What is pH?
pH is the measure of acidity or alkalinity of water. A pH reading of 7.0 is neutral, a pH higher than 7.0 is alkaline, and a pH lower than 7.0 is acidic.
Reading the Results
Recommended safe pH levels. Fish can survive in a pH range form 6.0 to 9.0. In a freshwater aquarium, a slightly acidic pH (6.6 to 7.0) is recommended for egg-laying fish, a slightly alkaline pH (7.2 to 7.6) for live-bearing fish and goldfish, and neutral pH (7.0) for a community aquarium.
Raising or Lowering the pH
Low pH results: (6.8 and below) to raise pH, add four drops of pH Up for each one gallon of aquarium water.
High pH results: (7.2 and above). To lower pH, add two drops of pH Down for each one gallon of aquarium water. pH Up: To raise the pH (make water more alkaline), use pH up. Caution: Do not use pH Up in saltwater aquariums. pH Down: To lower the pH (make water more acidic), use pH Down, phosphate free. For fresh and salt water use.
Low pH caution: A drop in pH can be caused by one or more of the following conditions:
High pH Caution: At a high pH level, (8.0 and above), the ammonia in an aquarium is ten times more toxic than at a 7.0 pH level. If the pH is high the ammonia level should be monitored closely.
Use the Freshwater Ammonia Test Kit to determine aquarium ammonia levels. Avoid pH shock--care should be taken when introducing new fish into an aquarium. To ease the pH change, the water in the fish container should be exchanged slowly with the aquarium water. When introducing new fish, slowly add aquarium water to the fish bag over a 30 minute period of time.
When changing the pH of an aquarium in which fish are present, care should be used so that the pH is not changed more than 0.2 in any 24-hour period (for example, from 6.8 to 7.0).
pH of Saltwater Aquariums
The pH of ocean water varies from point to point, as does the specific gravity. Most saltwater fish do well in a range of 8.0 to 8.4. The average pH is generally accepted as being 8.2. Most African cichlids do well in a pH range of 7.4 to 8.2. Maintaining an alkaline pH in saltwater aquariums.
In the past, crushed coal or dolomite gravel was used to maintain an alkaline pH. In time, however, the pH invariably fell. Recent studies indicate that these materials will maintain a pH no higher than about 7.6. The main buffering capacity of saltwater aquariums is found in the saltwater mix itself, not the gravel. Use of crushed coral or similar materials may fight against the desirable seawater buffer and cause a pH drop. Regular water changes replenish the buffers in the aquarium and maintain a pH of 8.2.
To automatically set pH at 8.2, use aquarium pharmaceutical Proper pH 8.2 tablets.
The Ammonia Problem
Ammonia is the number one killer of tropical fish. It affects fish by causing their blood to lose its ability to carry oxygen, thus creating fish stress and lowering their resistance to such recurrent bacterial diseases as fin and tail rot, body slime, eye cloud, mouth fungus and body sores. Ammonia is constantly being produced in the tank by fish waste, respiration, uneaten food, and dead fish.
To Detoxify Ammonia
To lock up toxic ammonia in freshwater aquariums use API Ammo-Lock 2, Ammo-Lock-2 will instantly lock up the ammonia produced by decomposing fish waste. Ammo-Lock 2 eliminates ammonia stress and protects healthy gill function.
Removing Chlorine and Chloramine in Tap Water
In order to eliminate a suspected cancer-causing agent, ammonia is now being added to many water supplies already being treated with chlorine. This creates a serious problem because the chlorine and ammonia combine to form chloramine, an organic complex that is harmless to humans but deadly to tropical fish.
It is important that you test your tap water with API Chlorine & Chloramine Test Kit. If chlorine and chloramine are present, use API Ammo-Lock 2 to remove these deadly chemicals.
Danger: Causes burns. May be fatal if swallowed. pH Up contains sodium hydroxide. Avoid contact with skin and eyes. If on skin, flush with water for 15 minutes. Remove contaminated clothing. If in eyes, hold lids open and flush with water for 15 minutes. If swallowed, do not induce vomiting. Call a physician immediately. First aid: Give large amounts of water or vinegar. Keep out of reach of children.
Danger: Causes burns. May be fatal if swallowed. pH Down contains sulfuric acid. Avoid contact with skin and eyes. If on skin, flush with water for 15 minutes. Remove contaminated clothing. If in eyes, hold lids open and flush with water for 15 minutes. If swallowed, do not induce vomiting. Call a physician immediately. First aid: Give large amounts of water or milk or magnesia.
Keep out of reach of children.
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