How To Raise pH in Aquarium? (Complete Guide)

If you want your fish to stay happy and healthy, you must take proper care of it. Maintaining the ideal pH level in aquarium water is one of them. In this article, we will talk about how to raise the pH in the aquarium so that your fish can thrive. So let’s get started!

What is pH in Aquarium?

The pH scale is used to measure that, how acidic or basic a substance is. The specific pH level of any aquarium water plays an important role in the proper growth and health of all the aquarium fish.

Generally, pH shows the total number of protons of hydrogen in the aquarium water, while the pH can also be altered by adding more water in the aquarium to decrease the quantity of the protons of hydrogen or by placing the hydroxide, carbonate, or other bicarbonate compounds in it.

The value of pH is basically measured in the range of 0 to 14. High alkaline or pH greater than 7 can have serious health effects on your fish’s gills.

The high acidic medium or less than 7 pH can result in the production of a lot of mucous by your fish. Both of these conditions are harmful to the aquatic habitat.

Why You Should Raise The pH in Aquarium

The optimum pH should be maintained in an aquarium for the proper growth of fish. The value of pH of any aquarium water alters according to a lot of types of factors that include a specific quantity of chemical, some quantity of minerals, or any type of the used substrate.

That’s why all the different fish species have the specific pH values; any value of the pH that is suitable for the growth of one type of fish can’t be suitable at all for another species of fish.

In this case, it’s compulsory that you are aware of some basic factors which influence the aquarium fish. If you can’t give the fish the best suitable pH level, then aquarium fish can’t survive for a long time.

Carbon dioxide present in the water commonly causes low pH in the aquarium. That’s why you need to raise the pH of your aquarium water.


Things To Keep In Mind Before Raising The pH Of The Aquarium:


  • Before raising the value of pH firstly you have to find the exact pH value for the aquarium fish. In case you are not sure about the exact pH values for the aquatic fish, you must contact an expert to know about it.
  • Proper pH for freshwater aquarium– specific pH level of 7.6 to 8.4
  • The value of pH in the saltwater aquarium specifies 8 to 8.3 range.
  • Some tropical fish can live in 7 to 7.8 pH range.
  • Generally, the addition of bicarbonates to the aquarium water can easily alter the specific components in the aquarium. You should clean aquarium water regularly so that, you can increase the level of pH in the aquarium water.
  • It is vital to concentrate on the regular tests of the aquarium to check that the tank contains the best suitable pH level or not.
  • The severe change in pH is harmful to the water of aquarium if the value of pH of aquarium decreases from 6.0 to lower level, the specific quantity of bacteria that are important for ammonia (NH3) and some nitrites toxicity can start to die, which is a much harmful situation for the aquarium.
  • Generally, the chemical process used to increase the value of pH in any aquarium water. But as a result of the chemical process, the increase in the level of pH will be much fast which is not suitable for any aquarium fish.
  • In the case of the low pH of the aquarium, a suitable way to increase the value of pH in aquarium water is a natural way of increasing the pH at a specific rate. You have to strictly avoid keeping fish in a tank with a pH of less than 7.0 that is an acidic medium. There are a lot of methods that you can use to improve the pH in the aquarium.

10 Methods To Raise The pH of Aquarium Water:

 Here are some most popular methods that are used to raise the pH of an aquarium.

By adding crushed Corals

This is one of the most effective methods to increase naturally the pH level of aquarium water. The structure of coral and other shells contains a huge quantity of different compounds like calcium carbonate (CaCO3), which can slowly increase the pH easily without any risk and harmful effect on fish life. In this method, you have to just place a lot of bags that are filled with many crushed corals in that aquarium which has lower pH these; crushed corals then increase the pH of that aquarium water. It is a less costly process; so everyone can purchase these corals and easily use them to increase the pH of the aquariums.

By adding dolomite chips

Sometimes you observe a small quantity of unique colored gravel in any aquarium; these are the beautiful dolomite chips. It is a usual point of view that they are only for the beauty of aquarium, but that’s not true always. These chips are very important for increasing the pH level of an aquarium at an optimum range. The main benefit of this technique is that the pH can be increased easily without any harmful impact on fish in an aquarium.  Dolomite chips aquariums contain a lot of compounds including the calcium and magnesium that are all vital for increasing the pH in any aquarium water. Dolomite can also be added to any growing medium to raise the pH of the medium.

By adding Limestone

A lot of methods are only best suitable and specifically used for any freshwater aquarium or other saltwater water aquariums to maintain pH. But limestone is best and perfect whether you are using it for freshwater aquarium or saltwater aquarium water. If you want to increase the pH level of aquarium water then limestone is a good and amazing addition. The limestone is much suitable for increasing the level of pH because it is calcareous. It contains a large quantity of calcium carbonate which is a compulsory part for increasing the basicity of water more. Limestone can both harden the water and raise the pH level. It is very simple to purchase limestone for this process. Limestone not just important for increasing the pH of an aquarium, but it also it’s very helpful to decorate aquarium because they usually produce a unique cave-like skeleton in the aquarium.

By adding Macroalgae

The addition of macroalgae is one of the amazing ways to increase the pH of the aquarium water. By using macroalgae your aquarium will appear like an amazing seabed. A lot of people may be wondering that algae are not suitable for the aquarium habitat, but the macroalgae used in this technique are a specific kind of algae that is beneficial to increase the level of pH in water and it can also remove the other useless types of algae usually found in any aquarium.

You have to just place the macroalgae in the desired aquarium it will raise the aquarium pH value within a few mints. Such algae are the best and perfect source of aquarium fish food and different minerals.

By using Baking Soda

The addition of baking soda is another easy and best way to increase the value of pH in aquarium water. You can carefully use this method, for using baking soda to raise aquarium pH, generally, it’s one teaspoon per almost 5 gallons which is a perfect and safe quantity for the aquarium fish. It’s suitable and compulsory to take out the fish from the aquarium before improving the value of pH. Then mix its specific quantity in some conditioned quantity of water and place this mixture to the aquarium. When you set pH at the required level then, easily re-inter the fish in the aquarium. A lot of people add a huge quantity instead of the required quantity for it. So as a result, this condition can be very harmful to the fish in the aquarium even kill the fish.

Using the Bicarbonates

It is one of the most common methods of raising the aquarium’s pH. In this process firstly, you have to buy a specific buffer for the aquarium. These buffers have some bicarbonate and sodium carbonate (NaCO3) that is best suitable to raise the pH. Please do not try to drastically change the level of pH of the water tank, because slowly occurring changes in the pH are useful for the fish life. So, you have to mix this buffer in the water and place it in the aquarium. Then it can mix in the aquarium water with a fast rate and continuously stirrer it for few mints. Make sure that you are properly aerating the tank. You can also repeat the same method at any time if you observe that the pH level is still very low.

Use of basic buffer

Basic or alkaline buffer is the best, versatile, and without phosphate buffer that is specially developed to increase the pH level and basicity of substance. It is developed for different aquariums that are planted. This can raise the level of pH between 7.2 and 8.5 usually.

By using Aquarium salt

The best aquarium salt is considered most popular to increase the pH of the aquarium. It is the best way to enhance the hardness of water and increase the buffering capacity as we know that the addition of salt causes the volume of the water to change. Usually, marine salts are used to improve the level of pH and the hardness of the carbonates, which can also enhance the salinity along with it. Sometimes trace quantity of sea salt may also increase the value of the pH of a freshwater aquarium. This salt will not lower the PH at any time. It will enhance the PH level of the aquarium water 8.2 which is much basic.

By using rocks or substrate

To raise the pH of the aquarium you can use some rocks or substrate. Best rocks for freshwater aquarium include the crushed coral that is generally used in many aquariums to raise the value of pH. If you are not interested to place the rocks to the aquarium water, and then just place the bag of different corals to your aquarium for this purpose, while using this unique process, you must take care yourself because it can increase the value of pH in your aquarium out of the normal level.

With the help of aeration

By adding the required oxygen content in the water the quantity of carbon dioxide can be decreased in it. According to the principle of aeration, it provides the oxygen content to bacteria for treating and stabilizing the aquarium water. Oxygen is always needed by the bacteria to allow biodegradation to occur. The Importance of aeration in water purification is that it supplied oxygen which is utilized by bacteria in the water to break down all the organic matter containing carbon to make carbon dioxide in water. Lesser the quantity of carbon dioxide (CO2), the higher will be the pH of aquarium water. Therefore, you have to raise the aeration process in the aquarium to improve the value of pH.



If you want to avoid the problems of aquarium water, you must do complete research about your aquarium environment and set the aquarium conditions accordingly. Though your aquarium fish prefer a unique pH in their native environment, it is very important to have a stable pH of an aquarium for fish. So you should always be careful in adjusting the pH level of the aquarium.

From the all above methods of raising the pH, you should choose a method that is perfect for your aquarium water. Having severe spikes could lead to more trouble conditions rather than solving pH issues. When you become successful to maintain the empty fish aquarium at the required pH level, you can easily place all your favorite pets to their new best suitable home for them!




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