Lv 5
Tigs asked in PetsFish · 9 years ago

Aquarium PH Too High?

My tap water and aquarium PH are about 7.6. I had initially asked a question about this on Yahoo Answers and many recommended leaving it alone. I did just that and added fish to the tank. So far I only lost 2 fish (Glofish) but they might have been sick from the beginning. I went to a different pet store and bought a bunch of cory catfish and red plattys. All of them seem to be doing fine, however just today I noticed two of the plattys have a white discoloration on the top of their body. I called my local pet store and the lady said they can just be stressed. She asked me about my PH and I said it was 7.6 and all the other readings were good. She said that I should lower the PH because they have their water at 7.0 in the stores. So I am just asking again. Do I ignore this advice and just let things be? I have done my own research and many people say not to use a chemical to adjust PH. I've read that some people use Peet or driftwood to naturally lower PH. If I have to lower the PH what is the safest way? I am just being urged by stores to lower PH with products such as (Proper PH 7.0) and I am not sure what advice to follow. Advice is much appreciated.


I don't think its Ick that they have because I looked at pictures of that on the internet and that is more of a white salted look. This just looks like a thin layer of the body has come off or has lost its color. This is only for 2 of the 6. They are eating and not otherwise acting funny.

Update 2:

I had my tank up and running for several days. Then I used Tetra Safe Start a couple hours before introducing fish. I have been checking my water parameters constantly and I am only getting at most .25 ppm of ammonia. I keep getting 0 nitrites. Nitrates could be 0-5 ppm depending if I am judging the color correctly. PH has stayed at a steady 7.6.

Update 3:

Water is slightly cloudy. It is a 30 gallon.

Update 4:

I was originally trying to do the fishless method with shrimp but then read that it could cause a fungus to grow in the water. So I took out all my gravel rinsed everything and then put new water in. I don't think I had it going long enough to cause any problems.

Update 5:

Wouldn't I have had a spike by now?

5 Answers

  • 9 years ago

    Your PH is fine. Leave it alone.

    You should always be sure to properly acclimate new fish to your water/temperature by floating the bag in your tank for 1/2 hour, then replacing 1/4 of the bag water with aquarium water every 15 minutes or so over the course of another hour.

    The safest way to lower your PH is through a reverse osmosis system. Otherwise, each time you do a water change you'll be adding the higher PH water to your tank, which will lead to PH swings, which WILL stress your fish.

    Seriously though, your PH is fine.

    Your fish are likely stressed though, and if they're not, they're going to be, as you did not properly cycle your tank.

    (Tetra Safe Start and other such products are a scam, as they're usually dead long before they even reach the store shelves.)

    The cycling process takes several weeks at least, usually over a month to complete.

    The water is cloudy because it's in the first stage of the cycle and so you have a bacteria bloom.

    Next step is an ammonia spike, and that can kill your fish.

    You need to do a great deal of research into the nitrogen cycle.

    It would be best to return your current fish who are still in good health. At the very least, do not purchase any more fish until your tank is fully cycled.

    Source(s): Experience.
  • 9 years ago

    I thought I'd answer this as I've actually used API PH 7.0 to adjust my pH for the exact same reasoning. Firstly, much of the opposition to it is based on the desire to not be adding chemicals to the water that are unnecessary. Secondly, there is the added expense. Third, and perhaps most importantly, if you accidently add too much or too little this can lead to severe fluctuations which are even worse that if you'd just left it alone to begin with. Fourthly, plants...

    Two products: 'API Proper pH 7.0' - this says on the label that it's not good with for use in an aquarium with live plants. I use this and have live plants and have had no problems there. 'Waterlife PH buffer 7.2' - says it's OK to use with plants but I haven't tested this.

    In summary, despite currently using these products I really wish I hadn't started. Most fish do adjust well and the pH of your tap water is likely to be more consistent than as it would be adding chemicals. For this reason, added to the opinions of other, more experienced users coming to the same conclusion, means that I think you should heed the advice and steer clear for now.

    Side note (from about about.com): "Keep in mind that pH is not static, it changes over time, in fact it even changes over the course of a single day. Typically it drops at night and rises during the daytime. The pH will change as new fish are added or removed, as water is added or changed, and as the biological processes change in the tank. "

    All the best!

  • Anonymous
    9 years ago

    I keep my Corie's in a PH of 7.6 and they are fine you if PH is stable leave it don't mess with it .

    I am wondering is the tank cycled ?could be the other fish died from a water quality problem and that your other fish could be getting a fungus .

    Edit ..I don't think its ICK A Possible fungus yes .

    What size tank and was it cycled and what are your water parameters that would help me give you a better answer.

  • Anonymous
    9 years ago

    You are stressing over the pH, and it's probably NOTHING to do with your problems.

    Fish came from natural water, which has a wide range of pH, and it can even vary with the seasons. So they can adjust to quite a wide range.

    Do you see anyone down at the local river or lake testing the water and pouring chemicals in to "balance" the pH. Of course not, it just is whatever it is, and the fish get used to it.

    Your pH is in the "Normal" range, you can now ignore it.


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  • Mcgrym
    Lv 4
    9 years ago

    Since where you buy the fish from has a lower Ph than your tank you should slowly acclimate the fish to this Ph by slowly adding tank water to their baggy until its mostly tank water. Other than that I wouldn't worry about your Ph. Its not dangerously high. You just have to prevent Ph shock.

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