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To be happy and healthy, fish require a living environment with the correct pH. If you have pet fish, it’s important to keep the pH at the right level at all times. If the pH is too high or too low, your fish could become ill. Luckily, testing the water’s pH isn’t difficult to do. Experts from trusted aquarium supplier Aquatic Warehouse explain how to test the pH in a fish tank, using either a chemical or digital tester.
Determining the Best pH for Your Fish
Before you test the water, you need to know the ideal pH. The correct pH for your tank will depend on the type of fish you have, so make sure you know which kinds of fish are in the tank before testing. Saltwater fish need a level of 8.0 to 8.3. A tropical fish tank should be kept between 6.5 and 7.5. Freshwater fish can live comfortably within the range of tropical fish but they can also tolerate pH as low as 5.5.
Using a Chemical Tester
Chemical testing kits typically come with a few parts: a glass test tube, some pH test solution, and a color card. Testing pH with this kind of kit requires a few simple steps. Dip the glass tube into your tank to collect 5 milliliters of water. Drop the appropriate amount of testing solution in the test tube, following your chemical kit’s instructions, then snap the lid onto the tube and shake vigorously for up to 3 minutes. The water will react with the solution and change color as you shake it. Compare the color of the water to the color card to determine your tank’s pH.
Using a Digital Tester
Turn on the tester and wait for it to power up. Pour the tester’s calibration liquid into a deep glass container. Consult your tester’s manual for the appropriate time to wait for a reading, then put the end of the tester into the liquid and hold it there for the required period. Check the reading, then rinse your tester to ensure accurate readings of your tank’s pH. Place the tester into the tank’s water and hold it there until your reading is ready.
Testing the pH on a Regular Basis
Tank water pH is constantly changing. It must be checked regularly to keep your fish healthy. A good rule of thumb is to test the water twice each week. However, if you’ve recently changed the water or added new items or fish to the tank, testing twice each day is a good practice. After any significant change to the inside of the tank environment, doing frequent testing can help you monitor the pH and keep it in check.
To maintain the pH in your fish tank, you may need to purchase an aquarium dosing pump. At Aquatic Warehouse, we carry a wide array of pumps and other supplies for freshwater and saltwater tanks. Give us a call today at 858-467-9297.