Guppies are one of the best pets for beginners and experienced fish keepers. However, there are some things that need to be done to ensure proper guppy fish care. One of the things that concern many is the pH level of the water in the aquarium.
What pH Do Guppies Need?
Does the water pH level affect guppies? What happens if the pH level changes? Do guppies die if the pH level is too high or too low?
Generally speaking, guppy fish are extremely resilient and will survive in a variety of pH levels. However, the recommended water pH level is between 7 and 8.
Measure Water pH
If you want to measure the water pH level in your fish tank you can do so with a tester strip or a digital pH meter. We recommend investing in a digital pH meter because they are more accurate and last longer than strips.
How Do You Fix High pH?
High pH levels sometimes occur when you use tap water in your aquarium. If the pH level is higher than 8 then you need to lower it before it kills your guppies. Here’s how to lower the pH level of tap water:
Let the tap water sit in an unsealed container for a few days to lower the pH level of the water. Another method is to add live plants in your aquarium to help lower the pH level.
Some conditioners like Seachem Prime can also lower the pH level. Prime also removes chlorine, chloramine, and other heavy metals present in tap water.
Driftwood can also help lower the pH level when added to the aquarium. Or, you can inject CO2 in your plant-filled aquarium to decrease the pH level of the tank water.
Can Guppies Handle Low pH?
Freshwater aquariums rarely have low pH levels as often as they have high levels. Guppies generally do not like soft acidic water.
In the rare case, your water is low in pH, here is how to raise the water’s pH level in an aquarium:
Add a teaspoon of baking soda for every 5 gallons of water to increase the low pH level.
Before dissolving the baking soda in the tank, remove the fish.
After 30-60 minutes, measure the pH level and return the fish to the tank once pH is at satisfactory level
Quick TipMinerals from substrates like coral, limestone or Texas holey rock also help in increasing the pH level. Always remove your fish when adding or removing the substrate as it can be stressful.
Adding 1-2 seashells per 1 gallon can also raise pH levels. Seashells contain carbonates that will slowly dissolve in the water which will help in raising pH levels. Seashells can be purchased at most pet stores or online from Amazon.
Do not use seashells that are used for home decoration or are painted. These can contain chemicals that will harm or kill you guppy fish. If you have driftwood in your aquarium, remove it to see if that is the cause of the pH level drop.
Things To Note
Water aeration lowers pH level
Driftwood softens the water and lowers the pH.
CO2 and live plants lowers pH levels.
High nitrate levels can cause a pH level drop.
RO/DI water lowers the pH level.
Too many fish can contribute to dropping the pH levels.
Aquarium salt increases the pH level
Crushed coral, seashells, limestone substrate increases the pH level.