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Question pH levels

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New Member
Joined: 1 year ago
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I'm in Johnson County using water from WaterOne.  Water has a fairly high pH coming out of the tap (7.5-8).  However, my 300 gal and 135 gal has a pH down to 6.2-6.4. I have criboheros Rostratus and other central american cichlids.  I have added argonite and Seachem pH Neutral (7.0).  Haven't seen an increase in the pH in the past week.  Any thoughts that could help me out?

All my parameter are good (no ammonia, nitrite and very little nitrate.  I do weekly water changes.  


Trusted Member
Joined: 1 year ago
Posts: 41

I'm in JoCo too. And pH is definitely a problem. Comes out high. I'm always 8 or higher. And then drops quickly. And it's hard water. I find adjusting the kh helps. So, I use seachem acid buffer to reduce the pH to negligible and then build it back up alkaline buffer to where I want it.  I also always age the water overnight.

Let me know if that works for you.


Member Admin
Joined: 1 year ago
Posts: 29

do you have any large pieces of driftwood? Driftwood will release tannins that will lower your ph. Maybe reduce the water changes, not sure on stocking levels, but an aquarium that large could go a while without a water change. what could be happening is your weekly water changes are reducing the amount of minerals your substrate is releasing. At some point all the extra minerals that are capable of releasing will deplete.
Chemicals that regulate the water that you are replacing in your tank will eventually stop working, and it will be a loosing race chasing the right ph with them. if you wanted to try that, I would recommend starting with RODI, and remineralizing the water from there. In the shrimp world we use them, the only thing going in our rodi water is GH/KH. I tried controlling the ph of TAP water, but it was a loosing battle. I switched to remineralize rodi and my aquariums have stabilized. Carbon could also remove minerals from your water, so check on that, maybe reduce the amount in the filter if you suspect that may be contributing.

Estimable Member
Joined: 1 year ago
Posts: 121

A cheap way to raise your pH is to use crushed oyster shell. I put it in filters that I keep African cichlids and other fish that like high pH. I never test pH in fact I never test anything. if you are not seeing any problems, there is no point. Are your fish healthy? If they are your water chemistry is fine for the fish, you have. Most of the common fish in the hobby are some many generations removed from their wild ancestors that their required water parameters are totally different for their wild brothers. Most Central America cichlids fall in the category. 

Your lack of ammonia and nitrites indicates your tank is cycled well. 

If you want a cheap buffer use crushed oyster shell. You can get it from any feed store, and it is cheap. Look in the poultry section. I use the cheapest kind; it is just dustier that the more expensive ones, the dust is what does the buffering. I put the oyster in my filters unrinsed, you don't want to wash away the buffering goodness. This will cloud your water but with good filtration it should clear up quickly. I also use oyster in my snail and shrimp tanks as a source of calcium for strong shells