Betta fish can be quite the hardy pets once you get their basic environmental conditions right. And one of the essential factors is certainly providing them with the ideal water pH level.
The best pH level for betta fish to thrive is neutral, around 7. However, they are adaptable and can survive well in slightly more acidic water as well. Getting the ideal pH value is important, but what is even more important is keeping such value stable.
They are extremely sensitive to any change in the water parameters and can easily get into a shock state if these oscillate. Therefore, constant monitoring is vital.
Can Low pH Level Kill a Betta?
Sadly, low pH levels can easily kill a betta. Depending on how big the oscillation is, your pet can either die instantly or after a while. In any case, it is important to keep a record of all water parameters and react as soon as possible when these go out of normal.
Betta fish that are forced to live in acidic water will soon start developing behavioral changes. At first, your pet may swim frantically or even try jumping out of the tank.
If this is not stopped soon, your betta will probably not be able to breathe through its gills anymore and will reach the surface, gasping for air. Visible signs which indicate the pH level is too low include red burns or lesions.
And finally, if you have snails across the aquarium, you may use them as a reference point. If their shells are appearing extremely fragile, this is often a good indication that their calcium is leaking out because of acidic water.
Low pH values across a tank can be caused by different factors. Natural wooden decorations are, nonetheless, one of the top reasons for pH lowering down. Indeed, these are often used as a remedy when pH spikes, as they are widely known to increase acidity.
Additionally, natural nitrogen cycles which start from betta fish waste can lower the pH levels across a tank, and that is exactly why regular partial water changes are required.
Finally, some tap water can simply be too acidic across certain areas of the world. Depending on where you live, please make sure to first test your tap water before treating it with a water conditioner.
How to Measure pH Level in Betta Tank?
Measuring your pH levels is extremely important but also simple, so please make sure to never disregard this. There are many different options available today, although the most affordable yet precise options include test straps and digital test kits.
Testing strips are the genuinely cheapest solution above all. They consist of tiny strips made from litmus paper. Various packaging usually includes dozens of such strips, as they are designed for one-time use and become disposable afterward.
They are extremely simple to use- you can just submerge the strip into the tank water for a couple of seconds and then compare the pH value by its coloration. If you decide to go with this measuring solution, please get yours from trusted brands, as they are often of inappropriate quality.
Digital pH meter are not that much of an investment, but they are surely more durable and more precise. The Apluste Digital pH Meter is one of our favorites. It is fully accurate and super-simple to use.
It has a sensitive electrode sensor that measures the values across your tank and there is no need to hassle with color comparisons, as the pH level will be clearly signalized on the digital screen.
If you choose this product as your testing companion, please make sure to calibrate it first. It includes the buffer powder but also greatly understandable instructions.
If you are a first-time betta fish owner, it would be wise to measure the pH levels every 2 or 3 days. However, once you learn more about your aquarium water and become more confident about it, testing water parameters every two weeks is more than fine.
How to Increase pH Level in Your Tank?
If your water test results show too low pH levels, you will need to intervene by raising them back up. There are several natural remedies you can try before heading to expensive reverse osmosis filters.
For instance, try cleaning your tank up. Changing water partially and removing all debris from gravel and decoration can certainly change the pH levels immediately. Adding to that, a bit of decoration cannot only look pretty but can also raise pH levels.
Choose rocky decorations containing calcium- this will release calcium into the water which will automatically increase the alkalinity, too. Coral sand is an amazing solution.
How to Reduce pH Level in Your Tank?
Tank cleaning is always a handy option whenever you experience some value spikes across tank water. Partially changing the too alkaline water with some fresh one will surely do the trick.
Additionally, you may re-decorate your aquarium a bit. Add some peat moss, driftwood, or almond leaves to lower the pH level in your betta home.
If your levels are too high and you are simply not able of improving them with these natural remedies, you may think of investing in a reverse osmosis filter.
Although your betta fish can adapt to slightly more acidic water, their ideal range tends to be around 7. This is, indeed, the value that allows your pet to thrive at its maximum. So why not offer the best requirements to your beloved pet?
Keeping a stable pH level is not that hard once you get to learn the basics. A quality testing kit is basically the only tool you will need here. Other than that, simply make sure to regularly clean water but also to remove all food residues or rotten algae.
Even if the levels go outside the normal ranges a bit, there is no need to panic. Simply detect what led to the oscillation and get to improve it. Your betta will be thankful and will offer so many fun moments in return.