21-11-2017, 15:14
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The key to maintaining a healthy and thriving aquarium is maintaining high water quality. Water quality in an aquarium is affected by a number of different factors, including the number of fish in the aquarium, the amount and type of food, the frequency with which you change the water in the aquarium, and the quality of the filtration system. If you follow normal marine aquarium care procedures, the water quality in your marine aquarium will be at the right level.

Another aspect of aquarium water quality is its chemical composition, which includes parameters such as hardness, salinity and the content of certain toxins such as ammonia and nitrates. One component of water chemistry that many aquarium hobbyists overlook, but actually plays a big role, is pH.

What is pH acidity?

Technically speaking, pH is a measure of the concentration of hydrogen ions in a solution. In more simplistic terms, pH is a measure of the alkalinity or acidity of a liquid. Measurements of pH are taken on a scale from 1 to 14, where 7.0 is a neutral value - measurements below 7.0 are acidic and measurements above are alkaline. Although different species of fish and other aquarium inhabitants have different pH requirements, the range for a marine aquarium is 7.8 to 8.5, although a pH of 8.2 is ideal.

What you need to know about PH in marine aquariums

To measure the pH in an aquarium, you will need testing equipment. One option is to purchase a pH measurement kit that contains liquid reagents and a test color chart. To use this type of pH measuring kit, you need to fill a test tube with water from a saltwater aquarium and then add a few drops of the reagent to it. The reaction will cause the water to change color, and you simply compare the color of the liquid to the test color chart to determine an approximate pH level.

What you need to know about PH in marine aquariums.

Another option is to purchase an electronic pH tester. This device has an LCD display that shows the pH value of water taken from your aquarium. An electronic pH tester often has different settings and is able to alert you if the pH level drops too low or reaches a maximum. In an aquarium, it is recommended to test the pH level twice a week.

What you need to know about PH in marine aquariums

Why is the pH value important in an aquarium?

Many aquarists believe that pH is another water chemistry parameter that needs to be monitored, although they often don't realize how important it is. Maintaining the correct pH in your aquarium will keep your fish healthy. The pH range of 8.1 to 8.4 in marine aquariums has an antiseptic effect, thus protecting your fish from various diseases. Fluctuations in pH within large ranges are harmful to all aquarium inhabitants.

What causes low pH in a marine aquarium?

Although marine fish may be able to live at a pH between 7.8 and 8.5, the ideal range is between 8.1 and 8.4. In a marine aquarium, low pH is a more common problem than high pH, although they can both be dangerous. One of the most common causes of low pH in a marine aquarium is a high concentration of carbon dioxide. This can be the result of using a CO2 reactor. The PH in an aquarium tends to change at night because plants stop producing oxygen in the absence of light.

Tips for fixing pH problems

The right action to take to fix pH problems in a marine aquarium can vary depending on the cause of the problem. Below is an overview of methods to bring the pH back to normal:

  • Use of CO2 reactors

The use of a calcium carbonate or CO2 reactor is a common cause of low pH in marine aquariums. These devices work by using carbon dioxide to dissolve calcium carbonate as a means of increasing the acidity of the water in the tank. Unfortunately, sometimes the CO2 is not quickly removed from the aquarium and its concentration is out of range, lowering the pH level. To solve this problem, the first step is to properly adjust the CO2 reactor. You can also use limestone or another alkaline additive to raise the pH.

  • High CO2 levels in the room 

If the carbon dioxide levels in the indoor air are too high, it can also build up in the aquarium water. An overabundance of CO2 in the air can result, for example, from the inefficient operation of various appliances that burn natural gas. To solve this problem, you can try opening a window in the room to get rid of the excess CO2.

  • Low alkalinity

If the alkalinity level in your aquarium is too low, it can lead to low pH levels. The calcination process in a marine aquarium removes alkalinity from the water, and if you don't replenish it to the required level, you can end up with a low pH level.

  • Nitrogen cycle

Another cause of low pH that hasn't been mentioned yet is the nitrogen cycle. This is the cycle by which beneficial bacteria convert ammonia into nitrite. This is especially true for newly started aquariums, where the biological balance has not yet been established. Here you should take as a rule - never populate the aquarium with fish until the biological equilibrium is established in it.

Maintaining a marine aquarium can cause various difficulties, solving which you will certainly be rewarded with the inexpressible beauty of its inner world. If you are having trouble maintaining the proper pH level in your aquarium, take the time to determine the cause. Once you bring the pH of your marine aquarium back to normal, all of its inhabitants will be healthy and in great shape.

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