In fish farming, no matter the size, people know what pH of the water is, and the importance of maintaining pH level over time. Sometimes, the variations seen in pH level can lead us to a lot of confusions. Because, this can affect the existence of fishes. If you have fish farming as your income source, then it is very important to know more about maintaining the pH level of the fish tank water. So, this post is to solve your confusions/worries regarding pH level of the fish tank water.
Let us check out how to maintain good level of pH for the water used in fish tanks.
Why should you maintain the pH level of Aquarium water
If you are actively engaged in fish farming or related activities, then it is necessary to check the pH value of water over time and maintain it. pH is the measure of acidity or alkalinity of the water. It is that one factor which affects the growth and well being of fishes growing in the water.
pH scale measures from 0 to 14, where values near to zero indicates that the water is very acidic, and the values close to 14 indicate that the water is very alkaline. Also, values closer to 7 indicates that the water is neutral.
The recommended pH value for the water used in an aquarium is between 7 to 8. If the pH value is not maintained in an optimal level, then this can affect the growth and existence of the fishes. However, you may not see much changes due to small changes in pH value. For example, if the pH value got decreased to 6.5, or raised to 8.5 may not make sudden changes to the fishes living in the water. But, it is better to test the pH level in different time intervals to make sure that the water is safe.
Check out: difference between pH, kH and gH and their importance in fish farming.
How pH level of water changes over time
The pH level of water used in a fish tank can naturally change over time. This is due to the process of Photosynthesis in which the amount of carbon dioxide varies.
When there is absence of sunlight (usually during night hours), there is no process of photosynthesis takes place. And as a result, the pH value will be lower during this time. During the day time, photosynthesis takes place and the pH value will be seen higher. You may get high pH values if you do a pH test during time just after noon. Therefore, you have to keep these things in mind before you go for a pH test.
To test the pH of the fish tank water, you can use either a pH solution or a pH meter. There is a lot of products available in different names to do so. And, the procedures to calculate the pH value will also differ. So its better to follow the guidelines from the product manufacturer to do it in the right way.
Best Practices for Aquarium Water pH Test
- If you are to test the pH value for the water in a natural pond, then its recommended to collect a cup of water from different parts of the pond in a bucket for the sample.
- If its a small pond or a fish tank (aquarium), you only need to collect a small amount of water for sample.
- If you have already tested the pH of fish tank water once and found it lower or higher than the required value, then you can try removing about 20% of water from the bottom of the fish tank (this is the area where all the waste is accumulated). And then you can fill the fish tank with fresh water and collect sample again.
How to Raise pH value of Aquarium water
Sudden pH changes in the fish tank water will negatively affect the fishes living in it. Therefore, if you are to raise the pH value of your fish tank, then make sure that you do it slowly and not in a sudden.
Here I will share some easy ways to improve the pH value of the fish tank water.
Using Calcium Oxide
Using Calcium Oxide (CaO) is one of the most commonly followed practice to raise the pH value of the aquarium water. Also, it is easily available in most pesticide/fertilizer outlets.
How to add Calcium Oxide into aquarium water?
- Take a bucket full of water.
- Add some amount of Calcium Oxide (CaO) into it.
- Stir it well.
- Now wait for a few minutes to let it settle.
- Now take a new bucket or a pot and pour the mix into it. At the same time, make sure that the CaO powder/particles accumulated at the bottom of the bucket remains there.
- Now add this water to your fish tank with respect to its size.
Here, if your fish tank is of small size, then you only need to add a few cups of Calcium Oxide into it.
Dolomite is also known as Calcium Magnesium Carbonate. It is available in most pesticide/fertilizer outlets. You can add Dolomite to raise the pH value of your fish tank.
What happens when you add Dolomite to aquarium water?
When you add Dolomite to acidic aquarium water, it will react with the acids present in the water and turns into carbon dioxide (CO2). Dolomite acts as a pH buffer.
How to add Dolomite to aquarium water?
- Take a bucket of water.
- Add some amount of Dolomite into it.
- Stir it.
- Now wait for it to settle.
- Take a new bucket or a pot and pour the mix into it. Make sure that the solid particles accumulated at the bottom of the bucket remains in the same bucket.
- Now add this water to your fish tank with respect to its size.
If you need more, then you can fill the bucket again with water and repeat the process. The solid particles at the bottom of the bucket/pot can be finally removed.
The fish tank water will not become alkaline if Dolomite is added to raise the pH level.
How to Lower pH Value of Aquarium Water
Higher pH values indicate that the alkalinity of the water is also higher. Usually we use several acids to lower the pH level of water like vinegar (acetic acid), Aluminium Sulfate (also known as Alum) etc.
Using Vinegar (Acetic acid)
When you add vinegar (acetic acid) to a fish tank to reduce the alkalinity of the water, make sure that you use a less amount of it. Because, adding large amount of acids can contaminate the water and cause the fishes to die.
How to add vinegar to a large aquarium?
For natural ponds or large fish tanks, collect a bucket of water from it and then add an adequate amount of vinegar into the bucket. Mix it and then pour it in different regions of the fish tank in a way that it reaches everywhere uniformly. If the fish tank already has a lot of fishes in it, try to do this process very slowly. This is because sudden pH changes can affect the fishes in it.
Using Alum/Aluminium Sulfate
Aluminium Sulfate or Alum is usually used to reduce pH value in a very short time. This is one of the cheap and safe method used for the same. It can be easily purchased from medical shops. When you add this to fish tank water, it will react and creates acidic condition.
Alum or Aluminium Sulfate is used in a way that 10 grams is used for a 1000 litre fish tank. Also, if there are fishes already in the pond/fish tank, then use only a very small amount.
I hope this article helped you maintain the required pH level for your aquarium using the methods listed above. If you have any doubts regarding this, fell free to comment below. We will try to reply your queries very soon.