainly possible to accomplish the later, especially if you start with RO water as your source, but it does diligence and a knowledge of chemistry is helpful.
 
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Heat20

WAIT! First read up on how it works, because you are already on the wrong track.
You NEED to know your KH at least. pH readings alone are useless. Do a thorough analysis: GH, KH, pH, before you do anything. You'll find info on that in my blackwater article. It's not that simple.

This will only work in 100% RO.

I am absolutely NOT saying it. Those are the levels for WILD fish.

About the salt: Do not add that regularly. Especially in (technically) softwater fish, this is a bad idea. You want conductivity low, not sky high. Many people think if they regularly add it it is good, like it was a vitamin or something. It is not.
I have studied up in the aquarium salt and I agree with that . I am not going to add more as I do water changes. I was pretty confused on whether or not I should and it helped so much my thinking was it must be good! But then if I did have a problem in future salt may not help, I really appreciate you taking time to help me . I want the very best for my little guy
Remember that there are fish in nearly every body of water on earth with the exception of the Dead Sea, the Great Salt Lake and some polluted bodies of water. The water conditions range from almost freezing to warm, very soft freshwater to salty ocean water, and from fairly acidic to somewhat alkaline. Fish have adapted to live in all these conditions. That does not mean that any fish can adapt to any condition, but it does mean that there should be some fish that can adapt to the water you have available. lt is usually best to pick fish that will work with your water than it is to try to change your water parameters to meet the needs of the fish. It is certainly possible to accomplish the later, especially if you start with RO water as your source, but it does diligence and a knowledge of chemistry is helpful.
Got it ! I am in search of the perfect living conditions for my fish but it has not been as simple as I hoped lol! But I love my fish so I will continue on …I am so glad I joined this group!!:)
 
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mattgirl

This helps a lot . My current ph is 7.6 I will try to slowly lower ph I have seen that a consistent ph is better than trying to lower it quickly. I started with RO water 3/4 to 1/4 conditioned tap (tap is 7.0ph) the result has been 7.4 - 7.6 . I will introduce more IAL to break down and slowly lower it . Are you saying that perfect goal would be 4.0?
If your tap water is 7.0 I have to wonder why the pH in the tank is 7.4-7.6 after using 3/4 RO an 1/4 tap. I have to think this should have lowered the pH instead of raising it. Do you have something in the tank that is causing the pH to go up such as limestone, crushed coral or even shells of some kind? The pH of your tap water should be about perfect for your betta.
I use seachem prime to condition water
API quick start (with water changes)
API Stress coat W/ water change)

As carsonsgjs pointed out, the only thing you need to be adding is Prime when you do your water changes. Once a tank is cycled there is no need to continue adding bottled bacteria such as quick start. Both Stress Coat and Prime are water conditioners. Use one or the other but not both. Personally I use Prime.

The stability of the tank is the most important thing you can do to keep your Betta healthy. Weekly water changes with the same water each and every time should keep the parameters in the tank stable. Your tap water with a pH of 7.0 should be about perfect for your little guy.

Aquarium salt does have some healing properties so I am not totally against adding a very small amount of it on a regular basis. I no longer do but did for many years. I kept it at about 1/4th the recommended amount. Only you can decide whether or not you want to continue adding it. Be careful with it. Remember, it doesn't evaporate so don't add any in your top off water. It can only be removed by doing water changes. If you aren't careful, over time, it can build up in the tank so be aware of how much you are taking out and how much you are adding.
 
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Heat20

If your tap water is 7.0 I have to wonder why the pH in the tank is 7.4-7.6 after using 3/4 RO an 1/4 tap. I have to think this should have lowered the pH instead of raising it. Do you have something in the tank that is causing the pH to go up such as limestone, crushed coral or even shells of some kind? The pH of your tap water should be about perfect for your betta.


As carsonsgjs pointed out, the only thing you need to be adding is Prime when you do your water changes. Once a tank is cycled there is no need to continue adding bottled bacteria such as quick start. Both Stress Coat and Prime are water conditioners. Use one or the other but not both. Personally I use Prime.

The stability of the tank is the most important thing you can do to keep your Betta healthy. Weekly water changes with the same water each and every time should keep the parameters in the tank stable. Your tap water with a pH of 7.0 should be about perfect for your little guy.

Aquarium salt does have some healing properties so I am not totally against adding a very small amount of it on a regular basis. I no longer do but did for many years. I kept it at about 1/4th the recommended amount. Only you can decide whether or not you want to continue adding it. Be careful with it. Remember, it doesn't evaporate so don't add any in your top off water. It can only be removed by doing water changes. If you aren't careful, over time, it can build up in the tank so be aware of how much you are taking out and how much you are adding.
Yes I did much research on it and I only used half recommended dose ( added mice dose over 5 days) in tank and it healed and he became so energetic and happy! I read that the betta society recommends you use a small amount of AQUARIUM SALT for bettas it helps them remove excess water helps labyrinth and over all health . Also most betta breeders recommend aquarium salt as important as tannins. So I think I’m going to keep the salt at 1/16 recommended dose and slowly exchange for fresh only and maybe just do a micro dose in aquarium once in a while for good health. I am going to continue my research on it and decide from there . But in meantime something is going right because he is the most active vibrant betta I am determined to keep him that way. Thanks for all the great info
Yes I did much research on it and I only used half recommended dose ( added mice dose over 5 days) in tank and it healed and he became so energetic and happy! I read that the betta society recommends you use a small amount of AQUARIUM SALT for bettas it helps them remove excess water helps labyrinth and over all health . Also most betta breeders recommend aquarium salt as important as tannins. So I think I’m going to keep the salt at 1/16 recommended dose and slowly exchange for fresh only and maybe just do a micro dose in aquarium once in a while for good health. I am going to continue my research on it and decide from there . But in meantime something is going right because he is the most active vibrant betta I am determined to keep him that way. Thanks for all the great info
And to answer ph question I did water change with condition tap water and did set up with to 3/4 tap 1/4 but this was first water change so I took him out before doing and I’m not putting him back in until it matches ph and other parameters same as water he was in before change and is in right now. I went to store got RO added no API no aquarium salt and did 25% water change. The ph is now correct I am waiting a couple hours for aquarium to stabilize and get proper temp
If your tap water is 7.0 I have to wonder why the pH in the tank is 7.4-7.6 after using 3/4 RO an 1/4 tap. I have to think this should have lowered the pH instead of raising it. Do you have something in the tank that is causing the pH to go up such as limestone, crushed coral or even shells of some kind? The pH of your tap water should be about perfect for your betta.


As carsonsgjs pointed out, the only thing you need to be adding is Prime when you do your water changes. Once a tank is cycled there is no need to continue adding bottled bacteria such as quick start. Both Stress Coat and Prime are water conditioners. Use one or the other but not both. Personally I use Prime.

The stability of the tank is the most important thing you can do to keep your Betta healthy. Weekly water changes with the same water each and every time should keep the parameters in the tank stable. Your tap water with a pH of 7.0 should be about perfect for your little guy.

Aquarium salt does have some healing properties so I am not totally against adding a very small amount of it on a regular basis. I no longer do but did for many years. I kept it at about 1/4th the recommended amount. Only you can decide whether or not you want to continue adding it. Be careful with it. Remember, it doesn't evaporate so don't add any in your top off water. It can only be removed by doing water changes. If you aren't careful, over time, it can build up in the tank so be aware of how much you are taking out and how much you are adding.
No items in tank to raise ph . I did water change 35% with condition tap only took him out before hand and tested ph was higher . Did another water change 25% added 6 ph RO and got the ph stabilized. Should I add prime to RO?
 
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mattgirl

Should I add prime to RO?
Probably not necessary but just to be safe I add Prime to any water before pouring it in my tanks. It isn't going to hurt anything and gives me peace of mind knowing there is no chance of chlorine or any kind of heavy metal (whatever that means) getting in there. I consider it a very inexpensive form of insurance.
 
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Heat20

Probably not necessary but just to be safe I add Prime to any water before pouring it in my tanks. It isn't going to hurt anything and gives me peace of mind knowing there is no chance of chlorine or any kind of heavy metal (whatever that means) getting in there. I consider it a very inexpensive form of insurance.
Yes I added a small amount of prime when I did 25% Change with just RO . Waited a couple hours with 2 extra air stones in there tested water was same so I just put betta back in aquarium and he is a happy little boy! Water parameter subject a little better understanding now . I have to study up so I am not in state of confusion about these subjects. I have his water at 00.00 nitrite 0.00 ammonia And 00.01 nitrate ph 7.4 added IAL leaves so I’ll watch it go down in next weeks until a 7.0 ph is reached also I will back off all additives except prime from now on. Thank you
 
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