What's In Your Water?


Jun 24, 2007
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Brisbane, Australia
Hi all, semi newbie here, i just read with great interest everything i could find here about pH, and i have a bit of a question for anyone who has an opinion on it.

So, the scenario is- temp 26/27, mature tank with no ammonium/nitrate probs, 5 gallons, weekly 15% changes. contains one Betta (loving the conditions), and one golden eel tail (Hyrtl"s Tandan or Neosilurus hyrtlii- small growing catfish, Australian native, lives in range of conditions from fast flowing clear waters to filthy stagnant dams/lakes).

The problem is, pH continually rising past 8.1. Water is medium hard. Betta is very happy but i am concerned about my catty, as i would think he is mainly tolerant of low pH, living with lots of decaying organic material in the wild. He has been in the tank for 3 days, and is starting to eat.

I come from a lfs background (a few years ago, no more though), where as a newbie it was hammered into me that pH is critical and that pH adjusting products were as important as water conditioner ( profit margins eh?), to be used immediately there was a change in pH. ( to correct pH gradually though, not dump a cupfull in at once!)

So, to the point (finally!)- should i stop doing this and hope my catty deals with it at a steady but very high pH, or should i keep adjusting down? none of the techniques i have read here for lowering and maintaining a lower pH have been effective enough to keep it really steady.


Ex-LFS manager/ keeper of over 30 danio species
May 26, 2004
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Kent UK
it is far better to have a stable pH than one that is always fluctuating.
you pH would be ideal for African cichids maybe you could consider changing your stocking to them.

another alternative would be to use RO water,
from now on do all your water changes with RO.
this will gradually bring your pH down to neutral.
you will probably have to add some of the minerals back into the RO water
and Sera mineral salts would be one option for that.

A LFS that deals in marine fish will most likely sell RO water or you could buy your own RO unit and have a ready supply at home.