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Raising the pH


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  • Regular Member

Ok, so I’m basically done cycling but my pH is still low, about 6.2. I tried to raise it using baking soda, but there’s still no change in pH. How long should it take for the pH to get higher once I add baking soda? Or is it supposed to be almost immediate, and there’s just something wrong with my water test?

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  • Regular Member

If your water is naturally low in KH, your pH will likely be low too.  If you fishless cycled your aquarium, the whole nitrogen cycle uses up a lot of carbonates which would naturally lower your pH too.  Have you done a water change after the cycle?  Do you have fish in the tank?

So it is important to know what your KH and pH readings are out of the tap.  Your pH readings a day later after your water has had a chance to outgas would also be useful to know too.

When I use baking soda, I use enough to raise my KH to about 6 dKH, pH rises instantly once the baking soda dissolves.  Your dosage will vary depending on your KH level.  For me it takes 2 tablespoons in about 40 gallons of water.

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Draw a gallon of water from your tap.

Read and record the pH.

1) Add a measured amount of baking soda, like 1 teaspoon.

2) Record the amount of baking soda you added.

3) When the baking soda is fully dissolved, read and record the pH.

Repeat 1, 2, and 3 until the pH reaches the desired level.

If you add up the amount of baking soda you put in the water, you will know how much baking soda you must add for each gallon of water in your tank.

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  • Regular Member

Thanks for your help! The gallon of tap water and baking soda thing is great to know if I need to raise the pH again. It turns out that I managed to raise the pH on my own by performing a 40% water change and removing a wood decoration that may have been lowering the pH. I also was ultra careful to make sure I was using the test accurately. My tank is fully cycled now and I just today placed my fish into it. He(or she??) seems very happy, no clamped fins or signs of stress. Crossing my fingers that all goes well! 

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  • Regular Member
Draw a gallon of water from your tap.
Read and record the pH.
1) Add a measured amount of baking soda, like 1 teaspoon.
2) Record the amount of baking soda you added.
3) When the baking soda is fully dissolved, read and record the pH.
Repeat 1, 2, and 3 until the pH reaches the desired level.
If you add up the amount of baking soda you put in the water, you will know how much baking soda you must add for each gallon of water in your tank.


Hello, I have a question::: After you get the desired PH level, and find out how much baking soda you needed,
Do you need to do the same every time you change water???
Or the PH will stay at that level thru water changes even tho the tap water PH is low too???
Thanks...


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