Originally Posted by Suparno
Just popped in a shop to purchase API Test Kit and apparently they don't sell API Test Kit as they're inaccurate. I'm not completely convinced but they also said that it doesn't matter what pH level it is as long as it's in a range of 6.5-8. They said that the change of pH is what matters the most as it stresses the fish out. So a few questions here. What effect will adding driftwood or rocks have on the pH? Should I be too concerned about my pH level as long as it's in a range of 6.5-7.5?
API test kits are widely used and are one of the more reliable ones available. Only the Sera tests are perhaps more accurate, but they are much more expensive. And in all cases, lquid test kits are better than strip for accuracy and reliability.
I agree that fluctuating pH stresses fish, I said that previously, and thus recommended you not fiddle with the pH.
It is not strictly true to say that pH doesn't matter. But the prime issue is the hardness, as I said earlier, and you must get the numbers for this. GH is general hardness, and KH or Alkalinity is the carbonate hardness. These are very important, first because some fish are seriously affected by the wrong GH, and second the KH/Alkalinity is what "stabilizes" pH and prevents it from lowering in the aquarium, and also resists any attempt you might make to change it. Read the article I linked earlier, it will explain this.
You can get the GH and KH from the water people; don't waste one on a test kit that you may only use the once. If you have a link to the water data but can't fathom it, post it and I will taked a look.
As for the effect of rocks and wood, this depends. Wood will naturally tend to lower the GH and thus pH, but this is usually very minimal if at all. It mainly depends upon the GH and KH [back to that again]. Rock that is inert will not affect GH/KH/pH. But calcareous rock such as limestone, marble, dolomite, lava, as well as coral and shells, will raise the GH and thus the pH.