Best Water pH Level for Betta Fish

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If you are getting yourself ready for adopting an amazing Betta fish, you have probably already done your basic research and know-how sensitive these creatures can be.

Indeed, all changes in their environment may sometimes lead to health complications, or at least to increased stress levels. When it comes to water quality, one of most important factors is obtaining the best water pH level for Betta fish. And, more importantly, to keep it stable.

Bettas are quite needy when it comes to water pH levels, but that does not mean it has to be exactly accurate to one value only. In fact, the 6.8-7.5 pH range is proven to work best for most betta fish species.

Obtaining one of these values in between is not too complicated, but the real challenge stands in keeping it constant once you place your Betta inside the tank.

They are super-sensitive to any changes, so knowing how to quickly react in case the level drops or increases is vitally important.

Can Low pH level Kill a Betta?

Although Bettas can survive in slightly acidic water, a pH level that is too low can bring to several health complications.

Depending on the strength and general health of an individual Betta, but also on how low the pH level is, the fish can either die instantly or suffer a lot until its human reacts.

There are several immediate symptoms that occur in Bettas, and they are super-obvious and easy to recognize:

  • Skin Burns: This is certainly one of the most visible signs of a Betta living in too acidic water. Such low pH levels can literally burn their skin and create painful lesions around their bodies. This can often be confused with other illnesses such as bacterial or fungal infections, so it is necessary to perform an immediate water test to cross them out. Burns are not only painful for a Betta, but they can also leave irreparable damage if not spotted on time.
  • Erratic Behavior: Bettas which are forced to be in acidic water will definitely show something is wrong by changing their behavior drastically. Indeed, these fish can start swimming erratically all around the tank, completely unaware of how to save themselves. They can try jumping out of the aquarium and stick to the top of the tank, gasping for air because unable to breathe normally. Such symptoms can often be confused with toxic poisoning, but owners need to react promptly in both cases.
  • Fragile Snail Shells: If there are any snails around the aquarium, they can often show clear indications of low pH levels. Actually, they will stop growing and their shells will become extremely fragile. This happens because the calcium will leak out from their shells in acidic environments.

How to Measure pH Level in a Fish Tank?

The best way to avoid pH levels dropping or increasing is by extensively using simple testing kits. This is extremely important, as waiting for your fish pet to show the first symptoms of water specification changes can sometimes be too late.

There are several testing methods available today, from test strips to digital measurement kits. However, one of the most popular among fish keepers is certainly the freshwater testing kit. This is really affordable yet simple and effective.

The package contains three parts only: a test tube, a color chart, and the pH solution. To begin, simply collect a water sample from your aquarium and place it into the test tube.

Next, add the pH solution in such quantity which is instructed by the manufactures, as these can vary from brand to brand. Finally, shake the tube for a decent amount of time.

You will notice the color changing and you can keep shaking it until the color stops to one only. You will know which pH level it is by simply comparing the obtained color in the test tube to the color chart specifications.

Such test is not time or cost consuming, but it is the best and most certain way to constantly monitor the water acidity levels and to intervene when necessary.

How to Increase pH Level in an Aquarium?

If your testing method shows that the water is slightly too acidic, you will need to increase it as soon as possible. And the best possible way of doing that is using a natural remedy.

So, when the pH level is too low, it means that it is decoration-time! Simply add any rock or coral or any other decoration which contains calcium. This will release the calcium into water and consequentially increase the pH level.

How to Reduce pH level in an Aquarium?

If the water across your tank is alkaline, you will need to reduce it to avoid health complications among Bettas. A natural yet efficient way of doing that is by simply adding some driftwood to the tank. Spread it around evenly to obtain faster results. Peat moss may also do a great job with that.

Whichever natural method you decide to apply to either raising or lowering the pH levels across your Betta tank, please remember that these are used for slightly abnormal spikes.

If your tank water is seriously compromised, you will certainly need to turn to stronger commercial products.

Wrapping Up

Betta fish are great aquatic pets for first-time owners. However, that does not mean they will not require no effort at all.

Indeed, there are several vitally important things to be constantly aware about, and one of the most crucial ones is surely keeping a steady pH water level.

This is not difficult or complicated to do, but it does require regular testing and smaller interventions when levels go out of the ordinary and cleaning.

Regular water changes are extremely important not just to maintain a proper pH level, but also for keeping ammonia levels at zero.

Please always observe your Betta’s well-being and do react if there are any abnormal changes. Prevention is key to their health.

Author Image Fabian
I’m Fabian, aquarium fish breeder and founder of this website. I’ve been keeping fish, since I was a kid. On this blog, I share a lot of information about the aquarium hobby and various fish species that I like. Please leave a comment if you have any question.
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