Why testing aquarium PH is important

One of the most important parameters in aquariums is pH.

Whether you are keeping Discus, African Cichlids, or reef aquariums testing and monitoring your aquarium pH is crucial for success.

This short overview will help anyone who is new to testing pH in aquariums – or anyone who is having trouble with their testing – to better understand what pH is, what range your type of tank should be in, and how to test and maintain your levels.

What is pH?

pH is a measure of the hydrogen ion concentration in your water; the higher the concentration, the more acidic the water is. pH is rated on a scale between 0 and 14, with zero being the most acidic and 14 the most basic (alkaline). A neutral pH is 7; most fish can live in a general range between 6 and 8. However, even slight variations in these numbers can mean trouble for your aquaria.

Ideal pH readings differ between the two main aquarium categories – freshwater and saltwater. Freshwater tanks can especially have big differences in their pH requirements depending on the type of fish you’re keeping and their natural geographic origin.

For example, the freshwater group of fish Discus (Symphysodon) are naturally found in the Amazon River throughout South America and generally require a lower aquarium pH, between 5.0 and 7.0. Proper pH for freshwater aquarium groups like freshwater African Cichlids (from places such as Lake Malawi) is a higher pH in the range of 7.8 to 8.5. Many tropical community fish, such as guppies, prefer a pH range of 6.8 to 7.2.

On the other hand, saltwater and coral reef aquariums all generally require a pH of 8.0 to 8.3.

Original article: Marine Depot

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