So I decided to test the PH in my bettas tank after I did a water change, and to my surprise, the PH was showing 8.0. I thought maybe it was my tap water, so I tested that. Water out of tap tested at 7.4. I've always had an issue with higher PH than what is consider good for my betta, but I think this is a little odd, that the PH in the tank is higher than out of my tap... Or is it?
I have drift wood in my 5gal tank that has been there for months, and it still seems to be leaching out tannis. I'm not sure if that's my problem, but I obviously need to find a way to lower my PH, but I don't want to worry about bounce back when I do water changes.
I didn't think your driftwood is the culprit, if anything it should lower the PH. You may want to test your gravel and any rocks you have in the tank. Take a small sample of gravel and any larger rocks out of the tank and rinse and dry them. Then sprinkle a few drops of vinegar on them. If the rocks or gravel contain calcium then the acid in the vinegar will react with it and they will fiz and bubble. If they don't bubble then you can rinse them off and put them back in your tank. Let us know what you find.
No fizzle. So I still don't know what to do about the PH... I know there are chemicals they sell in the LFStores to lower PH, but I'm hesitant to use those types of things. I'm almost thinking I should switch to bottled water.
Bottled water can help - just make sure it's distilled or RO (reverse osmosis) water and not spring water. You'll want to do small partial water changes over several days to prevent shocking your fish with a sudden PH drop. Eventually when you get the PH down to where you want it, you'll most likely need to use a combination of tap water and bottled water to maintain it at that level.
I would guess it's gravel or something in the tank too.
Is your fish acting funny? pH drops while it is in the tank, so there has to be something in there causing it to rise.
I would not do anything to alter the pH if your betta has been in there a while. As you know, pH swings are way worse for fish than a higher pH.
Everything that is in my tank is all meant for aquariums, gravel, ornaments, plants, and driftwood... I bought everything from various pet stores. I have laterite in my gravel, for when there were other live plants. Now I only have one anubias that is planted in the driftwood. All my other plants kept dying, I assume because of the PH as well. So I really can't be sure. I did the vinegar thing on what I thought may be suspect, but the end result was none.
I do at times use API liqud plant food, but I doubt that's it, as I don't use frequently, just when I remember. So what do I do??? Nothing or something else?
I just remembered, and it's the only other thing that comes to mind... The anubias that is planted in the driftwood is planted in some sort of mesh material I assume it was meant for the plants to root in. I also noticed that when I take the driftwood out to clean the gravel... It somewhat smells like sulfur. I don't think it's the wood itself, I think it may be coming from what the plant is rooted in. I bought the wood in hopes to naturally lower the PH, so far... Not so good.
You woundn't by chance be using crushed coral or seashell gravel? Just because something is sold for an aquarium doesn't always mean that it won't affect your water chemistry. Another way your PH could increase would be if you frequently top of your tank with tap water to replace evaporation instead of changing part of the water. It's also possible that your tap water is the problem. In some locactions the PH of the tap water goes up during the drier times of the year when there's less rain to dillute the minerals in the water or maybe your local water is treated with something to lower the PH and the additive dissapates over time allowing the PH to climb. You should probably monitor both your tank water and tap water over time to see which one is changing. You may even want to put some tap water in a glass or plastic container and let it set for a few days to see if the PH changes.
No crushed coral or seashells, just regular ol' gravel. But I think you might be right about my tap water fluctuating. I think I'll keep an eye on it, but if it starts coming out high, should I mix it with bottled drinking water till it matches what is already in the tank?
And I read earlier that the PH is supposed to drop once it's in the aquarium?
Mine always stayed the same.
I do sometimes top off the tank to replace evaporated water, and I also may change too much water... Could that be a problem for PH as well?
Distilled water has a PH of 7.0 so it will help bring the PH down if mixed with your tap water. The key is to do small (20%-30%) water changes to avoid stressing your fish by changing the water chemistry too rapidly. How often you change your water will depend on several factors such as how many fish you have and how large your tank is, but once every two weeks is the minimum. Usually water will become more acidic after its in the tank for a while, but if you have lots of minerals in your water, they may prevent the PH from dropping.
Over time, driftwood slowly lowers pH, but it should be left in the aquarium when you do partial water changes. Reverse osmosis or distilled water does not have any of the buffers needed to prevent sudden changes in pH, so you should not use it for all partial water changes. If the aquarium is not over crowded and you are not over feeding, a 20 or 25 percent partial water change every week should be just fine. Of course, not everyone will agree with that when it comes to small aquariums. It seems that most tap water has a high pH, but it's also true that pH usually decreases as the aquarium and its substrate are allowed to age.