To keep your fish healthy and happy, you must keep the water in your aquarium controlled. The cleaner and better quality water, your fish will live longer and in better conditions, being able to avoid various diseases and premature death.
To achieve this, the most important thing is to have a water filtration system installed and make weekly changes to the water in your aquarium. These measures will help preserve water quality. However, you should also think about the chemistry of water.
In particular, you should monitor the pH level of your aquarium water, as it can change from time to time and, when it does, you will need to act quickly and know what you should do to return it to its normal value.
Causes of changes in the pH of the water in your aquarium
The first thing you need to know is that it is exactly the PH of the water in an aquarium. To describe it in a simple way, it is a measure of the alkalinity or acidity that water has and is measured on a scale of 0 to 14. A neutral PH has a measure of 7.0, while a lower measure is “acidic” and a superior is “alkaline”.
There are a number of factors that contribute to the pH change in your aquarium water, including a high mineral content and the type of substrate you use. If any of these things change, it could cause a change in the pH value of the water in your aquarium.
Other things that can cause a change in the PH of the water are the use of certain medicines, that your filtration system fails or even the use of certain objects or decorations in your aquarium (such as floating wood). The key to being able to solve the problem is to identify what causes it.
Tips to restore the PH of the water in your aquarium
The pH of your aquarium can be modified in two ways: up or down. If the pH of your aquarium drops suddenly, there are several things you can try to raise it:
- Make a change of water: You must always keep up with the water changes in your aquarium. The chemical balance of the water changes as the days go by, lowering the pH of the water more and more. Making a water change will help restore the natural value of the PH of the water in your aquarium.
- Change the substrate of your aquarium: Certain types of substrates will naturally increase the PH of the water in your aquarium. Things like crushed coral or limestone have this effect. Therefore, if you use these types of substrates, you should test PH analysis constantly and control that they remain at your level. If you do not get it or it is too laborious a task for you, you will have no choice but to change the substrate for another one that does not affect the pH of the water.
- Increase the amount of oxygen in your aquarium: When the levels of oxygen in the water of an aquarium increase, the levels of carbon dioxide decrease and the pH of the water increases. To achieve this you will need to install an air pump for aquariums or a more powerful filter.
- Use baking soda: One of the ways to change the pH of the water in an aquarium is to add a little sodium bicarbonate diluted completely in water. However, it is important that you do not add too much at the same time since sudden changes in the pH of the water can be deadly for the fish. Do not add more than 1 teaspoon per 20 liters of water and make sure it is completely dissolved in water before adding it to the aquarium.
These are just some of the ways in which you can increase the PH of the water in your aquarium. On the other hand, if you need to lower the pH of the water, try one of these methods:
- Add moss as a substrate: Using moss as a substrate in an aquarium or simply adding a little in your filter can help reduce the pH of the water. Of course, make sure you do not lower the PH too much in a short time.
- Increases carbon dioxide in the aquarium. As I told you before, the low levels of carbon dioxide in an aquarium are related to high PH levels in the water. Therefore, it is expected that a high level of carbon dioxide will lower the pH of the water. To achieve this, increase the levels of CO2 by reducing the amount of oxygen in your aquarium.
- Add floating wood to your aquarium: The floating wood contains compounds that not only change the color of your aquarium water to brown but also reduce the PH of the water in your aquarium. You only have to be careful about how you use it and in what quantity.
Keeping the water chemistry of your aquarium at its proper levels is an act of balance. By changing the water in your aquarium weekly, you can establish a baseline so that the water chemistry is at “normal” values. Then, if you see that the PH of the water changes its “normal” value, you will know that something is wrong and you can take measures to solve it. Of course, make sure you do not make any sudden changes in the chemical composition of the water in your aquarium because it is possible that your fish can not assimilate it.