Ardan Huck July 7, 2002

pH is a water parameter measuring how acidic, neutral or alkaline the water is. 7.0 is neutral, lower than 7 is acidic, higher than 7 is alkaline. PH stability is affected by the amount of buffers (KH, carbonates) that are in the water.

An acidic pH can change ammonia, NH3, into nontoxic ammonium, NH4. Acidic pH can also inhibit bacteria.

Lowering the pH can be accomplished through the use of acids or peat moss. The higher the buffering of the water, the more difficult it is to lower the pH. When adding acid, usually if there is any buffering in the water, the pH will "bounce" back up after several hours. If there is not enough buffering the pH could "crash" (drop rapidly and far). Adjusting and aging the water before adding to the aquarium is best for stability to the aquarium environment. Aging the water with aeration for 24 hours will get rid of CO2 (CO2 is carbonic acid) in the water and the pH will rise (if it is unstable pH).

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