Is it worth raising PH?
So while testing water paramaters I was contemplating whether to attempt to raise my PH.
As it stands I have a 75g Lake Malawi aquarium. All the paramaters are fine except PH, which is a low at around 7.0. I have noticed no bad health effects with fish, except none of them are breeding (not that I wanted them to breed). I know that trying to raise the PH could cause swings which could then cause problems.
So I was just wondering if it would be worth raising Ph?
what fish are you keeping in the 75g tank?
Yellow labs, Demasoni's, Red Zebras with plans of Acei, Rusty and/or Hongi.
They will be fine it that pH but if you really want to get it up to around 7.8. YOU MUST DO THIS SLOWLY.
Raising the pH quickly will stress them.
To raise KH and pH, add baking soda (sodium bicarbonate). A good recommendation is 1 teaspoon per 5 gallons of water (dissolve in a cup of aquarium water if adding directly to the tank).
I cannot stress enough to do this SLOWLY.
Add some, leave it for 24 hours, retest and then add more if needed, again waiting before testing.
7.4-8 would be ideal for them.
I think I will just leave it as is... I don't want to risk hurting the fish if they are fine now.
I am going to have to disagree with most of this thread. You should raise the pH and hardness, but not with baking soda.
Rift lake cichlids have a high need for mineral; the GH is actually more important for these fish than the pH, but the pH is naturally going to be high correspondingly if the GH is where it should be. For some data on the lakes, see here:
What Is the Chemical Composition of Lake Malawi Water?
The best way to achieve this is with crushed coral/aragonite. You can buy rift lake cichlids sand for the substrate, or if you have the tank setup then simply adding some of the afore-mentioned gravel to the filter will work. It doesn't take much, and it lasts for years. But first we should know your GH and KH.
I can't get the parameters right now, will have them tomorrow.
I was considering aragonite...That will raise Ph, GH and KH?
I currently have just gravel.... how difficult would it be to change the substrate in an established tank with 15+ fish?
You could change out the substrate to a sand, very authentic, and it would raise GH and pH obviously. I prefer removing the fish to a temp tank when I change substrates, then Ihave a free hand. But it can be done with fish in.
We can go into any of this when we have the numbers.
GH = about 180-190ppm
KH = around 60-80ppm
Unfortunately I am using test strips as the LFS was out of master test kits.
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