My pH level has always been at 7.6 (straight from the tap). However, I noticed over the past week or so that the level keeps dropping. A few days ago it was at 7.0, and today it was at 6.6.
I was scheduled to do my weekly water change, which I did, and when I tested the water again it was back up to 7.6.
I've read that the sudden change in pH can be stressful for my betta, but what can I do?
I don't know what could be dropping the pH. I added some cuttlebone to the tank, could that do it? If so, I purchased some high calcium veggie sticks to give to my apple snail so do you think that would be sufficient to provide the right amount of calcium so I can skip the cuttlebone?
I'm confused... ... so any advice is appreciated.
Thanks in advance.
The cuttlebone and calcium veggie sticks should increase pH (lower acid concentration). The calcium veggie sticks should eliminate the need for cuttlebones. Where did you get them and what brand are they?
Nitrogen compounds can form acids, and they can be produced by uneaten food and other contributors to the biological load. Small aquariums are more difficult than large ones to keep balanced, so you may need to increase the frequency of partial water changes. Small but frequent partial water changes will not produce sudden changes in water parameters, but large ones can.
Since uneaten food can produce ammonia, a nitrogen compound, you may want to evaluate or reduce your feeding schedule. The Betta should eat all of the offered food in a couple of minutes. Snails are slow, but they should at least eat all of the offered food....at a snail's pace.
Hi John, and thanks for the reply.
I just got the veggie sticks and have only used one yesterday for my snail. They are Ken's Premium Veggie Sticks with Calcium found here:
I always feed the betta by hand becaue it's much easier to make sure how much he's eating. I use a syringe to feed the frozen brine and blood worms, and of course the pellets are easy to calculate. The snail usually cleans anything that hits the gravel pretty quickly...lol.
Since my shrimp never comes out of his habitat except at night, I do put a tiny pinch of flake food (since my betta won't eat it, or at least that I have seen) so that he has some food. He won't come out during the day and if i leave something near his habitat, the snail gets it before he can. If I don't do that, will my amano shrimp starve? With only the one betta and the snail who eats EVERYTHING in the tank, there's not much left in there for him when the lights go out.
I guess maybe the extra flake food could be causing a problem.
Would you suggest doing partial water changes 2 to 3 times a week then? Say, 20%?
My ammonia is always at 0, as are my nitrites. My nitrates go up to about 25-30, which is when I do my weekly water change and then they are back to about 5 to 10ppm.
The nitrates are fine, but partial water changes a couple times a week may help the pH. Most all aquarium inhabitants produce ammonia as a normal part of their respiration and digestion. In a small aquarium, it's easy to get an ammonia buildup, and ammonia is fairly unstable so it can bind with hydrogen to make acid.
You may want to try a 20 percent partial water change every three days and see how it works out. Frequency and volume can always be adjusted.
That's what I'll do then.