Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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-   -   Can't get ph up (

oh1vette 08-23-2011 07:56 PM

Can't get ph up
Hi all, new to the forum, but been keeping freshwater fish my whole life....

This is kinda weird, I use API ph up to increase ph after water changes. Problem is, the ph is not increasing, it consistently stays at 6.0; I usually aim for a 6.4.

I've added 4 doeses now so far, over a few days, but still at 6.0...

Any thoughts?


aussieant32 08-23-2011 08:00 PM

whats in your tank? Any wood? Well planted? Co2?

oh1vette 08-23-2011 08:15 PM


no wood, no live plants.....yeah I know, but I've never had problems raising the ph with the additives.... ammonia is 0

Fish seem healthy, but just don't understand why the ph won't raise.

Maybe I should leave well enough alone if the fish are happy(???)

aussieant32 08-23-2011 08:39 PM

id suggest testing your tap water first, that will give you a good base reading to start. Also im not a fan of adding chemicals etc to raise PH. Try adding some crushed coral or some coral sand (available at any decent aquatic shop) these will natually raise your PH levels. But like you said, if the fish seem fine with it, dont touch it :)

ladayen 08-24-2011 12:17 AM

Why would you want to raise the PH is the fish are happy? Your PH is great for many fish, with the exception of Livebearers and some african cichlids notably.

BarbH 08-24-2011 12:29 AM

Hello and welcome to TFK :-D What are the fish that you are keeping in your tank, and what is the reason for wanting to raise your ph? As stated most of the fish that is commonly kept are from soft acidic water, some of the exceptions are livebearers, africian rift cichlids, and central american cichlids are a few off the top of my head that come from waters that are harder and more basic in nature. Using chemicals like ph up or ph down can lead to having sudden shifts in the ph in your tank, which is actually more harmful to the fish, than having a steady ph even if a little lower. Most tank raised fish are able to handle having larger range in ph and hardness than wild caught which tend to need to be kept in more similar conditions from where they came from.

amberjade 08-24-2011 10:04 AM

Yep, what they said. :)

Stay off the ph up - too unstable. Crushed coral in your filter is much better. Makes for a fantastic buffer.
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SinCrisis 08-24-2011 10:51 AM

+1 on the crushed coral. using slow dissolving buffers like the coral, seashells, etc will be much safer and easier to control than PH Up.

oh1vette 08-24-2011 11:38 AM

Thanks for all the replies...

Reason for looking to increase was the 6.0 is the low end of the scale for these fish, so I just thought I'd bump it up a bit....didn't think it would hurt.

Was really curious as to why or what would prevent the ph up from working....thought maybe that might lead to an as yet unknown problem...

Thanks again all...

BarbH 08-24-2011 11:48 AM

My guess would be that the kh in your water is low which would mean that it does not have much buffering capability. With a low kh the ph will naturally lower in the aquarium. Even by adding ph up to the water because the kh is low the ph will naturally lower back down. There is a good article here written by Byron that explains this

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