How do I raise the alkalinity of my fish tank? | Yahoo Answers

Aquarium Water Care for Healthy Fish Tanks | PetSmart
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One place where total alkalinity is very important is when copper is used as a treatment for algae or parasites. Total alkalinity should be measured before copper is used in an aquarium, as the toxicity to fish is directly related to the total alkalinity. Copper should never be used with fish if the total alkalinity is less than 50 mg/L. Copper should not be used in aquariums with plants or invertebrates unless they are first removed from the tank. For more information on treating with copper, see the UF-IFAS publication "Use of Copper in Freshwater Aquaculture and Farm Ponds.".
Normal range: 120 to 300 mg/L; Low alkalinity can result in a sudden change in the tank's pH level that may be deadly to your fish
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There are many reactions in aquariums that produce acids, and others, like biofiltration, that directly use carbonates. Over time the alkalinity can be "consumed," and if alkalinity is depleted, the pH of the water in an aquarium can plummet causing extreme stress or death to the fish and adversely affecting biofilter function. Alkalinity can be easily replenished in an aquarium by periodically exchanging a portion of the tank water with new water with a moderate total alkalinity or by adding chemical buffers, such as sodium bicarbonate (baking soda), to the water. I have a 10 gal freshwater fishtank. I have Tetra Easy Strips 6 in 1. I tested the water, and the alkalinity is way to high! Its 300. and my pH is.
Photo provided by FlickrLow Alkalinity - Fish Tank
Photo provided by FlickrAquarium pH is measured on a scale between 0-14.0. Aquarium water pH that measures 0-6.9 is acidic, while a fish tank pH measuring 7.1-14.0 is alkaline.
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Certain aquarium decorations can raise pH. In fact, saltwater aquarium hobbyists often rely on this. Many of the same products can work in a freshwater tank if you desire a high pH. Crushed coral sand or calcium-rich rocks like limestone or tufa can slowly leach calcium into the water, raising the pH, alkalinity and calcium levels of aquarium water. This mimics the hard, alkaline water where some species of aquarium fish originate.Total alkalinity should be tested once a month to ensure levels are sufficient for the tank's fish inhabitants as well as for biofiltration. More frequent measurements (every week or every other week) may be necessary if alkalinity is less than 50 mg/L, stocking density or feeding rates are high, or if water changes are not done regularly. Prior to each copper usage, total alkalinity should be tested to prevent copper toxicity.To reduce the alkalinity of an aquarium's water, you must remove some of the dissolved minerals. Although alkalinity is often used as a synonym for "basic," it is important to understand that the term properly refers to the buffering capacity of water. As several popular aquarium fish, such as South American cichlids, require soft, acidic water with low alkalinity to thrive, it is important to know how to reduce your tank's alkalinity when necessary.How to Increase Alkalinity in Fish Tanks. Low alkalinity isn't necessarily a problem, depending on what type of fish you have, but it can lead to a problem. In water with a consistently low pH, ammonia will build up due to the lack of alkalinity. Then when you replace the water (during a regular cleaning), the naturally higher pH of the new water mixed with the old water will cause the ammonia to turn toxic. With that in mind, you should try to keep pH above 6 for proper buffering.While slightly lowering the pH of the aquarium water is a relatively simple process, it is difficult to drop the pH drastically or maintain low pH values without suitably low alkalinity. Even if you are able to lower the pH, the results will only be temporary, as the buffering capacity of the water will cause the pH to rebound quickly, causing dangerous pH fluctuations. To lower the pH of your tank enough to keep your cichlids or angelfish happy, you must first reduce the hardness, and therefore the alkalinity, of the water.Plant live plants that will add carbon dioxide to the tank. Sterilized peat at the bottom of the tank can also increase the alkalinity. Be sure to remove decaying plant pieces immediately and provide adequate lighting. The health of some fish will improve just with the addition of plants.