How To Control Your Aquariums pH Level

How To Control Your Aquariums pH Level?

How To Control Your Aquariums pH Level?

Everyone has a great concern about their beloved fish and maintaining the pH of water is really such a thing to be cared for. The pH levels of water must be maintained for a fish.

Definitely you have to do some of the preparations before you are going to add you beloved fish in an aquarium. The water must be cleaned and the pH should be maintained.

Water in different conditions have different pH levels like the freshwater has a different ph. The levels of pH are different in saltwater, etc. is going to explain to you everything. Because every fish originated from different water like ponds, lakes, streams, rivers, and ocean, All of which have different pH levels. You have to maintain an aquarium for pH value for your fish.

Different kinds of fish live in this water. Saltwater fish live in alkaline water of pH 8.0 or above. While a freshwater fish have to live in low pH water that is around 5.5 to 7.5 pH, depending on different species of fish.

Fish Tank pH Level Chart

For your convenience, I’m going to explain a fish tank pH level chart. It will help you understand different pH levels for different types of fish, so that you can provide the best care to your fish. Must read the guide given below the chart.


Alkaline pH

pH Value for Aquarium pH condition Fish survival
9.0 pH Highly Alkaline            ——-
8.0 pH Normal Alkaline Clown loach, Goldfish, Guppies, Mollies r

Neutral pH


7.0 pH Completely Neutral Angelfish, Harlequin

Hatchet fish, Neon Tetra, Silver Dollar, Tiger barb, Plecostomus, Zebra Diano

6.0 pH Slightly neutral, towards acidic
5.0 pH Slightly acidic
Acidic pH 4.0 pH Acidic Rainbowfish

The rainbowfish is the only fish till now according to my own research which can live in acidic water. Now, this doesn’t mean at all that you put them in such a low ph.

It is just a fact that they can survive in such low pH or highly acidic water. While the fish that can survive in the highly alkaline water doesn’t mean that you should keep them in highly alkaline ph.

Highly acidic and highly basic pH can affect your fish gills. If your fish dart back and forth then it means that the pH is really not suitable for fish.

This can result in fish death. Yet we will give you the proper understanding of recommended pH levels of different aquarium fish. 

How To Control Your Aquariums pH Level?

Here, I am going to tell you what strategies you should adopt to take the water pH to the required and desired levels for your fish species. First, you should know which pH your fish needs and survives better.

Preferred pH levels of Common Freshwater Fish

Here are some of the preferred pH levels for the fish of different living conditions. It will help you understand more that which pH is best suitable for your fish. Here we go;


The normal and survivable pH for goldfish is 6.5 – 7.0.

Silver Dollar fish

The preferred pH range for a Silver Dollar fish is 6.0 – 7.0.

Tiger Barb

The pH in which Tiger Barb is 6.0 – 6.5.

Neon Tetra

The suitable pH for Neon Tetra is 5.8 – 6.2.

Zebra Danio

The suitable pH for Zebra Danio is 6.5 – 7.0.


The best pH range for Angelfish is 6.5 – 7.0.


This fish requires a pH of 6.0 – 7.0 for living.


These fish need a pH of 6.0 – 6.5.


The preferred pH of Plecostomus is 5.0 – 7.0.

Clown Loach

These fish demand a pH of 6.0 – 6.5 to live in.

What is pH and how to check the pH in tap water?

When you have to maintain the quality of your aquarium water, pH is one of the most common and important factors to be noticed. The tap water which you use for your aquariums has different pH levels that are not suitable for fish.

pH is actually a huge factor to determine and maintain the high quality of water. It is rated from 0 to 14. The pH value of 7 is considered as the neutral one.

If the value goes below 7, the water becomes acidic and if it goes above 7 then the water becomes alkaline. I have explained in the fish tank pH level chart that which fish species can survive in which pH of water.

Un-maintained pH causes stress on your fish and eventually, the fish dies. Most of us use tap water in the aquariums of our home. If you want to know that what is the pH of your tap water then read further.

Because I have told you that everywhere the water has different pH levels. You should always look for decent pH levels in your fish aquarium. That’s why it is good to check out the pH of the tank water that you are using for your aquarium. The testing method is very simple and easy.

Some of the people fill the entire bucket with tap water the check out the pH levels in it and this is a wrong practice that doesn’t tell the right values. The proper way is to fill the bucket with some of the tap water and then put the air stone in it.

Set it for at least 24 hours and leave. After that check out the available results. Let the bucket to set for the next 48 hours and then test the pH again. The air’s stone will actually oxygenate the water.

It is the best and safest way to check out the pH in your tap water but not everyone can do this method perfectly. The reason for such late timing set up which is about 24 to 48 hours is because the carbon dioxide in the water causes the pH levels to drop.

By exposing the tap water of bucket to the air and agitating the surface, the gas exchange will occur at her surface of that water. The exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide takes place on that water.

This exchange results in less carbon dioxide in water and pH rises ultimately. Now, this pH will be the actual pH that you will measure from your tank by assuming that there is no chemical and no gas in it now.

Although the exchange of gases takes place in water continuously. Then take the pH test kit and note down the exact readings of the pH of tap water.

This will not only benefit your fish but also save your money to replace the dead fish again and again. So, taking care of water means taking care of beloved fish.

Can we Alter the pH of Aquarium Water?

There is no need to alter the pH of your aquarium water if it is perfectly okay. If your fish is living happily and calmly in it then it means that it is completely fine. But there is no always such an ideal condition always.

The water pH is extremely disturbed which is not good for your fish. So, in order to maintain the pH for your fish survival, you can alter it for sure.

You can definitely alter the pH of your aquarium water to make it suitable for your fish. If your fish is showing the signs of distress then it means that fish is not comfortable in that water.

If the pH of water is very high then you can make your fish tank less acidic and if it is already low then you can make it higher.

You can check the pH and lower and higher it as your fish requires. The fish behavior will also tell you that either they are okay in that water or not. It is good to leave your aquarium water at a natural pH.

How to Raise the pH Level in Aquarium Water?

Here are some of the ways by which you can easily raise the levels of pH in aquarium water. These are;

Changing water

Change the pH of water can make its pH higher to some extent. Daily change the fish tank water to 10% – 20 %. You cannot change the pH of water in all of the aquarium and you should also never do this at once.

Slightly change the water of fish aquarium or prefer to perform several smaller water changes. However, you should wait for at least 24 hours between them each and every water change. This will increase the pH of your aquarium water.

Baking Soda

Baking soda can immediately increase the pH of the tank water. But let me tell you that you have to add the baking soda on a regular basis. Be careful while adding the baking soda in water.

Because its high amount can definitely increase pH at a very great level which is absolutely dangerous for your fish. Do not add too much baking soda because an extremely high pH can kill your fish.

A good amount to add is the one teaspoon in every 5 gallons of water. So using a small and suitable amount of baking soda daily will increase pH to suitable levels for fish and the next day the pH will need to be slightly increased again.

Rocks or Substrate

There are different things available in the market which you can add in your aquarium water to raise its pH levels. Like the rocks or substrate can increase the pH levels of the common tap water used in the tank.

For example, you can add the limestone, crushed coral, or the petrified coral. All of these things are the best and easily available natural items to increase the pH levels. You can add a crushed coral in the filter too.

This will raise the Ph of water slightly and your fish will start living happily in it. These are some natural ways to increase pH which you can easily do.

Vacuuming of uneaten food

There is a great possibility that if you do the vacuuming of the uneaten food from your fish aquarium, then it will help a lot not to let the pH to decrease its levels. There are many different high-quality vacuum cleaner available at Amazon.

How to Lower the pH Level of Aquarium Water?

Just like there are different ways to increase the pH, the same as you can lower the pH of the water and keep it maintained using the following things.

Peat Moss

You can stick the piece of peat moss in the water filter equipped in your aquarium. As the water starts filtering slowly, the peat moss will decrease the pH gradually in the filtered water.

Ultimately the entire aquarium water will be filtered and will have low pH by getting passed from the peat moss.

Carbon Dioxide

Another method to decrease the pH of water is simply adding carbon dioxide in it. The carbon dioxide bottles are sold separately on Amazon. Adding it in your aquarium can decrease the pH to the desired levels and make the water suitable for your fish survival.


Placing a piece of natural driftwood can drop the pH levels in the water. Actually,  driftwood works as a natural filter to clean the aquarium water as well to a smaller extent. It has amazing results in lowering the pH levels of your aquarium water.

If the driftwood is soft and fibrous, then it works better than that of an extremely hard or tough wood piece. You can soak a wood piece in water for just a few days not for many days because there is a reason behind it.

The wood pieces cause the watercolor change to yellow and it looks messy. So, take the Driftwood out after a few days before it releases its color in water.

Make sure to buy the right Driftwood for your fish aquarium because there are many of the Driftwoods available which are soaked in the dangerous chemicals and are for the reptiles tank mainly.

These chemicals are definitely harmful to your fish and can kill them. So, that’s why be careful when buying a proper Driftwood for your fish.

Almond leaves

Natural ingredients are the best to control things as good remedies. Add almond leaves in the aquarium water and the pH will get lower immediately.

The reason behind it is that there are many natural chemical compounds in almond leaves that help in lowering the pH of water. They are also good at filtering the contaminants in tank water.

But the leaves also leave their tannings (color compounds) from them if they are socked for a very long period of time. But there is no need to get worried about it because it has no side effects on your fish health.

In fact, almond leaves are the best natural source of lowing water pH without any adverse effects on your fish. Almond leaves re purely organic and natural which can benefit your fish in many ways. Some useful compounds in these leaves treat fish diseases as well.

They have a slightly anti-inflammatory effect on your fish body as well and it does not let them feel irritated. Leaves also look great in the aquarium and add more to its beauty.

Reverse Osmosis Filter

After all of the natural and easy methods, let me tell you an artificial method for your convenience. Because some of you people might be looking for this method.

RO that is reverse osmosis is the system that filters the water and most widely used in the water treatment plants. It actually uses the partially permeable filter that can remove all of the contaminants present in water.

It cleans the aquarium water time by time and keeps it clear. These amazing osmosis filter systems have the ability to filter out 99% of contaminants. Its special feature is to remove those contaminants specifically that results in increasing aquarium pH levels.

RO not only removes contaminants from water but also makes it healthier for your fish. This filter requires some money to buy it definitely. Some people like to spend on it instead of the other methods.

It constantly keeps the aquarium pH levels in check and keeps the balanced always. RO is a lager and a bulky system that is not recommended for the small aquariums.

So, if you have a small aquarium then leave it and try other methods to lower the pH. But if you have a large aquarium then prefer this RO filter for sure.

How Often Should I Check pH for Aquarium?

pH should be tested in two weeks and at least once in a month. Follow to check the pH on proper timings if there are some issues happening or your fish or it is showing its strange behavior.

There might be a great possibility of pH issues if the fish is showing disturbance. Whenever it happens to your fish, it means it’s the time to check out the pH of aquarium water.

Yet if there is no disturbance and fish is living calmly in her aquarium then it is still good to keep an eye on the pH of water after every second week. It will protect your fish from the future damaging effects and will inform you how much the pH is changing.

You can then definitely adjust the pH levels of aquarium water that is changing and your fish survival would be prolonged by doing this.

Final words

In the end, I will just say that maintaining pH levels of aquarium water is really very important for your fish life and healthy survival. Many of the fish die because of pH issues.

Too many people don’t even know what will be the cause of a healthy fish to die suddenly without any reason. The pH could be a great possible reason.

Maintain a proper and healthy pH level on a constant basis for your fish is quite tricky. But we have best explained to you all of the methods above so that you can conquer those issues which you are facing regarding the pH levels of a fish aquarium.

You must know that which type of fish lives best in which pH level. Furthermore, your fish will show her levels of comfortableness in water.

You can easily find out that either your fish condition is okay in the specific pH water or not. We have given you the methods of raising and lowering the pH levels of water as well. You can follow this guide by reading it fully.

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