Why does this happen and how do I prevent it?
pH is a measure of whether water is acid, neutral or alkaline and is measured on a scale of 1 -7=acid 7=Neutral and 7- 14 =alkaline. Variances in pH can have dramatic affects on the health and wellbeing of your aquarium. Changes in pH are invisible so without regular testing changes can have an effect before you even notice something is wrong.
pH is measured in a logarithmic scale which means for every unit of change in the scale the concentration changes tenfold e.g. pH6 is 10x more acidic than neutral pH7 and pH 4 is 1000x more acidic that pH7. So relatively small changes in pH are actually quite significant.
In the aquarium natural processes constantly effect the water’s pH including:
- the breakdown of organic waste into nitrate, through the biological filtration, lowers the pH forming nitric acid
- Carbon Dioxide is introduced to the aquarium through breathing where it forms carbonic acid, lowering the pH. You can control carbon dioxide levels by good aeration and water circulation.
What treatment should I use?