View Cart You may change your account settings, including your Billing & Shipping Addresses, Credit Card Information, as well as Express Checkout status.
  Welcome to!  
HOME    HELP    CONTACT US    MY ACCOUNT    SIGN IN - Quality Aquatic Life Direct To Your Door. - Quality Aquatic Life Direct To Your Door.

Diver's Den - WYSIWYG Fish, Corals, Inverts & More
Weekly Specials
Aquarium Supplies Rewards Program
Shipping Rates & Info
How to Order
We're here to help:

Email Us
100% Guarantee
Compatibility Chart
Acclimation Guide
Ideal Water Parameters
Always Quarantine New Arrivals
Articles & Information
Beginner's Area
Build Your Own Reef Cleaner Packages
Certified Captive Grown Corals - 30 day guarantee!
Collector's CornerĀ®
FREE Catalogs
Email-Only Specials

Freshwater Fish Pond Fish Pond Plants Foods/Marine Plants Freshwater Inverts Freshwater Plants
Marine Fish Corals Live Rock Reef Cleaner Packs Marine Inverts ORA Fish/Coral/Inv

Basic Water Chemistry Part 2: The pH Scale & Your Aquarium

Basic Water Chemistry Part 2: The pH Scale & Your Aquarium
Many aquarium owners dread learning about water chemistry. But just by knowing the basics, you can greatly improve your track record in rearing healthy fish. Since the quality of water in your tank has a direct impact on the health of your fish, it's important for aquarium owners to understand the basic internal chemistry of their fish's water in order to correctly and safely adjust it. Aquarium owners who do learn the basics of water chemistry find it much easier to maintain a healthy and safe environment for the fish in their tank.

Understanding the pH Scale
Many aquarists have heard of pH, but most do not understand the importance of controlling it. pH is the measure of acidity or alkalinity in the water. The pH scale ranges from 1 to 14, with 7 being "neutral" (the point at which water is neither acidic nor alkaline). As the scale goes down, the water becomes more acidic; as the pH goes up, the water gets more alkaline.

One very important thing to know about the pH scale is that it is logarithmic. For example, a pH level of 5 is 10 times more acidic than a pH of 6, and a pH of 4 is 100 times more acidic than a pH of 6.

So if your fish are supposed to live in a pH climate of 7 but the water in your tank is reading 8, your water is 10 times more alkaline than what it should be. If the pH is 9, then your fish are living in water 100 times more alkaline than recommended for optimal health. So it is easy to see why even a small change in required pH can be stressful - and potentially fatal - to your fish.

Expecting a fish that requires a pH of 8 to share the same water with a fish that requires a pH of 6 is also not a good idea because one or both will always be under a great deal of stress. These examples emphasize the importance in matching your fish closely to the expected pH level of your water and then closely monitoring the pH.

How to Maintain the Right pH Level for Your Tank
There are several different ways to influence your water's pH. There are chemical additives you can add directly to the water which will either raise or lower the pH. Natural agents can also be used to alter water pH as well. Adding peat in the tank or filter will acidify the water. Mineral salts like calcium (found in limestone or in some shells) will increase the alkalinity and pH.

Any time you attempt to change pH levels in your tank, remember that fish are very sensitive to pH changes and if it's done too rapidly, it can cause extreme stress or even death. Fish should not be exposed to a change in pH greater than 0.3 in a 24-hour period.

Remember that in order to correctly adjust the pH levels in your tank, you first have to optimize the amount of dissolved solids in the water, as described in Part 1.

[ Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 ]


Click here for a more printer-friendly version of this article.   Click here for a PDF version of this article.   Bookmark and Share


Contact Us
Shipping Rates
Shipping Schedule
How to Order
Track Your Order
Rewards Program
Diver's Den Help
Gift Certificates
Business Partner Program
Email Newsletters
PayPal Credit     PayPal®
WI Facility Open Houses
About Us
Who We Are
Aquatics Specialists
Customer Comments
100% Guarantee
Visit our other sites:
Twitter YouTube Instagram Blog
Freshwater Fish   |   Pond Fish   |   Pond Plants   |   Brackish Fish   |   Freshwater Inverts   |   Freshwater Plants
Marine Fish   |   Corals   |   Live Rock   |   Tank Cleaners   |   Marine Inverts   |   Marine Plants
Visit our Retail Store   |   Tell a Friend About Us   |   Link to Us   |   Site Map   |   FREE Catalogs
bizrate Customer Certified Site - Reviews at Bizrate Drs. Foster & Smith BBB Business Review McAfee Secure sites help keep you safe from identity theft, credit card fraud, spyware, spam, viruses and online scams
Copyright © 1997-2016, Petco Wellness, LLC. All rights reserved.
2253 Air Park Road, P.O. Box 100, Rhinelander, Wisconsin 54501
Terms of Use  |   Privacy Policy  |   Your CA Privacy Rights  |   Copyright Claims  |   Pet Medical Records Policy