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Chris asked in PetsFish · 1 decade ago

What should I do to keep the pH stable?

The past week I've been thinking, what are some ways I can keep the stable pH in my 10 gallon tank?

I have a 10 gallon freshwater tank with 2 Neons, 2 Cherry Barb and 3 Cories. Im getting 3 more neons soon so I want to keep the pH as stable as possible.

What should i do to keep the pH stable?

7 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    A stable pH is VERY important, so this is good that you are trying to achieve this.

    Keeping a steady KH of at least 50 ppm for your fish will go a long ways in maintaining pH stability.

    Also GH factors into the equation as well especially in planted aquariums where CO2 is added and even without plants is important for osmoregulation.

    I do not recommend powders or tablets to reduce or up your pH as these usually do little for the KH, which is more important.

    Natural ways such as Crushed coral in a bag as well as products like SeaChems marine buffer (yes this safe for FW). This product is vastly better than Baking Soda as it addresses all aspects of water chemistry (so does crushed coral in a slower less responsive way though). What I mean by that is that it adds Calcium, Magnesium and other elements in the proper ratios important to a stable aquatic environment.

    Wonder Shells are another product that does not alter the KH much, however it helps maintain it once it is adjusted, these also add calcium and magnesium and aid in Redox Potential.

    You can also buffer from the low side of pH with Mango Wood, Peat Pellets and my favorite is Bio Lif (which is made from almond leaves).

    I will also add that knowing your tap water pH, KH, and GH is helpful as well, especially for water changes, just allow the water to sit for about an hour to “gas out” before testing.

    I highly recommend reading this article for much more researched information on this subject:

    Also you might find this article useful as well:

    :~) C

    Source(s): 28 years aquarium maintenance and research experience
  • 1 decade ago

    First off, if you add your 3 more neons, it's going to put you into an overcrowding range. It's much better to be understocked, especially in smaller tanks where there's less water to deal with waste. Next, ph is not a big concern. I would like to strangle pet stores for emphasizing ph so much and not even mentioning ammonia, nitrites and nitrates. Just yet more proof of why we need to be so very careful about taking advice of pet store employees. Anyway, a stable low ph is far more preferable than a fluctuating, temporarily “perfect” ph. Never use chemical additives as they are only temporary. Most fish can tolerate a wide range of ph levels from 6.5-8, but if you must mess with the ph, adding coral or shells will harden the water (increase ph levels) and things like logs, driftwood, peat and almond leaves will sweeten the water (lower ph levels), so if you have logs/driftwood in the water, take those out and add some shells. Otherwise, don’t worry about the ph.

  • 1 decade ago

    Test your tank water before you perform your weekly water change. Then, test your SOURCE water. Is it the same? If yes, do nothing. If no, then change the ph of the source water to that of the tank water. Pay attention to what you use and how much it took per gallon. This will make it easier the next time around. Yes, you could use commercial buffers. Yes, you could use live rock, crushed coral, and pete. You could also use spring or distilled water and mix it with tap to acheive the right quality.

    A healthy tank will not change ph rapidly. Good maintenance with the same source water will ensure a stable ph.

  • 1 decade ago

    There is wisdom in your question! STABLE pH is much better than trying to maintain your pH at a specific level. pH fluctuates in nature and minor fluctuations in your tank is not a significant concern. It's best to avoid pH buffers as frequently changing the pH level in your tank is more harmful for your fish than moderate pH fluctuations.

    I would caution you against overstocking your tank. A 10 gallon tank will not hold 10 gallons of water. Ensure that your additional fish are appropriate for the actual amont of water and filtration available for your tank.

    Routine water changes with properly conditioned water is the best way to maintain stable pH.

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  • 1 decade ago

    As long as you do regular water changes, keep a low bio-load and filter maintance on your tank, your pH should stay fine. As others have stated it is better to have the stable ph for where it is, than to try a balance it using chemicals. With too wide a swing in pH you can pH shock and stress your fish and this is not good. Again maintain good water quality and the fish you have listed will do fine

  • 1 decade ago

    well live rock and crushed coral are the natural way to do it and they keep the water stable

  • 1 decade ago

    Go to your fish store. pH up and pH down solutions (acid and base) are rarely used anymore. Instead additives, usually tablets or granular, are now available that stabilize the pH at around 7.0

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